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



Better health outcomes through consumer participation

Council member Nick Ryan, DDHHS Chief Executive Dr Peter Gillies, council member Belinda Marriage, council member Cecilia Donohoe, DDHHS Board Member Marie Pietsch, DDHHS Acting Executive Director Medical Services Dr Martin Byrne, DDHHS Indigenous Cultural Capability Consultant Rica Lacey, and DDHHS Acting Consumer Engagement Officer Pauline Murphy at the inaugural meeting of the DDHHS Consumer Council in Toowoomba.

Consumer Council holds it's first meeting in Toowoomba.

New bridge honours cherished Southern Downs resident

Signs for the newly named bridge will now be installed with the cost to be funded from the bridge budget.

The recently constructed Tummaville Rd bridge has been named.

Traffic disruptions on major Warwick road this morning

Workmen close one lane on Albion St, Warwick.

WORKMEN have blocked one lane of a major Warwick road this morning.

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.