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Low-speed crash costs hike

Costly: Lancer sedan was the most expensive small-medium car to repair.

Minor collision repair costs increase for Australia's most popular models

Mitsubishi logo25 Jan 2005

THE cost of repairing many of Australia’s most popular models following a minor collision has increased, according NRMA Insurance’s latest round of low-speed crash tests.

Heading the repair cost hike is Mitsubishi’s Lancer ES sedan, which following a 15km/h barrier impact test (equivalent to a rear-end collision with another vehicle at approximately 30km/h) sustained $7143 in damage.

The NRMA says this is equivalent to 32.5% (or almost one third) of its purchase price, representing a massive 54% or $2504 more to repair than the model it replaces.

Cheapest of the NRMA’s small-medium category is Subaru’s Impreza WRX sedan, which sustained $4001 of damage or 9.4% of its purchase price – a 3% increase on last year’s estimate.

Next best was the WRX’s RS stablemate with similar figures, while the Mazda3 Maxx sedan was third at $4295 and 15.1% - representing a 31% repair cost decrease (almost $2000) over its 323 predecessor.

 center imageThe rest of the small-medium category, in order of repair expense, reads: Peugeot 307 XS hatch, Holden Astra CD hatch, Hyundai Elantra hatch, Ford Focus CL hatch, Honda Civic Vi hatch, Toyota Corolla Seca Ascent, Nissan Pulsar ST sedan and Lancer sedan.

Of the large cars, Holden’s VZ Commodore Executive sedan cost $3320 to repair or 9.4% - up 2%. Mitsubishi Magna ES sedan ($3385 or 9.6% - down 2%) was next, followed by Ford’s BAII Falcon XT sedan ($3555 or 10.1% - up a big 12% due to increased spare parts pricing) and Toyota Avalon GXi sedan which at, $4368 or an unchanged 14.1%, remain the most expensive large car to repair.

Included for the first time, hybrid vehicle repair costs were led by Toyota’s prius II, which incurred $4408 worth of damage or 11.6%. Second and last was Honda’s Civic Hybrid sedan at $7438 or almost one quarter of its purchase price.

Least expensive small car to repair was Smart’s ForTwo ($2814 or 13.5%) despite a repair cost increase of 25%, ahead of Mazda2 Neo hatch, Hyundai Accent three-door, Ford Fiesta LX three-door (which was 38% cheaper to repair than its Ka2 predecessor), Holden Barina three-door, Hyundai Getz GL three-door, Honda Jazz VTi five-door, Kia Rio five-door, Toyota Echo three-door and Daihatsu Sirion three-door at $4322 or 30.9% of its purchase price.

The NRMA says the small car category was among the cheapest to repair, with 60% of vehicles costing less than $400 to repair and four of the five cheapest-to-repair vehicles overall being small cars: Smart ForTwo, Mazda2, Hyundai Accent and Hyundai Getz.

In medium cars, the Mazda6 Classic sedan remains the least expensive vehicle to repair in the entire program (after Smart coupe) at $2884 or 8.4%, with Honda’s Accord Euro Luxury sedan faring worst at $6140 or 14.3% - a big 40% more than the previous model. In between were Holden Vectra CD sedan, Subaru Liberty 2.5i sedan and Toyota Camry Altise sedan.

Kia’s Carnival was best of the people-movers with a repair bill of $4059 or 12.5%, representing a 9% drop in repair costs. Following it in a group that averaged an expensive $6000 to repair – and which had the greatest variance in repair costs of around $4000 – were Toyota Avensis Verso GLX, Holden Zafira, Hyundai Trajet and Renault Scenic Expression (pictured below), which at an expensive $8100 to repair (26.1% of its purchase price) was 12% more to repair than before.

Subaru dominated the small 4WD class with Outback 2.5 costing $4641 to repair or 11.5% of its purchase price and Forester X costing $3779 or 12%. Splitting them in second was Suzuki Vitara at $3928 (11.9%), while Nissan X-Trail ST was fourth, ahead of Honda CR-V Sport, Toyota Rav4 Cruiser (which was the most expensive to repair at $7690 – up 10% on last year), Mitsubishi Outlander XLS, Daihatsu Terios DX and Holden Cruze, which cost only a class-average of $5578 to repair – representing a high 29.4% of its purchase price.

