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New-Car Deals: May 2016

CARS.COM — During past few years, May has been a popular time for automakers to ramp up incentives heading into the summer. Average incentives per vehicle this month have outpaced April numbers in each of the past four years, according to Autodata Corp., and our survey of advertised incentives show there’s plenty of deals this month.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: April 2016

We looked at the 100 best-selling models from April and analyzed sales performance and days-to-turn data to come up with the best deals. Days to turn means how long a vehicle stays on dealer lots before it sells; the longer it’s there, the more motivated a dealer might be. Finally, we looked at May customer incentives and financing offers across the country from Automotive News. Remember, the financing offers require qualifying credit, and regional specifics may vary. See your dealer for details.

Bargain hunters who follow our monthly deals know the Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart and outgoing 2016 Hyundai Elantra are heavy on deals this year. The same is true in May — you can still get a big discount on all three cars. Here’s a few more to add to your list:

2016 Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

How much can I save? Ford offers $1,000 off the Fiesta, whose sales fell 25.4 percent in April as consumers spurned subcompact cars for SUVs. Not surprisingly, the 2016 Fiesta hatchback averaged 81 days on dealer lots in April, while the sedan averaged 99 days — both well above the industry’s 59-day average for new 2016 and 2017 models. Ford’s discount may not seem like much, but it takes a chunk out of the affordable Fiesta, which starts at less than $15,000. It’s a refined car at that, with a degree of highway composure that belies its small footprint. Still, cabin space is tight, and concerning crash-test and reliability data may give some shoppers pause.

Are any 2015s left? A few. As of May 10, 8 percent of new Fiestas on Cars.com were 2015s, and Ford offers another $200 off of them (for $1,200 total).

What about discount financing? Discount financing for both the 2015 and 2016 Fiesta runs from zero to 2.9 percent.

When do all these deals expire? July 5.

2016 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai Sonata

How much can I save? Hyundai offers $1,000 to $2,250 off the 2016 Sonata, a value-laden sedan that just 18 months ago won Cars.com’s $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge. Still, Sonata sales tumbled 15.1 percent in April as the car averaged 90 days on dealer lots. As the Sonata faces competition from a redesigned Chevrolet Malibu and refreshed Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, Hyundai has turned the incentives spigot on full blast.

Are any 2015s left? Not really. As of May 10, just 3.4 percent of new Sonatas on Cars.com were 2015s. Automotive News did not list any discounts for them.

What about discount financing? Hyundai offers rates from zero to 2.9 percent on the 2016 Sonata.

What about the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid? As of May 10, Cars.com listed about 4,500 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid sedans, versus around 33,000 non-hybrid Sonatas — a ratio that suggests you should be able to find one without too much trouble. If you do, the deals are even bigger: Hyundai offers $2,500 off both 2016 variants or the same discount financing as the regular Sonata.

When do all these deals expire? July 5.

2016 Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee

How much can I save? Cherokee sales have leveled off versus a meteoric rise in 2015, and now Jeep offers $500 to $2,500 off the 2016 SUV. Jeep’s compact SUV which Cars.com owned for a year — averaged 70 days on dealer lots in May. Poor reliability and crash tests have dogged the Cherokee, but if you’re set on an SUV, these deals warrant some attention.

Are any 2015s left? Effectively not. As of May 10, just 2.4 percent of new Cherokees on Cars.com were 2015s. Automotive News did not list any discounts for them.

What about discount financing? Automotive News did not list any discount financing for the Cherokee, so expect to see regular rates.

When do all these deals expire? May 31.

2016 Ford Escape

Ford Escape

How much can I save? With the refreshed 2017 Escape ramping up at dealers, Ford posted discounts of $250 to $2,000 on the 2016 model. Like the Cherokee, the Escape bucked an overall trend toward SUVs in April, with sales falling 7.2 percent as the 2016 model averaged 70 days on dealer lots. Reliability has improved since the current-generation Escape’s early years, but crash tests are concerning. Still, this SUV, like its Jeep rival, has serious discounts.

How many 2016s are out there? Lots. Ford offers a small cash discount ($250) on the 2017 Escape, but dealers still have plenty of 2016s. As of May 10, nearly three-quarters of new Escapes on Cars.com were 2016s, so shop away.

What about discount financing? Ford offers zero to 2.9 percent financing on the 2016 Escape or 0.9 to 8.9 percent financing on the 2017 model.

When do all these deals expire? July 5.

 
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