SPRUCED UP TO SELL

Deal­ers are bur­nish­ing the Christ­mas spe­cials

The Queensland Times - - MOTORING - CRAIG DUFF

There’s a clause in Santa’s con­tract spec­i­fy­ing he doesn’t have to de­liver new cars so if you want some­thing flashier than tin­sel around the Christ­mas tree this year, there’s no time like the present. Car sales have slowed in the sec­ond half of the year but it takes a while for the mak­ers to turn off the sup­ply from over­seas, so a lot of dealer show­rooms are over­stocked.

The slow­down also means some deal­ers are strug­gling to hit sales tar­gets — and col­lect healthy bonuses — so De­cem­ber is shap­ing up as a great time to buy a new car.

From straight-up dis­counts to no de­liv­ery charges, longer war­ranties and com­par­a­tively cheap com­par­i­son in­ter­est rates, deal­ers are try­ing ev­ery trick in the book to clear cars be­fore they be­come last year’s stock.

If you’re happy to buy a 2018-plated car so close to 2019, here’s our list of sharpest deals.

SMALL CARS

The stand­out is Holden’s As­tra sedan. Prices start from just $17,990 drive-away for an auto demo model backed by a five-year war­ranty and with a 0.9 per cent fi­nance rate to ap­proved buy­ers. That’s about $6000 off the usual on-road price.

Of­ten these “demos" are new cars that have been reg­is­tered and recorded as sold but don’t have a buyer, so the num­ber of kilo­me­tres on the clock will be low.

If you must have a new model, it will be an ex­tra $1000.

Kia’s run-out Cer­ato hatch is also good value at $19,990 drive-away for the au­to­matic. It’s miss­ing some of the safety items on the newer Cer­ato sedan but the seven-year war­ranty makes it at­trac­tive for bud­get buy­ers.

If you’re will­ing to go a size smaller, Hyundai has the Ac­cent Sport from $16,990 drive-away for the auto, al­most $4000 off.

Toy­ota has the Yaris auto for $17,490 drive-away, a dis­count of about $2500 on the reg­u­lar price.

Volk­swa­gen’s Polo is $17,990 drive-away for the man­ual ver­sion, a dis­count of about $3500, while the Golf Trend­line auto starts from $28,490 drive-away, down from $31,259.

SMALL SUV

Ford’s EcoS­port Trend won’t look too bad on the credit card at $24,340 drive-away but Nis­san’s Juke is even cheaper at $23,990 out the door for the ST man­ual.

Hyundai’s Kona is $25,490 once you take ad­van­tage of the $500 fac­tory bonus, a dis­count of roughly $1500.

Over at Honda, you can get an auto HR-V in VTi spec for $27,490 drive-away, not a great sticker price, but backed by a seven-year war­ranty and seven years’ road­side as­sis­tance if bought be­fore the end of the year.

Mit­subishi’s Eclipse Cross ES is $29,990 out the door, bring­ing Christ­mas cheer by sav­ing buy­ers dealer de­liv­ery and reg­is­tra­tion fees, worth about $2500.

Toy­ota’s C-HR with con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion is $30,990 drive-away with three years’ road­side as­sist.

The Suzuki Vi­tara is also be­ing spruced up for Christ­mas deals and the range starts at $21,990 drive-away for a man­ual ST-L, up to $28,990 for the auto-equipped Vi­tara S Turbo. You’ll save roughly $3500 on each.

MEDIUM SUV

There aren’t too many dud gifts in this seg­ment and the com­pe­ti­tion for your dol­lar is huge, which should mean you get to keep more in your ac­count.

An auto-equipped Nis­san Qashqai ST can be yours for $27,990 on the road — a dis­count of more than $5000 — or you can choose a larger front-wheel drive X-Trail for $2000 more.

The Peu­geot 3008 Ac­tive is $37,990 drive-away, a sav­ing of $2500, while Toy­ota has cut RAV4 prices with a new model just around the cor­ner.

The GX with a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion is $30,990 on the road, ef­fec­tively sav­ing reg­is­tra­tion and dealer costs. The deal also in­cludes three years of road­side as­sis­tance.

Hyundai’s Tuc­son Go is $29,990 drive-away for the auto, a sav­ing of more than $4500.

4WD UTES

Mazda is mak­ing the run­ning here with facelifted ver­sions of the BT-50 rolling out the door, the XTT for $44,990 and GT for $47,990. That’s $7000 less than re­tail.

Ford’s dis­con­tin­ued MY18 Rangers are dis­counted to $44,990 for the XLS and $54,990 for the XLT on the road, or well un­der their rec­om­mended list price. On the cur­rent model, Ford’s do­ing deals on five years’ ser­vic­ing or $2000 of ac­ces­sories.

The XLT price isn’t quite as sharp as the one Toy­ota is do­ing on the coun­try’s most pop­u­lar ve­hi­cle, the HiLux — $52,990 out the door for the SR5 dual-cab with free au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. That’s al­most $7000 off the reg­u­lar drive-away price.

Mit­subishi is shin­ing the Tri­ton up in prepa­ra­tion for the new model, so the top-spec Ex­ceed auto is $46,990 drive-away, or $2000 off the reg­u­lar cost. The Christ­mas deal in­cludes a $2000 fuel card (which can be used to take an­other $2K off the price) along with $1000 of ac­ces­sories.

If pack­ing a pal­let in the back is a pri­or­ity, Volk­swa­gen’s Amarok Core with eight-speed auto is $5000 cheaper than the list price at $41,990 drive-away. At the top of the Amarok tree, pay $58,990 for the V6 High­line work­horse-cum-fam­ily truck.

PRES­TIGE

If you’re lucky enough to shop for high-end toys, Volvo has the best deal with the V90 Cross Coun­try at $82,990 drive away with 1.9 per cent fi­nance rate and five-year war­ranty. That’s a whop­ping $27,000 off.

Lexus has some sharp deals across the range, start­ing with the CT 200h hy­brid hatch for $39,888 drive-away with free pres­tige paint thrown in. That’s about $6500 off.

The IS300 sedan can be had for $57,888, al­most $9000 off the re­tail price, while the RX300 fam­ily SUV is al­most $13,000 off at $69,888 drive-away.

BMW’s 3 Se­ries 330i with M Sport or Lux­ury line trim is good value at $67,900 drive-away, a sav­ing of $3000 on the reg­u­lar re­tail price.

Land Rover has just re­leased a new Evoque for Christ­mas, so the old one’s in run-out mode ahead of lo­cal de­liv­er­ies and comes with free ser­vic­ing for five years, five-year war­ranty and “sav­ings equiv­a­lent to the GST”. I’m no ac­tu­ary but that sounds like 10 per cent off. Sis­ter brand Jaguar has sim­i­lar deals on se­lected mod­els.

Mercedes-Benz has a 1.9 per cent in­ter­est rate on fi­nance.

MAZDA BT-50

HOLDEN AS­TRA

LEXUS CT200H

BMW 3 SE­RIES

NIS­SAN X-TRAIL

TOY­OTA RAV4 GX

MIT­SUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS

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