yule-time specials

Phuti Mpyane

Phuti Mpyane

As the country and auto industry brace themselves for the festive season, specials are likely to surface.

The first to come this week is from Kia.

The company is celebrating 10 years in South Africa and their birthday gift to us is their specials. The company is cutting R30000 off the prices of both the Sedona MPV and Kia Sorento SUV. A quick review of these cars, starting with the Sorento, is of a very capable SUV with the right mix of luxury and performance for a price that's absolutely affordable compared to a prestige-badge SUV. The Sedona is a highly practical mom's taxi that has all the features and safety systems for peace of mind and, it too, is priced brilliantly for what it offers.

But the big deal with Kia cars is the warranties - Kia is dangling a whopping 10 year/150000km warranty. The special runs until the end of next month and is available nationwide at any Kia dealership.

Is it a coincidence that I'm reviewing a Volvo S40 D and this special pops out?

McCarthy Volvo in Durban has announced a reduced prime rate of minus 7 on all Volvo S40s (the small sedan) and V50s (the small station wagon), including the diesel version I'm reviewing.

With the new BMW 3 Series out, prices for early 2008 models have certainly been slashed. If you are aiming to get the car but are caught between the higher price of the new and the cheaper of the old, my advice is to go for the old car.

It is still the same phenomenal executive car it was - but look for low mileage on a pre-owned unit.

Seeing a BMW 3 series bearing North West registration plates but displaying a Johannesburg-based dealership got me wondering, so I asked the owner about this strangeness.

The reply was astounding.

It seems that dealerships situated in remote places, such as the little towns, aren't likely to offer incentives such as price reductions or special offers because there's no competition.

This applies particularly to dealerships that stock prestige vehicles.

Residents of such places are somehow forced to fork out whatever is quoted.

l Tip of the week

If you find yourself in such a predicament, visit Gauteng city dealers who are likely to welcome your patronage with added incentives.

That way, you get the same car by spending less.