Big families have enjoyed a larger range of vehicle options beyond the traditional people-mover thanks to an increasing number of seven-seater SUVs.
While not necessarily cheaper than some people-movers, they do offer increased ground clearance and, in certain trim grades, all-wheel drive to cater for those who might venture off the bitumen.
And if seven-seater SUVs have been slightly out of your budget, it’s worth checking pricing in May/June – as this is the traditional period when offers are put on the table by dealers as they look to dine on the rewards of reaching end-of-financial-year targets.
Good value is more than just a good price, however, and this ufcnancy article focuses on three particular vehicles presenting excellent bang for your buck – courtesy of sister brand Wheels magazine
Wheels’ Gold Star Awards scored cars out of 100. Real costs comprising three-year depreciation and a year’s insurance and fuel expenses accounted for 80 per cent of the score, with 10 per cent each for servicing costs and warranty.
The Kia Sorento Si claimed the top medal despite costing a bit more over three years than its closest competitors here. It’s still relatively cheap to insure ($928 for a year), resale is positive at 54 per cent, and then there’s its industry-leading seven-year warranty.
You could save annual fuel bills by opting for the Si’s alternative 2.2-litre turbo diesel, though while it saves more than two litres of fuel per 100km the savings are negated by the variant’s extra cost. The Si diesel costs $44,490 versus the Si petrol’s $40,990 – and the latter’s engine is also more powerful.
The second-placed Mitsubishi Outlander XLS is now replaced by the LS 4WD model, though it continues to offer all-wheel-drive as the badge indicates – and it’s even cheaper, starting at $33,500. A five-year warranty also remains in place, while fuel consumption is slightly better for the 2.4-litre petrol with CVT auto. Resale is only okay, though, at 50 per cent.
That’s well beaten by the Hyundai Santa Fe Active with its 56 per cent, which is also the cheapest to insure of this trio. The base model Active – all-wheel drive as with all Santa Fes – is slightly dearer to run over three years and only matches the Mitsubishi’s warranty to be two years shy of its Sorento twin’s peace-of-mind set-up.
In EOFY deals, the Kia Sorento Si is being offered as a Limited edition featuring free additions worth $3000 – including leather-trim seats and bigger (18-inch) alloy wheels.
Mitsubishi’s EOFY Sale doesn’t include the Outlander LS 4WD, while Hyundai is offering deals ending 31st May. The Active is available for $40,685 driveaway with five years’ free servicing, or there’s the newer Active X that brings extra features and is currently priced $39,990 driveaway.