This Week in Car Buying: Rebates on 2019s kick in; Makers keep inventories in check; 2019 Honda Pilot priced; Ford Edge ST edges up
While the official start of the new model year isn’t until October 1, some models carrying the 2019 designation are out with incentives on their hoods. Typically, the models are carryovers, but in a few cases, some all-new or significantly freshened vehicles are eligible for the cash. Cases in point include the redesigned 2019 Ram 1500, which is eligible for cash back ranging from $500 to $2,000, and the 2019 Jeep Cherokee, which sports an all-new nose, carrying incentives that go from $250 to as much as $3,000.
At BMW, 2019 4 Series models from the 430 up through the M4 are being offered with rebates ranging from $1,000 to $2,500. Ford has up to $2,000 on the 2019 Flex, $1,500 on Mustang, Transit and Transit Connect, $1,000 on Lincoln MKT, $750 on MKC and $500 on 2019 heavy-duty F-Series, Lincoln Nautilus and MKZ.
Over at GM, 2019 Chevy Express 2500/3500 and GMC Savanna 2500/3500 vans are eligible for $3,500 rebates. Kia has $2,000 on the 2019 Sorento and $1,000 on new Soul and Sportage models. Mazda has up to $750 back on the 2019 CX-3. Toyota is offering $750 on the 2019 Avalon and $500 on new Lexus NX 300/NX 300h.
While not offering rebates, some makers have subsidized loan rates ranging from 0- to 9.5 percent on a wide range of 2019 models. Included are most BMWs, Mini Cooper, Countryman and E Countryman models; the redesigned 2019 Acura RDX and carryover TLX; Hyundai Santa Fe and Veloster (both of which are all-new); Jaguar F-type; Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross; the redesigned Infiniti QX50; the all-new Subaru Ascent, WRX and WRX STI; Toyota Corolla, C-HR and Sequoia; Lexus GS F and RC F, and the new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta.
Makers keep inventories in check
Manufacturers, aware of some uncertainty in the market, are working hard to manage their inventories so they are not faced with a glut of product heading into the new model year. Even as the number of vehicles in stock grew slightly in June to a 69 days’ supply, up from 65 days in May, the nearly 4 million vehicles in inventory is down from last year’s 74 days’ supply. It’s also about 200,000 vehicles less than the peak inventory level recorded on May 1. Days’ supply is the number of days it would take to sell all the vehicles on the ground at current sales rates.
According to Automotive News, the inventory also reflects the massive shift from cars to light trucks. Less than 30 percent of unsold vehicles are cars, which means makers are stocking more light trucks to meet customer demand.
By manufacturer, Subaru continues to have tight supplies reporting just 38 days’ worth of vehicles on hand, followed closely by BMW at 40. Mercedes has crept up to 52 days, Nissan clocks in with 53. Mitsubishi’s total is 87 days followed by GM, which is estimated at 86 days’ supply. FCA is reporting an 81-day number, while Jaguar Land Rover is 80.
2019 Honda Pilot priced
Sporting a new grille treatment and extra equipment, the 2019 Honda Pilot has been priced with the base LX front-drive model starting at $32,345 including $995 destination. In addition to the facelift, the 2019 Pilot benefits from the Honda Sensing suite of driver and safety assists becoming standard on all trims as well as an upgraded Display Audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Honda is also touting that the system now has a volume knob.
By adding these features, Honda says the 2019 EX model, which starts at $35,325, maintains the same price point as last year’s EX with Honda Sensing. Other prices include the Pilot EX-L starting at $38,755, followed by the EX-L with Navi and Rear Entertainment at $40,755. The 2019 Pilot Touring, which features an upgraded 9-speed automatic starts at $42,250. All these prices are for front-drive and include destination. All-wheel drive is $1,900 more. The range topping AWD Pilot Elite is priced from $49,015. It is also equipped with the 9-speed automatic.
The 2019 Honda Pilot is powered by a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with a 6-speed automatic in lower trim levels. The vehicle can seat up to 8 passengers, while a 7-passenger second row Captain’s chair configuration is $300 more in the Touring trim level. The 2019 models go on sale this month.
Ford Edge ST edges up
The new performance version of Ford’s midsize 2-row crossover, the 2019 Edge ST, which replaces the Sport in the lineup, will offer more performance but at a higher price. The vehicle, which was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January, will start at $43,350 including destination, about $1,500 more than the previous Sport model, which stickered at $41,795.
Upping the performance quotient in the Edge ST is a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine producing 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The ST model is distinguished by its blacked-out grille and performance seats. It’s also equipped with full-time all-wheel drive and a sport suspension. According to pricing sheets acquired by Automotive News, the ST will have an available $2,695 brake package that features 18-inch rotors and 21-inch black alloy wheels. Other options include Ford’s Co-Pilot360 group of driver- and safety-assist systems, heated/cooled seats and a power rear liftgate. The 2019 Ford Edge ST is expected to go on sale later this summer and will be accompanied by a facelifted version of the standard Edge models, which will have a new 8-speed automatic transmission paired to a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 280 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque.
Considering the donation of your old car to charity? If you use the new donate option here at Kelley Blue Book through Sept. 30, we’ll give an extra $100 to St. Jude’s Hospital. Details here.
Hyundai’s luxury division has added a sedan to its lineup bringing its car count to three. We get behind the wheel of the 2019 Genesis G70 in this First Review.
The 2019 Acura MDX has been upgraded with a new A-Spec appearance option as well as an improved 9-speed automatic. Pricing starts at $45,295.
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