Parker’s March market insight

Time 14 years ago

Parkers Car Price Guide gives Car Dealer an insight into the latest trends in the industry in its monthly report…


CAR manufacturers find valuable economies of scale by sharing ‘platforms’ or sets of components. One such project is the Saab 9-3 which, with some different bodywork and interior trim, is the Cadillac BLS. 


Cadillac has now launched the BLS Wagon. Cadillac has also said there is to be parity of pricing between petrol and diesel and between saloon and Wagon. And BLS models will only be available as one high-spec model with leather and satellite navigation as standard. 


This means a 180bhp diesel Wagon costs virtually the same as the 210bhp petrol saloon. Good value, perhaps, but when you compare it with an equivalent, near-identical, Saab 9-3 Sportwagon, the value is more startling. Choose options on the Saab to match the Cadillac’s spec, and the 9-3 Sportwagon is actually £8,500 more expensive than the US-badged car. 


Not everyone will want a Caddy, but if you’re keen on the Saab Sportwagon and live near one of the few Cadillac dealers, it’s certainly worth a look.



New: Ibiza is one to watch as new model nears the end of its life.We’ve seen a few discounted SEAT Ibizas recently at main dealers. These cars were already registered and were priced at £1,000 or more lower than the official list price. 


Used:The Smart Forfour was a short-lived joint project with Mitsubishi (it shares many components with the Colt and was built in the same factory). However, it was pitched as a premium product and stands out alongside other mainstream small cars. Best models to choose for specification are the Pulse and Passion – the Pure model is rather basic – and even the 1.1-litre three-cylinder petrol engine feels quite feisty. Production of the Forfour ended in 2005 but examples were still sold as new into 2006.



New: Discounts on last-of-the-line Lancers.The Mitsubishi Lancer saloon is replaced by an all-new version this month, but if you’re not too bothered about driving the latest one there are significant savings to be made on outgoing models. Many Mitsubishi dealers have cars already registered to them and we found a few 1.6 Equippe models with asking prices under £8,000.


Used: The Ford Focus has just undergone a major revision, but the second-generation car launched in 2005 is becoming accessible to more people. Prices for average mileage examples 



New: It’s a pretty scarce sight on UK roads, and it is getting rather long in the tooth, but the Fiat Multipla is still amazingly versatile for the money. You might have to travel to find one, but several dealers are advertising pre-registered cars with significant discounts off list price. We found one offering an 07-plate 1.9 Multijet Dynamic Plus for £11,994 — that’s a saving of almost £5000 off list price. 


Used:The Kia Sorento proved that Korean manufacturers could produce competent and comfortable off-roaders that looked rugged and handsome. The Sorento, introduced in 2003, is decent to drive, good off road, and adept at towing. Its styling makes it look similar to the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Lexus RX300 available when it was launched. We found diesel auto versions of the Sorento, with below average mileage, available for less than £8,500. 

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New: If petrol was cheap, the Mazda RX-8 would be an almost perfect coupé. Unfortunately it isn’t, but Mazda dealers are offering discounts on pre-registered models which make the RX-8 more tempting. We found an 07-plate model with 12 miles on the clock for under £17,000 (a saving of £6k) and 57-plate cars for a few hundred more.


Used: Two-year-old examples of the stylish and luxurious Citroën C6 are now on the market. We found a few examples with the excellent twin-turbo V6 diesel engine and in the high specification Exclusive grade. Perhaps the best prospect was a 30,000-mile car at an independent dealer with an asking price of £16,987.


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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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