Hot hatch price rises $19,990 hard to beat

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL | -

MY favourite car last year – Ford’s Fi­esta ST baby hot hatch – has lost its bang for buck ap­peal.

The su­per sharp start­ing price of $25,990 plus on-road costs will be in­creased by $1500 to $27,490 from Septem­ber 2016 or an es­ti­mated $231,022 on the road. The price of metal­lic paint has also gone up, to $450 from $385.

Ford says the higher re­tail price cov­ers the ad­di­tion of built-in nav­i­ga­tion, a rear view cam­era, a high-res­o­lu­tion dis­play screen, il­lu­mi­nated scuff plates in the door open­ings, red paint on the brake calipers and char­coal-painted wheels.

Un­for­tu­nately, there is no more power for the up­dated Fi­esta ST’s 1.6-litre turbo four, even though a spe­cial edi­tion with more grunt and a sharper chas­sis – called the ST200 – is about to go on sale in Europe.

Even though the Fi­esta ST has ex­ceeded sales ex­pec­ta­tions Down Un­der — more than 1200 sold since 2013, with 2015 ac­count­ing for the big­gest tally — Ford Aus­tralia did not put its hand up for some of the 1600 limited edi­tion mod­els to be sold in Europe.

Ford also at­trib­uted some of the Fi­esta ST’s price rise to cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tions (the per­for­mance model is made in Ger­many rather than Thai­land), even though the Aus­tralian ex­change rate with the euro hasn’t shifted dra­mat­i­cally in that time.

Ford de­fended the price rise by point­ing out the Fi­esta ST’s new price is the same as the VW Polo (which is more pow­er­ful, faster and has more doors than the three-door Fi­esta ST) and still un­der­cuts the Peu­geot 208 GTI and Re­nault Clio RS.

Im­por­tantly, the price rise does not ap­ply to Fi­esta ST mod­els still in dealer stock. They re­main $29,522 drive away. The price rise is a bold move for a car near­ing the end of its model life. Most cars usu­ally hit dis­count mode as a full model change ap­proaches.

But Ford has been able to buck this trend be­cause the Fi­esta ST has been lauded by crit­ics the world over for its ra­zor sharp han­dling, flex­i­ble turbo power de­liv­ery and funto-drive re­spon­sive­ness. THE $19,990 drive-away deals of the Kia Cer­ato and Hyundai i30 are caus­ing headaches at other car com­pa­nies.

Kia is clear­ing 2015-build cars at a truly bar­gain­base­ment price.

When you do the sums on the Cer­ato it turns out that the lat­est show­room of­fer by the South Korean maker is in line with much smaller cars.

The Cer­ato is be­ing ad­ver­tised at $19,990 drive­away, with an au­to­matic gear­box plus Kia is also throw­ing a $1000 “gift card” into the deal.

Work­ing back­wards from $19,990, al­low­ing a con­ser­va­tive $3000 for the auto and on­roads, the price drops to $16,990.

Pick up the gift from head­quar­ters, which most peo­ple ap­ply to the fi­nal price and we’re talk­ing about a $15,990 bot­tom line for the Cer­ato.

That’s a bril­liant deal for a small car that’s not just a tid­dler, although ri­val brands are not happy. It’s not just Kia.

The sums look pretty nice on the Hyundai i30 at the mo­ment.

The cur­rent $19,990 drive­away deal is a sav­ing of close to $7000.

If you take the base price at $20,990, then add $2300 for an auto and $3700 for NSW on­road costs, you quickly get to $26,987 for a car that’s avail­able on the road for just $19,990.

So it’s no won­der the i30 was Aus­tralia’s best sell­ing car last month, or that Kia and Hyundai both in­tend to keep their sub-$20,000 drive-away deals into the dis­tant fu­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.