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Journeys : Dec10 Jan11
December 2010 / January 2011 41 Best Light Car over $20k VW Polo - 66tdi Comfortline $22,350 Driveline: 1.6 litre; 4 cylinder turbo-diesel; 5-speed manual Fuel economy: 4.7 l/100km; Diesel Safety Features: DFSA, HAB, ABS, TCS, ESC. ANCAP: ★★★★★ GVG: ★★★★ This is a new category in ABC this year and was introduced to look at the premium end of the light car market, where buyers are prepared to pay more for what they want but their expectations are also higher, particularly in respect to driving dynamics and equipment. Volkswagen Polo once again leads the field w ith the all-new diesel 66TDi Comfortline. Polo 66TDI Comfortline is a tiny car that’s big on ability, quality, safety and features. This smart looking five-door hatchback brings a touch of German luxur y design and attention to detail into the light car sector. While the Polo is German-designed, the Comfortline versions we get in Australia are built in South Africa. Having said that, the build quality and finish is still class-leading. When you shut the Polo door and hear the deep-sounding thump, it immediately reinforces the fact that this is a solidly-built, premium-quality little car. Supporting the solid construction, six airbags and electronic stability control also deliver a reassuring five-star safety rating. Volkswagen has done a superb job in the set-up and tuning of the suspension. Polo’s combination of a comfor table ride, securely- planted road feel and precise steering is a real standout. Not only is the Polo nimble around town, but on the highway it has the feel of a much bigger car. It is only when the road surface gets really choppy that you even start to notice the firmness of the suspension. Inter ior space is always tight in the light cars but Volkswagen’s astute packaging makes the most of Polo’s compact overall size. In the context of the class, leg room is reasonable and the head room is good. Polo’s w ide opening rear hatch provides easy access to a small but useable luggage compar tment. Many people might be sur prised to find that a close check of ongoing ownership expenses, such as ser vicing, repairs and insurance, shows the Polo 66TDI’s costs over five years are the lowest in the class. Best Small Car under $35k Hyundai i30 SX, $22,390 Driveline: 2.0 -litre four cylinder, 4-spd auto Fuel economy: 6.5L/100km; ULP Safety Features: ESC, DFSA, HAB, ABS, BA , EBD, ANCAP: ★★★★★ GVG: ★★★★★ 2010 signals a hat-trick of Australia’s Best Car’s Awards for Hyundai’s i30 small car. That’s not surprising when you consider the i30 is the best car from the Korean maker’s stable to date. This year the i30 took out the new Best Small Car Under $35,000 category. Last year the diesel version stood on the winner’s podium, while in 2008 it was the petrol model. This year the petrol model again reigns. Like the baby i20, the i30 offers a value-for-money proposition that is critical in this price-sensitive end of the market. While it was no match for either Honda Civic or the Golf on the road, it was still a solid performer, scoring sevens for performance, handling, braking and smoothness and quietness. The soft suspension made for a comfor table ride. Step inside, and the cabin is larger than you’d expect from a car with the i30’s dimensions. The seats are comfortable and supportive. The i30’s ergonomics rate well, w ith simple, logical controls all within reach of the driver. Height and reach-adjustable steering allows for a comfortable driving position. Rear-seat passengers have plenty of room with good head and leg space. The rear seats split-fold and the boot is a good size. A five-star ANCAP safety rating and a plethora of standard safety equipment, including six airbags, ESC, ABS, pre-tensioners and load limiters on the front seatbelts, driver and front passenger anti-whiplash head restraints and height-adjustable head restraints for all occupants mean the i30 also scores well in safety. Improvement in build quality across the board from Hyundai has been a priority for some years, and that is evident with the i30, which scores highly against cars that are more expensive. With a third title under its belt, the i30 really is the king of its class.
Oct Nov 2010
Feb March 2011