Motorists can save thousands of dollars each year by downsizing their vehicles, according to a new Australian survey of 137 popular cars.
Three Suzuki models were top of their class in the research that was conducted by the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ), the state’s independent motoring body. In addition the thrifty Suzuki Celerio had the lowest overall running costs of any car surveyed and was the overall winner.
Suzuki won three out of five possible categories in which it was represented, reinforcing the marque’s reputation as a small car expert. Winner of the light car segment was the new Swift GL CVT automatic hatchback, while the 1.0 litre Celerio manual took out honours in the micro class.
Completing the trio of Suzuki winners was the 1.6 litre Vitara automatic that had the lowest annual running costs in the small SUV segment. The Vitara was 22 percent cheaper to run than the most expensive rival in this class, returning the lowest running cost per kilometre and finishing runner-up with the least depreciation.
“The all new Swift that has just launched in New Zealand proved a real champion in terms of running costs, with yearly costs a substantial 41 percent less than the most costly model in the light car class,” said Gary Collins, General Manager of Automobile Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.
“No other cars in the micro category could match the low running costs of the Celerio which posted the lowest depreciation level and the least running costs per kilometres,” he said. “The Celerio was a remarkable 43 percent less costly to run than the highest running cost car in the class.”
The new 1.4 litre Baleno hatchback automatic also figured well in the survey, finishing second only to the Swift in the light car segment, with average running costs per kilometre only slightly higher.
The 2017 Vehicle Running Costs survey took into account vehicle purchase price, interest, fuel, new tyres, servicing, insurance and depreciation.
Steve Spalding, head of technical and safety policy at the RACQ, said the report highlighted savings of thousands of dollars each year if motorists downsized their vehicles.
“If you swap a large vehicle for a small car, you’ll have around an extra $100 a week in your pocket,” he said. Similar savings could be made by opting for a car with lower ownership costs, and Spalding said depreciation was still the major cost associated with vehicle ownership.
Converted to New Zealand currency, the total annual cost for the Celerio was approximately $5,332 compared to the most expensive car in the survey, the electric Tesla, with a cost of $26,464.
New Zealanders are increasingly conscious of vehicle operating costs, as evidenced by rising sales of new Suzuki passenger cars. These are up 45 percent in year to date sales, well ahead of the overall lift in total new car volume.
In both the under $25,000 light car class and under $40,000 small SUV sector, Suzuki commands over 30 percent of sales, and offers the most comprehensive range of small economical models.