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Car reviews - Holden - Astra - City 5-dr hatch

Used Rivals

Holden logo9 May 2003

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

NISSAN PULSAR 5D HATCHBACK (1995-2000)
FULLY imported with a lively 1.6-litre, twin cam, 16-valve engine driving the front wheels through an optional five-speed manual or four-speed auto. Central locking, power steering and radio/cassette player are standard. Stylish, comfortable and extremely reliable, this N15 series is a great used buy.

TOYOTA COROLLA 5D LIFTBACK (1994-2000)
Front-wheel drive with a torquey 1.6 twin-cam engine and optional four-speed auto or five-speed manual, central locking and power steering, the staidly styled Toyota offers good space and packaging, utter reliability and dependability and a comfortable cabin. It's the last Aussie-made small car.

FORD KJ LASER 5D HATCHBACK (1996-1997)
BY now a rebodied (and more practical) Mazda 323 Astina, the front-wheel drive Laser's 1.6-litre engine mates with either a four-speed auto or five-speed manual. Appealing styling, a comfy (if dark) interior and appealing steering, handling and ride dynamics make this Japanese import a cut above the rest.

SUBARU IMPREZA 5D HATCHBACK (1995-1998)
ESSENTIALLY a cut-down Mk1/Mk2 Liberty, the base Impreza shares its mature dynamic manners. A 70kW 1.6-litre flat four "boxer" engine is thrummy but torquey and drives the front wheels only. Power steering is standard, but not much else as Subaru had to cut features to keep the base Impreza price down .

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