Which Car? Budget $40k

hey all

I plan to buy a car (new or used) in the next few months, but with so many brands and models I dont know which one to buy.
Basically, what I want / need are:

  1. Not lousy in terms of its performance
  2. Interior is modern and full of tech – I love tech and gadgets
  3. Looks good
  4. Ideal for family of 3-4
  5. Good boot space
  6. Low running cost/service/fuel economy, etc.
  7. Great record of reliability/durability
  8. Budget 40k max.

My partner and I have a sight on Mazda 6 wagon.
I like the look of sedan better, but wagon looks like has more space. Is that correct?

Initially, I am looking at mazda 6 from few years ago e.g. 2013 or 2014 so that I dont get hit much by depreciation.. but I read that the current model 2015 has much better interior and infotainment than the previous model.. so that kind of swing me to get at least 2015 model for mazda 6.. (but I will get stung by depreciation more..)

What are the other alternatives for me?
I don't mind SUV either, e.g CX-5 or Subaru Outback but it seems that SUV boot space does not actually look spacious compare to wagon (?), the same as sedan's boot space?
I never had SUV before so I dont mind trying to drive 'higher' on the road.

Also, which month(s) is best to buy a (new) car? e.g. End of March (for Jap cars since Jap financial year ends) vs end of June vs end of year..
Things like 3-year-warranty or capped servicing, are they dealer-specific deals or all dealers will have the same thing based on the model purchased?

Advice/suggestions will be appreciated much. Thank you

Comments

  • +3 votes

    Huyndai Tucson Highlander
    Kia Sportage Platinum
    CX5 Maxx Sport
    Huyndai i40 Premium Wagon - I know you said good performance but this is just a thought :P
    Huyndai Sonata Premium

    If you want all the bells and whistles but only have the budget of 40k, don't think you can look at any european brand :-/

    • -1 vote

      Still bit unsure about korean car.. prefer jap based on reputation i think..

      Is CX5 > 6 in terms of performance and space?

      • +9 votes

        Huyndai has gone a long way since the nasty past. IMO they now repsent the best value in term of value for money. They have long warranty, low maintenance and are great to drive !

        http://www.caradvice.com.au/380223/new-car-sales-figures-aug...

        • -2 votes

          gone a long way, but still not long enough. I rather Jap car any day!
          Best value for money, Hyundai can't beat Kia as Kia has 7 years warranty. But value for money is probably not what $40k buyers looking for. They want power & look, which normally comes with higher price tag.

        •  

          @mcp2kpro: They sure gone a long way, look at their shape and size comes in various model every year, not to mention their breakdown rate, all the time minor things not working. This week the wiper next month the reverse camera. A new car has water tank leaking in 5 months, the only good thing - it's my friend's car.

        • +2 votes

          @dlovep: For a second i thought you were describing my mate c300 amg.

        •  

          @tomleonhart: Great to have a friend like ours ~~ lol

      •  

        Cx5 and 6 have similar performance figures. Same engines. 6 is slightly better on fuel and 0-100 speed. You need to drive both to see if they suite Ur needs.

        6 wagon has a larger cargo area.

        I was looking at both these cars but ended up with a diesel cx5.

        Test drove both, to me the cx5 just felt bigger.

        I also looked at the i40. Didn't like the interior. Felt cheap.

        Tiguan is nice, but lacks cargo space.

        These are all my opinions, and you really should look at as many cars as u can to work out what you do and don't like about each model.

        Edit:
        Make sure you do look at kia and hyundai. They are great value, even though I didn't end up with one.

        •  

          Some extra things to consider for CX5 vs the 6:
          The 6 is a lighter car by about 100kg, which is why it will have better performance/lower fuel consumption (lower profile also helps).
          The 6 is quite a bit longer than the CX5 (by about 30cm at almost 4.9m), so you don't get the extra boot space for free.
          The CX5 also has a slightly higher towing capacity.

      •  

        Hyundais are actually great value, they're just ugly as (profanity) IMO.

  • +10 votes

    VF Commodore.
    That's right I said it!

    I'd say a second hand SSV to get the GPS and leather etc.

