Expensive Cars Are Cheap Right Now

Consumer Reports analyzed late-summer car deals and the results are none too surprising. The biggest incentives are on gas-gourgers and big vehicles, the cars no one wants right now.

Car | Average incentive value | Average incentive value per vehicle
Hatchbacks/wagons | $1,300 | $400
Budget and small cars | 1,000 | 450
Sporty/convertible | 2,300 | 750
Sedans | 2,300 | 1,200
Minivans | 2,200 | 1,600
SUVs | 2,600 | 1,900
Pickup trucks | 3,200 | 3,100

It’s important to consider other factors, like maintenance, depreciation, dealer incentives, safety and fuel efficiency. Consumer Report says, “getting a great deal on a bad car is no deal at all.”

Driving a great, end-of-summer new car deal [Consumer Reports] (Photo: jurvetson)


Edit Your Comment

  1. mazda3jdm says:

    I am holding out for a hummer hybrid

  2. I’m holding out till I can get a new Ram 2500 Laramie with a CTD for about 25 grand.

    It won’t be long. Muahahahaha

  3. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    The local Mercedes Benz dealer is using fear mongering to stimulate SUV sales. The script goes something like..

    “as gas prices rise, many people are switching over to smaller and fuel efficient cars.. but smaller cars aren’t as safe.. don’t compromise your family’s safety to save a few cents on gas..”

    And in the background, you see a woman and her young daughters get into an M-class SUV after a day of frolicking at the beach.

    • Parapraxis says:


      who the hell wants to buy an mercedes benz nowadays? Their reliability has fallen for three straight years in a row.

      • admiral_stabbin says:

        @neilb: “A new loaded Envoy is discounted down to about 20k now!”

        A new, Hummer H3 (Luxury package) is down to ~$25K…not much more of a splurge to get something that might be resaleable one day (not that you’d catch me buying one of those poser mobiles).

        I was surprised that last month BMW was running promo financing here in the states (0.9% even on a 760…because a car with a $125K MSRP needs special financing to sell?).

  4. moeman1024 says:

    PEI Electronics Inc. of Huntsville, Ala, showed off the first prototype hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) Hummer. ([findarticles.com])

    They are saying 300 miles between refilling and recharging. Better mileage than a Prius.

    • ViperBorg says:

      @moeman1024: If that’s true, it’s time to save my change.

    • Parapraxis says:


      I’d take that with a grain of salt. Sure, the hummer could theoretically hold more batteries, but the pure weight, large wheels, and lack of aerodynamics would eliminate any kind of efficiency created by the hybrid system.

      Unless this hybrid has an adjustable piston system (so that only half the pistons could be working, per se), the only way I could see it having a better efficiency than a prius is if you have to plug it in every night.

      And that would mean it wasn’t as efficient as a Prius (which doesn’t need it).

    • snowburnt says:

      @moeman1024: I’m guessing a hummer has a gas tank that is 20+ gallons. 300 miles before needing refuel is nothing. Plus a plug-in hybrid is a stop-gap solution, unless you are getting your electricity from wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, or (debatably) nuclear

  5. neilb says:

    Forget incentives…check out what the used market for large vehicles is doing. Trucks and SUVs are practically being given away.

    A new loaded Envoy is discounted down to about 20k now!
    A 60k mile 2004 Envoy is snagging about 10k, if it can find a buyer at all.

  6. BuddhaLite says:

    There’s a Nissan dealer in Tampa selling all large truck and SUV’s for 50% off MSRP.


  7. British Benzene says:

    I recently straight up traded in a Corolla with 50K miles for a Ram 1500 quad cab with 20K miles. Of course, I know a wholesaler and he takes good care of me. ;)

  8. balthisar says:

    I was offered a 2003 Excursion for $9500 today. I almost jumped on it, but it was a V10, and I don’t want to waste quite that much gasoline. If I had a 40 foot travel trailer or a big boat or something, then I’d’ve been all over it. As is it, I opted for something almost that cheap, considerably smaller, still able to tow, a 2004 model year, and everything I need for weekends. I won’t mention what it is, because even though I opted not to go for the behemoth, some loon is still going to cry about my choice of non-daily-driver vehicle.

  9. AD8BC says:

    And to think that I bought my 2004 F-150 in 2007 for $17,500 — a steal then. Now, $3K more would buy me that Envoy.

    Nope. Still love my truck.

  10. billbobbins says:

    It’s funny that the big and previously expensive SUVs that were such as status symbol are now the cheaper vehicles and actually looked down upon by me. I see more middle-class people driving around in the big SUVs because they are so much cheaper to buy. You can’t tell the difference between a rich soccer mom vs a guy who got a really good deal on the same vehicle.

    • balthisar says:

      @billbobbins: What’s middle class where you live? Everyone here is middle class – they’re the ones who’ve been driving the SUV’s! A ‘rich’ person doesn’t drive an Expedition, they drive a Navigator. And there are many, many more Expeditions on the road than Navigators.