Large Car Under $45K: Gold Star Value Awards

Commodore is a clear-cut winner, but which one isn't

1. Holden Commodore Evoke
AS AN experiment, we threw both the petrol and LPG versions of the entry-level Commodore into our Gold Star Value formula, and the result is surprising. There’s just 0.1 of a percentage point between the barbie-gas V6 in first and the old-fashioned petrol in second. So, for great value in the class, it’s clear that you should get a Commodore. However, in terms of which fuel type to choose, there’s little in it.

Taking all other costs as constant, and with the LPG rebate now closed, it comes down to the extra $2500 outlay for the LPG model, which means it’s hit harder by depreciation, versus the cost you’ll save on fuel (an estimated $1187 over three years). In our view, that makes the petrol a no-brainer. It’s cheaper to buy and can work out about even in the long run.

Then there’s the fact that, like any LPG engine, the gas Commodore drinks the admittedly cheaper fuel at a prodigious rate. The resultant range limitations come with no significant cost saving, so buy the petrol one and avoid queuing with taxis at the servo.

2. Skoda Superb 118TSI
SUPERB? Last year, only 436 Aussie buyers thought so. But when it comes to real estate for the money, the big Skoda should be on more buyers' radar. It rivals a long-wheelbase Holden for space, yet under the bonnet it’s decidedly more Golf-sized. Resale is weak, though, so it’s an even better buy used.

3. Chrysler 300 Limited 3.6
IT’S rare that buying outside the square is also the smart thing to do financially. In this case, treating yourself to some Yank-tank character is as good for your mobster image as it is for your bank balance due to its strong 63 percent three-year resale.

Large <$45k Purchase Price Comb. Fuel (L/100km) Fuel RON (min. rec.) 3-year fuel cost Redbook resale (%) 3-year deprec. AAMI insurance prem. Service interval (months) Warranty (years)
Holden Commodore Evoke LPG $37,990 11.5 LPG $3550 55 $17,096 $1033.69 9 3
Holden Commodore Evoke $35,490 8.3 91 $4737 55 $15,971 $1018.55 9 3
Skoda Superb 118 TSI $38,990 7.3 98 $4688 44 $21,639 $1065.78 12 3
Chrysler 300 Limited 3.6 $43,000 9.4 91 $5365 63 $15,910 $1165.97 6 3

Notable classmates: Falcon Ecoboost / Number of cars crunched: 5

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