RAISED HOPE

Toyota’s optimistic high-riding coupe arrives fashionably late and dressed to impress. Could it be the life of the booming baby SUV party?

WORDS BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS PHOTOS NATHAN JACOBS

TOYOTA has been in the grip of a massive mid-life crisis.

Early this decade, following highly publicised recalls and lawsuits, flamboyant company president Akio Toyoda promised that better and more exciting cars would follow. Ones that would be leaders but also true to the brand’s legendary reputation for reliability.

Big talk from the Japanese giant that has foisted a long line of mainstream dullards on us, right up to the current Yaris and Camry, but the resulting first fruit of Toyota’s mindset reset – last year’s dramatically styled fourth-gen Prius and now the C-HR (for Coupe High Rider) – are anything but average.

Sitting below the RAV4, the latter is a small SUV with the Herculean task of taking on the hot-selling Mazda CX-3. Of course, the company is conspicuously late to a party that’s already in full swing, so the fact the C-HR’s striking styling turns heads is a good start.

A brash convergence of crossover and coupe, it could be the surprisingly likeable lovechild of the Hyundai Veloster and BMW X6, succeeding aesthetically where the German parent hasn’t. We certainly didn’t see that coming from Toyota!

That’s a promising start, particularly as knockout design has helped drive CX-3 sales ever upwards. In $33,290 Akari 2.0-litre front-drive auto guise as tested, the Mazda costs $50 more than the up-spec Koba 2WD that Toyota reckons will probably be the most popular C-HR variant. Game on.

But what to pitch against the showy new girl and the darling prom queen from Hiroshima? Not the pensionable Mitsubishi ASX that somehow almost matches the Mazda’s sales volume, nor the Honda HR-V, which was runner-up to the Mazda in our last small SUV shoot-out (May 2015 issue).

Both the CX-3 and C-HR deserve fresh blood, so how about three recently updated wannabes?

The Holden Trax was one of the segment’s trailblazers when it surfaced back in October 2013.

Precisely the same time, it turns out, as our fourth player, the Peugeot 2008.

Coincidentally, facelift versions of each surfaced in February, bringing different lion-badged nose treatments (sleeker on the Holden and bolshier for the Peugeot) for punters to better tell new from old.

While the Trax – represented here as the rangetopping LTZ 1.4 turbo auto from $30,490 – also received a welcome dashboard redesign (and rear disc brakes!), the 2008 instead underwent an urgent heart transplant, ditching the dated 1.6-litre four-pot and four-speed auto combo for a lightweight 1.2 turbo triple with a six-speeder, which is now standard across the range. The 2008 found barely 350 buyers in 2016,

The C-HR has the Herculean task of taking on the hot-selling CX-3

SWISS WATCH

Mazda’s updated CX-3 was unveiled at the Geneva show in March, with very minor styling changes, torque-altering G-Vectoring Control for smoother cornering, improved optional driver-assist systems like wider operating-threshold adaptive cruise, and standard AEB. Like M t m cor sy ad last year’s Mazda 6 and 3 facelifts, some dashboard graphics have been improved, while extra sound deadening aims to make the cabin quieter. It’s unlikely the changes would affect the outcome here, but they’ll sweeten an appealing package.

Expect Oz sales to commence in May.

so the change couldn’t have come soon enough. Ours is wearing mid-level $30,990 Allure attire.

Similar engine downsizing and transmission upgrading headlines the 2017 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, though an inexplicably gothic nose job means calling it a facelift would be too kind. Now just two 1.4 turbo variants are offered in lieu of the naturally aspirated 1.6/CVT snoozers that came previously. We’ve gone for the exxier $29,990 Prestige.

All the contenders are front-drive, all are auto, and all are five-seaters. And all but the CX-3 have something to prove. But the uniformity stops there.

Let’s take the C-HR first. It might be Toyota’s smallest SUV in Oz, with wedgy styling and truncated upswept side glass suggesting a cabin that’s tighter than Putin and Trump, yet the group’s longest wheelbase by some margin delivers a deceptively spacious interior. Hmm… then the penny drops – the ‘C’ in the name could also denote ‘C’ segment, or Corolla-class space. And, indeed, a foursome of six footers should have sufficient head, leg, knee and foot room. That expansive feeling is backed up by a sense of width, deep cushions, a vast windscreen, thin pillars and a low-cowl dash.

