GET THE LOW­DOWN

Car deal­er­ships are overstocked and prices are un­der pres­sure. Here are the prize buys

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - MOTORING - JOSHUA DOWL­ING

Sales of new cars have hit the brakes for the past two months, the first mar­ket slow­down in just over half a year.

That means deal­ers are overstocked and in some cases ready to trim prices to new lows.

Most of the big brands have an “of­fers” sec­tion on their web­sites but dis­tin­guish­ing reg­u­lar drive-away prices from gen­uine dis­counts isn’t al­ways easy.

Here’s our pick of the best buys in the city and small car seg­ments plus the SUV and ute cat­e­gories. All prices are drive-away. The Kia Pi­canto re­mains one of the cheap­est and best-equipped cars in its class. The long­stand­ing dis­counted $15,690 price for an auto is un­changed but there’s also a 2.7 per cent fi­nance of­fer if you’re pre­pared to put down $2300 up­front.

Mov­ing up in size, the Kia Rio auto is a good buy at $17,490 — the same price as the Toy­ota Yaris auto. How­ever, the Kia has Ap­ple CarPlay/ An­droid Auto and comes with a seven-year war­ranty ver­sus the Toy­ota’s three years.

The good-look­ing Suzuki Swift GL Nav­i­ga­tor can be had for $17,990, add $1000 for radar cruise con­trol and au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing.

Fancy some Euro­pean flair? The jus­tre­leased VW Polo is $20,490 with auto and is al­most as big as cars in the next class up. Deals on SUVs are a bit harder to find be­cause most are in de­mand. There are still big sav­ings to be had, how­ever.

Over Holden’s four-day sale the Trax hits a new low of just $22,990 with auto, $1000 less than its pre­vi­ous dis­counted price.

The Mazda CX-3 Neo with auto is $23,990, while the old faith­ful Mit­subishi ASX auto re­mains at its long­stand­ing but still sharp $24,990.

The Hyundai Kona Ac­tive auto is fi­nally closer to where it should be: $25,990 once a $1000 bonus is taken into ac­count, also avail­able with 1.1 per cent fi­nance over four years if you can put down a 20 per cent de­posit (about $5200).

Holden has sharp­ened the pen­cil on its jus­tre­leased Equinox five-seat mid-size SUV with seven-year war­ranty and an ex­tra $1000 off — to $30,990 with auto — over its sale pe­riod.

The Ford Es­cape Am­bi­ente is worth a close look now that it has been dis­counted to $29,990 with auto, in­clud­ing a five-year war­ranty, builtin nav­i­ga­tion and push-but­ton start.

To add to your op­tions, open a door on the

Hyundai Tuc­son Tro­phy auto at $30,990 once a fur­ther $1000 dis­count has been ap­plied. As with the Ford, the Hyundai comes with a fiveyear war­ranty but gains 18-inch al­loys and leather ap­pointed seats.

The Honda CR-V VTi front-drive isn’t the sharpest price at $33,590 but it comes with seven-year war­ranty and seven-year pre­mium road­side as­sis­tance.

If you need a big seven-seat SUV, Toy­ota has slashed the Kluger V6 petrol — now with eight­speed auto — to new lows: $42,990 for a GX front-drive, $46,990 for a GX all-wheel drive, $52,990 for a GXL front-drive, and $56,990 for a GXL all-wheel drive. These prices are at least $6000 off full retail. Shop around for 2017-built ex­am­ples and take an­other $2000 off.

The Nis­san Pathfinder V6 petrol now starts from just $42,990 bun­dled with a 1 per cent fi­nance of­fer. Pay $624.25 a month over 36 months with a 50 per cent bal­loon pay­ment of $21,495. You can ei­ther re­fi­nance the bal­ance or sell the Pathfinder af­ter three years and hope it’s worth more than the pay­out fig­ure.

Bet­ter still, shop around for a dealer who at the end of May got a $3000 dis­count bonus to take on a ship­ment of new Pathfind­ers, or who pock­eted $2000 for every Pathfinder al­ready in stock. This could trim the price to $39,990 if the dealer chooses to pass on the sav­ings on rel­e­vant ve­hi­cles, with­out eat­ing into the reg­u­lar profit mar­gin.

If you re­ally want to get off the beaten track, the Mit­subishi Pa­jero Sport is good buy­ing at $44,990. The Holden Trail­blazer LT matches this price over the sale pe­riod once an ad­di­tional $1000 is taken into ac­count. Each has a five-year war­ranty.

UTES

Toy­ota has trimmed the price of its cheap­est HiLux tray­back — the petrol Work­mate man­ual — by $1000 to just $22,990.

Pre­fer a diesel man­ual? Pay $26,990 for the Isuzu D-Max SX or Toy­ota HiLux Work­mate, both with an aluminium tray.

The best buy if you want a no frills dou­ble­cab 4WD ute re­mains the Mit­subishi Tri­ton GLX+ at $34,990 with auto.

The Tri­ton GLS — with some frills — is $38,990 with auto.

Nis­san is fi­nally get­ting se­ri­ous with the Navara. The ST dou­ble-cab auto can be had for $46,990 (or $47,490 with a 1 per cent fi­nance of­fer with a 50 per cent bal­loon pay­ment af­ter three years).

The flag­ship ST-X auto with cloth seats and sun­roof can be had for no more than $51,990 (or $52,290 with 1 per cent fi­nance and a 50 per cent bal­loon pay­ment af­ter three years).

Want grunt? The Volk­swa­gen Amarok TDV6 Sport­line with full-time all-wheel drive is a steal at $52,990, though it’s the only du­al­cab among its peers lack­ing rear airbag pro­tec­tion. Also avail­able with 1.8 per cent fi­nance up to four years.

There is no drive-away promo price listed for the top-sell­ing HiLux SR5 dou­ble-cab but we’re re­li­ably in­formed it’s pos­si­ble to get a man­ual for its pre­vi­ous low price of $52,990, or $54,990 with auto.

Pay $1000 more for the truck and get $2000 worth of ac­ces­sories.

The Ford Ranger XLT dou­ble-cab 4WD con­tin­ues in run-out at its pre­vi­ous low price of $55,990 with auto and now per­ma­nent fiveyear war­ranty.

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