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The Shortlist: Small Cars With A Full-Size Spare And 5-Star ANCAP Rating

The Shortlist: Small Cars With A Full-Size Spare And Five-Star ANCAP Rating

Most people can usually identify the top three non-negotiable factors that will guide their purchase decision. If there are more than three that fit the brief, we’ll highlight the three models that have scored well in past CarAdvice reviews.

Charlie wanted a Mazda 3 but the fact it didn’t have a full-size spare wheel was a deal-breaker.

He drives long distances and knows from experience what it’s like to get a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere, it happened to him somewhere near the SA/WA border while he was driving from Sydney to Perth. Australia is a big country with a lot of empty space, and though Charlie didn’t mind taking the long way in a small car, he expressed his frustration at the lack of full-size spare tyres.

Temporary and space saver tyres have speed-limits and aren’t designed to last for hundreds of kilometres; they won’t hold up well on rocky, rough surfaces. Not to mention the fact that no-one wants to be doing 80km/hr on a rural highway when there’s every chance a road-train could appear.

Puncture repair kits and run-flats also have limitations so for many who drive long distances between pockets of civilisation; full-size spares are the only sensible option.

Here are Charlie’s three must-have’s:

  1. Small car
  2. Full-size spare
  3. Five-star ANCAP safety rating

Given that he was wanting a Mazda 3, we’ve ruled out luxury options on his behalf. Interestingly there are very few small passenger cars that come standard with a full-size spare. There are many reasons for this, including the boot space eaten-up by larger wheels and the fact that wide open spaces and isolated highways with hundreds of kilometres between towns aren’t issues for manufacturers of cars designed overseas in Europe or Asia for example.

Consistently, the top-three sellers in the segment are the Mazda 3Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30, while other options including the Mitsubishi LancerKia CeratoVolkswagen GolfHonda CivicSubaru Impreza and Ford Focus also enjoyed relatively strong sales in January of this year.

Of the 29 models listed in the latest VFACTS small cars under $40,000 category only five meet the full-size spare criteria, all of which have a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Three of those are sedans – Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Cerato – but given that the hatch body style is the most popular we’re going to go with three of those that fit the brief. Obviously, the Elantra does not come in a hatch while the Corolla, interestingly, features a full-size spare in the sedan but not in its hatch variant. That left us with just three small cars which matched Charlie’s specific needs.

So here is our shortlist for Charlie (in alphabetical order):

Citroen C4

Small Cars With A Full-Size Spare And Five-Star ANCAP Rating

The Citroen C4 is an oft-overlooked option for those in the market for a small car. It may be nearing the end of its life-cycle but it has a great little 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 96kW and 230Nm. Available in just two trim-levels – Seduction ($29,990 before on-road costs) and Exclusive ($33,990) – both are only offered with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The small turbocharged engine is economical, with claimed combined fuel consumption figures of 4.9 and 5.1-litres per 100km respectively for the Seduction and Exclusive variants. For travellers, as well as a full-size spare and a five-star ANCAP safety rating, both C4 variants come equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen and satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, auto headlights and wipers, and rear parking sensors.

Hyundai i30

Cars With A Full-Size Spare And Five-Star ANCAP Rating

With the new-generation 2017 Hyundai i30 due to land here later this year, the current model i30 is in run-out with prices starting at $19,990 drive away. The model line-up consists of five trim-levels with three engine choices, a 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and a 1.6-litre turbocharged diesel engine. The petrol engines are available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission while the diesel is paired with either the six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

The diesel engine is the most economical with a claimed combined figure of 4.9-litres per 100 kilometres for the automatic transmission. The petrol engines are higher at 7.3 and 7.7L/100km for the automatic 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre respectively. While we don’t yet know if the new i30 will retain the full-size spare, the current model has one in every variant. All have a five-star ANCAP rating and have a 7.0-inch touchscreen, rear-view camera and rear parking sensors.

Kia Cerato

The Shortlist: Small Cars With A Full-Size Spare And Five-Star ANCAP Rating

Last but not least the Kia Cerato hatch is available in four trim-levels, the S, S Premium, Si and SLi with prices ranging from $19,990 drive away to $32,490. There is just one petrol engine across the range, a 2.0-litre four cylinder that produces 112kW and 192 Nm. The S is available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission while the rest of the line-up is auto-only.

All have front and rear parking sensors but if you want a rear-view camera or a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on the base-model you’ll need to option the AV pack. Of course it fits the brief when it comes to spare wheels and safety ratings, and combined claimed fuel consumption is 7.2-litres per 100 kilometres across the range.

Written by Tegan Lawson

Tegan Lawson is the Lifestyle writer and Motoring Expert for The Carousel. Tegan produces in-depth interviews and reviews and helps readers make the best choice for their next car purchase.

Tegan got her first taste of motorsports journalism working for a regional newspaper. She was still a student at the University of Southern Queensland but was moonlighting patrolling the pits at the Leyburn sprints and heading to the drags, as well as working trackside at the Queensland Raceway V8 supercar rounds in the early 2000s. With petrol firmly in her blood, these early days spawned her love of all things automotive.

Her driving career as a 17 year-old began with the unique experience of a Suzuki Carry Van that was quickly upgraded to a more image-appropriate Holden Barina.

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