AA Buyer's Guide: Is losing a cylinder a good thing?
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Many manufacturers are on the “straight-three” engine bandwagon. These engines have been highly refined with the addition of turbochargers to help increase power, and smart start-stop technology to enhance economy.
Small three-cylinder engines are achieving the efficiency that consumers desire. Here are some interesting models that have just arrived in NZ.
Volkswagen T–Cross (from $34,750)
The new Volkswagen T-Cross shares its MQB platform with a broad range of the Volkswagen Group’s cars in order to cut down production time and reduce engineering costs.
Despite sharing its platform with the Polo, the T-Cross is 54mm longer and 138mm taller. You also have a more SUV-like position thanks to a 100mm elevation.
There are three different models that have three-cylinder engines: Life, Style and First Edition. The entire range utilises Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG. With 85kW at 5000-5500rpm, it gets along just fine, and sips just 5.4l/100km to boot.
Every variant has wireless charging and a generous 455l of cargo space, which is quite impressive for a vehicle of just 4108mm long.
Skoda Kamiq (from $30,990)
Back in May, the Skoda Kamiq finally arrived - yet another member from the tried and true MQB platform. It has built-in SmartLink technology for connecting devices via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or MirrorLink.
There are good active and passive safety features, including nine airbags.
The entry model is powered by a 1.0l three-cylinder turbocharged engine, which produces 85kW at 5000-5500rpm and sips just 5.3-6.6l/100km. Despite being a bit longer than the Volkswagen T–Cross, there’s slightly less space with 400l seats-up storage capacity.
Toyota Yaris (from $25,990)
The all-new Toyota Yaris has an agile 1.5l engine, which delivers 88kW at 6600rpm, and boasts an impressive 4.9l/100km fuel consumption.
There are also many more advanced safety features than previous generations thanks to Toyota’s Safety Sense package, which is included even in the entry level model. The new transmission offers a 10-step mode for the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
The Yaris is a pretty looking car, with some bold colour choices like Eclectic Blue, Coral and Ebony. If you’ve ever wanted a hybrid drivetrain, you only need to spend an extra $2000 to upgrade and benefit from 3.3l/100km fuel consumption.
Ford Puma (from $33,990)
The Ford Puma is another compact SUV competing for your attention and sports a 1.0l three-cylinder petrol engine with a rambunctious 92kW at 6000rpm, and consumption of 5.3l/100km.
The power is distributed to the front wheels with a seven-speed wet clutch DSG-type transmission.
For added fun, Ford has thrown in some suggestive drive modes like Slippery and Trail, although we suspect the majority of Pumas will stay on the road.