THINK SMALL AND SAVE

Weekend Courier - - Driveway - Joshua Dowling

SALES of small cars are flatlin­ing as more buy­ers move into SUVs, so deal­ers are over­stocked and hot deals have be­gun to emerge on more mod­els.

The cars are al­ready here and they need to be cleared.

The Kia Cer­ato is still an epic bar­gain at $19,990 drive-away in sedan or hatch.

Un­like most of its ri­vals, it lacks a rear cam­era (it gets front and rear sen­sors in­stead) but comes with Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto and, of course, Kia's in­dus­try-lead­ing seven-year fac­tory war­ranty.

Holden still has plenty of stock of the As­tra R+ hatch with safety pack. It’s also $19,990 drive-away and cur­rently comes with a fiveyear war­ranty, which is bet­ter than Holden’s stan­dard three years but two years shy of Kia’s.

War­ranty dif­fer­ences apart, the As­tra is a bet­ter deal than the Kia as the Holden comes with a load of ad­vanced safety tech at that price, is a newer car and a bet­ter drive.

Above the $20,000 threshold, the magic num­ber appears to be $22,990 drive-away.

That’s the price of the Toy­ota Corolla As­cent hatch and the re­cently in­tro­duced Hyundai i30 Go when both are equipped with au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The Mazda3 hasn’t had a drive-away price in bold type since the new gen­er­a­tion model went on sale four years ago but, with a new model due next year, the dis­counts are out in the open.

The base model auto is $23,490 drive-away but ex­pect to match or bet­ter the Toy­ota and Hyundai prices with­out much hag­gling.

Ford’s Fo­cus is hang­ing in there at $24,990 drive-away with auto, even in the face of sharper deals else­where. Ne­go­ti­ate ac­cord­ingly.

Honda main­tains the Civic auto at $24,990 drive-away, the deal sweet­ened by a sev­enyear war­ranty (up from five years) and seven years pre­mium road­side as­sis­tance.

It’s a jump to the VW Golf 110TSI at $26,490 drive-away, given the base Golf has pre­vi­ously lim­boed a few thou­sand dol­lars lower than this in re­cent years.

How­ever this price is com­bined with 1.8 per cent fi­nance with no de­posit. The to­tal cost over the life of the loan is $27,829, which sounds like a lot but is less than some cheaper cars with a higher in­ter­est rate.

If you want to treat your­self to an SUV, the city-sized Toy­ota C-HR is worth a look; its price has dropped to $30,990 drive-away for a front-drive auto with radar cruise con­trol, au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing and rear cam­era.

The big­gest steal in the SUV class is the seven-seat Toy­ota Kluger GX at an as­ton­ish­ingly low $39,990 drive-away, at least $5000 off.

This price only ap­plies to 2017 ‘demo’ mod­els so stock will be lim­ited. It’s un­likely Toy­ota deal­ers will be able to match the $39,990 price on a 2018 Kluger GX as the dis­count is funded by Toy­ota.

Small in size, big in per­for­mance... the Holden As­tra.

VW’s Golf

Hyundai i30

Toy­ota Corolla

Mazda3 Maxx hatch

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