This Week in Car Buying: Top November deals; Ride the Jeep wave; Millennials embrace car loans; Buick taps China for crossover; Audi Q7 priced
Luxury vehicles have moved into the fore with attractive lease rates, while large cash rebates can be had on more economy-oriented vehicles including an EV, according to the best November deals compiled by Kelley Blue Book. Some of the luxury leases are the first moves towards the annual holiday sales events that have become popular over the past several years.
"New-car sales were strong in October, and a long list of attractive offers this month should continue to draw shoppers off the fence and into dealer showrooms," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for KBB.com. "Our list of notable November deals includes a wide variety of vehicle types, ranging from practical hatchbacks to premium luxury models, along with several versatile SUVs. The Lexus GS luxury sedan has been enhanced for 2016, but the 2015 model takes the top spot on our list with an impressive lease offer."
The 2015 Lexus GS 350, which retails for $49,540 and has a KBB Fair Purchase Price of $45,280 is being offered on a 3-year lease for $409 per month with $1,999 up front. Acura's entry level luxury sedan, the 2016 ILX, which recently underwent a facelift, is also available on a 3-year deal for just $229 per month with $2,499 down. The Lexus-rivalling 2015 Infiniti Q50 sedan, which lists for $40,905 and carries an FPP of $35,968, is being leased for $309 per month with $3,499 down on a 39-month contract.
The second best deal for November is the $29,860 2015 Nissan Leaf EV, which has a $5,000 cash rebate plus 0-percent financing for 5 years. That vehicle is also eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit and with all incentives taken into account on a KBB Fair Purchase Price of $26,886, that vehicle conceivably costs less than $20,000. Other economy cars with hefty rebates include the 2015 Dodge Dart with a $3,000 spiff and the 2015 Hyundai Velostar, which comes with $3,500 cash back. The Korean automaker is also offering A $1,750 rebate and 0-percent financing for 60 months on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.
Three crossovers are on the list with attractive lease offers including the 2015 Buick Encore ($175 per month for 2 years with $1,675 down); the 2015 VW Tiguan ($179 per month for 3 years with $2,499 up front), and the 2015 Ford Flex ($219 per month for 3 years and $3,739 down).
Ride the Jeep Wave
Part of the Jeep ownership experience is the wave given by owners to each other when driving these iconic vehicles. Jeep is looking to capitalize on the phenomenon by creating a customer care package called the Jeep Wave. The program is set to debut later in November and will offer benefits like free maintenance and loaner vehicles, discounts on accessories and even road trip insurance coverage, according to details leaked by allpar.com.
The program specifics include two free oil changes with tire rotation per year of membership; a toll-free service hotline; preferential treatment at Jeep events; accessory discounts; no charge loaners, and up to $1,000 in road trip interruptions insurance coverage.
Millennials taking more car loans
For a generation that is reputed to be distinctly not interested in cars, it appears they are not acting according to conventional wisdom. According to CU Direct, which links credit unions with dealerships, buyers 18-35 years old make up 36.2 percent of car buyers financed through the company's platform. The older 26-35 half of the generation actually comprises the largest share of buyers financed through the group at 22.8 percent.
"We are seeing that people in that age group are starting to enter some of their prime borrowing years," Marci Francisco, vice president at CU Direct, told Automotive News. "They're stepping up into the next bracket and making meaningful purchases for the first or second time in their lives."
Evidently, Millennials are just not that interested in car sharing as some prognosticators thought. "What we have seen is that they do want to purchase cars and do value car ownership," Francisco said. Part of the delay in financing new cars is attributed to difficulties for that generation to find jobs in the wake of the 2008 downturn as well as the higher student debt. Francisco also said that Millennials take smaller than average loans ($22,588 versus $24,080 overall) and that they tend to buy smaller, non-luxury vehicles with lower prices and monthly payments.
Buick crossover to come from China
Looking to fill a gap in its lineup between the midsize Enclave and subcompact Encore crossover SUVs, Buick will bring the 5-passenger, 2-row Envision in from China sometime next year, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The paper added that Buick is hoping to sell 30,000 to 40,000 units per year.
The move was thought to be a sticking point in recent labor negotiations between GM and the United Auto Workers, but according to reports that both sides have "come to an understanding" on the issue. Now that the contract has been ratified, it is expected that an announcement on the imports will be made in the near future. It would be the second mass market vehicle imported to the U.S. from Chinese assembly plants following Volvo's move to bring in the S60 Inscription from China.
Audi Q7 priced
The all-new 2017 Audi Q7, which boasts a new look and lighter construction, will start at $54,800 for the premium model when it goes on sale next year. Offered in three trim levels, the Q7 comes with just one powertrain, a 3.0-liter gasoline direct injected turbocharged V6 with Quattro all-wheel drive. The other two trim levels are Premium Plus, which starts at $58,800 and the range topping Prestige with an MSRP of $64,300. All prices exclude $950 destination charges.
The 2016 Audi A3 and A4 Special Edition models offer cosmetic and function upgrades to premium trim level models for a relatively modest $2,650 for the A3 and $3,100 for the A4.
The Los Angeles Auto Show is just around the corner and the Fiat 124 Spider is expected to be one of the highlights. Check back next week for more details.
Building on the debut of a 5-door hatch concept in Tokyo, the Subaru Impreza sedan concept provides a sneak peak of what we can expect when the Japanese auto maker introduces the next generation of its popular compact next year.