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MG 3


Subaru Impreza

Summary

MG 3

This story has been updated in February 2022 to reflect market changes and pricing adjustments for the MG3. It was originally published in the first half of 2020.

My time at CarsGuide started in October 2017, and since then I’ve booked literally thousands of cars across Australia. One car that has eluded me - and the CarsGuide team - over that period is the one you see here: the MG3. Or the MG MG3, or MG 3, if you wish.

Despite asking MG’s Australian arm countless times to loan an MG3 hatchback over that period, the company in charge of the brand’s PR in Australia refused to agree to loan us a vehicle to test. Now the company has an in-house PR team with a pretty decent fleet of press cars, yet still, no MG3.

Over the years, our desire to review the MG3 hatch - and to help you decide whether it's right for you or not - has only gotten stronger because sales have skyrocketed. Back in late 2017 the brand was averaging only a handful of cars per month - indeed, just 52 examples of the MG3 were sold in total in 2017.

Since then, the MG3 has skyrocketed, and it is the best-selling light car in Australia. In 2021, the brand moved more than 13,000 MG3s - meaning it is averaging 250 cars sold per week. Makes the paltry 2017 numbers look a bit meagre. In becoming the number-one seller in the segment, it has beaten big-name rivals including the Kia Rio, Mazda 2 and now defunct Honda Jazz, while also being well clear of the cheaper Kia Picanto, which is what many people will be shopping this car against if price is a key driver for their decision.

And that's the case in point, really - a lot of its success comes down to the price of the Chinese-built, British-badged city car. It’s cheap - but is it a cheerful experience? We got the chance to find out in 2020, thanks to a friendly MG dealership in NSW - and this review has been updated with the most current pricing, because nothing else has changed.

Safety rating
Engine Type1.5L
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency6.7L/100km
Seating5 seats

Subaru Impreza

Subaru is now known best for being an SUV brand that doesn’t really make SUVs.

Its range of lifted wagons and hatchbacks are successful evolutions of its once-popular sedan and hatch ranges, which included the Impreza.

Now the Liberty mid-size sedan has reached the end of its long run in Australia, the Impreza hatch and sedan represent a little slice of Subaru’s past. The range has been updated for the 2021 model year, so what we’re set on finding out is whether the storied Impreza badge should take your eyes away from more popular rivals.

We took a top-spec 2.0i-S for a week to find out.

Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency7.2L/100km
Seating5 seats

Verdict

MG 37.1/10

Aside from its safety shortcomings and underwhelming powertrain, it’s easy to see why the MG3 has become a successful part of the brand’s line-up. If you’re driving around a rural centre like I was, it makes a lot of sense.

Whether you choose the Excite model, which has a bit more visual pizzazz, or the Core model, which is our pick of the range, the MG3 is well priced, has the media tech buyers are after, is a charming looking thing that comes in a range of great colours, and is smartly packaged, too. 

Thanks to the team at Orange MG for assisting us with this the loan vehicle for this review. Head to Orange MG for more information.


Subaru Impreza7.3/10

Sturdy, safe, and comfortable, the Subaru Impreza continues to cut its own path as a little, lowered-SUV with all-wheel drive in the hatchback space. 

Unfortunately, in a lot of ways the Impreza is a shadow of its former self. This is a car calling out for some sort of engine and tech upgrade, be it a smaller turbocharged option or the new ‘e-Boxer’ hybrid. Time will tell if it survives another generation to evolve into what it needs to be in tomorrow’s market.

Design

MG 38/10

It’s a fresh looking thing, the MG3. 

From its attractive front-end with “London Eye” LED daytime running lights, its Euro-look angular front bumper and chrome-trimmed grille, and its angular window lines, it really does have a distinct personality.

It looks a lot more modern and enticing than the first version of the MG3 sold here, and I have no doubt that a lot of buyers of the MG3 have been attracted by its sharp styling first and foremost. MG has done a tremendous job of creating a family look - it just happens that the family looks like it has been taking good care of itself, keeping active and trim, too.

The rear end isn’t quite as attractive, with the vertical tail-lights making it seem taller than it is. It’s still a nicely sculpted back-end, though.

On the Core model you’ll get some lower blacked-out design trim bits, and the wheels fitted are 15-inch alloys. 

The Excite model seen here is a little more, dare we say it, exciting to look at. That’s down to its body kit, consisting of lower chrome elements on the front bumper, a set of black side skirts, and a hatch-mounted rear spoiler. You get 16-inch alloy wheels, too. 

