This is what you need to know.
You could have knocked me over with a feather yesterday. Right there on the local news was an ad. For car lease and finance deals with zero percent financing, special terms and cash back. Right now. Holy cow.
I didn’t think we’d see these offers this year. Especially on a car as popular as the Hyundai Palisade, but there it was, the star of the ad (it’s what caught my attention).
While the last week of the year is typically the best time to buy a car, the pandemic, supply shortages and slow boats from China have upended the deal calendar. However, there are still cars for sale with really favorable terms and prices.
The Value of the Deal—or Lack Of Value—is in the Fine Print
Some things to keep in mind:
- Advertised offers are made by manufacturers, but not all models may be available in your area
- You may need to search a wide geographic area if you’re looking for a specific car or offer
- Terms may have specific requirements such as downpayment amount, credit rating or number of months that can be financed and offers can vary by zip code
- Most quoted prices only apply to buyers or lessees with top credit scores
- Most deals end just after the new year
- Lease deal prices may or may not reflect attractive financing, may only be available on specific models and the monthly lease amount may vary based on annual mileage allowance
- Finance rates are historically low right now and may go up in 2022, so this could prove a good time to take advantage of special financing
- Most leases require a payment at signing that can be quite significant
- Dealers typically participate at will and not all dealers will honor advertised deals
- Dealers, not manufacturers set prices
Do you homework to know that the advertised car and deal are right for you and that the price is fair. We took a look at current advertised offers and this is what we found:
If you’re hankering to take a spin through adventure, Jeep has you covered. And, there are some stellar deals to help you get there. We found a Jeep Wrangler 4xe Sahara lease offer for as low as $319 (though it was advertised locally for $383 a month), which is still a huge discount from the ‘build’ widget calculation of $516 a month. Or, bring the whole fam in the Jeep Grand Cherokee L 3 row SUC, which has special lease deals or $500 cash back. And if taking larger things along, like bikes and boats is on the agenda, Jeep is offering the Gladiator with up to $2,000 off. Many other models are being offered with low or zero percent financing–incentive to keep you dreaming of adventure.
Hyundai is offering special lease terms include zero down leasing, no first month’s payment and no security deposit or $500 – $1,000 back on select models including 2022 Santa Cruz, Elantra, Sonata, Tucson, Kona and Santa Fe. The zero percent financing also applies to all of Hyundai’s stellar hybrid models– including Santa Fe Hybrid and the Tucson Plug-in Electric Hybrid (PHEV), and there are lease and purchase deals on the new N line of performance cars, including the Kona N and the Elantra N. And for those who want the hot, hot, hot Palisade 3 row SUV? The SE (base model) is offered at a special lease price of $379 a month, which, if you can find one, isn’t a bad deal.
Deals apply mostly to 2021 models, however, Mazda hasn’t made changes to most of the cars in its lineup lately, so the 2021 models are a solid bet (the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is not yet offered for sale but when it is, it’ll mostly look the same with options packaged differently). Mazda is offering lease deals on most of its models or 0.9% financing on 36 month loans. There’s also a cash back offer on Mazda CX-30, CX-5 and CX-9. The purchase financing deal is available on every car in the lineup, even the MX-5 Miata, which is a great thing; following yet another Covid winter you’ll be glad to get out and put the top down when the weather warms up.
It’s bonus cash time! We can usually count on Chevy for good end of year deals and this year is no exception. Buyers can get zero percent financing and $500 cash back (mainly for 2021 models) on Silverado, Traverse, Equinox (2021 and 2022), Blazer (2021 and 2022) and Trax (which has a $1,250 cash back offer and available on 2022 models). Chevy is offering cash back only on the 2022 Trailblazer, and there are deals on the Malibu and Spark, as well. Chevy’s site gives a nice view of the offers and details so you can comparison shop.
They had us at “Project Courage,” an initiative with Children’s Health of Orange County that puts the hospital’s young patients in an electric Honda ‘Shogo’ to deliver them to their appointments rather than being wheeled in a wheel chair. This video certainly brings a smile to our faces, but add to that zero percent financing on Honda’s most popular models — Pilot, Passport and HR-V—and you’ll be smiling too. Additionally, Honda is offering low finance rates on the Odyssey, Accord (including the hybrid edition) and Insight and there are well-priced lease deals on almost everything else.
