RIP­PER DEALS

Tasty trans­ac­tions are hard to find. En­hance your ne­go­ti­at­ing skills with Carsguide’s re­view of the best buys at th­ese drive-away prices

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

BUY­ERS are the big win­ners of the car in­dus­try’s push to re­port a record num­ber of new ve­hi­cles as sold last year.

De­spite deal­ers and car com­pa­nies in­clud­ing many cars in the 2015 sales tal­lies, not all of them were de­liv­ered to cus­tomers in De­cem­ber. Some brands are chok­ing on stock and dis­count­ing heav­ily.

En­tic­ing deals are harder to find than this time last year be­cause sev­eral brands (we’re look­ing at you Hyundai, Honda, Mazda and Subaru) have tem­po­rar­ily dropped trans­par­ent drive-away pric­ing deals and are invit­ing cus­tomers to “talk a deal” about “free on-road costs”. Cus­tomers with su­pe­rior ne­go­ti­at­ing skills will pay less than oth­ers.

As ever, we favour drive­away pric­ing that is also sig­nif­i­cantly lower than the RRP. Here are the best deals.

SMALL CARS

The Suzuki Cele­rio re­mains Aus­tralia’s cheap­est car from a main­stream brand: $11,990 drive-away in man­ual guise ($12,990 auto). Noth­ing comes close for the money.

Next cheap­est is the ri­val Mit­subishi Mi­rage, from $15,490 drive-away for the auto hatch with a $1000 voucher that can be used to ne­go­ti­ate a lower drive-away price. The Mi­rage comes with a bet­ter than av­er­age five-year war­ranty.

Nis­san’s deal on the Mi­cra city car is worth a men­tion: $15,990 drive-away for an auto, in­clud­ing three years’ free ser­vic­ing (a good deal be­cause Nis­san’s rou­tine main­te­nance is among the dear­est of the main­stream brands).

Holden’s big push on Ba­rina au­to­matic hatch­backs means a sharp on­line price of $17,190 drive-away — but the fine print says you can take $1000 off that (to $16,190 drive-away, about $2500 off the RRP) and it comes with a five-year war­ranty in­stead of three.

In the next size up, the Suzuki Swift is an in­cred­i­bly low $15,990 drive-away with free auto (about $4000 off RRP), and the war­ranty climbs to five years if you stick with the capped price ser­vic­ing pro­gram.

The Toy­ota Yaris re­mains a solid favourite at $17,990 drive­away for auto ($15,990 man­ual). It is among the cheap­est to ser­vice and has strong re­sale.

De­spite deal­ers and car com­pa­nies in­clud­ing many cars in the 2015 tal­lies, not all of them were de­liv­ered to cus­tomers

Kia’s Cer­ato sedan and hatch, still sharp buy­ing at $19,990 drive-away with auto, come with an in­dus­try-lead­ing seven-year fac­tory war­ranty. How­ever, this deal will lose its shine as soon as Hyundai drops the i30 hatch­back price back to $19,990 drive-away in the com­ing months (our ed­u­cated guess rather than of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion). The i30 (the Cer­ato’s twin un­der the skin) is a newer car and has a rear cam­era as stan­dard, as op­posed to the Cer­ato’s front and rear sen­sors, no cam­era.

Aus­tralia’s favourite car for the past three years is $23,990 drive-away. The Toy­ota Corolla As­cent Sport hatch with auto, al­loys, rear cam­era, re­mote en­try and seven airbags is about $3000 off the RRP.

FAM­ILY CARS

The Toy­ota Camry is an even hot­ter deal than in De­cem­ber, when it was $28,990 drive-away with zero in­ter­est over three years. Now it’s $27,990 drive­away with the same fi­nance.

This is be­cause the Toy­ota

dealer net­work de­clared three months’ worth of stock as sold in De­cem­ber and is strug­gling to di­gest them and sell the cars to ac­tual pay­ing cus­tomers. Holden Cap­tiva LS There are demon­stra­tors, reg­is­tered in De­cem­ber but undriven, at in­di­vid­ual deal­ers for as low as $26,990 drive­away, with­out fi­nance. Nis­san also joins the medium-size sedan bat­tle: the slowselling Al­tima is

$28,990 drive-away (about $5000 off the RRP) and comes with three years’ free ser­vic­ing.

The Mit­subishi ASX is still the bar­gain of the compact SUV class. At $25,000 drive-away with au­to­matic and Mit­subishi’s stan­dard five-year war­ranty, it’s un­beat­able at about $4000 off the RRP.

For a slightly smaller, city­sized SUV, Holden’s Trax is great buy­ing at $23,990 drive­away with au­to­matic and an upgrade to five-year war­ranty in­stead of three, all up equat­ing to about $4000 off RRP). A bet­ter look­ing and bet­ter equipped Trax is just around the cor­ner, that’s why this deal is so sharp.

Holden still has the cheap­est seven-seat SUV in the busi­ness. The Cap­tiva7, fresh from its fourth makeover in 10 years, is a su­per sharp $29,990 drive-away with five-year war­ranty (about $5000 off the RRP).

Soon to be su­per­seded, the Mazda CX-9 is a rock bot­tom $39,990 drive-away, about $5000 off the RRP.

Nis­san has wound back the Pathfinder price to where it should be: it’s $39,990 drive-away this month with three years’ free sched­uled ser­vic­ing (as with the Mi­cra, a good deal).

Mit­subishi Pa­jero Sport is al­ready in dis­count mode just months af­ter launch — not ev­ery­one is a fan of its space­ship looks. It is highly ca­pa­ble of­froad and the price is at­trac­tive at $46,990 drive-away for the eight-speed auto plus stan­dard five-year war­ranty. This is a heavy-duty 4WD shar­ing un­der­pin­nings with a ute — don’t ex­pect the sure-foot­ed­ness of, say, a Ford Ter­ri­tory.

UTES

The base model Mit­subishi Tri­ton four-door 4WD sticks with $36,990 drive-away in­clud­ing free al­loys and rear view cam­era (five-year war­ranty is al­ready part of the deal).

The eye-catcher is the mid- range Tri­ton GLS four-door 4WD at $39,990 drive-away. This model comes with “su­pers­elect”, so it can be driven in 4WD on sealed as well as un­sealed roads.

Treat your­self with the leather-trimmed flag­ship Tri­ton with au­to­matic at $49,990 drive-away.

All Tri­ton prices are at least $5000 off their RRP. The styling means the Tri­ton is prov­ing hard to shift but it’s sturdy, re­li­able and great value for money.

Mazda fol­lows a mi­nor, scarcely no­tice­able makeover of the BT-50 with a fight­back on price. The range-top­ping XTR 4WD crew cab ute is $47,990 drive-away, about $6000 off the RRP. The 2WD ver­sion looks the same but is just $39,990 drive-away, about $3000 off the RRP.

The deal on the Holden Colorado LTZ four-door 4WD was so sharp we had to triple check it wasn’t a mis­print: $44,990 drive-away mi­nus a $2000 bonus equals $42,990 drive-away ($44,990 auto). That’s a whop­ping $8000 off the full RRP.

Need a new work­shop ute? The Isuzu D-Max man­ual cabchas­sis is the cheap­est diesel work­horse around — $25,990 drive-away with five-year war­ranty.

Suzuki Cele­rio

Holden Colorado LTZ

Toy­ota Camry

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