Buyers Guide: Finding best fit for family
COMPETITIVE SUV MARKET BOON FOR BUYERS
Des is looking at buying a new or near-new mid- to large-size SUV.
He wants three rows of seats to accommodate a young family as well as extra floor space.
“I’m keen on the Holden Captiva 7 LS with the 2.4-litre petrol engine as it fits my budget, but am torn between whether to buy new or go for a used near-new model.
“Depreciation doesn’t overly worry me because our intention is long-term ownership.
“My dilemma is more about missing out on the latest in technology if I buy secondhand. Holden have just released a special edition Equipe model with some additional extras to the previous LS,” he says. The budget: $40,000
The SUV market is a hotbed of makes and models and because the competition is so intense, new vehicle distributors are not backward in coming forward with upgrades and new features.
If you intend to keep a vehicle long-term, consider whether any additional features are going to add any benefit to everyday driving needs.
With the Captiva Equipe, how often would you use a sunroof, foglamps or roof rails? However, larger wheels, leather trim and multi-stage electric driver’s seat adjustment may provide better comfort and road handling.
The great benefit for consumers with the competition between new vehicle distributors is: when vehicles are upgraded, the prices often don’t change or increases are slight.
The difference in the used car asking price in comparison to the all-new model needs to be significant.
Otherwise it’s not a bad idea to go for all the bells and whistles. It may help move the car on when it comes time to sell. Price is another obvious consideration. Often the retail price for a new vehicle is a starting point for negotiations; gaps between new and used prices can close if a dealer is in a position to offer a discounted price on a new vehicle.
Holden Captiva 7
The SUV market is extremely competitive, and each new-vehicle distributor looks for some niche. The 2WD 2.4-litre Captiva 7 Equipe petrol model, price at $40,490 RRP) strikes a chord with people looking for a vehicle with large interior space that can be optioned to suit a particular need and who don’t want to spend much over $40K. Holden have achieved that by offering their base model within the Captiva range with added features to help improve looks and appeal. It’s also cheaper than the diesel. However, the 2.4-litre petrol engine has a claimed combined fuel consumption hovering around 9L/100km and that will only increase if the vehicle is loaded and used for towing reasonable distances. A big and clear reverse camera and rear parking sensors is a great addition. Other features include hill-start assist, level-ride rear suspension and dual-zone climate control.
Nissan may hold some advantage and appeal in light of having an all-new model to showcase. They also are catering for more than one type of buyer by offering a 2WD seven-seat option in their X-Trail lineup with a recommended retail price of $39,990 that fits your budget.
Specifications are in keeping with its price and include reverse camera, hill-start assist, push-button start, rear spoiler and cruise control. Interior space-wise it may not quite match the Captiva. Claimed combined fuel consumption from the 2.5-litre engine is 8.1L/100km.
You could look for an older used seven-seat Toyota Highlander or a former demonstrator Mitsubishi Outlander if these options failed to meet your expectations.
In this price range a new seven-seat option is hard to find. Holden and Nissan have done a good job of capturing this slice of the market, particularly with the present preference for an SUV over a people-mover.