A wide choice in this diverse category brings a mixed final three
1. Honda Jazz VTi
A $14,990 pricetag is low in this company, and is the high note on which the well-equipped entry-level Jazz signals the start of its successful Gold Star Value campaign. However, it’s not purchase price itself, but the product of a cheap sticker and a spectacular 79 percent Redbook three-year retained value that works for would-be Jazz buyers. The resale is among the best of any car considered for 2014. It means the little hatch only sheds about $1000 over each of the first three years, bagging the Honda big points.
The $945 annual insurance figure is as good as most, while official fuel economy from the CVT-equipped, 91 octane-sipping 1.5-litre four is decent, if not class-leadingly great. The Japanese brand’s three-year warranty is the norm, but bettered by some here, and the six-monthly service requirement is less convenient – and may mean more money spent in the workshop – compared with cars that only call for an annual check-up.
The Jazz may have an image problem alongside stylish rivals like the Clio, while the fussy styling of the new third-gen model won’t be for everyone. But in terms of saving bucks, it can’t be beat.
2. Mazda 2 Neo Hatch
WITH first-drive reports of the new 2 filtering out of Japan, the third-gen model has only weeks of life left – run-out deals make it a great time to buy this little doer. Factor in solid resale and a 12-month service interval, and the Mazda mite’s silver medal is deserved.
3. Renault Clio Authentique TCe 90
FOURTH-GEN French supermini marks the return of mainstream models to the Australian market and the dawn of Clio’s value story in Oz, with brilliant 4.5L/100km combined-cycle economy from its 898cc turbo triple, a long 12-month service interval and a generous five-year warranty.
|Light <$17k||Purchase Price||Comb. Fuel (L/100km)||Fuel RON (min. rec.)||3-year fuel cost||Redbook resale (%)||3-year deprec.||AAMI insurance prem.||Service interval (months)||Warranty (years)|
|Honda Jazz VTi MT||$14,990||6.2||91||$3539||79||$3148||$945.23||6||3|
|Mazda 2 Neo Sport hatch||$15,790||6.4||91||$3653||75||$3948||$923.98||12||3|
|Renault Clio Authentique TCe 90||$16,790||4.5||95||$2735||67||$5541||$933.53||12||5|
Notable classmates: Suzuki Swift GL, Hyundai i20 3-dr Active / Number of cars crunched: 13