Downsize and save
As you point out, Kia’s industryleading seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty is a big enticement. Other pluses include a stylish interior with quality finishes and good cargo space. The cheapest Si variant doesn’t have a lot of standard technology — satnav, rainsensing wipers and automatic emergency braking aren’t available. The Kia is solid and predictable on the road. The engine has slightly more grunt that the Toyota but isn’t as strong as a Tiguan. The base model is great value at the moment — the Active auto has been discounted by more than $5000. For an extra $2000 you can upgrade to the ActiveX, which has standard leather, bigger wheels and a sports mode. Hyundai’s five-year warranty is better than most and servicing costs are reasonable. The Tucson is great to drive, with an excellent balance between cornering ability and comfort. As with the Sportage, though, advanced driver assist tech isn’t available. It’s a size smaller than the others here but that means a lower starting price. Honda is clearing 2016-build stock and the deal includes extended warranty of five years/ 140,000km, five years’ roadside assistance and $500 worth of accessories. The HR-V is more spacious than any of the baby SUVs and the cabin looks fresh and modern. Driver assist tech isn’t available on the base model but it has a reversing camera as standard.
A common mistake new-car buyers make is getting a vehicle that’s too big for their needs. Stick with Honda but save money by downsizing.
Cars inevitably get dearer to maintain as they get older but Honda has a good reputation for durability and the CR-V has a timing chain, so won’t need an expensive belt change at 100,000km. That said, it might be wise to put some of your super towards a newer car while you can. If the Tiguan is out of reach, try these.
If you’re looking for troublefree motoring, the RAV4 is an excellent choice. The cabin is spacious and comfortable, if lacking the pizzazz of rivals. The engine is reasonably fuelefficient, performance is OK and it’s a competent performer on the open road. A reversing camera is standard but auto emergency braking comes as part of an expensive $3800 safety pack that includes satnav and other equipment. Warranty is average at three years.