This isn’t a promotional campaign, just us trying to offer you some interesting suggestions if you’re in the market for some new wheels.
This week’s version has a theme. Most of the cars featured this week are somewhat unloved in the sales race, but each have good ownership credentials, even if none are critical class-leaders.
All bar one, furthermore, are SUVs, and the other is a novel alternative to what is becoming the de rigeur form of family transport.
But it’s never really cut through with buyers. To stimulate interest, Peugeot is promoting a campaign deal that offers a zero per cent comparison rate, and extends the warranty to five-years/100,000km — there’s some peace of mind in that.
The fine print says the finance, offers by Alphera Financial Services, includes a maximum finance term of 36 months with no residual (balloon) payment.
This offer applies to petrol and diesel, manual and auto variants of every stripe. All variants get standard features such as a seven-inch touchscreen, reverse-view camera and parking sensors.
As you can read in our various reviews here, the Suzuki S-Cross is a decent, safe and respectable little crossover that — while no excitement machine — equally won’t give you any trouble. It’s also a featherweight that handles with some alacrity, and has good rear seat space.
Not spectacular, then. But Suzuki is currently doing the base GL (admittedly with a five-speed manual gearbox, rather than the more sought-after CVT auto) for $21,990 drive-away, thousands less than you’d pay based on RRP.
This is also about what you’d pay for a Corolla or Golf, and neither of them offer the S-Cross’ 480-litre cargo space and higher driving position. All S-Cross models get seven airbags (five-star ANCAP), alloy wheels and Bluetooth.
Keep in mind the S-Cross will be joined within weeks by its funkier Vitara cousin, too.
What it is, though, is absolutely bulletproof, rugged transport. A good tow vehicle or weekend off-roader if refinement isn’t your bag.
With the new one due here in early 2016 — if it’s anything like the new Triton, it’ll be much, much better than before — the outgoing car is on runout. Ergo, it’s cheap. Very cheap. And in that context it makes sense.
How cheap? $33,990 drive-away for a 4WD diesel manual. The thing has an RRP of $42,990 before on-roads, so it doesn’t take a genius to see you’re saving way over $10,000 from list here.
You get a 131kW/400Nm 2.5-litre diesel, five-speed manual gearbox, a 3000kg braked towing capacity, six airbags, 16-inch alloys, a leather steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth/USB/Aux, side steps and roof rails.
If you’re lugging around a bunch of kids and want a family SUV, odds are you’d be looking at the top-selling Toyota Kluger.
If we’re honest, the Nissan Pathfinder ST isn’t as good (read our comparison test here) but at this special Nissan campaign price of $39,990 drive-away (Nissan is waiving on-road charges and taxes), it’s also about $6000 cheaper than said Toyota.
And, as you can read about in our reviews here, it’s a sizeable crossover SUV with three genuine rows of seats. The ST 2WD featured here gets seven-seats, three-zone air conditioning, a reverse-view camera and rear sensors, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Renault Megane wagon
Hang on — the Renault Megane wagon isn’t a crossover SUV!
But what if you fancy the load-bearing abilities but want something more niche, more European, and more dynamic?
The class-leader is the ubiquitous Volkswagen Golf with the Peugeot 308 a close second, but that’s not the impugn to Megane load-lugger.
The GT-Line version as you see here normally retails for $28,990 before on-road costs in turbo-petrol guise, so at $29,000 drive-away, you’re saving a good few grand off list.
For that you get a Euro wagon with push-button start, a seven-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, 17-inch alloy wheels, auto headlights and rain-sensing wipers, all-round parking sensors and climate control.
You also get a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, five-year/24-hour roadside assist and three capped-price services pegged at $299.
*Note, Megane GT-Line Premium pictured.