The new dash design is the company’s most compelling in aeons. Koba spec translates to Lexuslite, with pleasing instruments, tactile materials, lovely central switchgear detailing, a fine driving position, and wide, sumptuously padded seating.

But the C-HR’s is a cabin of two halves. If you plan to carry rear-seat riders regularly, then beware that an extra-wide door pillar and fat tombstone-shaped front seats obscure vision. Great for eluding paparazzi, not so much for claustrophobics. The absence of cupholders, a centre armrest, overhead grab handles or USB ports, along with constant tyre drone, further underscores the Toyota’s front-row focus.

The opposite applies in the Peugeot, which somehow manages to feel spacious in the rear despite nearly 100mm less wheelbase and 10mm less height. Maybe it’s the comparatively generous glasshouse you peer through while perched on the 2008’s grippy, yet softly supportive seats?

The airy sensation is enhanced by the 2008’s somewhat divisive high-binnacle/low-wheel driving position, while elegant instrumentation, storage aplenty and uniquely smart trim are further plus points. Seriously, when the lack of a start button, a tiny glovebox and wilfully small, anti-Starbucks cupholders are the only real bugbears, you’re on to a good thing.

Also missing in the group’s sole Euro is intrusive road and tyre noise, which is prevalent in all the others. The Pug’s hush cabin adds another layer of refinement and comfort to a satisfyingly thorough interior execution. Not ostentatious like the Toyota’s, but quietly cosseting. Like

They’re front-drive auto five-seaters. But the uniformity stops there...

great French cars always have been.

The capacious S-Cross, meanwhile, is large and accommodating in every sense of the word and, like the C-HR, is built on a C-segment platform (shared with the Vitara). Easy entry/egress, plenty of vision, and the most inviting back row of the quintet highlight typical Suzuki thoroughness.

But the dashboard’s top consists of crude, mismatched plastics that wouldn’t pass Kinder Surprise quality control; the front seats are fixed too high on their lowest setting (limiting headroom); and our car suffered from ever-present road noise (the Continental eco tyres seemed prone to drone), a loose instrument binnacle, and several mystery rattles. Disappointing in a Suzuki.

We suspect neither the smaller Holden nor the even cosier – though never cramped – Mazda suffered from such ailments, but we can’t be sure since they too are boom boxes on bad roads.

In the Trax’s case, it was more mechanical at higher revs, since the good quality Continental Premium Contact rubber helped keep the tyre hum in check. For a pert little SUV, the Holden’s packaging brings a commanding driving position, backed up by adequate all-round vision. But the LTZ’s seats lack sufficient long-distance support, its vinyl trim doesn’t breathe and its air-con struggles in hot weather. Pity, because the new dash is a stylistic and functional advance over the patchy old one.

Noise is probably the worst part of the CX-3’s cabin experience (or best, if you like the sound of induction noise, which the Mazda is always willing to deliver). Easily the most coherent and stylish, the Akari is also the most overtly sporty, with a coolly attractive analogue/digital centre dial flanked by the group’s sole head-up display. Stitched leather/ Alcantara trim, supportive cushions, the best door armrests and a driving position that seems to draw you in as part of the car make the CX-3 feel like an enthusiast’s refuge in a world of lumbering SUVs.

It’s an experience that translates wholly on the move as well. Ensconced in the driver’s seat as you are in the best modern Mazdas, the CX-3 shrinks around you and never cuts the connection – for better or for worse.

The 109kW/192Nm 2.0-litre Akari is the only naturally aspirated contender here, as well as the most powerful on paper.

