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'Which Beemer should I buy?' Your car questions answered

2017-09-24 07:30

Spoiled for choice City Press writer Justus Visagie and car engineer Martin Pretorius provide useful answers to your automotive questions. Image: Supplied

Justus Visagie And Martin Pretorius

Johannesburg - City Press writer Justus Visagie, with some help from Martin Pretorius, provides useful answers to your automotive questions.

Reader Ali: I have R230 000 and would like to buy a decent second-hand car. Which of these would you recommend in terms of value for money?

2012 Audi A5 Coupé 2.0 TDI with 99 000km on the clock;

2012 BMW 320i Sport auto with 97 000km on the clock; or

2012 Merc C-Class Coupé diesel auto with 72 000km and Mobilo plan until 120 000km or September 2018

Answer: The Mercedes is the most appealing among these because it has a little life left in its maintenance plan. The Audi 2.0 A5 TDI is a good-looking car and is light on fuel, but out of the Audi Freeway Plan, it can be costly to maintain. You’d want to avoid the BMW 320i by now because it’s neither particularly quick nor fuel efficient and will probably cost as much to maintain as the Audi.

Braam: My Merc has just done 59 000km and the service plan does not mean a thing because my next service is only due in about 180 days – at which stage I will be forced to pay 30% of the 60 000km service. What will happen to my trade-in value after the service plan has expired? Should I have sold it at 50 000km?

Answer: It’s already sliding off the depreciation cliff – something that hits luxury cars hard when the warranty and maintenance plan is about to expire. If you bought it with a guaranteed buy-back value, you’re covered, but if it was a normal hire-purchase agreement, you’re in line for a bit of a financial shock. But there is good news – it won’t depreciate as quickly from now on. It’s important to invest in an extended warranty and add-on service plan for as long as you plan to keep the car.

Hlayisani: I’m interested in the new Jeep Compass, but it might be too expensive. I also have my eyes on a 2013/14 Merc C-Class (C200 CDI or C180) as long as it is light on fuel. Which is best?

Answer: The new Jeep Compass launched to positive reviews. However, it’s more expensive than its predecessor. Both those C-Class cars will be light on fuel, but the C200 CDI is more economical. It uses a well-proven and durable engine, so it should cost less to run in the long term. Make sure the deal includes an extended warranty and service plan.

Bongi: I’m interested in the BMW 320i M-Sport auto, but my partner is trying to convince me to get the 420i Gran Coupe M-Sport auto.

Answer: These cars have the same engine, gearbox and similar performance but the 420i is lower, has a more attractive nose and frameless doors that add to its streamlined profile. It’s about 10% more expensive than the equivalent 3 Series and you’ll see fewer of them on the road. So it’s not better, just a bit more special.

TALK TO US

Do you have car questions you’d like Justus to answer?

Using the words CAR QUESTIONS in the subject line, email justus.visagie@media24.com. You can also SMS the keywords CAR QUESTIONS and your question to 35697. Please include your name. SMSes cost R1.50. Remember to be as specific as possible – the more details you supply, the better Justus will be able to answer your question

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