The Road Ahead : August 2014
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 49 CAR COMPARISON | MOTORING AUG/SEP 2014 THE ROAD AHEAD ^ Prices are Manufacturers' List Prices, not driveaway or special deal. ^^ Insurance cost is based on an RACQ Insurance comprehensive policy for a 35 year-old male, maximum no claim bonus, vehicle financially unencumbered, and $600 excess. Postcode 4066, Multi policy and RACQ member loyalty discounts may apply. Discounts of 2.5-15 percent may be available to RACQ members, depending on length of membership. Price^ $38,990^ Environmental rating ANCAP safety rating Annual insurance costs^^ $1582.54 Capped price servicing $436 (average per service over 5yrs). COSTS & RATINGS Price^ $36,950^ Environmental rating ANCAP safety rating N/A Annual insurance costs^^ $995.09 Capped price servicing Starts at $850 for 5yrs/70,000km Price^ $38,790^ Environmental rating ANCAP safety rating Annual insurance costs^^ $975.58 Capped price servicing $473 (average per service for first 6 services) Price^ $31,790^ Environmental rating ANCAP safety rating N/A Annual insurance costs^^ $1056.02 Capped price servicing $299 (per service over 3yrs/30,000km) SUBARU WRX RENAULT CLIO RS 200 CUP MINI COOPER S SKODA OCTAVIA RS 162 TSI CONCLUSION Unlike our usual comparisons that focus on a particular new car segment, this one was more about highlighting the choice that there is among new sports models. And what a choice. Take your pick of the body style that best suits you (five- door sedan or three-door or five-door hatch), size (Light, Small or Mid-sized), transmission (all but the Clio RS have a choice of auto or manual) and hard-edged (WRX, Clio RS) or more-rounded (Octavia RS, Cooper S) performance. We would recommend each of our test quartet without hesitation. From a keen driver's perspective, there are no duds and all deliver a highly-engaging, sporty drive. But after several days driving and crunching the numbers across some 20 criteria, our test panel placed the field: JOEL: 1.WRX 2.MINI 3.Octavia RS 4.Clio RS. GREG: 1.Octavia RS = 2.WRX, MINI 4.Clio RS. JOHN: 1.Octavia RS 2.WRX = 3.Clio RS, MINI. BARRY: 1.WRX 2.Clio RS =3.MINI, Octavia RS. That makes it two wins apiece for the Octavia RS and WRX, but apply the obvious points scoring table of four, three, two, one and the winner is the Subaru. its ADR combined fuel figure, averaging 9.8 litres/100km, just 0.6 higher. The new engine might boast best-on-test 197kW/350Nm power and torque, but the turbo needs to be 'spooled up' to avoid lag. Matching the right gear to the rev range is imperative. We couldn't quite replicate the maker's claimed 0-100km/h time of 6.0 seconds, but the WRX still showed the quickest set of wheels in three of our six acceleration tests and matched the Skoda over 400m. Traction and drive thresholds are prodigious -- the product of good rubber, a chassis endowed with stiffened cross- members and greater rigidity (up 40 percent), Subaru's fabled all-wheel-drive and torque vectoring system. The grip is resolute, but not overwhelming, and drivers will derive satisfaction from matching small increments of steering input with throttle application to have the 'Rex' surf through a series of bends. We did. SUMMARY: HARD-CORE HERO. FOR: Most power and torque, second-most room and boot space. AGAINST: Highest price and insurance, heaviest, shortest servicing schedules (6mths/12,500km). TO SEE A VIDEO OF OUR COMPARISON, GO TO YOUTUBE.COM/RACQOFFICIAL.
June July 2014