Initially at least, the CX-3 lacks the theatrical turbo kick of the others, but what it has instead is steady and determined acceleration that just keeps growing stronger as revs increase. To 60km/h there is only one-tenth of a second between it and

Unlike the S-Cross, the Trax and CX-3 were rattle-free. But they’re boom boxes on bad roads

HIGH ACING TOYOTAS

Subaru BRZ-twinned 86 aside, such outsidethe- square boldness is rare from this company. The last time it wigged out like this was with the pioneering RAV4 of 1994 and that changed the automotive world forever. The futuristic 1990 Tarago/Previa helped redefine the people mover template away from vans with seats. And the original front-drive Celica from 1985-’89 was the first time enthusiasts truly fell in love with a Toyota.

TOYOTA C-HR KOBA

Toyota’s best dash melds progressive design and functionality with Lexus-like quality – except for eyesore touchscreen (without Apple CarPlay).

Sport (and lame Eco mode) annoyingly accessed via instrumentation menu. Gear lever, low slung seating and high console result in a cosy, sporty ambience, yet spaciousness abounds.

Though roomy rear seat is claustrophobic due to helmet-shaped pillar, dark trim and visionimpeding front seats. Rakish back window eats into practicality and shallow boot swallows 377 litres. Spare is a space saver.

PEUGEOT 2008 ALLURE

Wagonoid 2008 is a packaging masterstroke, offering a different but workable driving position alternative, ample room, comfortable seating, and unrivalled isolation from road noise. Beautiful dials and lush trim spell Euro chic, while Grip Control ahead of airline-style handbrake alters torque delivery for improved traction. But storage is patchy and optional glazed roof has a power-operated cover that provides insufficient sun protection. Rear cushion lowers automatically with backrest for a massive flat floor. Spare is space saver.

Boot offers a generous 410 litres.

SUZUKI S-CROSS TURBO PRESTIGE

After the funky Ignis, the roomy S-Cross cabin appears dated, though a superb multimedia interface, excellent vision, ample ventilation, the group’s only paddle shifters, pillowy headrests and sporty dials are all drawcards. Prestige also scores leather and LED headlights. But there’s no digital auxiliary speedo and the high-set driver’s seat scuppers headroom for taller folk with the optional sunroof. Shiny plastics cheapen the feel, and the ride is too firm. Boot holds 430 litres; space-saver spare sits beneath the floor.

MAZDA CX-3 AKARI

Sportiest, most driver-focused dash is a CX-3 highlight, bringing premium feel with head-up display, high-end digital/analogue instruments, and BMW iDrive-style controller for central touchscreen that didn’t glitch once in our week with it – an MZD first! Great seats front and rear, while even the high-rising shoulder line does not interfere with back-seat vision.

The 264-litre boot is dinkiest of the lot, and is compromised by a high loading lip. False floor allows for an almost flat cargo area with the rear backrests folded. Space saver spare.

HOLDEN TRAX LTZ

Redesigned dash with GM parts-bin dials is a vast visual and quality improvement over its cheapo predecessor. Trax is alone in having a driver’s left armrest, a secret bin under the passenger seat, 230V power outlet and split forward-hinged rear seat cushions that allow for super-low flat loading permutations. But clammy vinyl on flat seats, below-par air-con (without climate control) and insufficient rear cushion support detract from the comfort level.

Boot offers 356-litre capacity with group’s sole full-sized spare. One for the rural folk, then.

the 103kW/200Nm Trax, yet the CX-3 is a full second quicker than the Holden from 80-120km/h. That the Mazda also consumed nearly 10 percent less premium unleaded speaks volumes of the vocal powertrain’s inherent efficiency. Oh, and the circa-170kg difference in kerb weight between the two… Maybe that’s why the Holden feels fundamentally lazier left in Drive than the others, even though it does actually deliver a decent turn of speed. The initial tip-in response is abrupt – perhaps too much for some – but then the driver needs to keep prodding the throttle if extra oomph is desired. A gearbox tuned for economy is our guess why, since this can be readily rectified by selecting manual mode and then using the incredibly unintuitive thumb-operated lever switch to toggle through the ratios. Only then does this rorty, if at times raucous, old-gen GM engine really feel alive.

However, we can’t imagine small SUV buyers resorting to such driving tactics.

