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The 29th year of the Kinsey Report has been given a facelift and is now officially called the AA KINSEY REPORT and as such will appear on the AASA official website.  It has been over 18 months since the research was done for the 2017 Report and it is astounding how prices have escalated in this time. Parts basket prices have soared an entry level Datsun Go for example had a total parts basket of R44,372 in 2017 and this year is R63 310 and the Volvo S60 of 2017 had a basket price of R159 862 and is now R214 362. 

This year it is good to see the Opel brand back three examples are in the study. The turmoil of 2017 seems to be largely resolved and stability has returned to the market.  I have omitted 12 vehicles from the previous report but replaced them with 19 others. All the Auto Trader Car of the Year finalists for 2019 are included and the names of the vehicles are preceded with an asterisk on the charts. 

The SUV market has gained hugely in popularity and we have a total of 30 vehicles in three classes compact crossover (8), crossover (13) and executive crossover (9) and prices vary considerably from the Mahindra KUV at just under R188,000 to over R1 million for the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, Volvo XC90, V W Touareg and BMW X5. Obviously, one must select similar vehicles to compare! 

The format for conducting the study has not changed. I have asked for a single wiper blade this year and where they are only sold as a pair, it has been noted. The only other difference between vehicles is for petrol/diesel engines – also shown on the chart. All prices are collected in one calendar month, mainly from dealerships in the Durban/Umhlanga/Pinetown area. Where possible a VIN number is supplied to avoid confusion. Quotes are all written and if a price seems out of kilter it is checked, either telephonically or by another visit – and often to a different dealership. 

It must be stressed that the prices used are what a customer, walking into a dealership, would pay on that day and do not always coincide with what the manufacturer or importer would supply. The manufacturers do not have any input as to which vehicles are chosen generally the most popular vehicles in the range are chosen. 

The servicing and repair costs sections of the survey are not as vital to the vehicle owner – particularly with a new vehicle. These costs are borne to some extent by the dealer through service contracts that could be as long as 100 000km. Manufacturers warranties can be as much as 200 000km, or seven years, in some cases. Crash parts prices however, will affect your insurance excess and the write-off point of your vehicle and will be well worth noting.  

City Cars and Entry Level 

The Datsun Go is the overall winner of this category with a parts basket total of R63 310 with the Renault Kwid and the Ford Figo in second and third places separated only by just over R1 000 R66 707 to R67 805. 

Best servicing cost price goes to the Datsun at R2 047, the Honda Brio following with R2 437 and the Suzuki Swift at R2 601. The order is the same for repair costs – Datsun Go repair basket is R8 846, the Kwid R11 223 and the Figo R12 446. Toyota gets its first mention in the crash parts section in a close contest the Etios at R50 164 just pipping the Figo R51 073 and the Go R52 416. 

Super mini 

Renault Sandero owners will be pleased to know that their car heads the list of having the most affordable parts basket R92 891, which is one better than in 2017. Toyota Yaris is second at R100 943 and third is the Ford Fiesta at R108 594. 

The Nissan Micra heads the servicing section at R3 302, followed by the Renaults – the Clio R3 621 and the Sandero R3 642. Repairing the Micra will set you back R12 835; second is the VW Polo at R15 860 and the Sandero third at R17 266. The Sandero is the least expensive for the crash parts basket R71 982, with the Fiesta – R77 738 – just squeezing out the Yaris at R78 503. 

Family favourites 

The Auto Trader Car of the Year winner, the Mercedes A Class, is in this category but failed to take top honours in the economy stakes with an overall parts basket of R185 732.  The winner in the AA Kinsey Report is the Toyota Corolla Quest with a comparatively miserly parts total of R65 341, just pipping its newer sister the Corolla Prestige whose R84 798 parts basket only just edges out the Nissan Almera with a total of R85 453. 

The Almera is quite substantially less expensive on service parts R2 768 compared to the Quest at R4 255 and the Hyundai Elantra at R4 730. The A Class Mercedes has the lowest repair costs at R11 030 but this is skewed by the fact that it is only available as an automatic so has no clutch, pressure plate or flywheel prices. Close behind is the Almera with a repairs basket of R12 550 and the Quest at R13 993. The Quest come first in the crash parts section R47 091, followed by the Corolla at R62 738 and the Almera at R70 134. 

Compact Crossover 

The Mahindra KUV is a clear winner with a full parts basket of R68 638 ahead of the Suzuki Jimny at R86 897 and the Toyota Rush at    R97 387. The KUV was best in all three sub-sections.  

