The big deal on small cars

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

SMALL-CAR buy­ers are set to be the big win­ners of a three­way fight among the top-sell­ing brands in the run to the end of the fi­nan­cial year.

Aus­tralia’s favourite car for the past two years, the Mazda3, has been dragged into a duel with Toy­ota’s Corolla and Nis­san’s just-re­leased Pul­sar.

Nis­san stunned the in­dus­try last month when it in­tro­duced the Pul­sar hatch— with runout pric­ing. It starts at $18,990 plus on-road costs, at least $1000 less than the com­pe­ti­tion and rewinding the RRP of a Pul­sar by 24 years.

The catch with the Pul­sar hatch is that it doesn’t ar­rive in show­rooms un­til next month. To en­tice buy­ers un­til then, Nis­san has ex­tended its drive­away deal on the Pul­sar sedan: $19,990 drive-away.

This un­der­cuts the drive­away price of the Mazda3, which is $20,490 out the door. But the Mazda is avail­able as a sedan or hatch at that rate, and in­cludes the cost of metal­lic paint. Nis­san’s metal­lic paint adds $450, mak­ing the real trans­ac­tion prices line-ball. Au­to­matic adds $2000 to both.

The Pul­sar has the dear­est fixed-price ser­vic­ing among its peers but Mazda doesn’t have one at all. Only once they buy their Mazda are own­ers given ac­cess to pass­word-pro­tected ‘‘ menu’’ pric­ing on the in­ter­net. We don’t know how it com­pares as Mazda de­clines to make the in­for­ma­tion pub­lic. Seven of the top 10 brands pub­lish ex­ten­sive and trans­par­ent ser­vic­ing prices on their web­sites.

Into the fray comes the

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