At the other extreme is the 103kW/220Nm Suzuki, the undisputed featherweight of the fivesome at 1170kg, but a heavy hitter in the thrust league. The quintet’s highest power-to-weight ratio, combined with what might just be the world’s smoothest yet most muscular production sub-1.5-litre turbo petrol engine going, results in a velvet missile. That slick torqueconverter auto contributes, too. Together, this so-called Boosterjet uber-duo provides a luxuriant ability to glide you in Teflon-coated mechanical bliss. Once into triple digits, nothing can catch the speedy S-Cross. It’ll nudge the old ton (160km/h) 3.6sec before the CX-3.

That it was also the most economical on test is something the motorcycle maker should further be proud of. Bravo, Suzuki.

Ah… the luscious and lively C-HR, which ushers in an 85kW/185Nm 1.2-litre turbo four – Toyota’s first modern mainstream forced-inducted petrol powertrain – and delivers impressive urge and response from the outset. Quiet, smooth and almost shockingly like a conventional auto in its CVT operation, the newcomer

You won’t search for the long way home in the S-Cross, despite its peachy powertrain

HOLDEN TRAX LTZ

$30,490/As tested $31,040** Drivetrain Engine in-line 4, dohc, 16v, turbo Layout front engine (east-west), front drive Capacity 1364cc Power 103kW @ 4900rpm Torque 200Nm @ 1850rpm Transmission 6-speed automatic Chassis Body steel, 5 doors, 5 seats L/W/H/W–B 4257/1776/1674/2555mm Front/rear track 1540/1540mm Weight 1422kg Boot capacity 356 litres Fuel/capacity 95 octane/53 litres Fuel consumption 9.0L/100km (test average) Suspension Front: struts, A-arms, anti-roll bar Rear: torsion beam, coil springs, anti-roll bar Steering electric rack-and-pinion Turning Circle 10.9m (2.8 turns lock-to-lock) Front brakes ventilated discs (300mm) Rear brakes solid discs (268mm) Tyres Continental ContiPremiumContact 2 Tyre size 215/55R18 95H Safety NCAP rating (Aus)

MAZDA CX-3 AKARI

$33,290/As tested $33,724** in-line 4, dohc, 16v front engine (east-west), front drive 1998cc 109kW @ 6000rpm 192Nm @ 2800rpm 6-speed automatic steel, 5 doors, 5 seats 4275/1765/1550/2570mm 1525/1520mm 1252kg 264 litres 91 octane/48 litres 8.3L/100km (test average) Front: struts, A-arms, anti-roll bar Rear: torsion beam, coil springs, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 10.6m (2.8 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (280mm) solid discs (281mm) Toyo Proxes R40 215/50R18 92V (Aus)

PEUGEOT 2008 ALLURE

$30,990/As tested $33,040** Drivetrain in-line 3, dohc, 12v, turbo front engine (east-west), front drive 1199cc 81kW @ 5500rpm 205Nm @ 1500rpm 6-speed automatic Chassis steel, 5 doors, 5 seats 4159/1829/1556/2538mm 1482/1492mm 1305kg 410 litres 95 octane/50 litres 8.4L/100km (test average) Front: struts, A-arms, anti-roll bar Rear: torsion beam, coil springs, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 10.8m (2.8 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (283mm) solid discs (249mm) Goodyear Vector 4Seasons 205/50R17 89V (Aus)

SUZUKI S-CROSS TURBO

$30,990/As tested $31,490** in-line 4, dohc, 16v, turbo front engine (east-west), front drive 1373cc 103kW @ 5500rpm 220Nm @ 1500-4000rpm 6-speed automatic steel, 5 doors, 5 seats 4300/1785/1585/2600mm 1535/1505mm 1170kg 430 litres 95 octane/47 litres 7.9L/100km (test average) Front: struts, A-arms, anti-roll bar Rear: torsion beam, coil springs, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 10.4m (3.1 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (280mm) solid discs (259mm) Continental EcoContact 5 215/55R17 (Aus)

TOYOTA C-HR KOBA

$33,290/As tested $33,860** Drivetrain in-line 4, dohc, 16v, turbo front engine (east-west), front drive 1197cc 85kW @ 5200-5600rpm 185Nm @ 1500-4000rpm CVT automatic Chassis steel, 5 doors, 5 seats 4360/1795/1565/2640mm 1550/1540mm 1440kg 377 litres 95 octane/50 litres 8.0L/100km (test average) Front: struts, A-arms, anti-roll bar Rear: double A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar electric rack-and-pinion 10.4m (2.8 turns lock-to-lock) ventilated discs (299mm) solid discs (281mm) Bridgestone Potenza RE050A 225/50R18 95V (Aus)

actually delivers some very respectable numbers (0-100 in 10.9sec) considering it’s also the heaviest here, at 1440kg (blame the Corolla dimensions, remember).

