Five great family cars you can buy used for less than $40k
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Forty thousand bucks is enough to get you into an entry-level brand-new medium-sized family car – Toyota New Zealand’s “Drive Happy” no-haggle pricing means $40k will buy a showroom-fresh 2.0l FWD RAV4, for example. You could certainly do that and be very happy.
But if you expand your horizons to the near-new category you can get that bit more power, technology, space or driver appeal for the same money. It’s worth a look, right? Here are five great $40k family cars you can shop for in DRIVEN listings: SUVs, hatches, wagons and even an Electric Vehicle (EV).
The 7-seater: Hyundai Santa Fe
If we’re going used, why not go large? The Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the more aspirational family SUVs around and of course it’s fully family future-proofed by having seven seats.
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Our budget here will get you the previous (third) generation model, but you’ll be able to go right up to 2018 – the year that the Santa Fe switched to the current shape.
The hatchback: Ford Mondeo
The automotive landscape is now dominated by SUVs, but we reckon the Ford Mondeo might be one of the last truly great mainstream passenger cars.
It’s brilliant to drive, incredibly spacious (more passenger space than the Ford Falcon it used to share showroom space with) and if you can get a high-end Titanium model, it's loaded with safety equipment.
The five-door hatchback is the most common, but there’s also a wagon. Both petrol and diesel engines are available and last year Ford even introduced a hybrid – although that may not be quite down into $40k territory yet.
The Electric Vehicle: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Yes, you can have an Electric Vehicle (EV) for your next $40k family car. The Mitsubishi Outlander introduced Kiwis to mainstream EV motoring, with a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) powertrain that gives some pure-electric running for commuting purposes (around 30-50km on the battery depending on age/model) but then reverts to petrol-electric hybrid operation.
The Outlander PHEV remains a practical, well-sized family SUV. It’s been with us for a while now (since 2012), so $40k brings a lot of choice. Spend right up to that limit and you’ll get a post-2015 example that looks very similar to the very latest generation.
The station wagon: Skoda Octavia
Skoda’s all about SUVs these days, but many would argue that nothing encapsulates the spirit of Volkswagen Group’s “simply clever” brand better than an Octavia estate.
This budget gives us a very broad range to choose from: everything from small-capacity petrols to torque-rich diesels, the SUV-style Scout (from 2014) and even the iconic RS wagon – the original go-fast model that was responsible for making the Skoda brand cool again in the first place.
You’ll be able to get a relatively late-model Octavia wagon for $40k. Keep an eye out for the 2017 facelift, which introduced a more angular front and unusual two-piece headlights (pictured). You can either embrace or avoid!
I want a RAV4 anyway
Hey, we hear you: the RAV4 is the biggest-selling family vehicle in NZ and the current model (launched in 2018) is critically acclaimed, so it’s the natural choice.
You might be hoping for a hybrid, but with waiting lists for the new cars they are certainly not turning over into the used market in numbers just yet.
However, $40k should allow you to step up from that new 2.0 FWD to a 2.5 GXL AWD - probably a 2019 model, so it’ll hardly feel used at all.