This top-rated brand for quality and dependability has some nice offers on hand, even for the impossible to find Kia Telluride (if you can find one and a dealer willing to honor the offer, you’ve won 2021). Most Kia models are offered with 1.9% financing on 2022 models, some are offered with 0.9% financing on 2021 models and there are lease deals on most models— including the Sorento Hybrid and PHEV, two of our favorite cars fo the year. Kia breaks down the offers nicely by trim so you can easily compare what you get for the money. But the best offer in the bunch is on the Kia Stinger: Zero percent financing or $1500 cash back. Just, wow.
You might think that with all the hype around Ford’s models that the automaker might sit out the special offers, but no. Ford is offering zero percent financing for 60 months on almost all 2021 models, and even the Bronco Sport, has a special offer — 1.9% financing. Sadly, but not surprisingly, Bronco and Mustang Mach E are excluded from the offers. However, if you want to go classic, the Expedition, Escape and EcoSport add $1,000 cash back on a purchase in addition to zero percent financing; the Explorer, Edge, Ranger and F-150 each offer $500 back. Not too shabby.
This may be Toyota’s best deal: all Highlander and RAV4 models, including the hybrids, are available for 1.9% financing for 72 months, and Highlander is offered with $500 cash back. But there are other deals too, including the $500 cash back on Camry, GR 86 and Tacoma, and there are special lease deals on many models, including the base trim 4Runner, which is offered at $389 a month. And for buyers who are looking for a good deal on a pickup truck, Toyota has special financing of 2.49% for 72 months on the 2021 Toyota Tacoma.
We love this brand for all the love they spread, especially at holiday time. The Share the Love campaign, which contributes $250 of the purchase price of a new Subaru to the local charity of your choice, continues this year despite shortages and fewer buyer incentives. Still, Subaru is keeping the buyer love afloat with special leases on most models and financing incentives that start at zero percent: Outback, Impreza and Legacy have zero percent offers on 2021 and 1.9% on 2022 models. Buyers eyeing the super hot 2021 WRX or 2022 BRZ will be even more tempted by a 2.49% loan rate. The Forester and Ascent have an offer of 0.9% for the 2021 model and 1.9% on the 2022 model. And Subaru is offering a 0.9% finance rate on the 2021 Crosstrek, and there are special rates on certified pre-owned models, too.
We can always count on VW for great end of year deals (and great deals all year long, for that matter) so it’s good to see the company is back at the end of the year with offers for 2021 and 2022 models. On the 2022 Taos, Jetta, Golf GTI, buyers can get a zero down, no first month payment on a lease or a $349 a month lease offer on the Golf GTI. The 2021 ID.4 is available for lease for $379 a month, and with three years of free charging at Electrify America stations you’ll practically get free power, too. The 2022 Tiguan, Atlas Cross Sport, Atlas, and Passat are available with a zero down, no first month payment lease offer or 0% financing for 36 months. The VW Arteon is being offered for $339 a month for lease or 0% financing for 72 months. These cars and SUVs offer a lot of great standard features and updates for 2022, as well.
Nissan is on a roll lately with some really nice redesigns— Pathfinder and Rogue both got makeovers in 2021— and the stellar ProPilot Assist driver assist and safety features as standard equipment on their models, Nissan’s finance offers may just seal the deal. The company is offering zero percent financing on most models —including the new Rogue, Pathfinder and the popular Titan pickup truck— for 36 months. On top of the financing and lease specials, Murano is offering $1,000 back on purchases and Armada has a $1,000 “loyalty” bonus to current Nissan customers. And, for customers who are recent college graduates or active or retired military, there’s an additional $500 cash back on most models.
Looking for a Luxury Car?
There are lease and finance deals on most luxury brands as well, and the general rules mirror those of popular brands: Offers are subject to dealer participation and availability, not all offers are available on all models and variables like your credit score, downpayment and contract length will shape the offer. In general, special financing applies to lower trim models and require stellar credit.
And if the right deal isn’t on offer right now, don’t fret. Experts are anticipating 2021 sales to end at lower-than-expected rates, which may mean that there will still be deals to be had in 2022.