Wednesday, June 19

Best car buys for less than R150,000

Shopping for a used car in the R140,000-R150,000 price range? Want something with relatively low mileage — say, 80,000km-100,000km?

Darryl Jacobson, MD of vehicle evaluations service True Price, has compiled a list of what he considers the eight best buys in that category right now, because these vehicles have relatively low resale values.

True Price has data pertaining to thousands of vehicles sold on bank repossession auctions. The figures in brackets pertain to the actual price paid on auction as a percentage of the original retail price of the vehicle.

Infiniti Q50 (resale value 30.68%)

According to Jacobson, with the Q50, you get “so much car for so little money. At less than 40% of the original list price, it’s a steal. I love this car. Were I to be in the market for a used car, it would be something I would seriously consider.”

Nissan X-Trail (resale value 42.42%)

This is a nice vehicle that has never really caught on among used-car buyers in SA, says Jacobson, adding that while the X-Trail is practical, comfortable and spacious, it’s just not in the same league as its Qashqai sibling.

“While bidding on an X-Trail is never enthusiastic, buyers really do like the Qashqai,” he says.

Volkswagen Jetta (resale value 46.19%)

Jacobson says the Jetta proves that the magic of the Volkswagen brand doesn’t always extend to the used-car market. “At bank repossession auctions, bidders are always eager to snap up a Polo Vivo, Polo or Golf. These vehicles are extremely popular among used-car buyers. But, for some reason, the Jetta has never enjoyed the same level of popularity. The buyers tell me that it is a ‘vanilla’ type of car,” he says.

The “vanilla” Jetta doesn’t resonate with buyers as much as some other VWs, which makes it a relative bargain as a used car.Kia Cerato (resale value 50.29%)

In theory, the Cerato should do well in the used-car market. It is safe, the interior is appealing and it is fairly well priced. However, according to Jacobson, it seldom fares well on auctions.

“The buyers believe that the engine lacks refinement, the ride isn’t great and, while I really like its looks, many people don’t. This means that its resale value suffers. Still, this means that, if you want to buy a Cerato, you can get a great deal,” he says.

Renault Captur (resale value 51.51%)

Jacobson is a big fan of the Captur. “I love its looks, economy, refinement and interior.” But not all used-car buyers agree. “Some potential buyers turn elsewhere, saying that they aren’t mad about the quality of the interior, the car’s performance or the lack of legroom at the rear.”

Renault Duster (resale value 52.91%)

Yet another Renault product, the Duster is also terrific value for money in the used-car market.

“Renault is performing exceptionally well when it comes to new-car sales. But for some reason, certain Renault products lose their lustre in the used-car market. While buyers rave about the spaciousness and economy of the Duster, they’re not mad about its conservative styling,” says Jacobson.