    In terms of features, hard pressed to beat and will offer the space you need.

    Alternatively an SV6 but you won't have GPS

    •  

      god no…….VE is so much better than a VF

      VF seats are absolute sh*t - i work in one - drive for 6hrs plus a day, give me back my VE

      once you are uncomfortable, all the gizmos in the world are irrelevant

      yes the LS3 engine is an absolute gem, but the rest of the car, forget about it

    • +1 vote

      I would actually vote for a Commodore wagon of sort, whichever fits in the budget.

      Decent space and performance. The main downside is it will always feel like sitting in a taxi when inside…

    • +2 votes

      Came here to say this. Glad someone beat me to it. LS engines are incredibly reliable and can rack up 100s of thousands of k's without any major issues, which makes a good case for picking up a second hand SS even if it's sitting on 50-60k.

    •  

      yeah and also with this you get 8 cylinders and an engine that goes rumble rumble rumble. good choice.

  • +4 votes

    as i started reading your post, my brain was going Mazda 6…Mazda 6, then you said it….but anyway - my 2c is a Mazda 6 wagon. try the diesel, i reckon you'll be pleasantly surprised with the performance !

  • +4 votes

    Subaru Liberty wagon would be nice and spacious enough plus have decent performance. Not sure how much new ones are going for these days.

    VW Passat wagon is good but maintenance maybe a bit high.

    Renault Megane GT220 wagon.

    I would pick a wagon instead of SUV if you still want decent handling/performance experience. IMO, SUV's only perform dynamically well once you're in the luxury SUV stage.

    •  

      They don't make Liberty wagons anymore. Dam SUVs taking over.

      • +1 vote

        Yeah, I did love the GT wagons… they are or may be however bringing us a WRX Station wagon, the Levorg ;)

      • -1 vote

        They do but it's called an outback. Admittedly it's a different car these days, but it started out as a liberty wagon with extras & higher struts.

        •  

          Different cars. They always sold the outback wagon alongside the liberty wagon.

          They don't sell Liberty wagons anymore.

  • +10 votes

    Skoda Octavia. Wagon has large boot space, less than $30k, fuel economy less than 6L/100km from the 1.4L turbo (I regularly get around 5). Has much more power than my 2009 Mazda3.

    • +2 votes

      Yeah but it's a Skoda and made by VAG. Servicing a nightmare.

      • +1 vote

        I prefer the Skoda Superb.. Amazing car for the price, but of course I didn't submit myself to the torture of servicing a euro car especially with DSG box I got a Jap instead. (Do my own servicing. )

      • +3 votes

        Servicing costs on skoda octavia are much cheaper than Mazda 6.
        Skoda was around 250-300 per year, mazda was 6 month servicing at 450 per shot. at least it was 18 months ago when i bought…

    • +2 votes

      Totally agree, a Skoda Octavia wagon seems to fit the bill. Change the gears yourself instead of these stupid new dual clutch boxes and you'll be fine.

      It seems typical for everyone to cry about European servicing. After the capped price servicing is over (which is in yearly intervals), if you know where to go and what you need done, it costs the same. Source the parts yourself and get a good mechanic to do the job for you.

      Im scared where cars are going with all these CVT or dual clutch gearboxes, electronic/button handbrakes, just doesn't feel right. Before we know it, no one knows how to pump their tyres let alone change a wheel.

      EDIT: If you can stretch the budget slightly, the Skoda Octavia RS is an option as well! I do believe the wait list for that is about 6 months though.

      • +2 votes

        Im scared where cars are going with all these CVT or dual clutch gearboxes, electronic/button handbrakes, just doesn't feel right. Before we know it, no one knows how to pump their tyres let alone change a wheel.

        Seriously?

        Scared where tubeless tyres are going - before we know it, no one will know how to prime a carburetor.

        CVTs are fine for an economical car. They are cheaper to produce at the cost of performance and to a small extent, reliability. Not my cup of tea, but it isn't as bad as what the internet has made it out to be.

        Dual clutch? I wouldn't buy an auto without a [wet] dual clutch anymore. It costs more but gear changes are far quicker and smoother.

