You can buy a brand new car in Australia for less than $9000. There are some caveats, though — it’s a four-year-old design that can only be sold in Western Australia because it doesn’t have any electronic stability control, and you can only get that driveaway price on a car that has been sitting around on a showroom floor for a year.
Geely cars are sold by four dealerships in WA, and according to CarAdvice the MK is currently available for an $8999 driveaway deal. The lack of stability control means it can’t be sold in states other than WA, that have stricter regulations around mandatory driver aids in new cars.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Chinese aspect of the Geely MK, of course — plenty of cars from plenty of marques are built in China for their overseas parent companies. What is unsettling is that the MK’s safety features are minimal at best — apart from ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and an airbag each for the driver and the passenger, it has nothing to offer. It scored a three star ANCAP rating in its 2011 crash test, while one of Australia’s other cheapest small cars, the $12,990 Suzuki Alto scored 4.5.
The MK being currently sold in Western Australia is based on a 2010 blueprint, and in ANCAP testing presents a ‘marginal’ risk of serious injury in a head-on crash to every part of the driver’s body except their feet. Anyone considering the Geely MK should consider these hard words from Australia’s crash test body: “ANCAP does not recommend purchasing vehicles with less than 4 stars. ANCAP recommends 5 star rated vehicles. Accept nothing less.”