Car reviews - Ford - Festiva - Trio 1.3 3-dr hatch
7 May 2003
TOYOTA STARLET 3D HATCHBACK (1996-1999)
WELL-made, zippy, economical and more refined than any other rival here, the trustworthy Toyota is easily better than the cheap South Koreans, especially if it comes with air-conditioning and power steering. But dull styling and interior makes it a bore.
HYUNDAI EXCEL 3D HATCHBACK (1994-2000)
THOUSANDS of Australians can be wrong. Although spacious, stylish and dynamically OK, harsh engines, awful gear shift and low quality detracts from the Excel. Mad new price discounting and durability controversy meant resale values have plunged. Its Accent replacement from 2000 was much better.
DAEWOO CIELO 3D HATCHBACK (1995-1998)
A GM Astra from two generations ago, Cielo's big but hoary 1.5- litre, four-cylinder engine performs well while the distinctive Laser-sized body means space and practicality. But quality, refinement, style and dynamics are from another (distant) era.
NISSAN MICRA 3D HATCHBACK (1995-1997)
SADLY under-rated Euro super-mini with Nissan reliability, agile Micra wins here on performance, handling, style, roadholding, fuel economy and personality. Solid highway cruising ability a big plus, although a wait for some spare parts is annoying.
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