Only above that national speed limit do the laws of physics begin to restrain the T-bot’s energy.

That’s where the 2008 shines. Up to 100km/h (which it took the longest to reach, at 11.1sec), the Frenchy has to rely on lightness and sensible gearing to make the most of its feisty – and thrummy – 81kW/205Nm 1.2-litre three-pot turbo’s power band, meaning that it feels far sprightlier at lower speeds than the ho-hum figures suggest. But given its head, the SUV from Sochaux will just hum along quietly, relying on a torrent of mid-range punch to pull the lusty 2008 through when overtaking duties beckon.

And when the roads start to twist, or crumble and heave, you then understand why there is no substitute for 135 years of continuous car manufacturing expertise. As unlikely as it might seem given the dumpy styling and Peugeot’s recent career-low driveability malaise, in this company the humble 2008 displays near flawless dynamic capabilities.

“You can trace the line like no other here,” quipped senior road tester Nathan Ponchard. Sharp yet utterly faithful, the 2008’s steering is precisely measured and matched to a chassis that is both old-school French supple and German poised, revealing a linearity that ultimately led the Peugeot to be everybody’s takehome favourite. Yes, there is some body roll, but it’s controlled and in keeping with the loping nature of y d 113 this relaxing beast. And don’t forget the 2008’s road and tyre noise is by far the most contained.

If the Peugeot’s dynamic prowess comes as no shock to you, then surely the Toyota’s newfound vigour and verve will cause doubters’ heads to explode.

Planted, poised, secure, mature, refined… these are words that instantly come to mind when assessing the C-HR’s dynamic traits, which benefit from being the only SUV here without a torsion beam rear suspension (it uses double wishbones out back).

And that’s in Normal. Select Sport mode and there’s a bit more heft to the helm. A world away from a RAV4 or Prado then, what’s on offer here is keen, calm and accurate steering for the driver to enjoy – if not revel in – combined with an absorbent and isolating ride that’s likely to please all on board. Now the engineers from Nagoya need to make things a bit quieter.

Also a driver’s SUV, but in a more engaging way, is the CX-3. We applaud the Mazda’s direct, agile steering, that’s been tuned and weighted perfectly for fun, fluid and expressive turn-in, backed up by encouraging poise and control… on smooth corners.

However, as we’ve discovered in previous encounters with front-drive CX-3s, bumps throw each end off line slightly at different points through a turn, resulting in skittish and occasionally scrappy (but still amusing) handling. Additionally, the CX-3’s adjustable balance means that if you’re over-driving it, it’s possible for understeer to switch rapidly to oversteer. The ESC will step in (very effectively), of course, but it still pays to

The humble 2008 displays near flawless dynamic capabilities

WILD & JOYFUL TIMES

Honda is acknowledged as the pioneer of the modern B-segment SUV, with the pre-Jazz, Logo supermini-based HR-V, launching way back in 1999, just over a year after debuting as the J-WJ Wild and Joyful Concept at the ’97 Tokyo Show.

Released initially in three-door wagon guise, a five-door followed in early 2000, but sales never gained traction, and the series vanished in ’01.

Suzuki’s Pininfarinadesigned 2007 SX-4 saw considerably more success.

be alert in this zoom-zoom machine.

Kind of the opposite happens in the Holden. Just as with the lazy powertrain, the chassis needs to be stoked for it to stir into action. That’s because the steering, though quick and responsive, seems a little remote in feel, while the firmly sprung suspension is constantly barraging you and your occupants with what’s going on below. Maybe a bit more from column A and a bit less from column B might be a better everyday compromise?

