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Hyundai’s Getz named Australia’s most frugal

On a budget: You too could own and drive a Getz for under $120 a week.

No surprises in latest RACV running costs survey: light cars star, big SUVs shamed

General News logo4 Jun 2007

HYUNDAI’S Getz has been named the victor, and Toyota’s LandCruiser the villain, in the 2007 Vehicle Operating Costs Survey released by the RACV last week.

While there were few surprises in the ranking of running costs for a cross-section of popular new vehicles, the RACV found hidden costs like servicing, insurance and interest rates had conspired with fuel price hikes to increase the average cost of operating a vehicle by seven per cent over the past 12 months.

The survey, which included the cost of financing the vehicle, depreciation, scheduled services, registration, insurance, fuel, tyres and RACV membership over a five-year or 75,000km period (15,000km per year), also found that new car values are depreciating faster than before.

The three-door Getz 1.4 manual was found to be the cheapest car to own and run, both in the light car class and overall. It cost $116.54 per week - $5.34 more than last year’s cheapest vehicle, the Kia Rio 1.6 manual sedan, which this year dropped to fourth ($128.07) behind Holden’s Barina 1.6 three-door manual ($120.85) and Toyota’s Yaris 1.3 three-door manual ($125.88). Fifth was the Suzuki Swift 1.5 five-door manual ($130.00).

The RACV examined 37 top-selling models across 10 vehicle categories. Popular light models not included were Ford’s Fiesta, Honda’s Jazz, Mitsubishi’s Colt, Hyundai’s Accent and the Mazda2.

Toyota’s now superseded Corolla 1.8 auto sedan took out the small car category by costing $154.49 to own and run per week – precisely $2.00 ahead of Ford’s Focus 2.0 auto sedan ($156.49). Third was Holden’s Astra 2.0 auto five-door ($158.12), ahead of the relatively expensive Mazda3 2.0 auto sedan ($164.08).

Other popular small cars like Honda’s Civic, Subaru’s Impreza, Mitsubishi’s Lancer, Nissan’s Tiida and Holden’s Viva were not assessed.

 center imageFrom top: Toyota LandCruiser and Camry, Mitsubishi 380 and Kia Carnival (bottom).

Toyota’s Camry ($193.05) was the medium class winner from other four-cylinder automatic sedans in the Mazda6 ($197.85) and Honda’s Accord Euro ($218.07).

Subaru’s Liberty was omitted, as was Hyundai’s Sonata, Holden’s new Epica and Volkswagen Jetta and Passat, plus $60,000-plus mid-sizers like BMW’s 3 Series, Audi’s A4, Mercedes’ C-class and the Lexus IS250.

Mitsubishi’s 380 ($200.44 – up $4.46 from last year) was the surprise victor in the large car stakes, beating off fellow locally-built automatic sedans in Toyota’s new Aurion ($217.60), Ford’s Falcon ($229.13) and Holden’s Commodore ($233.40). No European or Japanese large cars were included.

"Australia’s Mitsubishi 380 ES was found to be the most affordable family car," said RACV’s chief engineer - vehicles, Michael Case. "Ford Falcon performed better on price than rival Holden Commodore... courtesy of Falcon’s lower price and service costs."Kia’s Carnival 2.7 auto ($216.68 – up a big 14.7 per cent) was named cheapest people-mover to run, well clear of Honda’s Odyssey 2.4 auto ($228.00) and Toyota’s Tarago 2.4 auto ($267.61). Mitsubishi’s Grandis, Chrysler’s Voyager and the Toyota Avensis were popular people-movers that didn’t get a guernsey.

Five vehicles were included in the diesel and hybrid car field, with both the Civic Hybrid and Golf TDI compared with their petrol-engined siblings.

Interestingly, the Civic 1.8 auto sedan ($154.06) bettered the Civic Hybrid CVT sedan ($175.29) by a big margin and would also have won the small car category.

Technically second in class was Volkswagen’s five-door Golf 2.0 TDI auto ($187.93), which finished ahead of its 2.0 petrol auto’s sibling ($190.88) and the most expensive vehicle in the class to both purchase and run, Toyota’s Prius ($200.63).

"A diesel Volkswagen Golf will save you around $2.95 a week – nearly $770 over five years. That’s also a saving of around 11kg of greenhouse gas each week," said Mr Case. "The Honda Civic Hybrid, meanwhile, provides a fuel saving of $9.46 a week and can save 17.9kg of greenhouse emissions."Similarly, the Ford Falcon 4.0 LPG auto sedan ($211.43) was found to be significantly cheaper to run than Holden’s pricier Commodore 3.6 LPG auto sedan, which the RCV says costs $225.10 per week to buy and operate. Running costs for both cars have reduced since last year following the Federal Government’s $1000 grant for LPG car purchases.

As for SUVs, the compact segment was led by its newest member, with Honda’s CR-V 2.4 auto ($203.86 – up 7.4 per cent on 2006 survey results) narrowly out-pointing its three key Japanese rivals: Nissan’s soon-to-be-replaced X-Trail ($207.36), Subaru’s Forester ($208.52) and Toyota’s new RAV4 ($212.69). Other less popular compact SUVs like Mazda’s CX-7, Subaru’s Outback, Mitsubishi’s Outlander and the Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson were not included.

A three-horse race in the medium SUV segment (Mitsubishi’s Pajero, Nissan’s Pathfinder and Toyota’s Kluger, for three, didn’t get a look-in) was won by Holden’s petrol (not diesel) powered Captiva 3.2 auto ($225.16). It was more than $12 per week cheaper to run than Ford’s Territory 4.0 auto ($234.47), with Toyota’s Prado 4.0 auto well behind on $286.16.

Finally, the two-horse large SUV race was won by Nissan’s Patrol 3.0 diesel manual ($269.53), which beat its 4.8 auto petrol sister model ($332.94) by a huge margin. Even further back was Toyota’s LandCruiser 4.7 auto petrol ($335.90) and its 4.2 diesel manual sibling ($357.51) – making it the most expensive vehicle to run again this year.

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