Table of contents:
- S-class sedans are going through hard times in Russia. Gone are the Mitsubushi Lancer, HondCivic, Renault Fluence and even the Ford Focus. Citroen and Peugeot are sold in homeopathic doses - not even the seemingly ubiquitous Chinese are seen. Even the new Jett is in no hurry - and Volkswagen is traditionally considered a trendsetter in the golf class. Why is this happening? Let's take a look at the example of those who are still left - KiCerato, Mazda3 and ToyotCorolla
- Equipment and prices
Video: Toyota Corolla Vs Mazda3 And Kia Cerato: Golf Class Sedan Test
2023 Author: Natalie MacDonald | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 13:59
S-class sedans are going through hard times in Russia. Gone are the Mitsubushi Lancer, HondCivic, Renault Fluence and even the Ford Focus. Citroen and Peugeot are sold in homeopathic doses - not even the seemingly ubiquitous Chinese are seen. Even the new Jett is in no hurry - and Volkswagen is traditionally considered a trendsetter in the golf class. Why is this happening? Let's take a look at the example of those who are still left - KiCerato, Mazda3 and ToyotCorolla
"Russians love sedans." This is the mantra that automakers have been selling to us with their four-door models for twenty years in a row. Recently, however, she has been working through a stump deck. No, Vesta, Granta, Solaris and Logan are still great buys. But not because of the four doors and the tail - but simply because they are cheap. And as soon as our person accumulates a million and a half rubles, a crossover inevitably falls into his field of vision. Although there are still enough of those who remain faithful to the four doors. In the attachment to the participants of our test, these are hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of buyers per year. Which sedan is preferred? First, let's count on a calculator.
Equipment and prices
The above statement is more correct: Russians love sedans more than hatchbacks. Why? Because they get more car for their money! The participants in our test are an example of this.
Test KiCerato - a two-liter 150-horsepower sedan with automatic transmission in almost the maximum configuration of the GT Line. These are LED headlights and lights, a package of electronic assistants, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and glass, a rear-view camera, keyless entry. In general, a well-equipped car, which lacks only leather and power-adjustable driver's seat with memory until the top version of the GT Line +. The price, however, is also rather big - 1 409 900 rubles.
But if we compare the Cerato and its sister Ceed, it turns out that a hatchback with almost the same equipment and a tighter interior (due to the fact that its wheelbase is 5 cm shorter) will not be cheaper, but 60,000 rubles more! Moreover, it will not have an "aspirated" engine, but a 140-horsepower turbo engine with a robotic transmission: a modern combination, but not everyone gives confidence in the future without breakdowns.
Sedan Mazda3 sold in Russia with a single power unit - a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine (120 hp) and an "automatic", and in the only Active configuration. Price - 1,570,000 rubles, plus a surcharge for any color other than white. There are also two packages of options to choose from - with them the matryoshka will be close to the Cerato in terms of equipment. It has simpler security systems, an inch less than a wheel, but there is a head-up display. The final price of the test sedan - 1 669 000 rubles, 260 thousand more expensive than Kia.
But a five-door Mazda3 in the same Active configuration will be even more expensive, albeit for a symbolic 20,000 rubles. For this surcharge, the hatch fan will lose 50 liters of the trunk, as well as the opportunity to purchase keyless entry, parking sensors and a rear-view camera. On the other hand, he has the right to buy a three-ruble note in a richer Supreme configuration with an additional safety package and even a 150-horsepower engine. But the price will be cosmic - more than 1.8 million.
However, this amount will seem like space only to buyers of a Korean sedan. Because the test ToyotCorolla in the maximum configuration Prestige Safety is already 1,717,000 rubles … And if it is retrofitted with navigation that competitors have, the 1.8 million threshold will be surpassed. And not to say that Toyot will be better packed than the rest. Of the significant "chips" - only the adaptive "cruise" instead of the usual. The power unit is a 122-horsepower 1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine coupled with a variator. You can take a sedan with "mechanics", but only in poor trim levels.