Find a fast ribbon of road, however, and the set-up gels nicely, turning the wooden Trax into an engaging T-Rex, so to speak. It’s dated but still dynamic.

You won’t be hunting for the long way home in the Suzuki, however, despite that peachy powertrain. While chassis balance is fundamentally sound, the steering is numb and gooey, particularly around straight ahead.

It improves with speed, but bumpy roads upset the S-Cross’s balance (while instigating rack rattle, like the Mazda), the ride is never absorbent enough, and its eco-biased tyres whine and squeal in equally abhorrent measure. A straight line express best sums things up.

While we wonder whether the Trax’s superior rubber might improve the Suzuki’s manners, there’s probably little more that Holden’s engineers can do to refine their ageing Opel-based Chevrolet SUV, so last it comes. Behind the S-Cross, whose performance and efficiency are transcendental. Both feel like works in progress, though Trax makes some sense as a $26K LS.

It’s then a big step up to the far-more complete CX-3.

Sporty and dynamically focused like no other rival period, the engaging Mazda oozes panache, especially in lovely Akari guise. But we’d spring for AWD to quell the chassis quirks, or wait for the imminent update.

So what we have left is a Peugeot and Toyota. One for the head and one for the heart. But which and why?

Sweet, comfortable, effortlessly torquey, and with a zeal and zest that belie its homely styling, the 2008 is surely the academic’s choice in this comparo, because it does everything so well and very little wrong. Following in the 308’s wheel marks, the French automotive revolution continues.

But the C-HR, too, is a consummate all-rounder, with degrees of sophistication and soul thrown in to seal the deal. Not just a small SUV, it is a spiritual successor to the better Celica coupes too, while also a breakthrough in design and engineering for this class.

It’s one small step for crossovers, one giant step for you-know-who. Keep this up, and Toyota’s middle-ofthe- road crisis is over.

The Toyota C-HR has degrees of sophistication and soul thrown in to seal the deal

SPECS SAVERS

Toyota’s C-HR has AEB, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure and Blind Spot warnings, and adaptive cruise control as standard across the range. Currently they’re optional on every CX-3.

AEB and RCTA are fitted to 2008 Allure but aren’t available on the base Active – for now – and AEB is missing on every S-Cross and Trax. The Trax LTZ does score RCTA, a sunroof and a digital radio.

Meanwhile the base C-HR also includes auto high-beam headlights along with digital radio and sat-nav. Only the latter is fitted to the S-Cross Prestige (along with leather) and 2008 Allure, while the Pug also scores auto parking. Alloy wheels and reverse cameras are universal.

HOLDEN TRAX LTZ

Performance Power-to-weight: 72kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 6500/6500rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 97 Speed in gears 53km/h @ 6500rpm 81km/h @ 6500rpm 126km/h @ 6500rpm 167km/h @ 6500rpm 194km/h @ 5200rpm* 180km/h @ 3650rpm Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 1.2sec 0-40km/h: 2.4sec 0-60km/h: 4.2sec 0-80km/h: 6.6sec 0-100km/h: 9.6sec 0-120km/h: 14.0sec 0-140km/h: 19.9sec 0-160km/h: – 0-400m: 16.9sec @ 131.6km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 7.5sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 39.7m

Verdict 5.5/10 Hard-driven handling and grip; dash layout; multimedia set-up; space Lumpy ride; road noise; clammy and not-so-comfy seats; lack of AEB Track: Heathcote Raceway, strong headwind.

Temp: 19ºC. Driver: Nathan Ponchard.

Warranty: 3yr/100,000km. Service interval: 9 months/15,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 48%.

AAMI Insurance: $843. * Manufacturer’s claim. ** Includes metallic paint ($550). 1 2 3 4 5 6

MAZDA CX-3 AKARI

Performance Power to weight: 87kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 6500/6900rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 98 Speed in gears 54km/h @ 6500rpm 94km/h @ 6500rpm 131km/h @ 6500rpm 190km/h @ 6500rpm 205km/h @ 4950rpm* 190km/h @ 3900rpm Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 1.1sec 0-40km/h: 2.4sec 0-60km/h: 4.1sec 0-80km/h: 6.3sec 0-100km/h: 9.1sec 0-120km/h: 12.7sec 0-140km/h: 18.6sec 0-160km/h: 28.1sec 0-400m: 16.6sec @ 134.4km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 6.5sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 38.9m 7.0/10 Styling and cabin design; grunt and efficiency; handling; seats; value Lively ride and body control; road and engine noise; small boot Track: Heathcote Raceway, strong headwind.

