There’s no questioning Australian’s love SUVs. With adventure ingrained in our culture, and the preference for ride height and practicality, it comes as no surprise. But if you’re looking to buy an SUV, chances are you’re not going to get it cheap. From small to medium to large SUVs, and even four-wheel drives and seven-seaters, here are the smartest purchases for your wallet.
BEST VALUE SMALL SUVS
- Mazda CX-3 Neo
The small SUV segment is taking Australia by storm thanks to their SUV characteristics and tendency to be cost efficient. It’s for this same reason the Mazda CX-3 is not only a popular choice in Australia, but also excellent value. Not only is it cost effective, but it’s also a hoot to drive around the city thanks to its 109kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine which is bigger than its rivals. While it’s not the most cost effective to run in regards to fuel economy (although at 6.3L/100km it’s not terrible), it’s got plenty going for it to put it top of the list for small SUVs. Mazda’s small SUV is one of the cheapest in the segment ($19,990), has a segment-standard three-year warranty, 12-month service interval, and the least costly insurance premium at just $620. It also holds its value well after three years.
- Suzuki Vitara Rt-S
- Peugeot 2008 Active
BEST VALUE MEDIUM SUV UNDER $45,000
- Kia Sportage Si
The Sportage Si may be the most expensive in this company compared to the Mazda CX-5 and Tuscon, but it’s also the only one that offers an automatic six-speed gearbox (the others offer manual as standard). The medium-size SUV is front wheel drive so it’s more fuel efficient than all-wheel drive options, although that’s also the case in other podium winners, but Kia’s seven-year warranty is enough to push the Sportage into first place.
- Mazda CX-5 MAXX
- Hyundai Tucson Active
BEST VALUE SUV UNDER $65,000
- Kia Sportage Platinum
Kia’s seven-year warranty is one of the brand’s biggest assets, with the Sportage Platinum taking the top prize for the under $65k mid-size SUVs. The diesel, all-wheel-drive is the most expensive in the Kia Sportage range. With a fuel-efficient (6.8L/100km) 2.0-litre diesel engine, cheap insurance, 12-month service interval and the top-seven-year-warranty, the Kia stills takes the best value spot despite its lacking in the depreciation department.
- Hyundai Tucson Highlander
- Range Rover Evoque td4 150Pure
BEST VALUE LARGE SUVs AND 4WDs
- Hyundai Santa Fe Active CRDi
Hyundai may not offer a seven-year warranty like Kia do, but the turbo-diesel Santa Fe’s price sits at $2000 less than the Kia, thanks to its manual option. Of course, when you team a diesel engine with a manual gear box, you also achieve excellent fuel efficiency figures (6.3L/100km. The Kia sits at 7.8L). The Santa Fe also has the cheapest insurance premium and a 56 percent three-year retained value.
- Kia Sorento Si
- Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX
BEST VALUE SUV 7-SEATER
- Kia Sorento Si
Chances are if you’re looking for a seven-seater, you’ve got a growing family and value and comfort are high on your priority list. The Kia Sorento is one of the few medium size SUVs that offers two extra seats without having to fork out for the top-spec variant. Now, the upside is you can have a powerful V6 petrol engine, which saves you dollars during purchase, but the downside is the 3.3-litre likes to drink using 9.9L/100km, which is a lot more fuel than you’d use in the diesel. That’s what lets the Sorento down, but for the most part, with a good resale, inexpensive insurance and Kia’s seven-year warranty (which the Korean brand can thanks for its domination of the best value SUVs), it topples the Mitsubishi Outland and Hyundai Santa Fe for the best value seven-seater.
- Mitsubishi Outlander XLS
- Hyundai Santa Fe Active
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