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

202205-may-deals Best New Car Deals for May | illustration by Paul Dolan

With emptier dealer lots and relentlessly elevated new-car prices, shoppers are calling “Mayday.” Traditionally, the arrival of May signals the transition into summer and ushers in hot car deals in anticipation of the busy shopping season; however, this year’s summer months likely won’t look much different when it comes to new-car inventory and available incentives.

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

With global supply chain disruptions showing no signs of simmering, inventory constraints are driving up the prices of new cars and limiting available deals. According to J.D. Power’s sales forecast, the average new-vehicle transaction price for April was estimated at $45,232 — just shy of the record-high $45,247 set in December. At the same time, incentives on new cars are shrinking: The average incentive was estimated at $1,034 in April — down 66% from 2021.

Luckily, help is on the way for shoppers who have a used vehicle to trade in. J.D. Power estimates the average trade-in equity for April was $9,668, a 72.1% increase from a year ago. data shows a similar trend, with almost 60% of surveyed dealers estimating trade-in payouts up between 11% and 20% compared to the same time in 2020, and more than 1 in 3 reporting payouts greater than 20%. Customers concur — approximately two-thirds of car owners who traded in their vehicles received a higher offer than expected, about half of the respondents received more than $1,000 above their expected trade-in amount, and 20% reported receiving $3,000 or more.

Despite the overall trend of shrinking incentives, there are a handful of vehicles that still offer generous deals for May and several surpass the average incentive of 2.3% of MSRP estimated by J.D. Power. The following SUVs and pickup truck can accommodate planned summer adventures and pack lighter price tags this month.

2022 GMC Terrain SLT

2022 GMC Terrain Denali 2022 GMC Terrain Denali | Manufacturer image
  • Factory discount: $750
  • Approximate price after savings: $32,500-$42,000
  • Approximate factory savings: 2%
  • Offer ends: May 31

The GMC Terrain gets a styling and technology refresh for 2022. A new face on our deals roundup, GMC’s smallest SUV also wears a new face, with updated headlights and a more rugged grille. A head-up display is freshly available, and wireless integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now comes standard. The Terrain’s SLT trim brings the best deal for May. It slots between the base SLE and the new off-road-oriented AT4 trim, and accounts for approximately 32% of all new 2022 Terrain inventory among dealers. Shoppers who purchase a 2022 Terrain SLT can take advantage of $750 in bonus cash in all areas we surveyed; a 0% special financing rate with $250 in bonus cash is available as an alternative deal for shoppers who finance with parent GM. All deals are available through May 31.

Shop the 2022 GMC Terrain near you

2022 GMC Terrain SLE
$28,765 MSRP $31,540

2022 Jeep Compass

jeep-compass-limited-4x4-2022-09-exterior-grey-rear-angle-suv 2022 Jeep Compass | photo by Christian Lantry
  • Factory discount: $500-$1,500
  • Approximate price after savings: $26,500-$41,000
  • Approximate factory savings: 2%-5%
  • Offer ends: May 31

The compact Jeep Compass sees updated tech and interior refinements for 2022, and its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine returns as the only option, with 177 horsepower. Although its powertrain isn’t as potent as some of its competitors’, the Compass scores points among editors for its composed ride and off-road capability. SUV shoppers looking to hit the highway or the trails this summer can save between $1,000 and $2,500 on the Compass, depending on the trim and region. In lieu of the cash offer, shoppers who finance with Jeep parent Stellantis can choose from a special 0% financing rate for 60 months and up to $1,000 bonus cash, or a 2.9% rate for 60 months and up to $750 bonus cash, depending on the region. All aforementioned deals are available through May 31.

Shop the 2022 Jeep Compass near you

2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk
$29,279 MSRP $40,050
2022 Jeep Compass Trailhawk
$29,162 MSRP $39,885

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WK

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Manufacturer photo
  • Factory discount: $1,000-$2,500
  • Approximate price after savings: $36,000-$56,000
  • Approximate factory savings: 2%-6%
  • Offer ends: May 31

SUV shoppers that need more space for their upcoming summer road trips can move up from the Compass to the Grand Cherokee WK. The SUV once again delivers one of the best cash deals this month, offering savings of $1,000 to $2,500 in most regions we surveyed. As for what it is, the WK is a continuation of the last-generation Grand Cherokee that’s being sold alongside the redesigned model. Although the latter brings more tech and a new hybrid powertrain, the previous model is still in demand and available; the WK accounts for 66% of all new Grand Cherokee inventory among dealers. Shoppers who finance with Stellantis can skip the cash-only deals and get a special financing rate of 0% for 48 months and up to $3,000 in bonus cash. The cash and financing offers run through May 31.

Shop the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WK near you

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WK Laredo
6,150 mi.
Hot Car
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee WK Laredo
11,149 mi.
$36,900 $1,600 price drop

Editors Choice: 2022 Ram 1500 Big Horn/Lone Star

2021 Ram 1500 Big Horn Manufacturer image | 2021 Ram 1500 Big Horn
  • Factory discount: $1,500-$3,500
  • Approximate price after savings: $40,000-$73,000
  • Approximate factory savings: 2%-7%
  • Offer ends: May 31

The full-size Ram 1500 pickup’s Big Horn and Texas-exclusive Lone Star trims make up approximately 54% of all 2022 models among inventory at the time of this writing and bring thousands of dollars in cash savings. Once again anointed Editor’s Choice, the Ram 1500 is powered by a base 305-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission; also available are a pair of Hemi V-8s and an EcoDiesel V-6. The Big Horn and Lone Star trims gain a BackCountry Package meant for going off the beaten path, and the pickup’s tech upgrades include the latest Uconnect 5 operating system, with screens ranging from 8.4 inches to a 12-inch portrait-oriented display.

Cash offers range from $1,500 to $3,500 in most areas we surveyed, and shoppers who finance with Stellantis can swap the cash deals for one of two financing offers: a 0% financing rate for 60 months with up to $3,500 in bonus cash, or 0% for 72 months, depending on the region. All available deals run through May 31.

Shop the 2022 Ram 1500 near you

2022 RAM 1500 Limited
$65,855 MSRP $74,650
2022 RAM 1500 Limited
$65,805 MSRP $74,600

How We Look for Deals

To help car shoppers find the best deals for May, 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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