In terms of dimensions, it’s closer in size to the Kia Rio than it is the Picanto. With a length of 4055mm (on a long-for-its-size 2520mm wheelbase), a width of 1729mm and height of 1504mm, it’s a pretty chunky little unit. 

It is rather conventional in the way its interior is designed, however - there’s no sliding second row (like the Suzuki Ignis) or flip-folding seats (a la the Honda Jazz). Check out the interior pictures below to see for yourself.


Subaru Impreza7/10

Subaru plays it very safe for the Impreza’s latest update, with a gently re-worked grille, new alloy wheel designs and, well, that’s pretty much it.

For a hatch, the XV is already safe and inoffensive, wearing some swoopy lines down the side, but otherwise adhering to the brand’s chunky and squared-off side and rear profiles. It’s set to please people who find the Mazda3 too extreme, or the Honda Civic a bit too sci-fi.

If anything, it’s hard to tell this top spec apart from the rest of the range, with only the larger alloys as the big give away. 

The inside of the Impreza is nice, with the brand’s hallmark steering wheel, an abundance of displays, and comfortable seat trims well and truly present. Much like the XV, Subaru’s design language really takes its own path here, away from rivals. 

The steering wheel is an excellent touch point, and everything is really adjustable, with plenty of room, even for larger adults. Soft trims extend from the centre console, across the dash, and into the doors, making the Impreza’s cabin a relatively attractive and comfortable place to be. All but the lowest spec get a similar interior treatment, a testament to the value within the range.

The only issue here is it feels a little less agile, and maybe a bit too SUV-like from behind the wheel. Everything in the interior layout feels a little exaggerated, and while this works for the SUV pretences of the XV, it does feel a little out of place here in the lower-riding Impreza.

Practicality

MG 37/10

If you’ve owned the same old car for years and you’re setting foot in an MG3 for the first time, you’ll probably feel amazed that you can get an interior with interesting finishes, a high-tech screen and decent materials at this price point.

Earlier versions of the MG3 were nowhere near as good inside as the current model, which has been on sale since 2018. It’s not perfect, but there are plenty of things to like.

The seats offer plenty of adjustment, including a huge amount of height adjustment for shorter drivers. The seat is comfortable, though some drivers might find it hard to get the right position: there is no reach adjustment for the steering wheel (only rake adjust), and you can’t adjust the seatbelt height, either. 

I really like the seat trim which is a broad tartan design (with “synthetic leather” bolsters and contrast stitching in the top-spec Excite), mirrored by an etched tartan aluminium trim piece on the dashboard - it looks really smart, even if my OCD radar was set off by the fact the trim wasn’t aligned to match perfectly between the cushion sections. Take a look at the interior pictures to see what I mean.

There are some really nice elements to the cabin. Things like the 'lock' and 'unlock' button on the driver’s door, which looks like it has been stolen directly from Audi’s parts catalogue. The same can be said for the speedo instrument font. 

There’s no doubt that it’s built to a price, but it doesn’t feel anywhere near as cheap as you might expect. We’ve criticised Audi, VW and Skoda for cutting costs with hard plastic trims on doors and dashboards, and the MG has plenty of hard plastics, too - but it’s expected at this price, not double it.

There’s a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen media system with AM/FM radio and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, plus USB connectivity and smartphone mirroring - meaning you get Apple CarPlay, essentially negating the need for sat nav if you use an iPhone. You can option a GPS navigation system on the Core model, but satellite navigation comes standard on the Excite. There's no Android Auto mirroring available at all, though.

In previous models from the SAIC stable - including the LDV T60, and MG ZS - I had troubles with the media screen, but the version in the MG3 Excite I drove was quick and problem free, even when disconnecting and reconnecting my phone multiple times. 

There are other little things that could be improved, like the fact the trip meter is difficult to navigate, and there’s no digital speedometer. Also, the digital climate control in the Excite model shows up on the media screen, though by way of a graphic rather than a temperature number. In the base model Core there’s a simpler manual a/c system. 

The steering wheel has a part leather trim with perforated edges which makes it look and feel a little bit sporty – and it has a flat bottom as well, which will appeal to the sporty-minded buyer. There are stereo and cruise control buttons on the wheel, but the stalks behind are “back to front”, with the left stalk for indicators and lights, and the right for wipers. 