        I'd only ever go manual on a vintage car. The stick shift belongs in the past. (Yes I can drive stick.)

    •  

      That's weird the '14 Skoda is 150kg heavier & has 5kw less power than the '09 Mazda 3, but it does have 70 more torques, maybe that's what you feel.

    • +3 votes

      Agreed, thats what im looking at.
      Get the one below the RS and get the added techpack, full of audi toys. You should be able to get it for about 40 if you haggle of get a demo car.

      I also like the older revision with the 132KW 1.8l engine but the 110 should provide some decent family car punch with its max torque starting at 1400/1500rpm.

  • +6 votes

    don't touch VW, Skoda, Audi or any of the VAG group

    the fall out from the current emissions saga hasn't finished yet and until it does, you might end up MASSIVELY out of pocket if you buy now

    • +1 vote

      Or buy a secondhand one with factory warranty left on it from one of the early doomsayers who is willing to take the big depreciation hit.
      Just don't buy a diesel.

      • -2 votes

        Why risk it when there are other better cars available?

        • +2 votes

          What risk? If you're not buying a car with the affected diesel engine there's nothing to worry about. If someone's panicking for no reason and wants to dump a perfectly good car for a cheap price, then it's to the buyer's gain.

        •  

          @nafe:

          The risk is in the unknown.

          If you think it doesn't effect the petrol engines, just wait a couple of months.

        •  

          @oscargamer:

          Been waiting for months already. If there was any suspicion over other engines it would have come out already or do you have some insider knowledge?

        • -2 votes

          @nafe:

          mate, it took 10 years for the diesel wrongdoing to come out

          do you think the rest will come out at the same time? or will they stagger the bad news?

          it would actually be very bad, for a lot of reasons, if VAG went under

          i'll repeat my comment "Why risk it when there are other better cars available?"

        • +1 vote

          @oscargamer:

          I've already stated, the buyer gains because the seller dumps the car at a cheap price. It's all up to the buyer whether they like a Euro, or a Jap, or a Korean car etc.

        •  

          @nafe:

          yep - got that

          but that 'cheap' price today, may seem very expensive tomorrow, if the bottom drops further out of the resale market

          the vast majority of stealerships have seen the writing on the wall. some are actually refusing VAG cars as trade-ins. most are offering stupidly low money. so regardless of how little you pay for your VAG car today, when it comes time to sell it, there will be little, if any, interest.

          let's agree to disagree

          but…….i would STRONGLY suggest to anyone reading this thread, that they do not buy a VAG car in 2016, regardless of what engine it has

          but people will buy them, as they are generally good mechanical cars - the problem is, and will continue to be, resale prices

        •  

          @oscargamer:

          but people will buy them, as they are generally good mechanical cars - the problem is, and will continue to be, resale prices

          Yeah, you should see a salespersons face when the customer comes in with a Saab :/

        •  

          @Spackbace:

          HA !

          again, nice cars, but lube-up when it's selling time !

        •  

          @Spackbace:

          Those poor bastards!

        •  

          @oscargamer:

          Agree to disagree - I agree :) Good chat though! :)

        • +1 vote

          @Spackbace: indeed the salesperson ask my friend to "DIY" rather than trade in.

        • +1 vote

          @oscargamer: I read the emissions scandalgate was much less serious than originally predicted. Thoughts?

        • +1 vote

          @Jesmond:

          depends what you regard as 'serious' and it wasn't 'predicted'

          not sure what your question is

          i reckon upcoming $10bn in fines is pretty significant ! not to mention the damage to VAG's image

          and it was criminal. not just morally wrong, but CRIMINAL

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VZFP3lW4gU - worth watching. he says it like it is. doesn't mince his words either !

    • -1 vote

      all manufacturers are doing/did the same

  • +1 vote

    I'd advise a new Elantra for half your budget. What you lose in depreciation will be a lower dollar amount than buying a 40K car, and you can put the saved 20K to work in more productive ways.

    •  

      Just done 205k and going strong

      •  

        What year is your Elantra? I have a 2002 GL hatch on 213xxx km. Looks rough but drives beautifully.

