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Buyer's Guide: SUV buyers are spoilt for choice
By Jack Biddle • 22/08/2015
SUV buyers are spoilt for choice, says Jack Biddle.
It’s becoming almost unfair to name one SUV as being head and shoulders above its rivals these days.
So dominant is this market segment, it’s getting very hard to actually describe and pinpoint what type of vehicle an SUV exactly is.
The room with a view plus easy-to-exit-and enter body design has now worked its way into the very small, medium and large market sectors, as well as being offered in a range of different seating, engine and driveline configurations.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Buyers are simply spoilt for choice with no real bad buys. What it can finally boil down to is budget, personal taste, individual needs and requirements or incentives such as free servicing or interest-free finance from the respective distributors or their individual dealer networks, to help get consumers across the line.
Take Michael and his wife, for example. They are looking to buy a new 7-seat SUV and have a budget that tops out at $50,000.
The Holden Captiva, Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento (if runout model), Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander fit within the budget and have some appeal.
Both the Outlander and X-Trail are a bit small for a seven-seater in their view, so have almost been pretty much ruled out of contention.
The Nissan Pathfinder, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Highlander also tick many boxes for them both but are all slightly out of their price range.
Their plan is to retain ownership for around 10 years so they want to make the right choice.
Trying to advise buyers and pointing out the specific and individual merits of any one particular model SUV is becoming difficult, so when advice is offered, it needs to take into account other important factors.
In this particular case, we suggested Michael and his wife look very hard at their 10-year ownership plan and the proposed budget.
Ten years is a long time to live with regrets and when owners do decide to sell earlier than expected, there will always be a financial loss.
If the preferred brand new make/model is out of financial reach, then looking at what’s available on the used vehicle market also has its merits.
There can be some great deals at times on ex-demonstrators or even pre-registered models that have hardly turned a wheel.
Advantages are buyers who don’t pay any on-road costs, prices are cheaper and buyers take over the remaining new vehicle warranty.
So what did Michael do when Driven forwarded on our ideas and then asked for some feedback on progress?
“Well, at this stage, we are strongly considering the Dodge Journey. Currently our local Dodge dealer is doing a one-third-one-third-one-third deal with no interest on the new Journey,” said Michael. “It has a reasonably high specification level, suits our needs and offers good value for money in our view.”
A near-new Hyundai Santa Fe was also considered.
“It was a similar price to a new Dodge, but we are not keen on paying interest. Have to say, we were really impressed with the new Santa Fe. It really does take things to another level and we were really impressed,” said Michael.
Great to hear Michael and his wife have thoroughly explored all the options and set some financial limitations to stop overcommitting themselves.
Yes, there’s always something better and more expensive, but if you have done the sums and the research then there should be no regrets.