I currently have a 2008 Toyota Fortuner 3.0 and a 2006 Toyota Vios 1.5. I'm planning to buy a third car for our daily run-around--the most economical car we could find. Among the small cars in the market, what can you recommend in terms of fuel economy, performance, and ease in maintenance? I'm looking at the Suzuki Celerio and the Suzuki Alto, the Hyundai i10, as well as cars from Kia, Toyota, Honda and others.
I'd appreciate your advice.
Here are my thoughts on your options:
Toyota Vios - It is hard to beat the number-one selling car in the Philippines: built like a nuclear bomb shelter, cheap to own and maintain, pretty fuel efficient especially in 1.5-liter manual where you've got more than enough power and space inside. It won't break the bank to buy new. Expect about 10km per liter easily in the city, 12 to 14km per liter out on the highway in real-world driving conditions.
Suzuki Celerio - I haven't tried this car yet but it might not be as easy to maintain since the dealership network is small. (Editor's note: Read more about the Suzuki Celerio in the March issue of Top Gear Philippines.)
Hyundai i10 - This is a nice car but the engine's too small and probably far from efficient since you'll be accelerating and decelerating a lot given our traffic conditions. Its very modest power output means acceleration will be glacial and you'll be stepping on the throttle heavier most of the time, negating any advantage gained from using a small engine. If the Hyundai i10 had a bigger engine, that would make a major difference.
Honda Jazz - This is the best in-class b-segment car cum mini-MPV. It has excellent driving dynamics, excellent driving position, loads of space inside, very fun and funky exterior look and dashboard lay-out inside. The problem is nobody will appreciate it--except those who are using it. It is far more sophisticated than the Toyotas, far more fashionable than the Nissan Grand Livina and offers far more flexibility and versatility than the Suzuki and Hyundai. The Honda Jazz gets my nod, especially if the car will be used by members of your family.
I hope this helps. Good luck and keep us posted!
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