        Reviewing comments I've made on similar topics recently, I admit pushing the current i30/Elantra quite a bit.
        It's for a reason — they're very good. Technically the Elantra is in the Mazda3 class, and despite the need for only 3-4 people and it being somewhere between a M3 and M6 interior-wise, it might be squeezy for OP who did mention a 6 wagon.

        We still put Japanese-made on a pedestal, despite that country being in recession for about 20 years. China and Korea have enjoyed strength and confidence while most Japanese brands have either been playing it safe, trying to copy others, off-shored to stay competitive or been squeezed out (Holden dropped Suzuki, then Isuzu for cost reasons).

        The 2004-on Suzuki Swift is a good, basic car but it's hardly revolutionary. As James May even pointed out, it's their cut-price response to the BMW mini. Depending where you live, it's assembled in one of eight countries.

        But even Made In Japan can stink (most Daihatsus) or 1990s Mazdas that love overheating (1.8 and 2.5 in particular) and don't forget their disastrous Eunos experiment.
        Short memories?

        •  

          2003, apart from a temporary computer glitch it literally has not had one thing go, just brakes and servicing (radiator the most significant part) . Could probably do another 100k easy. Paint on the spoiler has faded, and there is a bit of rust in the tailgate that I need to grind out (but it's been parked outside near the beach for 8 years) no bad for a car that was picked up for 12k when equivalent corollas were still 17k.

          Corollas are a great car, but if you are bargain hunting then you aren't getting a bargain at their usual resale rates

  •  

    I know you're weary of Korean brands but I would highly recommend the new Hyundai Tucson. It has one of the biggest boots in its class, economical and designed for aussie roads. It also has Apple CarPlay which is fantastic to use. Most reviewers have put it above the current sales leader the CX5.

    But most of all… it looks bloody good! I suggest you do yourself a favour, get over the badge snobbery and take it for a test drive. I've had the Active X model for a few months now and I can't fault it.

    •  

      The Tuscan is also the best rated SUV in Australia if I'm not mistaken… has overtaken the CX5 in many Australian reviews.

    •  

      Bloke next door has got one. Looks good.

    •  

      The 2.0 liter NA engine on the base variants is utter crap. I have a Mazda 3 SP25 GT with the 2.5 litre engine, the same engine in CX-5/Mazda 6 and it is a gem. The max torque comes in at 3200 rpm, no turbo lag and easily gives me 6l/100 kms on the highway at legal speeds. Have to also add that 6-Speed automatic combines the best of both Dual Clutch and CVT.

  •  

    Yes to Tucson, but make sure you get the new new new version that is 5 stars, not 4 stars.

    Ryanek…unfortunately yours will be A 4 star safety version

  • +5 votes

    Kia Optima Platinum.

  •  

    Isuzu MU-X!

  •  

    I just bought a Mazda 3. I don't know your family size, as in if it is a couple plus kids who are gonna sit in the back, I would gladly ask you to go for Mazda 3. And you can get all the bells and whistles for 28k with the 2015 plate clearance going on. Get yourself SP25. Thank me later. (If you want a bigger sedan with boot, may be take a look at VW Jetta. The top end model shouldn't disappoint you)

  • +1 vote

    I have a Mazda 3 SP25 - they are heaps fun.
    For 40k you could get a Mazda 3 SP25 Astina (top of the SP25 range) which has plenty of tech. depreciation on Mazdas are pretty low so you shouldn't be losing too much money, with the 2015 plate clearence you should be able to get a decent discount on it.

    you want the 2.5, not the 2.0 - gives you a bit more power to have fun with.

    • +5 votes

      $40k for a Mazda 3 without an MPS badge is crazy money.

      •  

        The MPS was closer to mid 40s after on road costs.

        The new MPS is strongly rumoured to have AWD.

        I shortlisted the Mazda 3 Astina for my daily. I thought it was a great car with only a few things that bothered me (but no one else noticed it, so I will not disclose and spoil the enjoyment - its not mechanical or electronic. Nothing to worry about).

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