Australia’s best-value cars: People-movers under $60,000

By Jez Spinks, 22 May 2017 Car Advice

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Australia’s best-value cars: People-movers under $60,000

Get more bums on seats for less dollars out of pocket

People-movers have never been considered the most aspirational vehicle type, yet at the end of April 2017 they are the best-performing passenger-car segment in sales – albeit with just two percent growth.

That’s still notable in an Australian new-car market that has slowed overall, and manufacturers will be hoping for a boost from all the end-of-financial-year offers doing the rounds for May and June.

Great bargains await, though WhichCar can also help that equate to great value via sister brand Wheels.

Wheels’ Gold Star Awards scored cars out of 100. Real costs comprising 3-year depreciation and a year’s insurance and fuel expenses accounted for 80 percent of the score, with 10 percent each for servicing costs and warranty.

Kia offers two people-movers, and both feature in the medal positions. It’s the less popular Rondo, however, that takes gold rather than the bronzed, segment-dominating Carnival.

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The Rondo Si’s $31,490 RRP is still impressively low for a vehicle offering seven seats, even with the base S starting at $26,990. It’s backed by cheap insurance ($817 for a year) and competitive fuel consumption (7.9L/100km for the petrol motor).

A 48 percent resale value is on the weak side, yet doesn’t prevent the Rondo from being more than $2000 cheaper to own over three years than the Carnival S.

Most of that discrepancy is accounted for by depreciation for the $43,990 base Carnival CRDi, though losses are restricted by a high 59 percent residual. The CRDi also makes more financial sense than the $2500-cheaper S petrol, because its much lower fuel consumption – 7.7 versus 11.6 litres per 100km – compensates in the not-too-long run.

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In the middle of this Korean sandwich is France’s Citroen C4 Picasso. Citroen comes closest in the industry to matching Kia’s seven-year warranty – with six. The single-spec, $40,990 Exclusive model is also fuel efficient – officially using 5.6 litres per 100km with its 121kW 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, though with premium unleaded recommended. Its resale value also matches the Carnival’s 59 per cent.

The Citroen and Kias all offer industry-average service intervals of 12 months, each with capped pricing.

Unfortunately, there are no EOFY deals currently offered for either the Kia Rondo, Kia Carnival or Citroen C4 Picasso.