CarsGuide Podcast: Tools in the Shed ep. 151
Episode 151 - Australia's new car battlers
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The all-new Nissan Navara and heavily facelifted Mitsubishi Triton are due in April and May ahead of updates to the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 in July and an all-new Toyota HiLux in October. Dealers are keen to move stock about to be superseded with 2014 build plates.
As with our story last week on clearance prices for passenger cars, the savings on utes vary from brand to brand.
Most of these deals end on January 31, but if you sign on the dotted line this weekend, most will honour the sale price next week. After all, the vehicles in dealer stock aren't getting any younger.
Discounts on the Ranger are rare but with an update around the corner Ford has sharpened the price on the middle-of-the-range XLS to compete with most other brands which sell around this RRP. The 2.2-litre diesel XLS crew cab 4x4 is $41,990 drive-away and the 3.2-litre five-cylinder diesel version is $44,490 in the traffic.
Both offers equate to savings of about $5000. A tip: these prices are for manual models; use the savings to upgrade to automatic (adds $2000) as the manual transmission is not as refined or reliable as the six-speed auto. Footnote: savings on the popular XLT are relatively minor ($53,490 drive-away is not much off the RRP) so haggle for at least another $2000 off.
The Mazda BT-50 is the Ford Ranger's twin under the skin — they have different bodies but are made on the same production line in Thailand and share the same engines, which is why Ford's premium RRP is normally so conspicuous. The BT-50 dual cab XTR is good buying at $45,990 drive-away; the $1500 premium over the 3.2 Ranger XLS adds navigation, larger alloy wheels, dual zone air-conditioning and side steps.
The discounts on the Mitsubishi Triton crew cab GLX+ 4x4 have cooled but it's still one of the best buys. Late last year the price limboed to $29,990 drive-away but the 2014 clearance price is $31,990 drive-away with a free towbar.
The price of the Triton is likely to get sharper in the coming months as the new model gets closer, and newer rivals start to appear in showrooms. Mitsubishi also has the cheapest single-cab 4x2 diesel ute with a drop-side tray (from a mainstream brand): $22,990 drive-away.
Nissan Navara discounts are hard to pin down because the company favours finance offers or teases buyers with "huge factory bonuses", without highlighting exactly what price you can expect to pay. That means some buyers will pay more than others, so be sure to shop around.
The only transparent price on the Nissan Navara this month is a limited edition "Silverline" crew cab 4x4 that comes with a sports bar, alloy wheels, and tub-liner. The $34,990 drive-away price is OK, but Nissan has dipped to lower than this on other models in the past six months, so there should still be some wriggle room in this price.
Discounts on the Isuzu D-Max fluctuate and the 2014 clearance prices are middle-of-the-road in the current climate, but it's still one of the cheapest tickets to five-star ute safety: $37,990 drive-away for the SX crew cab 4x4 on steel wheels, with a $1000 voucher to spend on accessories.
The Holden Colorado is available from $38,990 drive-away for the LS crew cab 4x4. You can take up the "no deposit, no repayments until 2016 offer" but the loan must be repaid in four years or less and the interest rate is not disclosed online and varies from dealer to dealer. We were quoted an interest rate of between 8 and 9 cent. Note: the interest is calculated from the day you sign the deal, even though you don't have to make the first payment until 2016.
That means that your individual instalments will be higher than if you had started paying off the loan immediately.
The top-line HiLux SR5 can currently be had for $49,990 drive-away, but it has been as low as $46,990 drive-away in the past 18 months, so be sure to haggle. Want a cheap 4x2 single cab with drop-side tray?
The base model Workmate manual with air-conditioning (yes, still an option normally) can be had for $21,990 drive-away for the petrol model.
Deals on the Volkswagen Amarok ebb and flow but the German brand has a super-sharp offer at the moment to keep up in the sales race with the mainstream ute brands: $37,990 drive-away for a the Amarok crew cab 4x4 manual with alloy wheels, fog lights and metallic paint.
There is still a question mark over VW reliability but the Amarok is covered by a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. A factory-backed extended warranty (to five years) is available for between $3000 and $3500 depending on distance coverage.