If Thanksgiving lands you among political opposites at the dinner table, this is the year for restraint. Lest the gravy become the least salty thing in the room, resist all urges to quarrel about quid pro quo or go bellicose on Burisma. How? Talk cars instead.
Specifically car shopping. Black Friday falls on Nov. 29 this year, and it remains a good time for bargain hunters to land a set of wheels. One of a few marquee periods with especially high new-car incentives, Thanksgiving weekend comes a few months into the changeover between the outgoing model year and its replacement — in this case, outgoing 2019 models and incoming 2020s.
Traditionally, the former group sees heftier deals, and there should be plenty this year to choose from. On the heels of a 40-day strike by GM’s labor union, dealers industrywide are sitting on more cars from the outgoing model year than usual. As of Nov. 18, about half of all new-car inventory on Cars.com still hailed from the 2019 model year. That’s up 3 percentage points versus the mix of outgoing-model-year cars one year ago.
Spend the weekend after Thanksgiving at your local auto mall, and you can save a bundle on select cars. Better yet, you’ll have to bone up on researching those cars — which should leave no shortage of automotive talking points on turkey day, itself, no politics needed. You’re welcome.
Which deals have more zing than Aunt Mildred’s cranberry sauce? We detailed a few examples from our November-deals roundup report and threw in a few more. All of these run at least through Dec. 2.
OK, not really. But GM’s mass-market brand, Chevrolet, offers nearly 20 percent off list price for 2019 model-year examples of the Bolt EV, Cruze, Impala, Malibu, Silverado 1500 double cab, Sonic, Spark, Traverse, Trax and Volt. (Chevrolet advertises a full 20 percent, but that’s off MSRP — not MSRP and destination, which is what we usually report.) In lieu of cash discounts, qualified shoppers in most markets we surveyed can get zero percent financing for 72 months plus $1,500 to $3,250, depending on model. All offers expire Dec. 2, but you might want to go before Thanksgiving. As of this writing, just 34 percent of Chevrolet inventory on Cars.com remains the 2019 model year.
Shoppers can save $2,750 in cash discounts on four out of five trim levels for the 2019 Hyundai Sonata, with the fifth (and highest) trim, Limited, getting $3,000 off. That’s some 9 to 12 percent off, depending which you choose. Alternately, creditworthy shoppers can get zero percent financing for 60 months. Since the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata is just now trickling into dealers, there are plenty of 2019s left to choose from.
Hyundai is advertising $2,000 off the Tucson’s lowest trim, called SE, and $2,750 off all higher trims. That’s roughly 8 to 11 percent off, depending which you choose. Finance at standard rates with Hyundai, and you can get another $500 off. In lieu of the full cash rebates, creditworthy shoppers can get the $500 plus zero percent financing for 72 months. Unlike the Sonata, the Tucson is in shorter supply of 2019 models, but you should be able to track one down without too much trouble. As of this writing, about a third of new Tucson SUVs on Cars.com remain the 2019 model year.
On specially tagged model-year 2019 examples, discounts amount to a hefty $5,000 off the Kia Sorento’s two lowest trim levels, L and LX, with $6,000 off higher trims. It’s unclear whether such examples are widely available or needles in the proverbial haystack but, absent said tags, the Sorento still has $3,000 to $4,000 in discounts — in many cases amounting to more than 10 percent off. Find a specially tagged model, and your discount could soar as high as 18 percent. In lieu of such cash deals, creditworthy shoppers can get zero percent financing for 66 months-plus; find a specially tagged model, and you can combine that with another $2,000. You can sit on this deal if need be, as it runs through Jan. 2, 2020, but inventory may not. As of this writing, about half of new Sorento inventory on Cars.com is model-year 2019.
Shoppers can save $2,000 to nearly $5,300 on the 2019 Jeep Compass, depending on trim level and region. That’s roughly 5 to 20 percent off, depending on specifics. Those who finance at standard rates through Jeep parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles can get another $750 to $1,750 off in most cases. Alternately, creditworthy shoppers can get zero percent financing for 36 months plus $2,750 to $3,500 off, depending on region and trim. You might have to shop around for those 2019s, however. As of this writing, only about a quarter of new Compass inventory on Cars.com remains the 2019 model year. Another caveat: On some discounts we observed, Jeep limits the maximum amount to a fraction of dealer inventory — typically just 10 to 20 percent. But in such instances, remaining inventory still qualifies for all but $500 of the full deal, which is still a hefty discount.
Shoppers can save $2,250 to nearly $6,200 on the 2019 Jeep Renegade, depending on trim level and region. That’s roughly 6 to 21 percent off, depending on specifics. Finance at standard rates through FCA, and you can get another $500 to $1,500 in most cases, depending on region and trim. In lieu of cash discounts, creditworthy shoppers can get zero percent financing for 36 months plus $1,500 to $3,500 off, depending on region and trim. Qualifying examples should abound — as of this writing, nearly 80 percent of new Renegade inventory on Cars.com is model-year 2019 — but the Renegade’s discounts carry the same caveat as those on the Compass: Some of the larger discounts are limited to a sliver of dealer inventory.
Nissan Rogue Sport
Save $2,500 to $3,500 depending on region. That’s 7 to 15 percent off, depending on specifics. Alternatively, creditworthy shoppers can get zero percent financing for 60 months plus $1,000. Deals expire Dec. 2, and you should have no trouble finding a 2019 Rogue Sport, as the SUV’s 2020 model year has only just started to arrive.
Remember, our numbers are current as of publication for the markets we survey (generally Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and New York). They reflect advertised customer discounts, not unadvertised factory-to-dealer cash. Discount financing typically requires qualifying credit, too, and incentives may vary by region and trim level; automakers may also change them later in the month. In sum: Your discounts may vary, so check with your local dealer for specifics.
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