Suzuki Alto | Holden Barina Spark | Nissan Micra | small cars

5 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Suzuki Alto | Holden Barina Spark | Nissan Micra | small cars

City lights: Suzuki Alto v Holden Barina Spark v Nissan Micra

MATT CAMPBELL

Inside this review.

Make Suzuki Family Alto Series GF Year 2010 Badge Description GL Doors 5 Seats 4 Transmission Automatic Engine Configuration Description In-line Gear Num 4 Cylinders 3 Build Country Origin Description INDIA ANCAPRating 4 Car Size Light Overall Green Star Rating 5 Fuel Type Description Petrol – Premium ULP Drive Description Front Wheel Drive Warranty KM 100000

Stylish city cars have never been more affordable. An increasing number of cut-price runabouts are becoming available, with many costing less than you’d expect to pay for a three-year-old Toyota Corolla.

Manufacturers are increasingly offering attractive and safe city cars with price tags designed to please. The number available with the full safety complement – including six airbags and stability control as standard – means that choosing which budget-priced commuter car to go for often comes down to how it looks.

New entrants are arriving every few months and the flow isn’t likely to stop any time soon. What it all amounts to for buyers is greater choice and lower prices.

We’ve assembled three models aimed squarely at style-conscious, money-mindful, younger buyers.

Between them the capacity of their engines is less than a Ford Falcon family car, while they weigh less than a tonne each and about half your average mid-sized soft-roader. They’re also frugal, sipping less fuel than some hybrids.

The first (and newest) is Nissan’s Micra ST. The Japanese brand’s cheapest starter by far, the ST kicks off the Micra range at $12,990, with a smaller engine and a few less bells and whistles than the more pricey models in the line-up.

Keep in mind, though, that these prices don’t include on-road and dealer costs, which can easily add a couple of thousand dollars. That said, drive-away deals are often used at this end of the market to effectively advertise a discount.

Holden also released a new city car recently with its Barina Spark. It expects the Spark’s $12,490 price tag to boost sales, playing on an eye-catching design and class-leading power.

Lastly, there’s the carry-over champ from Drive’s previous comparison of mini cars. Suzuki’s diminutive Alto. It was updated recently to help it hold its own against its newer, fresher-faced rivals.

Stability control is now standard on the base-model GL (previously only available on the top-level GLX), as well as a few minor cosmetic and interior changes, while still retaining its $11,790 price point.

That makes it the cheapest car here, not to mention one of the lowest priced in Australia, but does that make it the best deal?

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