Dealers slash prices of new cars
It's a case of get in quick if you want to pick up a hot deal on a Holden before the brand is retired forever within months.
A surge in interest following the February 17 announcement that Holden would be packing up for good means some dealers are running low on stock.
Some expect to be out of stock by April but others will still be selling till June, so it pays to shop around.
Dealers low on stock claim that, in the rush to secure a deal, buyers have put their names down on unsighted cars still on freighters. Many others are still keen to do a sharp deal.
It means that if you still want a tempting price you may have to visit multiple dealers and compromise, for example, on colour or specification - and you'll save more on 2019-plate vehicles.
Start your search online then hit the road to find a deal that suits you. But be warned, there are huge price fluctuations between dealer online ads - some have been asking up to $20,000 more than others for the same model.
If you can't find the deal you want in a Holden, we've included some other sharply priced alternatives in what is a perfect storm of activity in the new car industry - many brands are fighting for a slice of the slimmer new car pie.
The Japanese financial year ends on March 31, so there's pressure from the respective head offices to move some metal.
HOLDEN TRAX $20,990
At this price, it's decent buying for a 2020-build Trax. The base LS gets functional and stylish cloth trim that's arguably better than the fake leather on the top-spec LTZ. The mid-level LT, for another $1000-odd, adds smart key and a sunroof. Pay $1000 less for a 2019-plate model.
Mitsubishi ASX ES $26,740. It's getting on in years and Mitsubishi is good at sharpening the pencil. The ASX is basic motoring - throw in the seven-year warranty and two years' servicing ($398) and it's tempting.
Suzuki Vitara 1.6 $24,990. Simple but honest, the Vitara is one of the underrated compact SUVs. With decent space and plenty of gear, including smartphone mirroring and smart key entry, there's much to like.
HOLDEN EQUINOX BLACK EDITION $29,990
There's still the odd LT and LTZ in yards, the former going in the high-$20K price range. But there are also plenty of the Black Editions with black highlights on wheels and grille, 19-inch alloys and a panoramic sunroof. Get one for $29,990. Again, 2019 models will be cheaper.
Nissan X-Trail ST $29,990. It's not particularly exciting to drive but has the space and features expected in a mid-size SUV. Prices are sharp: you'll get a base model below $30K.
Ford Escape Ambiente $28,990. This longstanding deal represents circa-$5000 savings on the entry-level Escape. Its perky 1.5-litre turbo and loads of gear, including satnav, reinforce the value.
HOLDEN ACADIA LT $37,990
The Acadia, main picture, is arguably the car that best filled the role of the Commodore for families. Big, spacious and with seven seats, it was ready for family duties. And at less than $40K it's sharp buying, delivering a hearty 3.6-litre V6 and well packaged interior. Individual dealers have advertised as low as $33,990 on 2019 models.
Kia Sorento Si $41,990. The lusty 3.5-litre V6 drives the front wheels, which on a wet road isn't a terrific combination. It's a decent jump to the all-wheel
drive diesel at $47,490, which also comes with three years of servicing.
Toyota Kluger 2WD $41,990. There is a sizeable discount on the most affordable Kluger, inset left, but it applies only to 2019 cars and expires at the end of March. The sweetener is the choice of $1000 of accessories.
HOLDEN ASTRA R $19,990
Forget the sedans, the Astra search is limited to hatches and there are some entry-level Rs selling for just on $20K. Not all dealers have that entry-level Astra R. The top-level RS-V with a warmish 1.6 turbo is still decent buying sub-$30K.
Kia Cerato S $22,790. At this price you'll pick up an automatic but miss out on the blind spot warning and radar that provides advanced auto braking for pedestrians and cyclists (it'll still stop for other vehicles). Seven-year warranty is a bonus.
Honda Civic VTi $24,990. There's only a modest saving off RRP but the spacious Civic hatch has a limited time seven-year warranty thrown into the deal. A big step up ($6000-plus) to the VTi-L brings a better turbo engine and more active safety kit, including autonomous emergency braking.
HOLDEN COMMODORE WAGON $33,990
The only imported Commodore was a tough sell from day one and dealers stopped ordering in 2019. So supply is limited and the deals aren't as sharp as they were a few months ago. Some of the wagons are a decent SUV alternative, so haggle an RS to $33,990 - if you can find one.
Volkswagen Golf wagon $29,990. The Golf is a small car but opt for the wagon body there's loads of space, making it a more frugal alternative to something bigger. A new Golf is on its way but this one's still solid buying.
Mazda6 Sport hatch $33,990. Deals are predominantly on the hatch, with the wagon typically costing thousands more. Still, at this price, with satnav and a classy interior, it's decent buying.
HOLDEN COLORADO Z71 4WD, from $48,990
The dealers who haven't run out know these are the easiest Holdens to shift as the model was Holden's bestseller.
Shop around and you should find a leather-trimmed LTZ for about $40K or an LS for about $36K. The Z71 is also solid buying at less than $50K. The HSV SportsCat is more expensive, with the sharpest deals only just sneaking in below $60K.
Mazda BT-50 XT 4WD $39,990. The BT-50
is in its twilight so deals are ramping up. The
3.2 five-cylinder is showing its age but there's plenty to like with the BT elsewhere, including its spacious cabin.
Nissan Navara ST 4WD auto $40,990. You might land an SL with steel wheels for a grand or two cheaper but a 2019-build ST auto is solid buying with extra fruit. It's easy to get one for just over $40K but some might sneak in just under.
HOLDEN TRALIBLAZER, from $40,990
A serious off-roader that tows up to 3000kg, the Trailblazer is terrific value in the low-$40K bracket. Sharing the Colorado's grunty 2.8-litre turbo diesel, it lacks the polish of rivals. Demos with 2019 plates can be had for less than $38K.
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport $43,990. The official ask is $44,990 but you'll walk out with a $1000 Eftpos card to spend on what you want. A limited-time seven-year warranty is a plus.
Isuzu MU-X 4WD $46,990. It's showing its age (a new version of the D-Max it's based on is due within months) but has a reputation for reliability, backed by a six-year warranty. Sweeten the deal with $1000 of accessories.
Join the demo crowd
If you're happy to buy a car that's been used as a demonstrator, the deals are even sharper and there are more options, especially with the Colorado. Some examples have covered just 20km-30km, so are basically new cars. Just be aware that the warranty started when the car was registered, which in some cases could mean last year.
Originally published as Dealers slash prices of new cars