Lifestyle

How to drive an easy bargain

The Odyssey's $39,990 drive-away sticker is about $5000 off full list price.
The Odyssey's $39,990 drive-away sticker is about $5000 off full list price.

THE consistently strong Australian dollar and turbulent economic conditions overseas have conspired to create some of the sharpest new-car deals since the global financial crisis of 2008.

The situation is so desperate, most car companies no longer bother being coy about discounts. Indeed, most major brands have a ''special offers'' tab on their websites.

That's where we went to research the best deals - but even these prices can often be sharpened further if you twist an arm. Of course, there are still some in-demand cars that money can't buy, with long waiting lists, such as the Ford Ranger (supply shortage from Thailand), Honda CR-V (supply shortage from Thailand), Volkswagen Polo GTI (12-month waiting list), Hyundai Veloster (four-month waiting list) and Mazda CX-5 (new model, fewer discounts).

But there are plenty of good alternatives, and a vehicle to suit almost any taste or need.

The deal that struck us most was the Honda Accord Euro midsize sedan at $29,990 drive-away - a saving of $8000 compared with its original list price. The Accord Euro is a multiple award winner and, although it is to be replaced in 12 months or so, it still drives better than a lot of newer competition.

Also from the Honda showroom is one of the classiest and best-made seven-seat people movers on the market: the Odyssey. Its $39,990 drive-away sticker is about $5000 off full list price. Once again, it's due for replacement in a year or so, but is still one of the best of the breed and a Drive Car of the Year category winner.

If you need an eight-seater, Kia has finally dropped the price of its top-selling Grand Carnival to a more realistic level. It gave the Grand Carnival an update last year but jacked up the price $3000. It is now $38,990 drive-away for the base model V6 petrol, a saving of about $2000 but, importantly, closer to the price it was.

As with many car companies, Kia charges extra for metallic paint ($450). But we got at least one dealer to throw this in without much haggling. This is a timely reminder that promotional prices are still negotiable.

In the small-car class, Toyota is doing such a sharp deal on the Corolla hatch that we had to triple-check. It is selling the base model hatch - auto, with seven airbags - for $21,990 drive-away. This is about $4500 off full freight, and it's for 2012-build models. The Corolla also comes with $130 capped-price servicing while the car is under its three-year warranty.

Australia's top-selling car, the Mazda3, meanwhile, charges an extra $2000 for auto at $23,990 drive-away. You might get a 2011-built car for less than that but Mazda dealers we spoke to said most of those were sold.

That said, dealers we spoke to were still willing to negotiate. Two weeks ago, Drive got quotes from seven outlets prepared to sell a black Mazda3 auto hatch for about $22,000, on average.

Another great Mazda buy is the CX-7 soft-roader (it's being replaced by the CX-5) at $32,990 drive-away. It's a runout model but still one of the best in its class.

Speaking of runout models, the just-superseded Camry Hybrid is a bargain - at $29,990 drive-away, you save about $6000 off the original RRP. The superseded Aurion V6 sedan is the same price.

Ford is even taking the knife to its new Territory: the base-model petrol rear-wheel-drive five-seater can be purchased for $38,990 drive-away, a saving of about $4000. And the diesel RWD five-seat model can be had for just $40,990 drive-away - a $7000 saving off the full RRP at launch.

Holden is offering post-GFC deals: a V8 SS Ute is now $37,990 drive-away and the sedan can be had for $41,990. Both these prices are about $7000 to $8000 better than their respective list prices.

Holden also has sharp deals on the Captiva 5 ($27,990 drive-away, add $2000 for auto then try to haggle $1000 off) and Captiva 7 ($33,990 drive-away with auto).

Many of these deals supposedly expire at the end of April but rest assured bargains will be had next month, too.

Topics:  motoring


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

The pecan harvest is just beginning, so you will find a good selection at the markets from now. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Pecans and cauliflowers among the new buys, as well as a great tea

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

First Fire firing on all cylinders

Owner Michael McGrath and trainer John Dart were all smiles after a win at the Casino greyhounds meeting on Tuesday night. PHOTO: TARRAH VANDERSTOK

Owner Michael McGrath and trainer John Dart all smiles at Casino

Local Partners

Ten awesome things to do this week

THE list includes from Mr Beef in Casino to Byron Bay Rugby, plus some great classic music event and other community events.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Mullum's hit cabaret duo Peter and Bambi

COMEDY: Asher Treleaven (La Soirée) and Gypsy Wood (Miss Cage Dance Universe Australia) are Peter & Bambi Heaven.

If David Copperfield and Claudia Schiffer were from this area

Baywatch: Lifeguards with model looks return for 'filthy fun'

TWO chiselled men emerge from the surf. One looks like a god. The other, well, he's gasping for air and doesn't realise there's a jellyfish on his chest.

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

A ballet event of lovers and fairies in Byron Bay

ON STAGE: Byron Ballet's 10th anniversary production will be Shakespeare's A Midnight Summer's Dream.

Byron Ballet celebrates 10 years

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Wild and unknown from Sara Tindley

SONGS FROM THE HEART: Singer Songwriter Sara Tindley.

Local singer songwriter unveils new album

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!