Great car sales deals on 2012 models

8 February 2013
, CarsGuide
Great car sales deals on 2012 models
Shiploads of new cars just keep on coming, which means there are some sharper-than-average deals available.

Despite last year’s record finish to the new-car sales race – and this year’s record start – Australians still can’t get enough of that new-car smell. Shiploads of new cars just keep on coming, which means there are some sharper-than-average deals available, especially if you don’t mind driving a 2012 model.

You see, although a car might be only a few months old, in the dealer’s eyes it may as well be a year old – and they’re keen to clear them out. 

Given that February is already upon us, and 2013-built cars are beginning to arrive in showrooms, some dealers are getting especially twitchy, so it’s a good time to strike if you’re in the market (or the mood) and ready to roll.

Here are some of the sharp deals that took our eye this week. Prices can vary across state borders but it’s worth noting that if a dealer can sell a car for this price in one state, there’s no reason they can’t do the same deal in another.

It’s all in how nicely you ask. And just in case you can’t find what you want here, we’ve included some handy tips, below.


Suzuki Alto

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With the exception of the Chinese Chery J1 (the $9990 price may be attractive but, please, don’t do it) this is as low as it goes, kids. The Suzuki Alto is still available at $11,990 drive-away (about $2500 off the full RRP) – if you’re lucky you might still snare an “Indy” pack, which includes a portable navigation unit with Bluetooth. Metallic paint adds $475 (Bluetooth isn’t standard until the 2013 models arrive).

Mitsubishi Mirage


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Meanwhile, the launch pricing of the brand new Mitsubishi Mirage has been extended into February: $12,990 drive-away – plus a $1000 Westfield gift voucher, or $1000 off the price of the car (to $11,990 drive-away). That’s unprecedented for a just-released model (about $3500 off the full RRP); customarily discounts don’t emerge until several months after launch. Metallic paint adds $495.

Volkswagen Up

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The Volkswagen Up has also responded to the stiff competition in the city car segment, with pricing of $12,990 drive-away for the manual-only model (metallic paint adds $495); this equates to an RRP of $10,000 before on-road costs are added (or about $4000 off the full RRP). This is not a typo. It is the cheapest European car since the Polish-built Niki in the early 1990s.

Nissan Micra

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Another class favourite, the Nissan Micra, is available with zero per cent finance – but you get charged the full RRP. You’re better off arranging your own finance and taking up the $13,990 drive-away offer (metallic paint adds $495) (about $2000 off the full RRP). The current stock of Micras were made in Indonesia; the next shipment comes from India, indefinitely.


The smarter small-car spruikers have grown up – and started to advertise sharp prices on automatic models. Most of the headline prices don’t include automatic transmission even though the overwhelming majority of cars sold are auto.

Toyota Corolla

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So, congratulations to the Toyota Corolla sedan with automatic transmission, which we saw for $23,888 drive-away one week, and then drop to $22,888 drive-away the next. Wow, that’s cheap (about $3000 off full RRP).

But the Hyundai small cars might be a better deal – more equipment, cheaper servicing, a longer warranty and, if you’re a lucky, a lower price.

Hyundai Elantra

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We spotted several dealers offering the Hyundai Elantra sedan for $21,990 drive-away with automatic transmission.

Hyundai i30 hatch

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The Hyundai i30 hatch was $22,990 drive-away with auto. The Hyundai sedan and hatch are usually the same price, so be sure to haggle (both are about $2500 off full RRP).


The unsung hero of the medium-car class is also one of the best bargains of the year.

Honda Accord Euro

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The polished Honda Accord Euro might be approaching its sixth birthday and is due to be replaced by an all-new model – but it still out-manouvres and out-classes the newer competition. At $29,990 drive-away (about $5000 off full RRP) it seals the deal.

Volkswagen Jetta

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Fancy some European flair? The Volkswagen Jetta is $25,990 drive-away (auto adds $2500).


Volkswagen Golf GTI

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Fancy some fun? There are still a good number of Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatches in stock until the new model arrives late in the year. Ask nicely for a $39,990 drive-away price – including metallic paint if you put a cherry on top.


