They are great for dealing with the hustle and bustle of big city traffic. They’re economical and offer great value. Read our toughs here:
Mazda 2: All-New Mazda2 Active Manual 1.5-litre from R188 000
Engine-wise, the Mazda2 is fitted with a 1.5-litre petrol with 82kW/145Nm. Mazda claim a consumption figure of 5.7 litres/100km however, during my time with the car, I averaged a shade over 7.0 litres/100km on a combined cycle.
The Mazda2 is a very impressive product; its exterior design is the kind of extrovert treatment a vehicle needs to succeed in this segment. It’s also very well made, has a modern interior and stacks up well in the spec sheets. (Sean Nurse)
Volkswagen Up! Move up! R143 000
I mentioned in my launch story that I felt the 55kW/95Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine would feel dead up at the reef but I’m happy to report that I didn’t find the car frustrating to drive up here (get it?) Performance is of zero significance here, though, however, fuel returns are - with me achieving a figure of 5.1 litres/100km - very impressive.
The Up! is probably not practical enough to dethrone the Vivo, however, for Vivo money you can now get that VW badge that so many desire, only now with better quality, more style and better returns at the pumps - if you can deal with that perpetual smile it wears, that is. (Sean Nurse)
Suzuki Swift and Dzire: Swift 1.2 GL Manual R143 900. Dzire 1.2 GL Manual R145 900
Suzuki South Africa has recently announced a series of updates to its popular Suzuki Swift 1.2 and DZire models.
Both models are powered by a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine with a maximum power output of 62kW and a torque peak of 115Nm. In the case of the Swift 1.2 however, the combined-cycle fuel consumption has been reduced from 5.7 litres/100km to 5.3 litres/100km for the manual transmission. The automatic version now achieves a consumption figure of 5.8 litres/100km, compared to the 6.3 litres/100km of the previous version.(Justin Jacobs)
Kia Picanto: 1.0-litre LX R136 995 and the 1.2-litre EX R149 995
The multi award-winning Picanto already packs a serious punch in the A-segment with groovy styling to appeal to buyers across the spectrum and its excellent value proposition.
The Picanto 1.0-litre develops 51kW and 94Nm, while the 1.2-litre develops 65kW and 120Nm. For an additional R12 000 an automatic gearbox can be had on any of the models. Both models also come with a five-year/150 000km warranty as standard.(Deon van der Walt (SAGMJ Guild Bursar))