Car buyers' guide: Mini, Kia or new 208?

By Jack Biddle

Browse new-car showrooms for better-than-mates'-rates deals.

Mini Ray. Photo / Supplied
Mini Ray. Photo / Supplied

The budget: $27,000-$30,000

Emma has had a new job, and with that a pay rise, and to celebrate she wants to treat herself to a new car.

"A friend is selling her Mini Ray as she now has a work car and is offering it to me," she said.

The 2011 car is still under warranty and has been garaged by Emma's friend.

"I'm a bit worried about buying from a friend but she is offering me a great deal - about $2000 below what she paid for it."

Emma wants to see what else she can buy for her budget. She's young and wants a coupe or "something sporty and preferably new".

Well Emma, it's a great idea to look around, not only for other options make and model-wise, but to also make sure you are paying a fair price if you do decide to go for the Mini.

Your friend may well think she is offering you a great deal but a car depreciates in value once it rolls out of the showroom. This only gets worse if and when discounting takes place.

In reality, the car's value is less than the cheapest price paid when the exact same vehicle was sold brand new.

The shortlist:

Mini Ray

If it suits your lifestyle and you like the car, it wouldn't hurt to have a chat to your local Mini dealer to see what sort of deal they can offer if you were to purchase new out of the showroom yourself. You may even pick up a pre-registered model that's travelled less than 1000km at a similar price to what your friend is asking for her Mini.

Peugeot 208

If you like the Euro brands then the all-new Peugeot 208 is worth the wait. While it has classic European exterior looks, it's the interior where the real point of difference can be seen. It has an award-winning colour touch-dash screen display plus a smaller, flattened rather than rounded, steering wheel creating a unique driving position. Both three- and five-door variants will be available with prices starting at $25,990 for the four-speed automatic fitted with a 1.6-litre engine. A 1.2-litre manual, five-door model will be available for $23,990.

Kia Rio

While the Kia brand has improved immensely in a short space of time, it has had the influence of the former Audi designer Peter Schreyer. He has transformed vehicles such as the Rio into a more complete, affordable and desirable package for many. With a top price of $25,790 for the EX petrol model (1.4-litre engine and four-speed auto) the Rio is not just making up the numbers in this market segment.

- NZ Herald

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