NEWS

New-Car Deals: October 2016

Dealership_autumn_KM.jpg Cars.com photo by Kelsey Mays

CARS.COM — For deal-seeking shoppers, October may be a bit of a head-scratcher. Amid the fall colors and pumpkin-flavored everything, you’d think the month would signal steep discounts as dealers clear the outgoing model-year inventory and ramp up for the incoming year. But according to Autodata Corp., the past five Octobers have been unremarkable months for new-car incentives.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: September 2016

Still, 2016 could be different. Incentives this year have skyrocketed faster than Kenneth Bone memes: Autodata says this summer saw higher per-vehicle incentives than any month over the past five years. In September, automakers shelled out a ludicrous $3,690 per new car, up $312 versus August and $546 versus September 2015. By J.D. Power and Associates’ count, incentives in September hit their highest level ever. Even if October is lackluster, shoppers should still find some good deals.

For starters, check out these offers. All of them expire Oct. 31, according to Automotive News.

16Ford_Focus_Manual_BW_01_Carousel.jpg 2016 Ford Focus SE Manual | Cars.com photo by Brian Wong

Ford Focus

How much can I save? A lot. The Focus had reasonable turning times on dealer lots last month, but sales still fell 16.9 percent. As of Oct. 13, the 2016 model still accounts for just about all Focus inventory, and it’s cheap: Cash rebates range from $1,000 to a steep $4,000 per car, according to Automotive News. Reliability concerns aside, those are huge for an affordable compact like the Focus; nearly three-quarters of all new Focus inventory on Cars.com lists for $22,000 or less.

What about that Focus RS and ST? How much cash can I save on them? It depends. Ford’s current incentives apply to the turbocharged Focus ST but not the nameplate’s crazy-quick, all-wheel-drive Focus RS. Yes, that makes us sad, too.

Any discount financing offers? Excluding the RS and Focus Electric, discount financing offers range from zero to 2.9 percent.

Does this mean I have to endure Ford’s MyFord Touch multimedia system? Nope. For the 2016 Focus, Ford replaced MyFord Touch — a system so bad it reportedly even aggravated Ford’s own executives — with its new Sync 3 system. What a difference that made. Sync 3 is to MyFord Touch what Freddie Mercury is to Fred Durst. Keep it around, Ford.

16Jeep_Renegade_OEM.jpg 2016 Jeep Renegade; | Manufacturer image

Jeep Renegade

How much can I save? From $250 to as much as $2,500 in cash rebates for the 2016 Renegade, per Automotive News. That’s unusually high for a player in the red-hot subcompact SUV class, but Renegade sales fell 12.8 percent in September as the brand’s newish truckster averaged 96 days on dealer lots — well past the industry’s 79-day average. You should find plenty of them; as of Oct. 13, dealers are still awash in 2016s.

What about discount financing? Automotive News says offers range from zero to 3.9 percent.

But isn’t the Renegade a bad choice? It wouldn’t be our first. The Renegade placed fifth out of seven subcompact SUVs in Cars.com’s 2015 comparison, but that was mostly for drivability reasons. If you’re on the lookout for a basic SUV to get from point A to point B, a discounted Renegade might still fit the bill.

Got it. If I get one, which SiriusXM satellite radio station can I find Styx’s “Renegade” to blast in my Renegade? Try Classic Rewind or ’70s on 7. Jeep gives you a whole year’s subscription in eligible trims to do it. But that’s a lot of Styx, bro.

16_Lexus_ES 350_OEM_3.jpg 2016 Lexus ES 350 | Manufacturer image

Lexus ES

How much can I save? Between $2,000 and $4,000 in cash rebates for the 2016 ES sedan, according to Automotive News. Lexus’ mid-size entry-luxury sedan has excellent crash-test and reliability scores, but that didn’t stop sales from plummeting 12.6 percent in September. The ES 300h hybrid might have had something to do with it; while the regular ES 350 averaged an unremarkable 51 days on dealer lots, its hybrid sibling averaged 95 days.

Are there any 2016 models left? Plenty. As of Oct. 13, Cars.com inventory shows 59.7 percent of new ES sedans are still 2016s. Lexus has no cash rebates for the 2017 ES, but it does offer discount financing rates of 1.9 percent. (For the 2016 ES, financing offers run as low as 0.9 percent.)

What about lease deals? Three-year leases on a 2016 ES 350 range from $329 to $349 per month with $2,999 to $3,699 due at signing, depending on region. Some regions also offer $429-a-month leases with zero due at signing. (We usually don’t analyze lease offers, but leasing is quite popular among luxury brands.)

Will this get me the front spot at a valet? Sorry to burst your aspirations, but Lexus sold close to 65,000 ES sedans in 2015. As luxury-car sales go, that’s way too much for exclusivity. But hey, at least you get a year of free maintenance.

The Repeats

We won’t rehash the deals for cars we covered in recent installments of New-Car Deals, but October incentives are still strong on these cars:

How We Look for Deals

To look for October deals, we considered sales in September among the top 100 best-selling cars, looking specifically at models whose sales fell. We also looked at days-to-turn data, which measures how long it takes on average for dealers to sell a given car. Both factors illustrate October’s slow sellers, cars on which dealers could be more willing to cut a deal.

Finally, we looked at factory cash discounts and low-interest-rate financing offers that are especially high for the price of the car. (After all, $2,000 is a lot more on a Ford Focus than a Ford Explorer.)

Sales and incentives data come from Automotive News, while days-to-turn data come from J.D. Power and Associates. Remember, our numbers are national in scope and 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. In sum: Your discounts may vary, so check with your local dealer for specifics.

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