Weighing up the options when car shopping

by Reality
January 18, 2012 Comments (2)

It is a happy, fun time in the household. We need to get a new car. Car shopping for me has always been an adventure of sorts. Looking at what’s available, what the prices are, what it comes with as standard, and what you can add.

I’ve had the privilege of having bought quite a few cars in my life, probably more than most people – a few for daily transport, a few oldies for collecting and joying. The lastest acquisition is not for me, but is my partner’s biannual company car used exclusively for business.

They’re in the assesor’s game, which means the lot of them spend most of their time on the road, so creature comforts are important. They can only look at a selected list in the B-segment of the market – Yaris and Polo size, in other words.

Until now, all of them have virtually exclusively driven VW Polos, but since perks tax aply, the lesser the purchase price, the less the tax. All of them deem the Polo these days too expensive for what you get, the little 1400 has insufficient grunt and lack of standard Bluetooth is a serious omission – making and receiving calls takes up half their business day.

One female colleague is opting for a Fiesta, another likes the Yaris but may stick to another Polo “because its what I know” – that’s brand loyalty for you. Since my opinion counts in our case, I’ve suggested a few options, notably a Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio – both fairly new releases on the market and selling like hotcakes. Visit a dealer showroom and you’re not likely to see many standing around – as they come in, often presold, they get registered and are out the door again. Their sales are hurting VW and Toyota, big time.

I’ve driven both extensively, looked at what they offer and are blown away by the value for money. In terms of their performance, specification level and price, and compared to the traditional offerings from the likes of VW and Toyota, these are game-changing cars.

I have not been this impressed by any new model in a long time. Bluetooth, multi-function steering controls, niceties like USBs and far superior engine performance at significanlty less money  count for a lot in my books.

Hyundai and Kia are sister companies and share most of their technologies. One car is very much like the other, only dressed differently. Under the skin there is hardly a difference.

Good for the Koreans! If I was a rival manufacturer, I would not look too far to see why sales are slumping.

Which one to go for – Hyundai or Kia? The final decision isn’t mine, but it will be a close call – their final decisions only need to be submitted in three week’s time…


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  1. Looks like a FAB car

    Comment by Nadeen Parau on February 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  2. The Koreans they ‘re a force to be reckoned with. Giving us much needed options, and the styling of their cars is exceptional! Other manufacturers really need to take heed, as a loyal brand customer/buyer that “badge” is no longer holding my interests.

    Comment by Sisanda on March 8, 2012 at 5:07 am

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