The once-humble 1.6-litre family saloon has been turned into a premium purchase, no thanks to sky-high COE prices. In light of this, “brave” buyers of these bread-and-butter cars now want a helping of kaya, too.
The Kia Cerato Forte is one such automobile, having come a long way from its previously modest roots. Despite being the oldest entrant in this shoot-out, it still aims to impress drivers with its continental-inspired design, zippy performance and competitive pricing.
Zoom-zooming its way into this contest is the facelifted Mazda 3. Although it still resembles the previous model, the “3+” actually boasts a more aerodynamic exterior plus an upgraded cabin that employs better materials. Although the powertrain remains unchanged, the car’s chassis has been made more rigid to enhance handling.
Also hoping to attract keen drivers is the latest Subaru Impreza, which is the newest car in this group test. Its chunky styling has a quirky appeal, while its standard all-wheel drive (the only car here so equipped) and spacious cabin are likely to resonate with those seeking all-weather safety and daily practicality.
Which of the three is the best answer in our “value-for-money” MCQ?