It’s a competitive environment out there for Australia’s 60-plus car companies. As such, you can pick up some great deals without having to haggle. Here are just a few to consider if you’re out shopping over the post-Christmas weekend. Get in fast, they never last long.
Suzuki Swift GL
Australia’s second most popular light-car among private, not business, buyers, is the humble Suzuki Swift. And believe us, there are deals to be had.
The company is still running a campaign on the entry GL manual model for $15,290 driveaway, no more to pay. And that’s before you twist the salesperson’s arm.
All the basics are covered: Five-star ANCAP rating, Bluetooth/USB connections and cruise control. An extra $1200 gets you a 6.1-inch screen with satellite-navigation.
The Swift may no longer be the most fashionable little car out there, but it remains among the most fun to drive, and the Japanese brand's reputation suggests it will give you years of trouble-free motoring.
Holden Cruze Equipe
As with the Swift, the Holden Cruze (the only small car made in Australia) isn’t the most fashionable model in its segment of the market, but the deal Holden is offering right now is excellent.
At $19,990 driveaway, it’s already cheap for a car as big as a 1980s Commodore. But Holden is throwing in a free six-speed automatic transmission too, which is what most people want. Yes, the 1.8-litre atmo engine is underdone, but at this price…
And credit to the Lion brand for the value equation, since standard equipment includes: 7.0-inch colour touchscreen with MyLink app integration and Bluetooth streaming, rear parking sensors, 17-inch alloys, cruise control and a five-star ANCAP rating.
You also get a five-year warranty and the first four services are capped at $185 a pop. It’s a basic car that won’t really inspire, but it’s about as sharp as value gets.
Peugeot 2008 Active
It’s not built like a Japanese car, sure, but it’s got Gallic charm and feels rather upmarket inside compared to something like a Holden Trax. It’s also quite versatile and handles with vim.
This base 1.2-litre three-cylinder model has a five-speed manual gearbox, meaning a lot of buyers will immediately lose interest. But this is about balancing mainstream with niche.
You get a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth/USB, reverse-view camera, rear parking sensors and five years of capped-price servicing. And inner-urban cred. At $24,990 drive-away, it’s pretty affordable.
Kia Sorento Si
If family funds are tight, you can get a base front-drive petrol version of the seven-seat Kia Sorento large SUV for $39,990 driveaway - but the considerably better 4WD diesel/auto variant at $43,490 driveaway is much more palatable.
Kia is a favourite in this column for buyers after the cheapest ownership proposition, largely down to its seven-year warranty.
Remember, also, that a brand new model is coming in April, so haggle hard as the company looks to clear stocks. Case in point, you’ll get a free Family Pack with an alloy nudge bar, side steps, towing kit, floor and cargo mats and weathershield with $3400 for free, no questions asked.
Ford Falcon Ute XR6
Ford is still trying to clear stocks of the FG MkII Falcon Ute despite having launched the FG X.
Considering Ford slashed more than $3000 off the price with this update, bringing the XR6 ute’s list price to $30,440 before on-road costs, Ford has had to offer a carrot to sweeten the deal.
So, you can get the superseded (but mechanically identical) FG MkII for $30,490 driveaway. We priced up an equivalent FG X Styleside box XR6 manual to $34,273 with all on-roads covered.
This means if you can forego the newer SYNC 2 infotainment system and redesigned nose, this pre-facelift car will cost you nearly $4000 less. Again, haggle at the dealership, and don't be afraid to shop around, and you'll likely see even more cut from the price.
The XR6 model with the Geelong-made 4.0-litre I6 and six-speed manual gearbox, 18-inch alloys, 8.0-inch colour touchscreen, sports suspension and alloy sports bar.