Memorial Day sales events are getting under way with some manufacturers rebranding existing offers as specials for the weekend, while others are extending discounts to members of the military, veterans and first responders. Most of these spiffs range from $500 to $1,500 and it’s best to check the manufacturers’ websites to determine your eligibility. Don’t forget to enter your zip code, which will lead you to specific rebates in your locale.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is offering additional bonus cash of $500 to $1,000 in selected regions on Jeep products including 2018 Compass, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models. Dodge is offering an additional $1,250 on 2018 Challengers and $750 on 2018 Chargers. Ram is also adding $1,000 to 2018 models of its Ram 1500 pickup.

Ford is also offering regional rebates of $1,000 on 2018 EcoSport, Edge, Escape Explorer and Flex as well as first responder rebates of $500 to $1,000 and Military Appreciation Bonus cash ranging from $500 to $1,000 depending on region. Lincoln is offering similar cash bonus payments to first responders and military customers.

General Motors has $750 bonus cash on leases of 2017 and 2018 Chevrolet Malibu, Silverado 1500 Double Cab and Trax, while GMC has $1,500 bonus cash for leases on the 2018 Sierra 1500 Crew Cab pickup.

Among import brands, Hyundai has Military Appreciation Coupons ranging from $500 to $1,000, while Kia is offering 84-month 4.25-pecent financing on select models for customers with FICO scores of 720 or higher. Mazda is offering $500 bonus cash on all models, plus additional regional cash on selected models ranging from $250 to $1,000.

Nissan is looking to boost 2017 and 2018 Altima and Rogue sales over the weekend with $500 bonus cash, while Toyota is offering a similar amount on 2018 RAV4, RAV Hybrid and select Tacoma models. VW is offering $1,000 extra cash to first responders and military over the holiday weekend.

Nissan touts Altima Edition One

As part of the launch of its redesigned 2019 Nissan Altima, the Japanese maker is taking reservations for special Altima Edition One model starting June 15. This limited-edition features 19-inch dark gray aluminum alloy wheels, rear spoiler, special badging, external ground lighting and illuminated door sills on top-spec Altima Platinum VC Turbo models.

In addition to the upgrades, Edition One models also come with a 3-year subscription to Nissan Concierge, which includes 24/7 live assistant access for dinner reservations, event ticket purchases and other services either in-vehicle or using a compatible smart phone.

“The new Altima Edition One is designed for customers who want the best-of-the-best and value exclusivity,” said Billy Hayes, Nissan Division vice president. “They are often early adopters, so this reservation program is ideal for them. Plus, the super-premium gifts should appeal to their love of the latest technologies in the cars and their homes.” Those who reserve for Edition One models are given a choice of premium gifts within a week of their purchase that includes Amazon Echo Show plus Amazon Prime membership, a Bose Soundlink Revolve+, an Amazon Echo Dot with Amazon Prime membership or an Series 3 Apple Watch.

Orders for non-Edition One models will also be taken June 15 with these customers given gift selections that include an Amazon Echo Spot, Bose Soundlink Revolve+ or wireless Apple AirPod headphones. Only 3,900 Edition One Altima models will be built. Nissan said it would announce pricing closer to when the 2019 Altima goes on sale in the fall.

2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class updates

If you’ve had your eye on a 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the German brand has announced updates for the 2019 model which will go on sale this fall. Chief among these improvements are a more powerful 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that makes 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, increases of 33 horsepower and 15 lb-ft of torque.

Reflecting that bump in power, Mercedes will now designate the models as E 450 and E 450 4Matic. The model range features coupe, cabriolet, sedan and wagon variants and the cars will feature new and enhanced driver assists including route-based speed adaptation that uses more map and navigation data to guide the vehicle. Other improvements include a new 3-spoke Nappa leather-covered steering wheel, two new trim options with matching center consoles and a new 19-inch optional AMG alloy wheel design. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date this fall.

KBB teams with LendingTree

Kelley Blue Book’s and sister Cox Automotive site have teamed with LendingTree to help shoppers secure financing for their purchase in advance, with the potential for saving both time and money. LendingTree’s auto financing marketplace provides simple and easy online financing for new and used cars and trucks anywhere in the United States.

“Bringing LendingTree’s capabilities to Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader will help new- and used-vehicle shoppers by creating a seamless experience to research, shop for and secure financing on a vehicle all in one spot,” said Jai Macker, senior vice president of product for Cox Automotive. “Our ultimate goal is to empower consumers with comprehensive new and used-car information on both sites, including finance options for their specific needs while they navigate the car-shopping process.”

By visiting Car Loans and Financing, you can get a free online loan request, compare competitive rates and payment terms from multiple lenders and even use an auto loan calculator to determine monthly payments on loan amount, interest rate and loan term.

“LendingTree give consumers the convenience, choice and simplicity to speed up the time it takes to shop for a car and a loan,” said Dimitar Alexandrov, vice president of automotive for LendingTree. “Together with Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, we are able to provide 36 million-plus shoppers the information they need to find and compare rates and terms from multiple lenders, all while online.”

The rundown

Hyundai has done a revamp on its sporty compact hatchback that has three passenger doors. We get behind the wheel of the 2019 Hyundai Veloster in this First Review.

In a bid for fuel savings, Chevrolet is dropping the 4.3-liter V6 base engine from the 2019 Silverado 1500 in favor of a 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. Get all the technical details here.

You are all set to buy a new or used vehicle, so what do you do with your current ride? We have the answers for you in this latest Inside Car Buyer’s Tips: Trade, sell or donate.

In the market for a new car? Explore these useful tips on how to get the best deal: 

What to look for in your next economy car

Kelley Blue Book’s Complete Guide to Incentives

All you need to know about leasing

Which dealer services are right for you

What you need to know about conditional rebates

New Car Spotlight


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