As for storage, up front there is a single cup holder between the seats, a couple of small storage sections including a trench for a wallet, and another storage section in front of the gear selector - that’s where the MG3’s single USB port is, too.

The front door storage includes bottle holders, and there are soft padded elbow pads on the front doors - which is more than we can say for some of those aforementioned Euro brands.

With the driver’s seat set in my position (I’m 182cm tall), I had enough back seat space to be comfortable. There was enough knee room and toe room, and reasonable headroom if I sat perfectly still - although the slightest tilt of my head to the outer side of the car saw my noggin contact the headlining. Rear seat comfort is okay - the backrest is a firm, but there’s good visibility out the windows. There are dual ISOFIX child seat anchor points, and three top-tether points for baby seats. 

In the back the storage is minimal. There are two map pockets, but no door pockets, and there’s no flip-down centre armrest with cupholders. But there is one large pocket in front of the middle-seat rear passenger which would do for a bottle. The back seat also misses out on soft elbow pads on the doors. 

Boot space is good for a car in this size segment. You’ll only really do better if you buy a Honda Jazz or Suzuki Baleno, as the MG3 offers a deep and boxy cargo zone, with a cargo capacity of 307 litres to the cargo cover. 

Need more luggage capacity? The back seats fold down in a 60:40 split, alleviating 1081L of space - though the load-through is limited as the seats don’t fold completely flat. Or you could fit a roof rack. 


Subaru Impreza7/10

The Impreza does a good job of looking and feeling like a box on wheels, and this makes for a pretty practical interior. Despite big chunky seats and lots of padded trim points, the cabin proved to be a spacious and adjustable environment, with thought given to places for objects.

There’s a large trench in the doors with a bottle holder on either side, two large cupholders in the centre console, a large console storage box with soft trim on top, and a small bay underneath the climate unit. It seems as though a wireless charger could go here, but there isn’t one yet  available in the Impreza range. There’s also no USB-C, with two USB-A outlets, an auxiliary input, and a 12v power outlet featuring in this location.

The large, bright touchscreen is easy to use for the driver, and practical dials for all the important functions are joined by perhaps one-too-many steering wheel controls to make functions easy to operate while driving.

The Impreza’s cabin is notable for the amount of room on offer in the rear seat, where I have airspace for my knees behind my own driving position (I’m 182cm tall), and there’s plenty of width here, too. The middle seat is perhaps less useful for adults, with a large transmission tunnel taking up much of the space.

Rear-seat passengers can make use of a single bottle holder in each of the doors, a set of cupholders in the drop-down armrest, and a single pocket on the back of the front passenger seat. Despite the amount of room on offer , there are no adjustable air vents or power outlets offered to rear passengers, although the nice seat trim continues.

Boot space comes in at 345-litres (VDA), which is small in the case of the XV, which purports to be an SUV, but a little more competitive in the case of the Impreza. For the record, it’s larger than the Corolla but comes in smaller than the i30 or Cerato. There is a space-saver spare wheel under the floor.

Price and features

MG 38/10

The success of the MG3 in Australia has been largely driven by its price. 

And no wonder - pricing for cars of this size has increased steadily, and plenty of brands have found their light cars in the "too hard" basket as a result.

But the MG3 is still relatively cheap. Prices have jumped over the time since we drove this particular car, but they're still sub-$20K for all models in the range.

For context, the 2020 model started at just $16,490 drive-away for the Core model and topped out at $18,490 drive-away for the top-spec Excite, and those prices were the RRPs listed on MG’s site at the time.

But now the MG3 has become a bit pricier - the current pricing for the range is up, with the base model Core now $18,490 drive-away, while the Core with Nav model costs $18,990 drive-away, and the top-spec Excite grade is a Macca's meal short of twenty grand at $19,990 drive-away.

Wondering what features you get when it comes to the models in the range? It's pretty simple, so let’s run through what each model gets.

The Core gets 15-inch alloy wheels, cloth tartan finish seat trim, auto on/off halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, manual air conditioning, electric windows, electric mirrors, and a leather steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons. There’s a space-saver spare wheel, too.

The media system includes a 8.0-inch touchscreen with USB connectivity, Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto), Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and AM/FM radio. There’s no CD player, and the Core model gets four speakers. If you're keen on sat nav, you can step up to the Core Nav model, which adds $500 to the bill.
Stepping up to the Excite nets you a few extras like 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels and a body kit, body-coloured mirrors, vanity mirrors in the sun-visors, and synthetic leather trim on the seats with contrast stitching. 