Hyundai ix35

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There is a special edition Hyundai ix35 petrol automatic that has been built purely for this occasion. It is $29,990 drive-away (about $3500 off full RRP). They were built in December to be sold as 2012 runout models. So they’re loaded with gear: rear-view camera, heated seats (front and rear) power folding side mirrors, rear privacy glass, glovebox cooling, foglamps and 17-inch alloys.

The only catch is the $595 for metallic paint. C’mon guys. That’s a touch on the steep side. This is the sound of us tut-tutting.
Don’t want all the fruit? The standard Hyundai ix35 can be had for $26,990 drive-away if you can drive a manual or $28,990 for auto.

Toyota Kluger

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Need something bigger? We’ve spotted a number of dealers pushing the base model Toyota Kluger V6 2WD five-seater for $36,888 drive-away. That’s nuts (or about $5000 off the full RRP).

Mazda CX-9

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Need more seats? If you don’t mind the appearance of last year’s model, the pre-update Mazda CX-9 V6 seven-seater can be had for $42,990 drive-away (about $7000 off the full RRP). That’s even more nuts than the Kluger. Ask nicely and try to get a facelifted Mazda CX-9 for $46,990 drive-away (about $4000 off the full RRP). Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

Mitsubishi Pajero

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Do you need to really get off the beaten track? Our pick is the Mitsubishi Pajero GLX-R diesel for $54,990 drive-away. It has to be one of the unsung heroes of the heavy-duty four-wheel-drive segment (the only downside is that it lacks the Toyota Prado’s long-range fuel tanks, but it is more comfortable and car-like to drive than the Toyota around town).

The Mitsubishi Pajero also comes with a $1000 Westfield gift voucher, which you can take off the price if you prefer, bringing it to $53,990 drive-away – about $7000 off.

Want something a little fancier? The Mitsubishi Pajero Platinum edition comes with navigation, rear camera and more. At $58,990 it’s about $6000 off full RRP. The Pajero has six airbags but only a four star safety rating for now; a five-star upgrade is due by the middle of this year.


Need to update your workhorse or weekend warrior chariot? There's something here for you, too.

Nissan Navara

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The Nissan Navara ST dual cab was being advertised for $38,876 drive-away (plus $495 for metallic paint) last week. The deal has not been officially extended into February but if you ask nicely and the dealer has stock you should find a receptive ear.

Toyota HiLux

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Meanwhile, Toyota HiLux pricing has been extremely aggressive – but mostly kept from public view. In the past fortnight we’ve priced several dealers on a top-line Toyota HiLux SR5 diesel at $46,990 drive-away – normally $51,000 plus-on-road costs this equates to at least $7000 off full RRP.

Volkswagen Amarok

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Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Amarok has also joined the scrum. We’ve had quotes for the top-of-the-range Ultimate model for $50,000 drive-away – about $10,000 off the full RRP. But this offer was strictly for in-stock 2012 models.

Age of reason

At this time of year dealers like to distinguish between a 2012-built car and one that has a 2013 “compliance” plate. This effectively means the car was built last year but passed through customs in 2013.

It’s all bollocks, because the only date that matters is when the car was built. When you eventually sell or trade the car, the buyer or the dealer will always refer to the build date, not the date of compliance.

Does age matter?

Generally speaking, most 2012-built cars are the same as a 2013-built one. But the dealer is keen to move on last year’s model because in their eyes it’s aged stock.

You can take advantage of this by aiming for a sharp discount on last year’s model – which will usually more than compensate for the slight drop in resale value down the road, being a one-year-older model.

For example, a 2012-built Corolla automatic can be had for $22,888 drive-away today – but when the 2013-built cars arrive they will creep closer to the $25,000 drive-away RRP.

As a rough guide that $2000 difference in purchase price today would probably equate to about a $1000 difference when you go to sell it in three years or more, so you’re still front $1000.

What if I miss out?

Don’t worry, be happy. The 2012-model runout season will be over shortly, once stock clears – but regular prices will only last a month or two (if that) before the heavy discount cycle starts again. The Australian new-car market is too competitive – no-one is paying full retail these days, not even the buyers of luxury brands.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling