AA Buyer's Guide: why not buy new?
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We often receive calls from members who are looking to buy a used car with a budget between $20,000-$25,000.
Many are surprised when we tell them that there are actually a handful of new cars available within that range.
Besides obvious perks like that “new car smell”, buying new often comes with bonuses such as extended warranty programmes and roadside service included.
Here are our picks for under $25,000.
Suzuki Swift GL auto: from $21,990 (+ORC)
The winner of last year’s Best in Class - Micro/Light at the 2019 AA Driven NZ Car of the Year Awards was the Suzuki Swift Sport. The GL auto edition might not be as peppy, but it shares a lot of the same sporty design queues.
Powered by a 1.2l engine, the Swift GL produces 66kW at 6000rpm. There is a less expensive GL manual model available, but this lacks some of the safety assist features of the GL auto, like hill-hold and a handy reversing camera.
The Swift is well-connected too, thanks to the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the 7-inch touch screen. There’s also an SD card reader and a conventional CD player (something that we’re seeing less and less of in new cars).
Suzuki includes a new vehicle warranty package, providing peace of mind for up to five years
or 100,000km. The Swift received a five-star ANCAP rating back in 2017.
Honda Jazz S: from $22,990 (+ORC)
The Honda Jazz S is the little car with big space. Despite its compact size, the car’s Magic Seat system maximises the space inside the vehicle. The result is 18 possible seating configurations for transporting almost anything; with the seats up it has a capacity of 363 litres, and a maximum storage capacity of 1323 litres.
It’s powered by Honda’s Earth Dreams 1.3l Atkinson Cycle i-VTEC engine, which produces 73kw at 6000rpm and is mated to a CVT transmission. Fuel economy is improved over the previous generation – it’s now capable of an impressive 5.1l/100km.
The latest Jazz has a brand new touch screen display system with a customisable interface, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The Honda Jazz achieved a five-star ANCAP rating when tested in 2014. It comes with a five-year unlimited km warranty and roadside assistance.
Mitsubishi Mirage XLS: from $19,990 (+ORC)
Manufactured since 1979, the Mitsubishi Mirage has been a constant on New Zealand roads for around four decades.
Its 1.2l MIVEC engine develops 58kW and consumes just 5l/100km. The Mirage hasn’t got the most advanced infotainment system, but makes up for it with side curtain airbags and electronic brake force distribution. Thanks to these safety efforts, the Mitsubishi Mirage XLS received a five-star ANCAP rating in 2013.
Mitsubishi extends its confidence across its entire range with its Diamond Advantage Warranty. This comprises of a 10-year (or 160,000km) powertrain warranty; a five-year (or 130,000km) new vehicle warranty; plus five years of Premium Roadside Assist.
Kia Picanto: from $18,990 (+ORC)
The name Picanto is derived from the name “picante”, which means spicy or hot in Spanish; this is demonstrated by some of the colours on offer, such as Honey Bee, Pop Orange and Lime Light.
The Kia Picanto is powered by a small 1.2-litre Kappa engine, producing 62kW and consuming 5-5.8l/100km. It’s available with either a four-speed auto or a five-speed manual transmission.
The entry models of the Picanto include convenient features like a 7-inch infotainment system with a reversing camera, parking sensors and cruise control. Safety-wise, the Kia Picanto sports autonomous emergency braking, side curtain airbags and impact sensing door unlock for added protection. It was awarded a four-star ANCAP rating in 2017.
Kia offers a five-year or 100,000km warranty, which includes roadside assist.
Why new? Why not?
If you’re in the market for a small used car, it’s definitely worth shopping around to see if there are any new options that squeeze within your budget.
Thanks to the numerous warranty packages offered by manufacturers, it might even be worth going slightly over your budget if it means having peace of mind for the first three to five years of ownership. On top of this, the first Warrant of Fitness on these well priced new cars last for three years.