The Excite also includes GPS sat nav as standard, and steps up the sound system to be a six-speaker unit with “Full Vehicle Yamaha 3D Sound Field”.

Interested in the safety spec inclusions? Read the safety section below for what’s included, and what’s missing.

Our friendly MG dealer let me know that he can’t get enough of the Tudor Yellow models, and that colour - as well as Dover White and Pebble Black - are no-cost optional hues. You should bare in mind that Regal Blue metallic, Scottish Silver metallic and Bristol Red metallic (as seen here) will set you back an additional $500. Looking for orange, green or gold paint? Sorry, no can do.

As for accessories, beyond floor mats there’s not a lot to speak of. Oh, and those wishing for a sunroof? No chance… unless you’re handy with a Sawzall. Note: do not cut a hole in the roof of your car. 

While the prices have gone up since we originally published this review, the MG3 still scores strongly for pricing and specs, because the market has moved up, too, and like-for-like it's still cheaper than almost all of its rivals - Picanto excluded.


Subaru Impreza8/10

Being the top-spec, our 2.0i-S hatch wears a before-on-roads cost (MSRP) of $31,490. You’ll note this tops out quite a bit below many of its rivals, and notably a significant margin below the equivalent XV ($37,290), which is simply a lifted version of this car.

Traditional top-spec rivals include the Toyota Corolla ZR ($32,695), Honda Civic VTi-LX ($36,600), and Mazda 3 G25 Astina ($38,790), and there is also now the ever-popular Hyundai i30 N-Line ($31,420) or Kia Cerato GT ($34,190) to compete with.

You’ll note all those rivals are front-wheel-drive, of course, giving the AWD Subaru a bit of an edge from the get-go, although unlike some of its rivals, even this top-spec misses out on a more powerful engine.

Equipment levels across the board are good in the Impreza, although it is missing some of the more modern tech items that feature prominently in rivals. 

Standard stuff on our top-spec 2.0i-S includes 18-inch alloy wheels in a new design for this year, an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat-nav, DAB radio, a CD player, a 4.2-inch multi-information display, a 6.3-inch multi-function display, dual-zone climate control, push-start ignition with keyless entry, full LED exterior lighting, leather-accented seat trim with heated front seats, and an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat.

While this Subaru arguably already has too many screens, the top-spec car is missing a fully digital dash or a head-up display, which many of its rivals now feature. There’s also no truly premium audio system, so you’re stuck with Subaru’s tinny one, and a power adjustable passenger seat would be nice, too.

Still, it’s a significant discount from the equivalent XV, and undercuts many rivals, so it's not bad at all on the value front.

Engine & trans

MG 36/10

Keen to know the engine specs for the MG3? Well, it’s pretty simple on the specifications front.

There’s just one motor available: a 1.5-litre four-cylinder non-turbo petrol engine, dubbed NSE Major by MG. 

It has class competitive outputs of 82kW (at 6000rpm) and 150Nm (at 4500rpm). It is only available with a four-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. There’s no manual transmission available anymore - it was available in the earlier MG3s, but no more. 

While some competitors offer higher-powered flagship variants that act as the horsepower hero of the range, there’s no such variant in the MG3 range. Not yet, anyway. For now there’s just one engine size, no turbo, and no diesel or EV models to speak of either.

The tare mass/tare weight for the MG3 hatch is 1170kg, which is a bit heavier than a Mazda 2, but pretty much on par with a Kia Rio. 

Considering a caravan holiday with your new MG3? Maybe think twice - the maximum towing capacity is just 200kg. 

If you’re worried about engine problems, clutch problems, or have questions about the battery, gearbox, or the oil requirements, be sure to stay tuned to our MG problems page. And if you're curious about whether it has a timing chain or timing belt? It's a chain.


Subaru Impreza6/10

The Impreza soldiers on with just one engine choice, a 2.0-litre non-turbo horizontally opposed ‘boxer’ producing 115kW/196Nm. These figures wouldn’t be so bad in most hatches, but this engine has to contend with the added burden of the Impreza’s all-wheel-drive system.

Speaking of which, Subaru’s all-wheel drive is always on and theoretically “symmetrical” (as in, it can send about equal torque to either axle), which is generally preferable to the “on-demand” systems  used by some rivals.

