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It's a usual day in the office as our two writers, Desmond and Nigel, bicker over which car under $100k is better - the Honda Jazz RS or the Suzuki Ciaz?

16 Jun 2016

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Nigel thinks that the Honda Jazz 1.5 RS is a car on a budget that has space, fun driving dynamics and good looks

$100,000 gets you something like a Mercedes-AMG C 63 S in the U.S.A, which upon conversion costs about $99,094 or a cheaper sports sedan like the Subaru WRX STI, which goes for some $46,936.

You can house a baby elephant here thanks to ULTRA seats
In comparison, we suckers in Singapura pay $181,800 (as of 1st June 2016) for the STI. I'm not even going to name the price of the C 63 S because a similar amount buys you a five-room HDB flat, which you don't own for life either.

So, if $100,000 lands in your lap, what's the best and most practical car you can get?

Desmond is smug about his choice, the Suzuki Ciaz 1.4 Premium, which is more expensive but has much fewer ponies than the 129bhp Honda Jazz 1.5 RS I have chosen. In my book, that's a poor decision.

I would have picked my favourite Japanese hatch, the Suzuki Swift Sport, but because I had to get my head out of the performance-oriented gutter and think as a practical adult for a day, the Swift Sport was dropped for its lack of rear and trunk space.

The next best bet was a car that serves up a decent amount of driving fun, could fit a family of five and was economical to run. In this respect, the Jazz RS is second to none.

To me, cars are made to be driven. The car you drive has to make you smile. The Jazz RS is an enthusiastic unsung hero in that department, entertaining you with an eager-to-rev 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC engine, and is surprisingly quick and agile around corners for an 'econobox'.

And you don't have to enjoy the car alone because its cabin is spacious enough for a couple more friends - one of the most spacious hatches for that fact. Plus, the rear bench, named ULTRA seats, are configurable to maximise interior space for large items like boxes and guitars. You can fold down the rear seats, too, granting significantly more cargo space than in the Ciaz.

During our drive, I, in the Honda, was ever ahead of the Suzuki and genuinely pleased with my choice. I do of course, wish that $100,000 would've bought me said Subaru WRX STI instead.
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