Buyers in the driver’s seat
MARCH is customarily the second-biggest month of the year for car sales. It marks the end of the Japanese financial year and all the big brands push to meet annual targets.
This year the hot deals aren’t as numerous but there are some stunning bargains. Korean brands are taking initiatives, too.
One of Australia’s cheapest cars, the Kia Picanto, just limboed to a new low. The $14,990 drive-away automatic hatch has a $777 gift card which you take off the price to make it $14,213 drive-away.
The stablemate Cerato sedan and hatch get the same deal: now from an astonishing new low of $19,213 drive-away once the voucher is cashed in — which is about $5000 off the full RRP.
Even the all-new Rio gets the $777 deal, trimming the price to $16,713 drive-away for an auto.
Not all Kias have drive-away prices published online, though. The Sorento and Sportage SUVs and the Carnival peoplemover get $777 off but the price of the car is open to negotiation. Aim for the RRP as your driveaway price.
The Mitsubishi Triton ute has hit a new low: $32,990 drive-away if you want the fleet pack with steel wheels rather than alloys and side steps. It’s still a great buy.
Grey nomads take note: the Pajero diesel 4WD might be long in the tooth but it’s great for the long haul. It has dropped to $48,990 drive-away once all bonuses are taken into account (about $10,000 off its original price). Get in before the Pajero is retired forever.
If you want a Mitsubishi ASX compact SUV, wait a month. It’s back to $24,990 drive-away for a manual. It’ll be $25,000 drive-away for an auto before you know it.
The Hyundai i30 is back to its second lowest price ever — $20,990 drive-away with auto once a $1000 gift card is swapped for a discount on the car. And the price of the sportier and more powerful i30 SR has also been sharpened to $24,990 drive-away for a manual or $26,990 for an auto once a $2000 gift card is cashed in. This is about $5800 off the full RRP.
Most metal for the money is still the Toyota Camry. There are lots of undriven demonstrators (registered and declared as sold even though the dealer still owns them) for a remarkable $25,990 driveaway — or you can get a new example for $27,990 drive-away with satnav.
Honda’s website says there are “deals you won’t believe”. But they are deals the company won’t publish on its website — which means proceed with caution, haggle hard and shop around to compare prices.
Mazda is back to its “free onroads” line and not publishing drive-away prices for most models. Only the Mazda2 small car and BT50 ute have driveaway prices this month.
Holden and Ford both have drive-away prices but they’re not necessarily good deals.
Last month the Holden Trax could be had for $22,990 driveaway. Now it’s $27,934 driveaway. Ford’s drive-away pricing is not discounted heavily so go in ready to negotiate.
Fleet, sweet: Mitsubishi Triton; Kia Picanto, below, gets a gift