High hopes, sharp prices

There is an­other record sales year in the off­ing but the pace is slow­ing — here are the deals to swoop on

Herald Sun - Cars Guide - - COVER STORY - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDI­TOR joshua.dowl­ing@news.com.au

AUS­TRALIA will post an­other new-car sales record by the time num­bers roll in for 2016.

But all is not what it seems. The mar­ket has slowed in the sec­ond half of the year and this means even sharper dis­counts are begin­ning to emerge.

Year-to-date growth is down from a 3.4 per cent in­crease at the half way mark, in June, to a 2.2 per cent in­crease by the end of Novem­ber.

The car in­dus­try does not know why there has been a slow­down and the best brains in the busi­ness don’t know if it’s just a “blip”.

With two years of sus­tained low in­ter­est rates and cur­rency driven dis­counts, have Aus­tralians gorged them­selves on new cars and can’t di­gest any more?

Car com­pa­nies will get even more desperate with dis­counts if there isn’t a bounce in the com­ing months.

Mean­while we’ve as­sem­bled the best deals on the mar­ket today. Some will be fa­mil­iar, some are at un­prece­dented lows.

The other key thing to re­mem­ber this time of year is the “build date” or “build plate”.

Re­gard­less of whether the model you’re buy­ing is called a “2017 model year” or has a “2017 com­pli­ance plate”, the only date that mat­ters is the car’s build date.

The car may be only a few months old but in the dealer’s eyes it will soon be a year old, as soon as the cal­en­dar clicks over, and they want to make way for fresh stock.

In most cases, the dis­count you get by buy­ing an end-ofyear model is far greater than the po­ten­tial ben­e­fit of buy­ing an early 2017-built car — be­cause you’ll pay a pre­mium for that, and won’t get much ex­tra on the used mar­ket when sell­ing a 2016 ver­sus a 2017 car a few years from now. With that in mind, let’s go shop­ping.

SMALL CARS

The tiny tot mar­ket is tough. Suzuki has lim­boed to a new low of $12,990 drive-away for a Cele­rio with auto. Nor­mally that’s the price of the man­ual. It is by far Aus­tralia’s cheap­est car.

Also do­ing it tough is the Kia Pi­canto: it’s still $14,990 with auto (and an in­dus­try-lead­ing seven-year war­ranty) but Kia has thrown in a $500 gift card. De­pend­ing on the dealer, that may come off the price. That’s a lot of car for not a lot of money.

The Holden Spark hasn’t been bolt­ing out the door ei­ther, but the best of the tiny tots has come back to a more rea­son­able $16,690 drive-away with auto. Be warned: metal­lic paint is $550 ex­tra. Ouch.

Need a lit­tle more room and can stretch the bud­get? The Suzuki Swift is back down to $15,990 drive-away with auto, an ab­so­lute steal, ahead of an all-new model that’s still about a year away.

The Toy­ota Yaris is back to $17,990 drive-away with auto.

Can you drive a man­ual? You can get a big­ger small car for a super sharp price. The Nis­san Pul­sar man­ual can be had for $16,990 drive-away — about $4000 off. The auto is also not bad at $19,290 drive-away.

The Hyundai i30 is back to $19,990 drive-away — but read the fine print. That’s for a man­ual. The auto is $21,990 drive-away. Then ei­ther take the $1000 gift card or rip $1000 off the price and make it $20,990 drive-away for an auto. If you took the gift card as a dis­count, it makes the run-out i30 only $1000 dearer than the $19,990 drive-away with auto of­fer ear­lier in the year.

Sis­ter brand Kia still has the up­dated Cer­ato au­to­matic at $19,990 drive-away for the sedan or hatch. It may lack a rear view cam­era but the brand’s war­ranty is the best in the busi­ness.

Mazda is play­ing cute with “free on-roads” with its Mazda3 sedan and hatch (and most of its range), which means some buy­ers will pay more than oth­ers be­cause dealer de­liv­ery is open to ne­go­ti­a­tion.

Best to wait un­til Mazda

does a gen­uine “drive-away, no more to pay” deal.

Toy­ota has a cou­ple of step­ping stones into a Corolla — pay $22,990 drive-away for the base auto or an ex­tra $1000 (to $23,990) will get you the bet­ter equipped As­cent Sport and four years’ road­side as­sis­tance.

FAM­ILY SEDANS

Nis­san has hit a new low price with the Al­tima sedan, now just $25,990 drive-away for the ST with con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion. This is at least $5000 off its full RRP and def­i­nitely worth a look.

Aus­tralia’s No. 1 sedan, the Toy­ota Camry, is still at a super low $27,990 drive­away, with the “no strings” zero fi­nance deal ex­tended to the end of the month. There is no mas­sive bal­loon pay­ment or hid­den charges. It’s just $27,990. At 0 per cent. Awe­some deal. Also comes with a $1000 fuel card. Dis­counts have been rare on the Holden Com­modore but the SV6 Black Edi­tion has an ex­tra $2000 off this month, drop­ping the price to $36,990 drive-away — al­most as low as Com­modore dipped to three years ago. This is good buy­ing as it brings a lot of the luxury gear from the Calais to the SV6.

SUVs

Holden is clear­ing out a bunch of SUVs be­fore new metal ar­rives next year. The Trax baby SUV can be had from just $22,990 drive­away with auto, the Cap­tiva5 is a ridicu­lous $23,990 drive-away once you take the $1000 bonus into con­sid­er­a­tion. Sim­i­larly the Cap­tiva7 is in­sanely cheap at $27,990 drive-away once you take a $2000 bonus into con­sid­er­a­tion. It is by far Aus­tralia’s cheap­est full-size seven-seater. The weird-look­ing Nis­san Juke is fi­nally at a price young buy­ers can af­ford: from $23,990 drive-away with auto. This is about $5000 off its full RRP.

Mit­subishi is at it again with the lit­tle ASX at $25K drive­away with auto and five-year fac­tory war­ranty. Its Out­lander seven-seater has now dipped to $29,990 drive-away with auto.

Need to tow a car­a­van? The Mit­subishi Pa­jero has been slashed to $49,990 drive-away with auto. This is about $10,000 off its orig­i­nal RRP and the cheap­est it has ever been.

The Pa­jero Sport also comes in for a dis­count, now $47,500 drive-away.

UTES

Toy­ota has ripped up the price of the HiLux as it races to be­come our out­right top-sell­ing ve­hi­cle for the year.

Drive-away pric­ing has dropped to a new low just 12 months after the lat­est model went on sale — slash­ing $6500 off the full re­tail price of the flag­ship HiLux SR5, to $52,990 for the man­ual and $54,990 for the auto.

At the bar­gain end of the mar­ket, the Mit­subishi Tri­ton GLX+ con­tin­ues to make life dif­fi­cult for the other brands with a red hot deal that’s at least $10,000 less than most ri­vals, at $33,990 drive-away for a man­ual, with the $2000 bonus taken into ac­count. Twist an arm and pay $35,990 drive­away for an auto.

The mar­ket has slowed in the sec­ond half of the year and this means even sharper dis­counts are begin­ning to emerge

MIT­SUBISHI ASX $25,000 drive-away auto

SUZUKI CELE­RIO $12,990 drive-away auto

KIA PI­CANTO $14,990 auto, $500 gift card

HOLDEN TRAX $22,990 drive-away auto

NIS­SAN PUL­SAR $16,990 drive-away man­ual ($19,290 auto)

TOY­OTA CAMRY $27,990 drive-away $1000 fuel card

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