Now in Russia Coroll is sold without a five-door analogue, but it has its own formidable "internal" rival - the larger ToyotCamry. With 1.8 million rubles, you can buy this sedan in the average Classic configuration, thanks to the localized assembly near St. Petersburg.
And for this money, you can already select a crossover of similar sizes, which many probably do. Yes, in the initial trim levels, yes, front-wheel drive. But a crossover! Well, those for whom the mantra "I sit high, I look far away" is weak, we invite you to sit in our sedans.
There are many similarities in the salons of all three cars: relatively low front panels, compact dashboards and, of course, “tablets” of multimedia systems, as if stuck in for charging. Apparently, the tasks for the interior designers were set the same - to smooth out the gloominess of the black finish, to add "air" to the interior, a sense of space. Which is really not too much in compact sedans. As a result, the difference between car interiors is in the details and nuances.
The most interesting thing is inside Mazda3 … The driver's seat in the "three-ruble" is the lowest, and the steering wheel with a small hub, air ducts on the sides of the instrument panel and a high central tunnel reinforce the impression that you have got into a sports car. And the horizontally elongated display with a predominance of black in the interface is not so eyesore.
True, in the pursuit of beauty, designers sacrificed convenience. There are fewer buttons on the panel than we would like, and those that are there could be larger. And almost all control of entertainment systems and navigation comes down to turning and tilting the joystick puck.
There are plenty of sports shades in the cabin too KiCerato … The GT Line is equipped with a beveled steering wheel, metal pedals and sports seats. And they really are the tightest in this test, with great lateral support and grippy combo padding. It's a pity, they are set higher than in the "three-ruble note".
And in general, the ergonomics of the Cerato is excellent, not worse than that of the reference German cars. There are plenty of buttons and knobs, they are all in the right places, there is a convenient shelf for a smartphone (with wireless charging). Devices are a role model. But the awards in beauty contests for the Ki salon do not shine. You can only admire the side deflectors.
ToyotCorolla inside - also not a masterpiece of interior design. Its front panel is spoiled by a massive lower section, under which literally hides a shelf for a smartphone with wireless charging and heated seat buttons. Surprisingly, there is more subjectively notorious "air" here than in other sedans. Perhaps the point is the A-pillars, which are more forward, or in the narrow center tunnel. And the Coroll is also the only sedan in the test that has available beige inserts that successfully dilute the overall gloom of the interior (but they were not on our car).
In the single test, we praised the Japanese car for its ergonomics, but compared to competitors, it is no longer so good. Coroll is upset with uninformative devices, small buttons on the panel and uncomfortable - on the steering wheel. The seat is softer than the rest, and if it holds the driver's hips well in corners, then the back is not very good. Although the rest of the fit behind the wheel is comfortable.
How comfortable are cars behind the backs of the front seats? Let's take a look at the second row.
It's no secret that in golf-class sedans, rear passengers are usually supporting characters: the bosses are carried in larger cars. Therefore, manufacturers are not too concerned about ensuring maximum comfort for those sitting in the back. They may even be sacrificed for the sake of design. For example, lowering the roof for a more dashing silhouette. The trunk is another matter. Its size is quite important for the buyer of such a car. But even here the Koreans and the Japanese found ways to save money.
More spacious than others in the back Ceratohowever, the difference between the machines is not dramatic. The Korean sedan is slightly wider in the shoulders, it gives a few extra centimeters to the knees, Ki has a low center tunnel. However, the roof is as low as the rest - even an average passenger sits with no headroom. And the feet barely fit under the front seat. Equipment - level "three P": armrest, cup holders, heating. Well, a couple of ventilation deflectors.
It meets passengers with exactly the same set and Corolla … Only the armrest in the Japanese sedan is not so comfortable, and the tunnel is higher. And in general, the place is a little less. The most noticeable difference, five centimeters, is in the distance to the backs of the front seats. But it's easier to push your legs under them.
