This Week in Car Buying: Deals of the Month; Tesla limits base Model 3 availability; Hyundai bumps Kona EV prices; C8 Corvette reveal this July
If you’ve got a tax refund coming, we imagine you’ve already filed and hopefully have a check in hand. So, if you’re headed out to shop for a new vehicle this April, here’s some deals you should consider. The pickings are good in a wide range of segments, from crossovers to sedans with both low monthly lease deals and big rebates.
Four leases come in under the $200 per month level, while five other models boast rebates ranging from $2,000 to as much as $6,000.
Leading the leases is an offer for a 3-year deal on 2018 Hyundai Tucson crossovers which require just $1,899 down on monthly payments of $199. Although it requires a higher down payment of $4,119 and a longer term, the 39-month lease on the 2019 Chevrolet Equinox comes in at $189 per month.
Also at the $189 per month level are two Korean cars, the 2019 Kia Optima and the 2019 Hyundai Veloster. Both are 3-year contracts. The Kia calls for $2,499 in advance, while the Veloster requires $2,299 down.
Big rebates are being offered across the board, with the largest, $6,000 cash back, available on 2019 Chrysler 300 full-size sedans. Also at FCA, Dodge is offering a $4,250 rebate on the Journey 3-row crossover, while the Jeep division has a similar discount on its 2018 Renegade (the new 2019 models just recently went on sale.)
Also new on the market is the 2019 Nissan Altima. This stylish 4-door enters the midsize sedan fray with a $2,000 rebate. Ford has just taken the wraps off the 2020 Escape, which will go on sale later this year. In the meantime, it’s offering $3,500 rebates on the outgoing 2019 model.
Subaru is also readying replacement for its Outback. As a result, there is a lease offer on the current 2019 model which requires $2,239 down on a 3-year deal at $239 per month.
Tesla limits base Model 3 availability
Tesla’s on-again, off-again approach to online sales has taken yet another twist. After announcing that all sales would be on-line only and that it would be closing most of its stores, the company reversed course and said it would be keeping a good number of its locations open.
Which is good, because it has now announced that the so-called base Model 3 for $35,000 will no longer be able to be ordered online. Buyers may find one of these rare birds at a dealership, but don’t count on it. The company said in a blog post that the popularity of the Standard Plus version, which has a 240-mile range versus 220, is so popular that it will only build those models for online orders.
Those $35,000 units shipped to dealers are actually Standard Plus models with limited range and features. If you pay the upcharge for the Standard Plus, which has been bumped from $37,500 to $39,500 because Autopilot is now standard equipment, Tesla will unlock the additional range as well as features like heated seats and navigation.
“Given the popularity of the Standard Plus relative to the Standard, we have made the decision to simplify our production operations to better optimize cost, minimize complexity and streamline operations,” Tesla’s blog post read. “As a result, Model 3 Standard will now be a software-limited version of the Standard Plus, and we are taking it off the online ordering menu, which just means that to get it, customers will need to call us or visit any one of the several hundred Tesla stores. Deliveries of Model 3 Standard will begin this weekend.”
Tesla also announced a leasing program for the Model 3 but won’t have a traditional buyback provision at the end of the term. The company announced that “Beginning today, customers in the U.S. will be able to lease Model 3 for a small down payment and competitive monthly payments. Customers can choose any Model 3 variant and select an annual mileage option of 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles. Please note, customers who choose leasing over owning will not have the option to purchase their car at the end of the lease, because with full autonomy coming in the future via an over-the-air software update, we plan to use those vehicles in the Tesla ride-hailing network.”
Hyundai bumps Kona EV prices
According to reports, Hyundai has increased pricing on its Kona EV on the base model by $500 and two upper range models by $250 each. CarsDirect is reporting that the company is raising the base MSRP of the SEL model from $37,495 to $37,995. That price includes $1,045 delivery. The Kona Limited is expected to go up from $42,195 to $42,445, while the Ultimate will cost $45,945 including delivery.
While the prices have gone up slightly, the Kona is still eligible for the maximum $7,500 federal tax credit, which will now put the effective base price of the Kona EV at just over rather than just under the $30,000 mark. Tesla and Chevrolet have passed the 200,000-unit threshold for electrified vehicle sales and as a result have seen that credit cut in half to $3,750. Both will see the credit halved again before eventual phase out next year. Earlier attempts to keep the credits intact through legislation have failed, however, a new bill in Congress is looking to raise manufacturer threshold to 400,000 units.
Corvette C8 to be revealed in July
The worst kept secret in the auto industry is that the next generation 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will be moving to a mid-engine layout. Perhaps the most photographed camouflaged prototype in the auto industry’s history made another appearance in New York with GM CEO Mary Barra in the passenger’s seat with a door sticker reading 7-18-2019. The date was picked to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11, which was the first manned landing on the moon.
In addition to providing the date for the C8 reveal, GM also announced that the last C7 generation Corvette, a 2019 Z06 will be auctioned off for charity on June 28. “GM, GMC and Chevrolet support the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to injured and fallen military members, first responders and their families,” said Barra. “The sale of this iconic Corvette will help the foundation continue its good work and pave the way for the Next Generation Corvette that we will introduce on July 18.”
Later this year, Range Rover will be launching the first full makeover of its Evoque compact crossover luxury SUV. We get behind the wheel of the 2020 Range Rover Evoque in this First Review.
Mercedes will be offering the full AMG treatment on its all-new 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA35. The latest details on this compact performance sedan can be found in this First Look.
The Dodge Division is honoring the military with a new appearance package called the Stars & Stripes Edition on 2019 Challenger and Charger models. The $1,995 option is available this summer.
In the market for a new car? Explore these useful tips on how to get the best deal: