What’s the Best New-Car Deal for March 2022?

202203-march-best-deals-clover Best new-car deals for March | illustration by Paul Dolan

“March winds and April showers bring May flowers” goes the age-old proverb, and that’ll ring true for new-car shoppers who continue to face headwinds this month. Rising vehicle prices and tight inventory linger on due to the ongoing supply chain disruptions; according to J.D. Power’s latest sales forecast, the average new-car price was estimated at a record $44,460 for the month of February, down only marginally from January’s $44,905 average.

Related: Inventory Shortage Update: Should You Wait to Buy a Car?

At the same time, manufacturer incentives continue to shrink: The average incentive for February was estimated at $1,246, or just 2.8% of MSRP — a significant drop from $3,389 a year prior. Given how quickly vehicles are flying off dealer lots, the dwindling discounts come as no surprise. According to J.D. Power, nearly 53% of vehicles were sold within just 10 days of arriving at the dealership last month. The arrival of spring’s milder weather and the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday signal that shoppers aren’t completely out of luck this month, however: Those with a vehicle to trade in can take advantage of record-high trade-in values, which averaged $9,663 in February — a whopping 93% jump from the prior year.

Despite all the challenges plaguing the auto industry, saving on a new-car purchase is possible. We found the four-leaf clover of new-car deals offered this March: a sporty sedan, versatile pickup truck and a pair of popular SUVs. Read on for details.

2021 Ford Escape

ford-escape-se-2020-03-angle--brick--exterior--front--silver--urban.jpg 2020 Ford Escape SE | photo by Kelsey Mays
  • Factory discount: $500-$1,500
  • Approximate price after savings: $25,500-$44,000
  • Approximate factory savings: 1%-6%
  • Offer ends: April 4

The Ford Escape returns to our best deals lineup this month with cash savings of up to $1,500 on 2021 models in most areas we surveyed. The compact SUV offers a spacious interior, a suite of standard safety features and a choice of four powertrains:  two gas-only options, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. Most areas we surveyed offer discounts exclusively for gas-only or hybrid variants, but the PHEV can offer its own savings thanks to its federal electric vehicle tax credit eligibility.

With no changes for the 2022 Escape other than a price increase, shoppers should look for the 2021 model to get the best deal; discounts for the 2022 Escape are limited to $500 in most regions we surveyed. Finding the outgoing model can take some legwork, however, as 2021 models accounted for approximately 20% of all new Escapes among dealers in February. Qualified shoppers who finance with Ford can trade the above offers for a special financing rate of 3.9% or 5.9% for 84 months depending on the region. All financing and cash offers are available through April 4.

Shop the 2021 Ford Escape near you

2021 Ford Escape Titanium
24,567 mi.
$26,000 $500 price drop
Great Deal | $1,914 under
2021 Ford Escape SE
29,972 mi.
Good Deal | $107 under

2022 Hyundai Elantra

hyundai-elantra-2022-exterior-front-angle-sedan-silver 2022 Hyundai Elantra | Manufacturer image
  • Factory discount: $500
  • Approximate price after savings: $20,500-$34,500
  • Approximate factory savings: 1%-2%
  • Offer ends: March 31

Sedan shoppers who prioritize value should consider the 2022 Hyundai Elantra, which offers more bang for fewer bucks this month. Following a full redesign for 2021, the Elantra blends a comfortable ride with agile handling and a capable 147-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder base engine. In addition, the Elantra brings a turbo four-cylinder in its N Line trim, a hybrid variant and a new performance-oriented N model with a 276-hp, turbo four-cylinder engine.

Whether it’s the daily-driver appeal of the base Elantra or the sporty N model, shoppers can save $500 on all of the sedan’s variants through the end of the month. Although it’s a modest discount compared to the others on our list, the Elantra’s affordable starting price helps land it both on this list and on our list of cheapest cars for 2022. The 2022 Elantra is on sale now and makes up 99% of inventory among dealers. Qualified shoppers who finance with Hyundai can swap the cash offer for 0% for 48 months. Both deals are good through March 31.