And the closest in the test is Mazda3 … Firstly, another 4–5 centimeters have been taken away from the knees. Secondly, there is a tall central tunnel (because the "three-wheel" platform is also designed for four-wheel drive), which makes the third passenger especially inappropriate. Finally, the "matryoshka" does not even have deflectors, not to mention the heated back sofa.
Approximately the same layout for the luggage racks. According to the passport Mazda has a 444-liter cargo compartment, Toyota - 470 liters, and in Kia - as much as 502 liters. But there is some cunning in these numbers - in fact, the capacity of the three sedans is very close. After all, the dimensions of the cargo compartments, like the salons, differ by a few centimeters. Yes, the Cerato's trunk is a little taller, but the main contribution to the extra 30 liters seems to come from a large underground, where, in addition to a full-size "spare wheel", all car small things are placed.
Coroll is also equipped with a full spare wheel, but the "treshka" is offered with a stowaway. And a common feature of all machines is that there is nothing to secure the load. Three of them have one sidewall strap (Kia) and one bag hook (Toyota). Have the engineers of these cars ever got hold of SkodOctavi?
In any test where Mazda participates, the driving experience automatically becomes the main intrigue - after all, the small Japanese company has long earned a reputation as a driver. How will Ki and Toyota respond?
Cerato, in comparison with the rest of the participants, it conquers with its power unit. And it's not only and not so much the extra 30 horsepower. For example, at a “low start” from an imaginary traffic light, the Mazda3 loses the entire body to the Korean sedan - and then not immediately, but when the speed of the cars already goes beyond the permitted mark.
But in everyday use Ki pleases with good traction on the "bottom" and adequate responses to the gas pedal, and even in Eco mode, the Korean sedan does not "dull". And if we turn on the Sport… The accelerator becomes even more sensitive, the “automatic” is more willing to tuck in lower gears, the motor has a pleasant pickup after 4000 rpm - and now Cerato already seems like a hot hatchback sedan. Although objectively it is as "warm" as possible - as much as 9.8 seconds to 100 km / h.
Mazda3 also responsively reacts to gas in Sport mode and even delights the driver's ear with a bass rumble, which is often inherent in larger engines. But if after each ignition on, you do not push the mode key away from you, then the weakness of the power unit becomes noticeable. "Automatic" is too lazy to switch "down" during acceleration, and the 1.5-liter aspirated engine at low revs does not have enough traction to pull out the sedan, which, by the way, is a good 80 kg heavier than Kia. And in general, the accelerator of the "three-ruble" is less sensitive, which also hides the feeling of dynamics.
Corolla according to the passport, it accelerates faster than the Mazd (10.8 seconds against an infinite 12.4), but in fact it loses an eternity on the drag strip. And even without measurements, with everyday driving in the city or on a suburban highway, it is noticeable. And it's not about the motor. It is noticeably older than Mazda's SkyActiv-G, but similar in character to it. It also suffers from a lack of torque at low revs, it also reacts to gas without harshness - except that it sounds quieter and more colorless.
Toyot gives way to the rest because of the variator. At the start, the box crumples, protecting its belt and pulleys - the Coroll moves smoothly even with the pedal in the floor. And on the go, in a variator mode, it breaks the rigid connection between the engine and the wheels, often demonstrating the effect of "slipping clutch".
Let the new Mazda3 did not impress with dynamics, it defended its reputation as one of the best chassis in the class. Even after switching from the rear multi-link to a banal beam. Close to neutral understeer, unequivocal reactions, a heavy but informative steering wheel - and overall a very pleasant character. And in the limit, the "three-ruble" demonstrates a smooth skid under the gas discharge, easily adjusted by the steering wheel.
However, Mazd does not like bad roads. She is still able to fend off minor flaws in the asphalt, but on larger pits and speed bumps, the sedan already strongly shakes the passengers, forcing them to slow down.