Temp: 19ºC. Driver: Nathan Ponchard.

Warranty: 3yr/unlimited km. Service interval: 9 months/13,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 54%.

AAMI Insurance: $816. * Estimated value. ** Includes metallic paint ($300) and carpeted floor mats ($134).

PEUGEOT 2008 ALLURE

Performance Power-to-weight: 62kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 6200/6000rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 98 Speed in gears 51km/h @ 6000rpm 87km/h @ 6000rpm 132km/h @ 6000rpm 176km/h @ 6000rpm 188km/h @ 4650rpm* 165km/h @ 3200rpm Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 1.1sec 0-40km/h: 2.5sec 0-60km/h: 4.7sec 0-80km/h: 7.4sec 0-100km/h: 11.1sec 0-120km/h: 16.0sec 0-140km/h: 24.1sec 0-160km/h: – 0-400m: 17.7sec @ 125.1km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 8.9sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 38.9m 8.0/10 Comfort; refinement; practicality; torquey driveability; agility; vision Homely styling; small glovebox; tiny cupholders; not stopwatch-quick Track: Heathcote Raceway, strong headwind.

Temp: 19ºC. Driver: Nathan Ponchard.

Warranty: 3yr/100,000km. Service interval: 12 months/15,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 52%.

AAMI Insurance: $963. * Manufacturer’s claim. ** Includes metallic paint ($1050) and glass roof ($1000).

SUZUKI S-CROSS TURBO

Performance Power to weight: 88kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 6000/6000rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 95 Speed in gears 53km/h @ 6000rpm 91km/h @ 6000rpm 139km/h @ 6000rpm 186km/h @ 6000rpm 200km/h @ 4720rpm* 200km/h @ 3720rpm* Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 1.1sec 0-40km/h: 2.3sec 0-60km/h: 3.8sec 0-80km/h: 5.8sec 0-100km/h: 8.5sec 0-120km/h: 11.9sec 0-140km/h: 16.9sec 0-160km/h: 24.5sec 0-400m: 16.2sec @ 137.6km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 6.3sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 37.9m 6.5/10 Strong and smooth performance; efficiency; spacious cabin; price Busy ride; tyre/road noise; cheap plastics; gooey steering; no AEB Track: Heathcote Raceway, strong headwind.

Temp: 19ºC. Driver: Nathan Ponchard.

Warranty: 3yr/100,000km. Service interval: 6 months/10,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 46%.

AAMI Insurance: $912. * Manufacturer’s claim. ** Includes metallic paint ($500).

TOYOTA C-HR KOBA

Performance Power-to-weight: 59kW per tonne Redline/cut-out: 5600/5700rpm Speed at indicated 100km/h: 95 Speed in gears 185km/h @ 5600rpm* Standing-start acceleration 0-20km/h: 1.2sec 0-40km/h: 2.8sec 0-60km/h: 4.8sec 0-80km/h: 7.4sec 0-100km/h: 10.9sec 0-120km/h: 15.9sec 0-140km/h: 24.5sec 0-160km/h: – 0-400m: 17.7sec @ 125.9km/h Rolling acceleration: Drive 80-12Okm/h: 8.6sec Braking distance 10Okm/h-0: 37.6m 8.0/10 Breakout design; roominess; ride; handling confidence; efficiency; AEB Road noise; dark second row; poor side vision; high cargo loading lip Track: Heathcote Raceway, strong headwind.

Temp: 19ºC. Driver: Nathan Ponchard.

Warranty: 3yr/100,000km. Service interval: 12 months/15,000km. Glass’s 3-year resale: 54%.

AAMI Insurance: $762. * Estimated value. ** Includes metallic paint ($450) and carpeted floor mats ($120).