Shop the 2022 Hyundai Elantra near you

2022 Hyundai Elantra N Line
28,828 mi.
$22,400 $900 price drop
Great Deal | $551 under
2022 Hyundai Elantra SEL
15,397 mi.
Good Deal | $514 under

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WK

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Manufacturer image
  • Factory discount: $1,000-$1,500
  • Approximate price after savings: $37,000-$56,000
  • Approximate factory savings: 2%-4%
  • Offer ends: March 31

The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee can be found in three variations: The redesigned Grand Cherokee WL, the related three-row Grand Cherokee L and a carryover fourth-generation model called the Grand Cherokee WK. Shoppers looking for the best savings on Jeep’s bestseller should opt for the WK model, which offers cash savings of $1,000-$1,500 in most areas we surveyed. The WK gets a condensed list of trims (Laredo E, Laredo X and Limited), but the savings apply to all three variants. A standard 290-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 powers the SUV; rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is available across the board.

While the redesigned Grand Cherokee is currently on sale, the WK still makes up approximately 80% of all new 2022 models among dealers, so the odds of finding a carryover model are high. Qualified shoppers who finance with Jeep parent Stellantis can opt out of the cash-only deal to claim a rate of 0% for 48 months with up to $2,500 in bonus cash. All cash and financing deals are offered through March 31.

Shop the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee near you

Jeep Certified
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
15,703 mi.
$50,100 $1,500 price drop
Good Deal | $541 under
CPO Warrantied

Editor’s Choice: 2022 Ram 1500 Big Horn/Lone Star

ram-1500-back-country-2022-oem.jpg 2022 Ram 1500 BackCountry | Manufacturer image
  • Factory discount: $1,250-$4,000
  • Approximate price after savings: $38,500-$72,500
  • Approximate factory savings: 2%-9%
  • Offer ends: March 31

A long-standing fan favorite, the 2022 Ram 1500, once again nabs Editor’s Choice. In the regions we surveyed, shoppers who choose the pickup’s Big Horn or Texas-specific Lone Star models will score cash savings between $1,250 and $4,000 this month, region depending. The pickup offers a plethora of powertrain options and RWD comes standard; 4WD is available. For 2022, the Big Horn and Lone Star get a new BackCountry Package geared for off-roading, along with the latest Uconnect 5 system displayed on either a standard 8.4-inch screen or larger 12-inch portrait display.

The Big Horn and Lone Star models account for over half of all new 2022 Ram 1500 models among dealers as of February, giving you a sizable target to shoot for. Shoppers who finance with Ram parent Stellantis can forgo the cash-only offers to get financing of 0% for 72 months or 0% for 48 months with up to $3,500 in bonus cash. All highlighted offers are valid through March 31.

Shop the 2022 Ram 1500 near you

2022 RAM 1500 TRX
10,400 mi.
$82,998 $298 price drop
Great Deal
2022 RAM 1500 Limited
$67,400 MSRP $75,150

$250 price drop

How We Look for Deals

To help car shoppers find the best deals for March, we lead with cash offers available to shoppers at large, not those that require financing with the automaker or having certain qualifications (e.g., military or college-graduate discounts, loyalty or conquest bonuses, etc.). In calculating the overall percentage discount and pricing after incentives, we focus on the vehicle’s price range from the cheapest incentives-eligible trim level with no factory options to the priciest eligible trim with all factory options. We include the destination charge in such pricing, but we exclude a few other items: taxes and fees, which vary considerably by region, and dealer accessories, which vary considerably by automaker.

Because these are factory discounts, they should be available to all participating dealers. As such, use them as the starting point for negotiations, not a reason to skip haggling altogether.

Incentives data come from automakers’ websites. 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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Photo of Jane Ulitskaya
Former News Editor Jane Ulitskaya joined the team in 2021, and her areas of focus included researching and reporting on vehicle pricing, inventory and auto finance trends. Email Jane Ulitskaya

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