Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Delving into Bargain Basement; When It Comes to Entry-Level Hatchbacks, Which One Offers the Best Value? Joshua Dowling Investigates

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Delving into Bargain Basement; When It Comes to Entry-Level Hatchbacks, Which One Offers the Best Value? Joshua Dowling Investigates

Article excerpt

Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport $23,990

Value

THE plain-Jane Corolla Ascent starts at $22,990 drive-away with auto but for $1000 more the Ascent Sport tested gains 16-inch alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, front fog lights and tinted rear windows. Built-in navigation is a $1000 option but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available. Servicing is relatively cheap ($840 over three years or $140 a visit every six months or 10,000km). Warranty is three years/100,000km.

Design/tech

This generation Corolla is approaching its fifth birthday but it had a substantial makeover about 18 months ago. In addition to a new nose and tail, the interior got a tidy up. The sleek roof line means it's not the roomiest in its class but there is ample room for four adults. The boot is a decent size (360 litres) and stows a full-size steel spare.

Engine

The 1.8-litre four-cylinder is no ball of fire but it gets the job done (0-100kmh in 10 seconds). The seven-step CVT is one of the better applications of its type. One key advantage: it sips less fuel than the i30, with a claimed average of 6.1L/100km.

Safety

Seven airbags and five-star safety rating, with standard rear camera. The camera has a clearer display and is better at night than the Hyundai, though the guiding lines don't turn with the steering. Automatic emergency braking, a $750 option on this grade, is not available at any price on the base i30.

Driving

The Corolla drives better than most motoring writers give it credit for, especially since the update. The suspension is supple and quiet over bumps, the steering is precise and predictable and the car in general feels comfortable and sure-footed to drive. Vision over the shoulder is a bit restricted due to the roof line but the convex mirrors each side help to reduce your blind spots.

Hyundai i30 Active $24,990

Value

THE previous i30 had limboed to $19,990 drive-away with auto for much of the past year but the starting price has jumped $5000 to $24,990 drive-away with auto for the new model. …

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