Let's set aside broader economic concerns for just a moment and revel in some goodness: New cars are going cheap. With the market full of offers like zero-percent financing, big cash back and low-payment leases, it's tough to remember a time when so many cars were so heavily incentivized. It might not be the best time to run out and add a weekend convertible to the household fleet, but if your lease is up or your warranty is expiring or you just plain need something new, you have an unprecedented number of great deals to choose from. If you're concerned about qualifying for financing in the midst of the credit crunch, you can always apply online before visiting a dealer.
Note: Before heading down to the dealer, check the manufacturer's website to make sure the offer is available in your area and to read the details. Most of the currently available deals are set to expire the first week of 2009.
2009 Subaru Impreza 2.5i
Lease for $179 per month, $1,299 due at signing
From our list of Best Back-to-School Cars for 2008: "More than just a foundation for the rally-conquering (and pricier) Impreza WRX and WRX STI, the Subaru Impreza is a solid choice in the sub-$18,000 arena thanks in part to standard all-wheel drive and class-above road presence."
2009 Ford Fusion S
Sticker Price: $19,760 Sale Price: $15,492
Why is Ford so heavily discounting the well-received Fusion? Because there's a refined and restyled version on its way for the 2010 model year. Look for even bigger discounts on the outgoing 2008 Ford F-150.
2008 Buick Lucerne CX
Sticker Price: $28,040 Sale Price: $23,279
This time, GM's end-of-year Red Tag sale encompasses all eight brands. Cadillac is offering an Escalade at $12,000 off MSRP, and you can get a Saab 9-3 for $25,632, or almost $6,000 less than sticker price.
2008 Infiniti G35 Sedan
Lease for $349 per month, $3,002 due at signing
It becomes the more powerful G37 Sedan for the 2009 model year, but that doesn't make the 2008 G35 Sedan any less fun, stylish, comfortable or amenity-laden. In lieu of the lease deal, the G35 Sedan is also available with zero-percent financing for 36 months.
2009 Volkswagen Routan S
Lease for $339 per month, $0 due at signing
Key detail: $0 due at signing. The Routan is a solid, three-row troop transport based on the Chrysler/Dodge minivans, but with sleeker exterior styling, a higher-quality interior and livelier handling. Almost all '09 VWs are available with zero-down leases.