Cerato better adapted to Russian roads: the Korean sedan has a softer ride. It reacts harshly only to asphalt joints and other similar irregularities, which is not surprising for 17-inch tires with a 45 percent profile. For comparison, the "three-wheel" tires of the dimension 205/60 R16.
Ki also has a sharper steering wheel - and even the winter velcro did not spoil the gambling reactions. But in the settings of the Korean sedan there is more "inadequacy", it does not rise to the arc as readily as Mazda. And in extreme modes, the front axle slides boringly outward.
And here Corolla on winter tires, on the contrary, it demonstrated the features of its chassis even more clearly. In stock modes, the Toyot seems to be the quietest car in the trinity. It is stable on a straight line, obediently follows the less sharp steering wheel in the test, and rolls stronger than the others in turns.
But as soon as you go faster, on the verge of traction, the Coroll, in response to the gas release, falls into a skid even more than on summer tires. Moreover, the stabilization system is in no hurry to intervene. And the imitation of a detour of a suddenly arisen obstacle looks frightening even on a wide runway of the airfield. In response to a quick turn of the steering wheel, the sedan jerks to the side, and in the next instant it also sharply throws the stern. What will happen on a real road, where there is a curb on the right and an oncoming truck on the left?
The conclusion that can be made based on the results of this test only once again confirms the current status quo: even in the correspondence comparison, golf-class sedans are inferior to crossovers for the same money in the main thing - practicality. Four-door cars lack versatility - for example, there was no point in including the "Passability" item in this test. They are not so convenient for transporting goods (although they successfully compete with crossovers in the volume of the trunk) and are less friendly to rear passengers.
On the other side of the scale is the design and pleasure that good sedans still deliver to the driver. Even with a relatively weak engine and a simple front-wheel drive chassis. Crossovers in this budget, with rare exceptions, will be just a means of transportation.
Which of the three test sedans to choose is a matter of taste. They are similar in many ways, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Mazda3 above all beautiful - especially if you don’t spare the money for a fiery red color, which even Ferrari can envy. The car also has a cool interior and excellent handling. And in the liabilities - a weak engine, which has no alternative, the smallest trunk and a high price that frightens off buyers. The new Mazda3 is the only sedan in the test that sells worse than its predecessor. Only a few dozen cars are bought per month, including hatchbacks!
Confident appearance KiCerato many will like it no less than the exterior of the "three-ruble note". Plus, the Korean sedan has the most comfortable interior, excellent powertrain and the lowest price tag. This is understandable - in the salon of an official dealer he has to compete with KiSportage, one of the best-selling crossover class. On the other hand, Cerato's sales are record-breaking - 1.5–2 thousand cars a month, although these figures are probably influenced by high demand from corporate buyers.
ToyotCorolla looks like an amateur, but for most buyers it's enough that it's a Toyota. However, even without the emblem, there are enough advantages - a comfortable chassis and a reliable proven engine. But the high price (the highest in the test) certainly scares off a lot of buyers. Therefore, the sales results are average - several hundred sedans a month. For comparison: the Camry has a score of thousands …
- - Bright appearance
- - High quality interior
- - Good chassis
- - High price
- - The only complete set
- - Weak motor
Specifications Mazd3 IV (BP)
1.5 AT (120 HP)
1.5 l / 120 HP / gasoline
Acceleration to 100 km / h
1 570 000
All characteristics Car catalog
- - Attractive price
- - Good powertrain
- - Roomy salon
- - Boring interior
- - Understeer
- - Low cost trunk equipment
KiCerato IV characteristics
2.0 AT (150 HP)
2 l / 150 hp / gasoline
Acceleration to 100 km / h
1 409 900
All characteristics Car catalog
- - Driving comfort
- - Rich equipment
- - Looks like Camry
- - Highest price
- - Tendency to skid
- - Weak dynamics
Specifications ToyotCorollXII (E210)
1.6 CVT (122 HP)
1.6 l / 122 hp / gasoline
variable speed drive
Acceleration to 100 km / h
1 717 000
All characteristics Car catalog
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