Beaut time to buy a ute
It’s the time for tradies to trade up
THAILAND’S military coup has done little to dent the ute market.
Thai-built utes — the majority of those sold here — were either already on the water or arrived in time for the biggest month of the year for commercial vehicle sales.
Car makers say their factories in Thailand are unaffected and the ports are clear, so drastic discounting is set to continue into June as tradies and small businesses take advice from their accountants and update before tax time.
Holden has extended its $37,990 drive-away deal on the Colorado LX dual-cab 4WD diesel to June 30. It includes a free upgrade to automatic (normally a $2200 option) and three years of free scheduled servicing (worth $1180 as it waives the four $295 services due every 9 months or 15,000km).
The downsides? Metallic paint is $550 (equal highest among the mass-market brands with Toyota) and the Colorado doesn’t drive as well as the Ford Ranger or Volkswagen Amarok.
Yet despite all the extras, Holden’s drive-away price undercuts the Colorado’s twin under the skin Isuzu D-Max by $2000. Both utes tow a claimed 3.5 tonnes, even though the Colorado has more power and torque than the Isuzu.
Both also come with six airbags and stability control but the Colorado has factory-fitted rear parking sensors as standard — the equivalent D‒Max doesn’t.
Last month, Isuzu was offering its employees up to $11,770 off its vehicles, so it is unusual that it hasn’t sharpened its retail prices in light of the competition. At least the Isuzu’s metallic paint is cheap: $330. There’s also a $1000 cash-back offer.
Deals on Nissan’s Navara have become clearer. The base model last year limboed to the low-$30,000 drive-away price bracket. For June 30 deals, Nissan is offering 1 per cent finance. Customarily, low interest rate deals mean you have to pay full RRP for the vehicle and full dealer-delivery charges. These help pay for the super-sharp finance rate. But the middle-of-the-range Navara ST dual cab has 1 per cent finance on the $37,990 drive-away price for the 2013‒build model.
Step up to the 2014-built ST and get satnav and rear camera for $39,990 drive-away.
On the downside ledger, the Navara has a relatively small 2.5‒litre turbo diesel, towing capacity is rated at 3000kg and metallic paint adds $495. Nissan has capped-price servicing but it’s among the dearest in the business.
The sharpest deal is still on one of the oldest trucks: Mitsubishi’s Triton is $31,990 drive-away for the dual-cab GLX-Plus 4WD, with six airbags, stability control and Bluetooth standard.
To sweeten the deal, there’s a further $2000 cash back — $29,990 drive-away is astoundingly low.
The Triton has the longest warranty in the ute class, five years/130,000km, and the peace of mind of capped‒price servicing.
The Triton’s towing capacity is 3000kg, its cabin is not so roomy, it doesn’t drive as well as newer utes and metallic paint adds $495. Yet at the price, it’s hard to beat.