The soporific effects of turkey have done little to stop consumers from descending on local retailers like a horde army storming the castle come Black Friday — or, increasingly, as soon as the pie's finished on Thanksgiving Day itself. But the turkey-day weekend often sees big discounts for car shoppers, too, and you probably don't need to camp out at the dealership overnight.
Granted, dealers aren't exactly rolling out the same percentage discounts as big-box retailers do on doorbuster electronics, but the deals remain substantial. Tyson Jominy, who heads up J.D. Power and Associates' data arm, calls Black Friday the third-largest selling weekend of the year behind only Memorial Day and the week after Christmas. He expects discounts to average $3,950 per new car sold, down $225 versus the same weekend in 2017 but a couple of hundred dollars above October incentives. And compact SUVs are seeing the biggest push, he added.
"This is still a very significant weekend," Jominy told Cars.com. "It's really the last great sell-down weekend as you come into Black Friday — the discounts on the outgoing model year would be greatest at this point as the [automakers] really want to be done with the '18s and start moving into the '19s."
As of this writing, those 2018 models still represent about 45 percent of new-car inventory on Cars.com, so start your search with them. New-car discounts have ebbed in recent months, but this week should still present some strong deals. Which models have the biggest incentives? See our picks below:
- 2019 Chevrolet Equinox: Through Nov. 30, GM is offering 16 percent off the Equinox LT, a mid-level trim that accounts for 43 percent of new Equinox inventory on Cars.com, for those who finance through the automaker. That could amount to some $5,000 on certain LT examples. Alternatively, qualified shoppers can get zero percent financing for 72 months on most 2019 Equinox models except certain base trims, GM says.
- 2018 Chevrolet Trax: Through Nov. 30, GM is offering 20 percent off all 2018 Trax models for those who finance through the automaker. That could total around $6,000 off a well-equipped example. Better hurry, though: The outgoing model year accounts for just 28 percent of new Trax inventory on Cars.com as of this writing. Alternately, qualified shoppers can score zero percent financing for 72 months plus $1,000, excluding certain base trims. If you can't find a 2018 Trax, the automaker has $2,250 in cash discounts for the 2019 model.
- 2019 Jeep Cherokee: Through Dec. 3, discounts range from $3,000 to $4,000 depending on trim level and region. Separately, Jeep advertises average dealer and manufacturer discounts totaling as high as $4,623 for some regions and trim levels. Those who finance at normal rates with Chrysler Capital (Jeep is a brand of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) can get another $500 to $1,000 off, depending on region and trim. Qualified shoppers can instead get zero percent financing for up to 60 months with $1,000 off or zero percent for 36 months plus up to $2,000 off, depending on region.
- 2019 Kia Sorento: Through Nov. 30, Kia is offering $2,000 to $3,500 off the 2019 Sorento, depending on region and trim level, with another $500 for those who finance at standard rates through Kia. Alternately, qualified shoppers can get zero percent financing for 60 months plus $500 to $1,000, depending on region.
- 2018 Nissan Murano: Through Nov. 30, Nissan is offering $4,000 to $5,000 off the 2018 Murano depending on region and, in some cases, trim level. Alternately, qualified shoppers can score zero percent financing for 60 months plus $2,000 to $2,500, depending on region. The 2018 model year is still in vast supply for the Murano, as the 2019 model has yet to hit dealers.
- 2018 Nissan Titan: The Titan has big discounts for those willing to hunt down the right truck. For the 2018 model year, SL and Platinum Reserve trims — which account for about 1 in 5 new Titan and Titan XD pickups on Cars.com as of this writing — have $7,500 in discounts through Dec. 3. Certain regions have average dealer discounts of some $2,000 to $3,000 atop that, but these additional discounts expire Nov. 30. Alternately, qualified shoppers can get zero percent financing for up 60 months.
- 2019 Ram 1500: For the redesigned Ram 1500, zero in on four-wheel-drive editions of the popular Big Horn edition, known as the Lone Star trim in Texas. Such variants account for about a third of all inventory for the redesigned Ram 1500 on Cars.com, and Ram is advertising average dealer and manufacturer discounts of a combined $9,062 to $11,659 on the crew cab, depending on region. Alternately, qualified shoppers can get zero percent financing for 36 months on that variant plus $1,500 to $2,500, depending on region. Discounts vary based on bed configurations, with lesser deals for the Quad Cabs and other trims, so make sure you're shopping the right example. But the Big Horn's widespread availability suggests these discounts shouldn't be too hard to hunt down. Deals expire Dec. 3.
Sedans and Hatchbacks
Our best new-car deals for November had a heavy rotation of sedans, and all are still in effect through the holiday weekend:
- 2018 Chevrolet Malibu: Shoppers can get $2,500 to $4,000 off, depending on location, excluding the base L trim. Alternately, qualified shoppers can get zero percent financing for 60 months on the 2018 Malibu, excluding the L. Deals expire Nov. 30.
- 2018 Ford Fusion: Ford is slashing $1,750 to $5,000, depending on trim level and location. The Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi (plug-in hybrid) get $3,000 to $4,500 off in most locations. Most deals we observed extend to Jan. 2, 2019, but some of the higher-dollar offers expire as soon as Nov. 30. Qualified shoppers can instead get discount financing as low as 2.9 percent for 84 months, but rates vary depending on region.
- 2018 Hyundai Sonata: Shoppers can score $2,750 to $3,750 off the Sonata, depending on trim level; the Sonata Hybrid gets $2,000 off. Deals expire Dec. 3. Discount financing deals, meanwhile, amount to zero percent for up to 60 months plus another $2,000 off for the Sonata, or 0.9 percent financing for 60 months plus $1,000 for the Sonata Hybrid.
- 2019 Kia Soul: Through Nov. 30, Kia is slashing $2,000 off all trims with another $500 for those who finance at standard rates through Kia Motor Finance. Alternately, qualified shoppers can get zero percent financing for up to 60 months plus $500.
We scoured six major markets (Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and New York) for advertised customer incentives on popular models, looking for cash discounts that are relatively high for the price of the car. After all, $2,000 is a lot more off a Ford Focus than a Ford Explorer.
Note that low-interest financing is usually in lieu of cash discounts. You seldom get both deals on the same car, and the best financing rates typically require high credit to secure. Incentives may vary by region and trim level, and our deals don't reflect unadvertised factory-to-dealer cash or volume incentives. In sum: Your discounts may vary, so check with your local dealer for specifics.
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