This Week in Car Buying: Deals of the month; Dealer used car push; 2018 Jeep Trackhawk priced; Tesla Model X price cut
High accolades for a particular model is a reassuring factor when shopping for a new vehicle and to find one with a great deal on it is nothing short of a win-win situation. In looking at our deals of the month for August, Kelley Blue Book researched models that have won various awards and found that there are some attractive offers on the table.
“As dealers begin preparing their lots for incoming 2018 model-year vehicles, right now new-car shoppers can snag an excellent deal on a new 2017 model, with many offers extending through Labor Day,” said Jack. R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Each vehicle on this month’s list has won multiple KBB.com accolades this year, with the top spot on our list reserved for one of our 10 Best SUVs under $25,000—the Toyota RAV4. Also featured is the Honda Accord, KBB’s Most Awarded Car for 2017.”
That 2017 Toyota RAV4 deal is a 3-year lease at just $199 per month with $1,999 down based on an MSRP of $25,370 and a KBB Fair Purchase Price of $23,818. Close behind was a slightly less expensive 2017 Honda Accord, which also is being offered for 36 months at $189 per month also with $1,999 down. The Accord carries a $24,130 base price and an FPP of $21,365.
Two subcompact crossover SUVs, which are on our list of 10 Best SUVs under $25,000, also have low 3-year lease offers on them. The 2017 Honda HR-V is $179 per month with $2,299 up front, while the 2017 Kia Sportage goes for $199 per month with $2,199 cash due at signing. Kia is also offering 2017 Soul hatchbacks with a $1,000 rebate plus 0-percent financing.
Sedans continue to be smart buys and Toyota has deals on its compact and midsize entries. A 2017 Toyota Corolla can be leased for 3 years at $159 per month with $1,999 up front, while the 2017 Camry, which is being replaced by the all-new 2018 model, has a $189 per month lease deal over 36 months also with $1,999 down. The 2017 Ford Fusion is eligible for a $4,500 rebate, while the 2017 Hyundai Sonata is eligible for up to $4,100 cash back.
Finally, Subaru, which is setting record sales this year, is offering a lease deal on its 2017 Outback wagon. The 3-year lease is for $229 per month with $1,729 cash down.
Dealers continue used car push
Some may look at the rising supply of used vehicles coming back to the market as a problem in that this high number will depress prices. Two dealer groups, on the other hand, look at it as an opportunity by sticking to or expanding their efforts in the pre-owned vehicle space.
AutoNation, one of the largest dealer groups in the country, said it is sticking to its program of one-price, no dicker stickers on its used vehicles, even amid reports that the approach has eroded the franchise’s margins on these sales.
The program, which rolled out on the West Coast, is being adapted at other locations in AutoNation’s central and eastern regions. According to Automotive News, some of the problem with lower returns is related to the centralized approach to appraising and pricing the vehicles. Mike Jackson, president and CEO of AutoNation, said the challenge is getting the consumer to understand “what we are about and how we price our cars.” The other challenge he said is in getting the optimal balance between price and volume.
Penske Automotive Group is doubling down on used vehicle sales by acquiring two retailing chains, one on the U.S., the other in the United Kingdom, that specialize in pre-owned sales only. The U.S.-based CarSense and the U.K.’s CarShop are now part of Penske’s dealer group. Chairman Roger Penske told Automotive News that he is looking to leverage the expertise in the two chains and expand operations. “We’re going to scale it,” he said. “We have very good people, good processes, five good locations [in each country] and we’ll be able to replicate those. All of that is very positive.”
Like AutoNation, Penske is taking a one-price approach. “The salesman is not there to haggle with you,” Penske said, adding that part of the success is based on “having a 7-day return policy.” He also believes because of the scale of his operation, he is actually able to buy cars more efficiently, sell them at competitive prices without hurting profits. “We’re making our margin on them. We’re actually getting $400 more per unit in the U.S., all in.” Penske sold more than 66,000 used units in the second quarter alone at all his locations.
2018 Jeep Trackhawk priced
Jeep’s high performance version of its Grand Cherokee, a midsize SUV powered by FCA’s 707-horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat Hemi V8, has been priced at $85,900 plus $1,095 destination. The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is called the quickest SUV ever by FCA, which claims 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.5 seconds and a quarter mile time of 11.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 180 mph.
“The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk delivers astounding performance numbers, backed by renowned SRT engineering that combines world-class on-road driving dynamics with luxury, refinement and an array of innovated advanced technology,” said Mike Manley, head of the Jeep brand. The Trackhawk is expected to arrive in showrooms during the fourth quarter.
Tesla Model X price cut
Citing increased production efficiencies, Tesla Motors announced that it is cutting the price of its Model X people mover by $3,000 to $79,500. That move brings the electric vehicle back in line with the originally promised $5,000 premium over the Model S, which starts at $74,500. The company also announced that it has the capability to build as many Model X units as it makes of the Model S.
Meanwhile, in San Diego, California, a local utility has kicked in rebates to help sales of the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf, pushing the total incentive packages for these vehicles to $20,000. San Diego Gas & Electric is offering $10,000 discounts for the cars, which go on top of a $7,500 federal tax credit and as much as $2,500 in rebates from the state. The package can reduce the MSRP of the $43,395 BMW i3 in nearly half and by two thirds for the $31,565 Nissan Leaf.
What you know can save you money, especially when it comes to conditional rebates geared toward your veteran or school status. Read more about these deals.
One of Subaru’s hottest selling models is in the subcompact crossover category. The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek has been redesigned and we get behind the wheel in this First Review.
Following on the heels of the division’s refresh of the TLX, the 2018 Acura RLX gets a similar grille treatment and upgraded materials. Pricing has yet to be announced.
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