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What Are the Best Car Deals for March 2020?

Historically, March hasn’t been the best month for deal-seeking car shoppers, and with the threat of the new coronavirus potentially reducing inventory thanks to slowed or halted production facilities, 2020 doesn’t appear to be a banner year, either. Take a closer look, though: According to J.D. Power, while February transaction prices reached record levels, so, too, did the average amount car sellers are spending on incentives  to entice you to buy. The opportunity for deals is still out there.

Related: How to Use New-Car Incentives, Rebates and Finance Deals

Where should you look if you’re counting on more than the luck of the Irish in the month of St. Paddy’s Day for savings on your next car? Read on to find out.

2020 Buick Envision

2020 Buick Envision

How Much Can I Save?

Anywhere from roughly 9-13.5%, so long as you’re not looking at a base 1SV trim. The Envision averaged 69 days on dealer lots through most of February, significantly longer than the 51-day average for all 2020 model-year new cars on Cars.com. Now through March 31, Buick is offering up to $4,750 off its compact SUV on all but the 1SV.

What About Discount Financing?

Now through March 31, creditworthy shoppers can get 0% financing for up to 72 months if they finance through GM — and they can also get an additional $1,750 off. As with the cash discount, this offer excludes the 1SV trim that’s virtually impossible to come by anyway.

Isn’t the Envision Affected by COVID-19?

While the Envision is the only vehicle of significant volume built entirely in China and sold in the U.S., the relative difficulty of the virus to survive the trip it takes to get a car from the assembly line to dealer lots is such that catching the coronavirus from one should not be a concern — and there are still more than 8,000 to be found in Cars.com inventory as of this writing. Though it may cause trouble for the plants where they’re produced, don’t count on the virus being an issue during your test drive or purchase.

2020 Jeep Compass

2020 Jeep Compass

How Much Can I Save?

Anywhere from about 6-11% and as much as 15% depending on the trim level and where you live. Jeep’s compact SUV averaged 65 days on dealer lots through most of February. Now through March 31, the brand is offering $2,500 off all trims, plus various additional incentives if you’re OK with caveats including the status of your credit score and whether you finance through Jeep parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

What About Discount Financing?

Now through March 31, Jeep is offering 0% financing for 36 months. As with cash allowances, however, additional money off is available if you finance through FCA as well as if your credit score qualifies.

Why Would I Want One of These Things?

Even if you never venture off-road or live somewhere that Old Man Winter terrorizes regularly, the Compass has its advantages despite not having been redesigned since 2017. Interior quality and cabin room are competitive with rivals in the class; additional safety features have been added for the 2020 model year; and for aficionados of the manual transmission, one is still available with four-wheel drive on multiple trims.

2020 GMC Terrain

Editor’s Choice: 2020 GMC Terrain

How Much Can I Save?

Some 9-14%, trim level depending. The Terrain averaged a considerable 91 days on dealer lots through most of February. Now through March 31, GMC is offering $4,250 off all but the base SL trim level (which, akin to the Envision’s 1SV trim, is all but nonexistent in Cars.com inventory). Additional cash in some markets may be offered if you own a model-year 2006 or newer non-GM car; if you own a Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab or Saturn, you’re not eligible for this one.

What About Discount Financing?

Now through March 31, GMC is offering 0% for 72 months for those qualified. Financing through GM will net you an additional $1,500 in some markets.

I Need More Safety Features Because I Don’t Trust Other Drivers. Isn’t That Stuff Optional on Terrains?

Not anymore. For 2020, a package of formerly optional safety features known as GMC Pro Safety is now standard on all trim levels. That includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, high-beam headlamps and more. Additionally, if you’re prone to worrying for your safety off-road, an AT4 variant of the Terrain is due in the fall (though that will almost certainly be a 2021 model).

The Returnees

We focus on cars new to the list or ones we haven’t highlighted in the past few months. But a few cars from recent months still carry deep discounts in March:

How We Look for Deals

To look for March deals, we looked at days-to-turn data from February — specifically Feb. 1-23, the window we gathered the data — which measures how long it takes on average for dealers to sell a given car. That illustrates slow sellers, cars on which dealers could be more willing to cut a deal. Then we looked at factory cash discounts and low-interest-rate financing offers that are especially high for the price of the car. After all, $3,000 is a lot more on a Ford Escape than a Ford Expedition.

Incentives data come from automakers’ websites, while days-to-turn data come from Cars.com inventory. 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.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

 
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