Enticing deals are harder to find than this time last year because several brands (we're looking at you Hyundai, Honda, Mazda and Subaru) have temporarily dropped transparent drive-away pricing deals and are inviting customers to "talk a deal" about "free on-road costs". Customers with superior negotiating skills will pay less than others.
As ever, we favour drive-away pricing that is also significantly lower than the RRP. Here are the best deals.
The Suzuki Celerio remains Australia's cheapest car from a mainstream brand: $11,990 drive-away in manual guise ($12,990 auto). Nothing comes close for the money.
Nissan's deal on the Micra city car is worth a mention: $15,990 drive-away for an auto, including three years' free servicing (a good deal because Nissan's routine maintenance is among the dearest of the mainstream brands).
Holden's big push on Barina automatic hatchbacks means a sharp online price of $17,190 drive-away — but the fine print says you can take $1000 off that (to $16,190 drive-away, about $2500 off the RRP) and it comes with a five-year warranty instead of three.
In the next size up, the Suzuki Swift is an incredibly low $15,990 drive-away with free auto (about $4000 off RRP), and the warranty climbs to five years if you stick with the capped price servicing program.
The Toyota Yaris remains a solid favourite at $17,990 drive-away for auto ($15,990 manual). It is among the cheapest to service and has strong resale.
Kia's Cerato sedan and hatch, still sharp buying at $19,990 drive-away with auto, come with an industry-leading seven-year factory warranty. However, this deal will lose its shine as soon as Hyundai drops the i30 hatchback price back to $19,990 drive-away in the coming months (our educated guess rather than official confirmation). The i30 (the Cerato's twin under the skin) is a newer car and has a rear camera as standard, as opposed to the Cerato's front and rear sensors, no camera.
Australia's favourite car for the past three years is $23,990 drive-away. The Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport hatch with auto, alloys, rear camera, remote entry and seven airbags is about $3000 off the RRP.
The Toyota Camry is an even hotter deal than in December, when it was $28,990 drive-away with zero interest over three years. Now it's $27,990 drive-away with the same finance.
This is because the Toyota dealer network declared three months' worth of stock as sold in December and is struggling to digest them and sell the cars to actual paying customers. There are demonstrators, registered in December but undriven, at individual dealers for as low as $26,990 drive-away, without finance.
Nissan also joins the medium-size sedan battle: the slow-selling Altima is $28,990 drive-away (about $5000 off the RRP) and comes with three years' free servicing.
For a slightly smaller, city-sized SUV, Holden's Trax is great buying at $23,990 drive-away with automatic and an upgrade to five-year warranty instead of three, all up equating to about $4000 off RRP). A better looking and better equipped Trax is just around the corner, that's why this deal is so sharp.
Holden still has the cheapest seven-seat SUV in the business. The Captiva7, fresh from its fourth makeover in 10 years, is a super sharp $29,990 drive-away with five-year warranty (about $5000 off the RRP).
Soon to be superseded, the Mazda CX-9 is a rock bottom $39,990 drive-away, about $5000 off the RRP.
Nissan has wound back the Pathfinder price to where it should be: it's $39,990 drive-away this month with three years' free scheduled servicing (as with the Micra, a good deal).
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is already in discount mode just months after launch — not everyone is a fan of its spaceship looks. It is highly capable off-road and the price is attractive at $46,990 drive-away for the eight-speed auto plus standard five-year warranty. This is a heavy-duty 4WD sharing underpinnings with a ute — don't expect the sure-footedness of, say, a Ford Territory.
The base model Mitsubishi Triton four-door 4WD sticks with $36,990 drive-away including free alloys and rear view camera (five-year warranty is already part of the deal).
The eye-catcher is the mid-range Triton GLS four-door 4WD at $39,990 drive-away. This model comes with "super-select", so it can be driven in 4WD on sealed as well as unsealed roads.
Treat yourself with the leather-trimmed flagship Triton with automatic at $49,990 drive-away.
All Triton prices are at least $5000 off their RRP. The styling means the Triton is proving hard to shift but it's sturdy, reliable and great value for money.
Mazda follows a minor, scarcely noticeable makeover of the BT-50 with a fightback on price. The range-topping XTR 4WD crew cab ute is $47,990 drive-away, about $6000 off the RRP. The 2WD version looks the same but is just $39,990 drive-away, about $3000 off the RRP.
The deal on the Holden Colorado LTZ four-door 4WD was so sharp we had to triple check it wasn't a misprint: $44,990 drive-away minus a $2000 bonus equals $42,990 drive-away ($44,990 auto). That's a whopping $8000 off the full RRP.
Need a new workshop ute? The Isuzu D-Max manual cab-chassis is the cheapest diesel workhorse around — $25,990 drive-away with five-year warranty.
Does the prospect of a good deal tempt you into upgrading your current wheels? Tell us in the comments below.