Car Buyer's Guide: Sweeten the price deal
Buyer torn between price and specification levels
Ross is looking at a five-door hatch but is torn between price and specification levels with all the various brands.
“I don’t mind the look of the Nissan Pulsar hatch ST for example and at $22,990 is seems to be competitively priced. It does, however, lack key features such as reverse camera, parking sensors and navigation and wonder if I may have regrets after purchase,” he says.
It’s an interesting question and buyers need to think beyond initial asking prices.
Special pricing can be a magnet to help draw buyers into showrooms. From there, upgrades to models with better features can often be negotiated. Most sales staff will tell you their biggest challenge is making that initial contact.
The midsized hatch segment is extremely competitive and will face increased competition from similar-sized all-new SUVs.
Rather than be put off by the lower specification levels, buyers like Ross should ask about the costs of upgrades. For example, the features he likes may be able to be installed for much less than the initial recommended price.
A ball-park figure I was given by one Nissan dealer, was around $1000 for the camera and navigation unit upgrade plus $380 for rear parking sensors. So for around an extra $1400 buyers can get a reasonably well kitted-out vehicle.
Another incentive used at times is the extension of the new vehicle warranty and/or free scheduled service costs for a set period. Buyers are wise to ask if one-off incentives are supported nationally or are promoted by an individual dealer only.
I like the idea of an extended warranty and I like the included scheduled service costs for a given period even better. But if the initial buy price is competitive, then it’s possible future servicing costs are also affordable. And, if customers stick with the dealership for their servicing, then maybe any out-of-warranty issues may be covered as a gesture of goodwill. There are never any guarantees however on that score.
Nissan Pulsar ST hatch
For some reason this generation Pulsar hasn’t topped the sales charts in its market segment. At the special price of $22,990 it can undercut several competitors who don’t offer much more — and encourages a new vehicle purchase over a late-model second-hand vehicle.
Kia Cerato LX hatch
The LX Cerato is being marketed at $25,990, which includes reverse camera and front/rear parking sensors. Slightly better performance than the Pulsar but a marginally higher claimed combined fuel consumption. Warranty extends to five years or 100,000km, whichever comes first. A well laid-out and roomy interior and, like the Pulsar, it has all the basic safety features covered.
Toyota Corolla GX hatch
There were 1334 Corollas sold in October, which may suggest it’s streets ahead of its competition. But take away 1087 rentals plus other fleet-driven sales and the scales start to even out. Toyota is including a five-year warranty and service package to help sweeten the pricing ($33,590). Reversing camera comes standard.
Special prices are often “limited time" or "while stocks last deals” so if you’re in the market don’t leave it too long to check them out.