Only one transmission is available in the Impreza range, a continuously variable automatic (CVT). 

Fuel consumption

MG 37/10

The combined cycle fuel consumption claim - which is what the brand claims the vehicle should use across a mix of driving situations - is the same across the MG3 line-up: 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres.

During my time with the car - which consisted of exactly 100km of mixed driving - I saw an at-the-pump fuel economy return of 7.7L/100km, which is decent.

The fuel tank capacity of the MG3 is 45 litres - meaning a theoretical mileage per tank of about 580km. It runs on regular unleaded (91RON), too.

Just be aware, the filler neck of the fuel tank is a little less angled than some other cars, so you might find it can splash back when it ‘clicks’ the first time.


Subaru Impreza7/10

The downside of having standard all-wheel drive is weight. The Impreza tips the scales at over 1400kg, making this all-wheel-drive hatch one chunky unit.

It has an official claimed/combined consumption of 7.2L/100km, although our testing returned a decidedly disappointing 9.0L/100km over a week of what I’d consider to be “combined” testing conditions. That's not great when many much larger SUVs are getting the same or better consumption. An argument for a hybrid variant, or at least a turbocharger, perhaps?

At least the Impreza will drink entry-level 91RON unleaded fuel for its 50-litre tank.

Driving

MG 37/10

You might think of MG as a sports car brand - that’s what they built back in history, after all, and those are the reminiscences the company is hoping you’ll have when you see the famed octagonal badge.

And of the current crop of models that MG sells in Australia, the MG3 is undoubtedly the sportiest. 

That comes down to its driving manners, steering and ride - but not the engine and transmission.

The powertrain feels to be lacking enough power and torque to make it feel light and zippy when accelerating. The automatic transmission doesn’t make the greatest use of the engine, and can be indecisive when climbing hills or when you ask more of the car. Oh, don’t even think about a 0-100 performance claim - no such number exists.

In urban driving at lower speeds it’s fine. Between traffic lights and encountering roundabouts, and there’s not much to complain about. It doesn’t have any lag or lurch from a standstill, and is smooth and quick enough to get away from rest, too.

It’s just once you start to ask more of the engine and transmission that you notice that things could be better. There is, at least, a manual shift mode for the transmission to allow you to take control of the shifts, and there’s a sport mode too, which will hang on to gears and quell the indecision of the transmission to a degree.

On the open road it gets along fine, sitting at the speed limit without much fuss - although once you encounter a hill, you will notice the speed drop off a little. And the cruise control seemingly has a bit of a mind of its own, with a set speed displayed at 100km/h, I noticed the speed varying between 90km/h and 110km/h, depending on the terrain.

It’s the road holding, grip, handling and steering that help it live up to the badge, with steering that has a nice hefty weight to it and good directness at pace or around town. It even offers a little bit of feel through the wheel, which is welcome. That grip was surprising given the tyres fitted to the Excite’s 16-inch alloy wheels (Giti GitiComfort 228 tyres in 195/55/16 size).

The ride is tuned with a firmer character to it than you might expect. It’s not to the point of discomfort, and nor is it fidgety or clumsy over potholes or sharp edges. And that tune for the Macpherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension means that it feels plenty grippy in corners. Over my drive loop - incorporating sweeping bends and tighter twists - the MG3 stuck itself to the road commendably, with no noticeable skittishness to speak of. 

Indeed, I kept thinking that the suspension tune reminded me of a VW, Skoda or Audi city car - assured, confident, and ultimately a bit of fun.

The braking performance was good, too - it pulled up true and straight under heavy braking, and offered decent response at city speeds, too.

One minor criticism was some noticeable wind noise from around the windscreen pillar / mirror area, which was evident at speeds from 70km/h up.


Subaru Impreza7/10

Like all Subarus, the Impreza has a lot of nice characteristics granted by its all-wheel-drive system, fairly organic steering, and comfortable ride. It’s sturdy and reassuring on the road, and while it misses out on the ride height of its XV sibling, it still possesses a comfortable suspension tune.

In fact, the Impreza is just like the XV, but more engaging and reactive, thanks to it being closer to the ground. If you don’t need the ride height, the Impreza is the better pick.

Thanks to that lower  height, there’s also better body control for the Impreza in the corners, and yet it deals with potholes and road imperfections seemingly just as well as its raised companion. Indeed, the Impreza’s ride is preferable in urban scenarios to many of its sporty rivals, if you’re looking for a softer edge. It’s also a breeze around town or when parking, with great visibility and good camera coverage in this top-spec version.

