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



VIDEO: Snake bites city's own 'Steve Irwin' grandfather

WILDLIFE WARRIOR: Antonias Stappas, 76, was bitten on his fingers by a brown snake at his Redbank Plains home. Pictured with his daughter Seva Stappas and granddaughter Jorgina Reihana, 3.

Meet the 76-year-old who chased a snake, caught it and set it free

Nardya Miller honoured by her best friend

Nardya Miller passed away in January.

"She would have wanted something positive to come out of this."

Child safety intervention targets Ipswich families

A boy on bike and a car on the road

Program helps families safely care for their children at home

Local Partners

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

THE Oscars have ended with a moment that left everyone speechless — but not in a way anyone expected.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Blue Heelers' Ditch Davey joins 800 Words cast

Ditch Davey joins the cast of 800 Words as Terry, the younger brother of George, played by Erik Thomson.

George Turner's brother, Terry, arrives to Weld with a 'few demons'

Oscars winners 2017: Full list of Academy Award winners

Viola Davis accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Fences at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

WHO won Oscars this year? Here’s a full list of every winner.

Why can’t Nicole Kidman clap properly?

Nicole Kidman's style of clapping has puzzled Oscars viewers.

FOR some reason, it seems Nicole doesn’t really know how to clap.

Muslim actor makes Oscars history

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

MOONLIGHT star Mahershala Ali makes Academy Award history.

NO ONE OFF LIMITS: Kimmel burns down the house at Oscars

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

HOST delivers a torrent of abuse on Hollywood’s night of nights.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!