How to Choose the Right Small Car

QUESTION: Just read about this brokerage service and it sounds great. Keen to avoid trooping around dealerships and playing their silly games and of course getting the best deal possible.

Just took delivery of a VW Touareg (yeah unfortunately didn't know about the past reliability issues with the brand before I bought the car) so not keen to go down the path for a second time to replace our second or wife's car. 

Narrowed the small car selection down to:

  • Mazda 3 Neo
  • Toyota Corolla Ascent
  • Hyundai i30

Hyundai i30


Toyota Corolla

I have driven a rental Toyota Corolla and was quite impressed with its all round performance but wasn't impressed with the outcome of the work experience interior designer. The Mazda is certainly the looker amongst the candidates and should have the best resale value at the end of its tether. Never been a great fan of the Hyundai but they are certainly kitted out the best of this bunch but there is that lingering doubt re their long term durability.

The Toyota is definitely the work horse which gets the mechanics recommendations but its also got so so looks. This is a car for my wife so will be mainly doing short trips around town but I would be tempted to use it more frequently if its comfortable and provides a good driving experience. Prefer the sedan version of the Mazda and hatch for the other 2 (all with 4 doors) and all with automatic shifters. Would tolerate a hatched Mazda if the price was right.

I have 2 vehicles to trade/dispose of and I would appreciate your guidance assistance in disposing of them.

  • Holden Vectra JS11 GL 2.2 auto 2001 120k on the clock
  • Holden VZ Commodore Berlina 2005 Auto 3.6 V6 139k on the clock

Both have complete service history but have only been offered $1k for the Vectra as a trade...which may be fair. Vectra's body and interior is in good nick, tyres good and plenty of rego to go. Commodore has some scratches and dings that you can be fixed if it means getting a better price (you can guide me on that one) tyres are good and again not long registered. 

Prepared and ready to pay cash but would need to dispose of the other 2 vehicles at the time of purchasing the new one otherwise my driveway will resemble a car lot. Don't need the proceeds of the existing 2 vehicles to pay for the new vehicle. Thanks for your time and look forward to discussing my purchase and sales further with you soon. Cheers, Ray.

P.S. The wife is partial to the deep red colour that's trendy ATM (soul red metallic Mazda/ Barcelona Red Toyota) and is dead against the boring white silver and grey colours.


Ray, you've selected exactly the right three cars, in my view. I have written extensively about all these already and have provided links to those resources below. In response to some of the specific points you raised:

  • Rental cars are often nasty base models that aren't as good as the ones you'd buy for yourself.
  • I don't think reliability or build quality will be an issue with the i30. Earlier Hyundais, yeah - sure. But the i30, Elantra and Santa Fe are truly excellent vehicles.
  • Hyundai has a sedan version of the i30 - it's called the Elantra, which implies it's a separate model, but it's essentially an i30 sedan...
  • I think the price of the hatch and sedan in the Mazda will be line-ball.
  • Your wife can have any colour she wants. Even if she only wants red.
  • You didn't mention the warranty: Hyundai is five years + unlimited kilometres. The other two are three years + 100,000 kilometres.

Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra

Ask me how you can save thousands off a Hyundai i30, Elantra, Mazda3 or Toyota Corolla here >>

Let me get you in touch with the brokerage. They can assist with the acquisition of the new car, and also the timeframe. They're buying cars for clients all day long so they're in touch with the market prices on a daily basis and can shop competitively for whatever car you want.

More information on the brokerage process here >>

Here's some further reading on the vehicles:

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