Which SUV Should I Buy?


HI John, I listen to your segment on a Sunday afternoon on 2UE regularly and was hoping to get your opinion on something. Today my wife and I have been out looking for a mid-size SUV.

I think we have shortlisted three cars (but am open to your suggestions): Hyundai ix35 Trophy, Kia Sportage Si Premium and the Nissan Qashqai. I'm interested on your thoughts and if there is anything that is better value?

I'm open to a demo car or late model secondhand but am planning on leasing the car (if that makes a difference). Any info would be great. Thanks, David.

The Options

Hyundai ix35

Kia Sportage

Nissan Qashqai


I will get the brokerage to call you today to discuss the upcoming purchase.

My strong advice is, if possible, seriously consider either the 2.5i (petrol) or 2.2TT (diesel) Mazda CX-5 AWD (that engine comes in model grades Maxx Sport & above) when you test drive this weekend. But remember what I said over the phone about i-Stop. It's hateful, and you can only ever half-disable it.

There's nothing wrong with the Nissan Qashqai, the Hyundai ix35 or the Kia Sportage either, but the Mazda is at the head of the pack, so make sure you evaluate it as the benchmark. The new Nissan X-Trail is a damn good SUV as well. (Same size as Mazda CX-5; slightly bigger than Nissan Qashqai.)

Full Nissan X-Trail video review & test drive here >>

More Mazda CX-5 stories here >>

Mazda CX-5 - compact SUV benchmark. A must-drive proposition

Nissan X-Trail is another strong entrant

Nissan X-Trail is another strong entrant


Hi John, we spoke a little over a month ago about a couple of SUV options and I wanted to let you know how I went. After your feedback we have decided on the Mazda CX5 Akera petrol, which ticks all the boxes for us (especially with the added safety features).

I spoke to Ben at the brokerage but as I'm finding a price but as i'm purchasing it through my employers novated lease agreement we couldn't really progress.

More on novated leasing here >>

(Novated leasing is a great, tax-effective car ownership strategy.)

I was hoping you could give an indication if the price I'm being offered is reasonable. For the CX-5 Akera with floor mats, roof racks and tinted windows in the Soul Red colour the leasing consultant has a price of about $46,500 drive away - do you think this sounds reasonable? I understand the RRP is about $51,000.

Thanks for all your help, David.


Get yourself a quote on the regular, all-up drive-away price, or use the cost calculator at Mazda.com.au, then take away the GST. (Novated leases are GST-free because the GST is an input credit as far as the leasing company is concerned.) Then you’ll see what the discount he’s offering is.

Screenshot from www.mazda.com.au

My rough assessment is: The CX-5 Akera petrol without any accessories is $51,116 drive-away, according to Mazda. If we allowed $1500 for the accessories (mats, racks, tint and $200 for the red) you'd be at $53,000 (say).

The GST on $53k is around $4800 - so the GST-free price is about $48,000. Essentially you're being offered a $1500 (ish) discount. I'd have to say that's not much of a saving (less than three per cent off). I think you could get that car below $45,000 without too much trouble (GST-free).

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