From $37,070 to $46,415
A brief recap. The latest, fifth-generation RAV4 has turned the market on its ear in newly minted hybrid guise, the latter’s lion’s share of sales far-exceeding forecasts to create year-long waiting lists FOR some variants and sending rivals scrambling to electrify their own competing mid-size SUVs.
Like all RAV4s, the petrol-electric version strikes a chord with appealing, chunky styling, exceptional interior space, high levels of standard safety and excellent all-round vision. For all intents and purposes, 2020’s real car of the year.
What to do? Ask for a pay rise? Join a queue? Or consider a roomy, reliable, economical and enjoyable alternative like…
USED: 2012-2017 Mazda CX-5 SkyActiv-D AWD
From approx. $16,000 to $22,000, under 100,000km
Half a decade ago, Mazda’s corporate saviour, the CX-5, was the flavour-de-jour, standing out against frankly dull rivals thanks to sharp styling, keen handling, an appealing interior and – in SkyActiv-D four-cylinder turbo-diesel guise – smooth yet gutsy performance combined with exceptional real-world economy.
A bit like a hybrid… except for the diesel clatter and harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) all such engines emit. The thing is, the CX-5’s diesel is generally better than most.
As with all used cars, ensure a full service history is present, there’s been no accident damage and – important this – the vendor seems like somebody you could trust.
HONOURABLE MENTION: 2014-2018 Subaru Forester