The engine and transmission are less pleasing, however. The 2.0-litre non-turbo gets the job done for urban commuting, but it’s a thrashy,  noisy unit, which needs to fly up the rev range to provide adequate power in a lot of situations. It’s not helped by the rubbery response from the continuously variable transmission, which is particularly average. It just sucks the joy from what could have otherwise been a fun and capable hatch.

It’s a shame to see there’s no hybrid “e-Boxer” version of this car, as the hybrid version of the equivalent XV is a little more refined, and the electric drive helps take some of the edge off the underpowered engine. Perhaps it might arrive for this car’s next iteration?

When venturing out of town, this Impreza offers a contrast of excellent active-safety features for the freeway, with a notable drop in refinement over 80km/h. Still, its ride comfort and chunky seats make it a decent long-distance tourer.

Overall, the Impreza will suit a buyer who is looking for something a little more comfort-oriented than its rivals, plus the security and safety of all-wheel drive.

Safety

MG 36/10

Safety technology is the MG3’s biggest shortfall. There’s no ANCAP crash test safety rating to speak of, and the MG3 doesn’t come with any form of auto emergency braking (AEB), which is disappointing given the tech has been available on affordable city cars since 2013 (the VW up! was an early benchmark). 

Even the facelifted Mitsubishi Mirage has AEB with pedestrian detection, but the MG3 doesn’t. Nor does it come with lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert or rear AEB.

So what do you get? The range comes standard with a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, electronic stability control, and six airbags (dual front, front side, full-length curtain). And that may be enough for you, but we know you can get more safety tech in rival cars, so it can’t score well against this criteria.

Where is the MG3 built? It’s made in China. 


Subaru Impreza9/10

Subarus have been notable in recent years for their unique and impressive ‘EyeSight’ safety system, which uses a stereo camera set-up to to host a suite of active-safety functions.

Included are auto emergency braking (works to 85km/h, detects cyclists, pedestrians, and brake lights), lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, reverse auto braking, lead-vehicle alert, and adaptive cruise control.

The 2.0i-S also has an impressive suite of cameras, including a side and front-view monitor to assist with parking.

The Impreza has seven airbags (the standard front, side, and head, as well as a driver’s knee) and features the standard array of stability, brake, and traction controls, with the addition of torque vectoring via the all-wheel-drive system.

It’s one safe mainstream hatchback. Unsurprisingly the Impreza carries a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, although it is dated all the way back to 2016 when this generation launched.

Ownership

MG 38/10

I kept thinking about one particular thing over my time in the MG3 - the warranty. It’s such a great peace of mind move from the company to back its cars with a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty plan

If your brain works like mine, you could calculate it out and see the purchase of the MG3 completely differently: what about thinking of it as a $2500-ish-per-year investment, and at the end you get a free car…! The same can be said of the Kia Picanto and Rio, though.

That warranty should put your mind at ease when it comes to reliability, problems, common faults and issues, as any required fixes are set to be covered by the brand over that period. And buyers get seven years of roadside assistance included, too.

Maintenance is required every 12 months/10,000km, whichever comes first. That’s a bit more regular than some rivals (most have 15,000km intervals), but the brand backs its cars with a seven-year fixed service cost plan. Servicing costs averaged out over the first seven years/70,000km of ownership equate to $382 per visit (before GST), which isn't cheap, but nor is it expensive.

Here's a rundown of the recommended service costing (all prices pre-GST): 12 months/10,000km: $231.76; 24 months/20,000km: $385.23; 36 months/30,000km - $379.72; 48 months/40,000km - $680.74; 60 months/50,000km - $231.76; 72 months/60,000km - $533.19; 84 months/70,000km - $231.76.

Keep the service logbook stamps up to date in your owners manual - it’s a ticket to better resale value. 


Subaru Impreza7/10

Subaru covers its cars with an industry-standard five-year and unlimited-kilometre promise, although there are no boons or frills to this, like free loan cars, or the transport options offered by some rivals.

One thing Subaru isn’t known for is low running costs, with the Impreza’s yearly or 12,500km service visits being relatively expensive. Each visit will cost between $341.15 to $797.61 for a yearly average over the first five years of $486.17, which is painfully expensive compared to, say, Toyota’s Corolla.