The figures, estimated by the NRMA Insurance Technical research Centre, are calculated after actual pendulum crash tests or, if a vehicle remains unchanged since last year, by updating last year’s figures with current parts, labour and purchase prices. Prices are as at November 30, 2004 (pre the 5% import duty reduction), and can influence insurance policy prices.

Small cars:

VehiclePurchase priceRepair cost % of Purchase price % Change
Smart ForTwo hatch$20,900$2,81413.5%25%
Mazda2 Neo hatch$19,310$3,07215.9%-2%
Hyundai Accent 3-dr$14,990$3,10120.7%4%
Ford Fiesta LX 3-dr$16,490$3,67022.3%-38%
Holden Barina 3-dr$14,990$3,39022.6%0%
Hyundai Getz GL 3-dr$13,990$3,25823.3%7%
Honda Jazz VTi 5-dr$22,290$5,96526.8%6%
Kia Rio 5-dr$14,990$4,10327.4%-5%
Toyota Echo 3-dr$14,990$4,45329.7%-3%
Daihatsu Sirion 5-dr$13,990$4,32230.9%-1%

Small/medium cars:

VehiclePurchase priceRepair cost % of Purchase price % Change
Subaru Impreza WRX sedan$42,490$4,0019.4%3%
Subaru Impreza RS sedan$29,990$3,82712.8%3%
Mazda Mazda3 Maxx sedan$28,455$4,29515.1%-31%
Peugeot 307 XS 5-dr$25,990$4,80418.5%19%
Holden Astra CD 5-dr $23,990$4,64519.4%-5%
Hyundai Elantra 5-dr $20,980$4,71522.5%13%
Ford Focus CL 5-dr $24,660$5,66823.0%7%
Honda Civic Vi 5-dr$27,950$6,45823.1%2%
Toyota Corolla Seca Ascent 5-dr $20,490$4,83923.6%3%
Nissan Pulsar ST sedan $21,990$6,57329.9%5%
Mitsubishi Lancer ES sedan $21,990$7,14332.5%54%

Medium cars:

VehiclePurchase priceRepair cost % of Purchase price % Change
Mazda6 Classic sedan $34,685$2,8848.3%-5%
Holden Vectra CD sedan $33,990$4,18112.3%0%
Subaru Liberty 2.5i sedan $37,490$4,73712.6%10%
Toyota Camry Altise 2.4 sedan $29,000$4,05714.0%4%
Honda Accord Euro Luxury sedan $42,800$6,14014.3%40%

Large cars:

VehiclePurchase priceRepair cost % of Purchase price % Change
Holden Commodore Executive sedan $35,410$3,3209.4%2%
Mitsubishi Magna ES sedan $35,110$3,3859.6%-2%
Ford Falcon XT MkII sedan $35,175$3,55510.1%12%
Toyota Avalon GXi sedan $30,990$4,36814.1%0%

Small 4WDs:

VehiclePurchase priceRepair cost % of Purchase price % Change
Subaru Outback 2.5i $40,490$4,64111.5%4%
Suzuki Grand Vitara Sports $32,890$3,92811.9%0%
Subaru Forester X $31,490$3,77912.0%6%
Nissan X-Trail ST $33,990$6,02917.7%0%
Honda CR-V Sport $38,749$7,42919.2%-2%
Toyota RAV4 Cruiser $38,680$7,69019.9%10%
Mitsubishi Outlander XLS $36,390$7,25619.9%-2%
Daihatsu Terios DX $18,900$5,17627.4%1%
Holden Cruze $18,990$5,57829.4% n/a


VehiclePurchase priceRepair cost % of Purchase price % Change
Kia Carnival LS $32,500$4,05912.5%-9%
Toyota Avensis Verso GLX $43,300$5,52912.8%4%
Holden Zafira $34,890$4,81313.8%1%
Hyundai Trajet $32,990$7,47022.6%4%
Renault Scenic Expression $30,990$8,10026.1%12%

Hybrid cars:

VehiclePurchase priceRepair cost % of Purchase price % Change
Toyota Prius II$37,990$4,40811.6%n/a
Honda Civic Hybrid$29,990$7,43824.8%n/a

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