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Car reviews - Mazda - 626 - range

Used Rivals

18 Jun 2003

THE first Subaru to be marketed in this highly competitive medium-size front-wheel drive family sedan segment. Flat four, fuel-injected all-alloy "boxer" engine of 2.2 litres gives brisk performance. Sure-footed and well balanced handling from an all- independent, spring strut all-coil suspension.

THE 2.4-litre engine of the Pintara gives excellent performance although it is less smooth and quiet than its competitors. Transmission options are four-speed automatic or five-speed manual. Well appointed with air-conditioning, alloy wheels, power steering, radio/cassette and fog lights standard. Assembled locally with some build quality shortcomings.

A 3.0 V6 engine introduced in 1990 gave the car a new personality compared to the 2.4-litre, four-cylinder version. But despite good equipment levels, a spacious cabin and light steering, the Sonata isn't a driver's car, and also lacks the quality and longevity of its Japanese rivals. Plus it has a low-rent image.

A STYLISH exterior is matched by a still-modern cabin that's airy, light and roomy. The Accord is also efficient, quiet and reliable, with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed auto or five-speed manual. Spares can be expensive. Super light power steering, electric mirrors, central locking, power windows are also part of the package.

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