The Toyota Yaris is a rock-solid choice as a suburban runabout or starter car with bulletproof resale.
Toyota offering drive-away deals across the entire range up until the end of the year.
Toyota’s No.1 sales place is a foregone conclusion this year - yet again. It has cranked up the buyer bait to December 31, partly to ensure that the Corolla becomes the country's top choice for the first time. Shoppers are being lured with drive-away deals for all the Toyota family, with the exception of the king-of-the-hill LandCruiser that never needs any help.
A Yaris at $15,490 on the road opens the action. A dozen dollar deals run through to the seven-seater Kluger family hauler and three choices from the HiLux ute line-up. Hyundai might have begun the push for drive-away pricing in Australia but Toyota now accepts the benefits to buyers. And it means its decidedly vanilla cars get a tasty push.
'Drive-away is the most transparent and simplest message for a consumer to know the value position of our products," says Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief Tony Cramb. He knows Toyota buyers are not the most adventurous group but also realises they are looking for value in addition to the rock-solid strengths of the world's favourite brand.
Toyota has been No.1 for 16 years in Australia, including every year since 2003, and has set an aggressive target for this year of more than 20 per cent of total sales. 'Being No.1 is the outcome of consistently providing the consumer with products that meet their requirement, that offer excellent value and a great ownership experience.
'The deals we have currently in the market are to support our annual sales target," says Cramb. 'Our -All Out' deal is a 2013 plate clearance which is also a play on words that subtly ties in with our sponsorship of the Australian cricket team." Toyota Australia has plenty of stock, as do all its rivals, so the closer it gets to December 31 the more potential there is for a deal that even undercuts the special online offers at toyota.com.au.
Price: from $15,490
Engine: 1.5L four-cylinder, 80kW/141Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, FWD
Some of the Carsguide crew reckon the current Yaris is not as good as the old one but it remains a rock-solid choice with bulletproof resale. Most people buy them as suburban runabouts or starter cars, not racers, so they do the job.
Best choices from the Toyota drive-away deals
Price: from $26,990
Engine: 2.4L four-cylinder, 133kW/231Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, FWD
It might be as exciting as a fridge - it does indeed look best in white - but it ticks all the boxes for family motoring. Local tuning means excellent suspension. It's quiet and comfortable and the aircon is fantastic. Buying a Camry also helps Australian manufacturing.
Price: from $39,990 (7-seater)
Engine: 3.5L V6, 201kW/337Nm
Transmission: 5-speed auto, FWD
We've just seen the new Kluger in the US and ours looks a lot better, although down on cabin space. This is the smartest pick in the Kluger litter, combining a seven-seater cabin with cheaper front-wheel drive, and that works just fine for lots of families.
Somebody asks every single week about the ideal choice for The Big Trip, lapping Australia with a caravan. Amid plenty of good choices, only one is right. The Toyota LandCruiser ticks every single box, from bulletproof reliability to great airconditioning and the best service backup beyond the Black Stump.
You could go for a Nissan Patrol but it's lumpy and grumpy. The Toyota HiLux is strong but it's only a ute. And the Jeep Grand Cherokee is all right but only hits its best in the current model. And would you really trust a Range Rover in the outback, or be prepared to spend big on one?
The LandCruiser is a proven performer and I've yet to hear of anyone complaining about the previous-generation model, the 100 Series. It has great turbo diesel pulling power and a huge range, can carry almost anything and go almost anywhere. A second-hand LandCruiser is not cheap but you get what you pay for and it's the outback icon.
This reporter is on Twitter: @PaulWardGover