No “global car with global standards” here. But take nothing away from the 2012 Proton Preve, which is a highly competitive car that has new standards for a Proton, whether it is the design, ride-and-handling, refinement, quality, or the overall great value for money. See past Proton's lacklustre brand, bloated promises and over-optimistic taglines, and you will discover a very fine C-segment car.
Now a more conventional fit for the segment, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class is quite a solid option for one to avoid the usual starting grid that is the C-Class. There's nothing quite like it in the market, and it will appeal to those who don't like the confined spaces of a traditional sedan, fancy a taller driving position, love techno-gadgetry, want a boot that can be expanded with the seats down, and love having flip-out food trays for rear passengers.
Now in its mid-life cycle, the 2012 Honda City still provides the best package compared with key rivals, from the ever-reliable Toyota Vios to the exciting Ford Fiesta. The small sedan segment is more competitive than ever before, but, overall, the 2012 Honda City remains our pick of the segment—just—leading with a stylish exterior, a roomy, quality interior, and fine ride-and-handling.
Look past the relatively high pricing, poor image and potentially high depreciation, and there is the comfortable, well-built and roomy 2012 Skoda Octavia that gives class-leaders something to think about.
The 2012 Perodua Alza provides everything that the Perodua Myvi does, in addition to two extra seats. However, with poor access to a third row with limited space, the 2012 Perodua Alza should be used mainly as a spacious car, and sparingly as an MPV.
The 2012 Naza Rondo shows how much Naza has progressed through the years. With a solid-feeling cabin and spacious, versatile interior, the 2012 Naza Rondo offers plenty of value for the class-undercutting price it is asking for.
The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X is less hardcore and speaks to a wider audience. Yes, the technology, performance and handling are still there in abundance but it is also more comfortable and easier to live with.
Being the best-selling sports car in history, the Mazda MX-5 has a lot to live up to. Fortunately for keen drivers, the 2012 Mazda MX-5 is still as involving as ever to drive. And it now comes with a more useable hardtop instead.
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