With a growing range of affordable, good-quality used cars coming from overseas, it’s now easier for Kiwi families to afford the cars they need even when situations are tough.
Amanda is a mother to two young boys from her previous marriage and is now expecting another baby with new partner James. The couple drive a well-serviced 1984 Ford Laser they were given by Amanda’s mother. However, with a third child on the way, it just won’t cut the mustard. A family member has offered to pay $1500 for the old Laser and they have managed to set aside $3000 themselves. After paying off other loans, they have been approved for a loan of up to $6000, setting their budget for a new vehicle at a little more than $10,000.
They’re, while also being able to easily carry a pram, along with all the other gear that comes with having a baby and two young kids. They can afford the repayments only on one car so it needs to be a good all-rounder. Though James is happy to use public transport to get into work during the week, on the weekends the car will be full.
At the car yard there’s usually a wide range of MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles), which are often split into two main categories — mini and large.
The smaller MPVs are great if you still want the handling and performance to feel like a car and the Toyota Wish is a popular mini MPV in New Zealand. Like many other smaller people movers, the Wish is based on a flagship model, and it shares parts and some interior layouts such as the seats and the dashboard with the Honda Civic, Corolla and Stream. It also has the general 2, 3, 2 configuration of a mini MPV, allowing you to choose when to deploy the second row of seats.
Like other models, it also allows just one of the back two seats to be lifted while the other remains flat offering the perfect spot to store, let’s say, a pram. However, when all seven seats are in use there’s often not much storage room left. As a soon-to-be-family of five, this isn’t a problem for Amanda and James and the Toyota Wish is a great contender.
Looking at the larger MPVs, the Honda Odyssey is a popular Kiwi choice. Like other vehicles in this category, it shares engines with other Honda models but, unlike the mini MPVs, this is the only feature they seem to share. The Odyssey is designed to comfortably seat seven people, while still allowing a decent amount of room for luggage. It has large sliding doors making it easy for passengers to climb in and out of the vehicle. The rear seating is also a lot easier to access than that of the Toyota Wish.
Both vehicles are worthy options for our car-buying couple but the final decision should be made based upon their needs and what is realistically affordable.
There are many MPVs available within the $10,000 price bracket. Once you’ve narrowed your choice, it’s wise to get a pre-purchase inspection to uncover any potential hidden issues that could result in costly repairs.