Australia’s best-value cars: Large SUV/4WD

By Jez Spinks, 06 Jun 2017 Car Advice

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Australia’s best-value cars Large SUV/4WD

Looking for a value-packed family-sized SUV? We take a look at the sharper offering sin the segment: the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Santa Fe and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

Large SUVs are currently the fourth most popular vehicle segment in Australia, even though they are presently being outpaced by mid-sized sports utility vehicles in the sales stakes.

The widening gap, however, is due mainly to falling luxury SUV sales, as large SUVs priced under $70,000 remain steady.

Three of the biggest-selling vehicles in that sub-segment are the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport – and all three feature prominently as ‘Best Value’ cars.

With end of financial year deals heading into their final few weeks ahead of 30 June, WhichCar continues its series of Australia’s Best Value Cars – again with the help of sister title Wheels magazine.

Wheels’ Gold Star Car awards scored cars out of 100. Real costs comprising 3-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.

In the Medium SUV categories, Kia’s Sportage had the edge over Hyundai’s Tucson, though the parent company turns the tables here.

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The Santa Fe Active CRDi makes the perfect start with a lower price tag – helped with the availability of a manual gearbox for the same 2.2-litre turbo diesel, where the Sorento Si is auto only. Yet there’s still a $500 advantage with the Hyundai’s optional auto.

The manual also gives the Santa Fe a fuel economy advantage of 1.5 litres every 100 kilometres – 6.3 v 7.8L/100km.

Add in the highest resale value (56 per cent) and cheapest annual insurance ($872), and the Santa Fe Active CRDi is a convincing value winner.

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The Kia Sorento Si is offered at a lower price tag in petrol V6 form, though is front-wheel drive to the diesel’s all-wheel-drive set-up. Its biggest positives on the ownership front are a benchmark seven-year warranty and a resale value that’s still strong at just two percentage points below the Santa Fe.

Mitsubishi’s Triton-ute-based Pajero Sport GLX is also predicted to retain more than half its new-car price after three years (52%), and shares the Hyundai’s relative generosity with a five-year warranty.

The highest ownership costs over three years means it’s bronze only for the Pajero Sport, which may also lose appeal against its Korean rivals for those who value a third row. The Mitsubishi is a five-seater only in base GLX form – you’ll need to spend $3500 more for the GLS grade if you want seven seats.

All three models, if not exact specs, are featured in EOFY deals until the end of June.

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Hyundai’s Santa Fe Active X is powered by a petrol V6 rather than the turbo diesel, but if the engine isn’t a big factor then the $39,990 driveaway offer is good when the model’s RRP is $40,990 before on-road costs.

The Kia Sorento Si is available as a special Limited model with either petrol or diesel engines – adding equipment valued at $3000, which includes leather-appointed seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and wood-look steering wheel.

And Mitsubishi is throwing in a $1500 EFTPOS card with the $47,500 driveaway price of the MY17 Pajero Sport GLX.