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Old 02-17-2007, 02:07 AM   #1
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Default Best new car buys for Presidents Day

Best new car buys for Presidents Day



Best new car buys for Presidents Day

Cutting through the advertising clutter to find the best deals

Just as during a national election, Presidents Day weekend will see the airwaves, Internet, and newspapers cluttered with enticing new-car sales pitches. As a car buyer, it can be challenging to discern one candidate from another when the snappy sound bites and eye-catching numbers start to fly. That propaganda can distract from other choices that might be a better fit for your needs, underlining the need to thoroughly research your prospective purchase. It is important to note that beyond the advertised promotions, dealers might be more willing to negotiate this weekend, as sales have been affected by harsh winter conditions in some parts of the country.

Consumer Reports Auto Price Service has cut through the marketing oratory to highlight the best deals for February. As they do each month, the analysts scrutinize the available incentives on Consumer Reports -recommended vehicles to assist shoppers in finding good deals on good cars. To be recommended, those vehicles must perform well in our testing program, have average or better reliability according to our latest subscriber survey, and have good overall crash protection, if crash-tested. SUVs and pickups must either have been included in the government's dynamic rollover test and not tipped up or be equipped with electronic stability control. (For the monthly best new-car deals for Canada, visit crcanadacars.org.)

This month's list features four solid vehicles with at least a $1,500 rebate. When factoring in dealer incentives and holdbacks, as included in the Consumer Reports Bottom Line Price, we find that those 2007 models offer potential savings of 15 percent to 27 percent below manufacturer suggested retail. ("Save thousands" with the Consumer Reports Bottom Line Price.)

Expanding our analysis to include remaining 2006 models, we found five recommended examples with more than $4,750 in rebates. (See the complete Best New Car Deals for February chart.)


As you might expect, the biggest incentives typically go to models that are in less demand. Each of the following 2007 model-year vehicles meet CR's requirements for being recommended, but it's important to weigh their pros and cons against the savings they offer.

2007 Dodge Durango--The Durango has clumsy but secure handling, compliant ride, responsive Hemi V8, and fairly quiet interior. But fit and finish is unimpressive and fuel economy is poor.

2007 Lincoln Town Car--The big, traditional Town Car has a fairly comfortable ride, though it's not up to the luxury-car standards of its class-leading competitors. Handling is rather clumsy but secure. The rear seat holds three adults comfortably. Reliability has been average.

2007 Nissan Frontier--The Frontier pickup is quick and nimble, with a stiff, though tolerable, ride. The strong 4.0-liter V6 revs smoothly and feels like a V8. Rear-seat room is tight in the crew cab. Reliability has been above average.

2007 Toyota Sequoia--The large Sequoia SUV has a refined 4.7-liter V8, but handling is clumsy. Rear-wheel and selectable full-time four-wheel drive are available. With its third-row seat, it can accommodate up to eight passengers. Owner satisfaction and reliability have been above average.

Looking at our list of 2006 models with the most dramatic incentives, the Chevrolet Avalanche, GMC Yukon, and Chevrolet Tahoe have all been replaced by much-improved, redesigned vehicles. The Buick Rendezvous has been retired. Only the Saab 9-5 is offered again for 2007. The Swedish sedan, and its wagon counterpart, was treated to a mild face-lift and more horsepower for 2006. The Saab stands out, offering a large rebate: $8,000.


Understanding why a model is likely to be heavily promoted will enable you to decide if any compromises are worthwhile and might empower your showroom negotiations. Simply put, large incentives are seldom offered on the most popular models. Typically, discounted cars are at a competitive performance disadvantage and/or are models that haven't been updated in a while.

The same can be said for the leftover 2006 models. But buying a year-old vehicle can have real appeal for high-mileage drivers. Although they have a full-year's depreciation already, those cars that carry a penalty for heavy, long-distance use might see that penalty balance out over time, by being spread across more model years.


Reviewing the highlights for this month's best deals reveals the importance of thoroughly researching your next automotive purchase. To understand the real deal, it pays to have the Consumer Reports Bottom Line Price, which can aid shoppers by providing a true starting point for negotiations, with information such as the hidden profit known as dealer holdback and current incentives. Furthermore, the comparison tools in the Consumer Reports New Car Buying Kit enable users to narrow a field to standout models that have rated well and to identify the latest discounts.

Before you vote with your checkbook, keep in mind that a good deal on a bad car is no deal at all. Historically, Presidents Day weekend is a rare time of year when dealers might be more willing than usual to work with customers on price. Even if you find other intriguing models without big rebates, go to the dealership prepared with complete pricing and CR test-performance information, so you can improve your odds of driving home happy, with the right car and a good deal.

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Old 02-17-2007, 05:23 PM   #2
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And people wonder why domestics don't hold their value at trade time. For christ's sake, $12.5 grand off a towncar?!?!?!
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:30 AM   #3
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that 's, like, your
alternate facts, man.


It's still a rip-off after the $12.5 is removed. Anybody paying over $40 for a solid-axle boat needs their head examined.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
It's still a rip-off after the $12.5 is removed. Anybody paying over $40 for a solid-axle boat needs their head examined.

Just wait 1.5yrs and that car will be around 12 to 15k. Now that's a deal.
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