Servicing the KUV will cost you R2 693 compared with second-placed Renault Duster at R2 946 and the Jimny at R3 543. Repair parts for the KUV are R11 983, for the Rush R15 643 and the Jimny R15 769. If you have accident repairs, the KUV is still the most cost effective the parts basket is R53 961, while the Jimny will set you back R67 584 and the third most reasonable figure goes to the Ford Eco Sport, at R74 369. 

Crossover 

Becoming more popular every year crossovers are by far the biggest group of vehicles with sales in the thousands every month. This group is headed by the Toyota Fortuner with a very creditable parts basket of R80 171, and the only other vehicle boasting a basket total below R100 000 is newcomer the Haval with R91 071. In third place is the Subaru Forester with a basket of R113 362. The vehicles selected all have automatic transmission as over 50% of the vehicles sold are either automatic or CVT configuration. 

First in the servicing section is the Nissan X Trail with a basket of R3 344, followed by the Fortuner at R3 743 and the Forester at           R3 811. The Forester leads the way in the repair category with a total of R7 042, second is the newcomer, the Opel Grandland with a basket price of R8 074 Opel making a return after having been out of the 2017 survey. Third is the Haval at R8 736. On the accident front, the locally produced Fortuna has a substantial cost advantage at R66 860 over the Haval at R78 484 in second and the Ford Kuga at R99 535 in third place. 

Executive Crossover 

There are two COTY finalists in this group of nine vehicles, the Alfa Stelvio heading the pack with a basket total of R135 029 and just knocking the Toyota Prado back a place to second with a basket total of R199 428 and the Jaguar E Pace in third with a basket of R212 968. 

With its servicing basket of R5 709, the Range Rover Evoque takes top spot – the E Pace, which shares a number of its components, a hairsbreadth behind at R5 766. Third is the Toyota Prado at R6 317. Repair costs for the Evoque are R13 802 which again puts it ahead of the second placed E Pace at R14 665, – and once more, with some shared components. In third place is the 

Audi Q5 with a basket totaling R16 056. All vehicles in this group have automatic transmission. 

The crash parts are markedly less expensive for the Stelvio and the reason that the Alfa comes out top overall R110 865 compared with R170 292 for the Prado and R192 536 for the E Pace. 

Double Cabs 

Once again, the majority of vehicles here are automatics only the GWM Steed does not offer that option. The winner here is the evergreen Toyota Hilux with a combined parts basket total of R79 660, ahead of the Isuzu D.Max at R88 191  and the GWM Steed 6 at R94 372. 

Servicing honours go to the Hilux at R3 849, followed by the GWM Steed 6 at R3 891 and third, the Isuzu D.Max with a basket of R4 411. For repair work it’s the Isuzu at R5 976 ahead of the Hilux R6 163 and the Ford Ranger R7 725. The dreaded fender benders are less expensive in a Hilux R69 646 opposed to an Isuzu at R77803 and the Steed 6 at R77 860.  

Single Cabs 

The Nissan NP200 is now the only ¾ ton bakkie available and with over 2 000 sold in March alone is a significant part of the single cab market. With this in mind, we have included it as a stand-alone entry, ahead of its larger brothers. Its total basket price is R49 823 which makes it the least expensive of all the 72 vehicles in this year’s survey, – and obviously it has a very important role in the SA pickup market. 

The 1 tonne pickups are headed by the Nissan NP300, with a total parts basket price of R61 334 and not too far behind are the Isuzu D.Max at R65 326 and the Toyota Hilux at R73 696. When broken down into sub categories the servicing costs are least expensive for the NP300, at R3 090 followed by the Isuzu at R3 258 and the Mahindra at R5 032. The Isuzu is the most competitive for repair parts at R13 826, with the NP300 and the Hilux pretty much neck and neck at R20 232 and R20 420 respectively. Crash parts are least painful if you own an Nissan NP300 R38 010, compared with R47 532 for the Hilux and R48 241 for the Isuzu. 

Executive Saloons 

The winner here again is the consistent Volvo S60, – its total basket cost being R214 362. There’s not much between the Audi A4 at      R227 503 and the Lexus ES at R230 263 for second and third. 

The service costs are much as one would expect for luxury models service parts show Lexus with the lowest costs at R6 018, BMW 320 coming in 2nd at R7 575 and the Audi 3rd at R8 220. 

Lexus leads the elite pack in repair parts as well R13 053 to Audi A4 at R14 686 and BMW in third place at R15 890. Body parts are least pricey for the Volvo S60 at R175 912, the Audi R204 596 and the Lexus R211 190. One thing remains constant though prices are always on the increase, it is still useful to shop around to find the most satisfactory quote. 

By Malcolm Kinsey