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Best new car deals for Presidents' Day Weekend

Consumer Reports News: February 17, 2011 01:06 PM

When it comes to car-sales holidays, so-called Presidents' Day Weekend is among the best for getting a great deal on a new car. Many automakers, as well as local dealerships, are advertising discounts and low-interest rates, but not all deals merit a presidential seal of approval. Consumer Reports Auto Price Service has combed through the national deals, filtering out models that don't meet our stringent criteria to be recommended, and the team found that there are many models available for 15- to 20-percent off the sticker price.

In sifting through the incentives, looking at direct customer rebates and hidden dealer cash, we discovered that many of the more attractive offers are on leftover 2010 models. Finding 2010s in a color and trim level that you want may be a challenge, but there are still a few out there. Of course, now that we're in the 2011 calendar year and months into the 2011 model year, any 2010 car has depreciated significantly and the purchase price needs to reflect that, or you'll lose out when it comes time to trade in.

Scanning through current offers, the advertised deals on 2010 and 2011 models are often similar, meaning it is truly up to the customer to negotiate a better price on those carry-over cars. Dealerships should be willing work with you. These vehicles may appeal most to high-mileage drivers who could amortize their miles over the additional model year, preserving future trade-in value, and those buyers who intend to hold on to a car for many years.

Founding Fathers and finding deals
For our Presidents' Day Weekend deals watch, we focused on Consumer Reports' recommended 2010 and 2011 models that offer the best discounts. Those highlighted here have Bottom Line Prices well below MSRP, when factoring all national incentives. Regional or local offers, as well as bonus incentives that are targeted at specific audiences such as military personnel or college graduates, may further sweeten the deal. The Bottom Line Price gives you a strong starting point for your negotiations, working up from the rock bottom, rather than haggling down from MSRP or even advertised offers.

The models listed below are just a few of our Best New Car Deals—notable discounts on models recommended by Consumer Reports. These vehicles scored well in our testing, have average or better predicted reliability, and performed well in government or insurance-industry safety tests, if evaluated.

See our full list of current deals on both 2010 and 2011 models.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice price Customer rebate Dealer incentive Bottom line price Potential savings below MSRP
2010 Honda Accord Crosstour EX-L V6 4WD 2/28/2011 $34,020 $30,817 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT
2/28/2011 23,950 22,042 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
2/28/2011 53,600 48,776 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
2/28/2011 74,305 67,618 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Ford Focus SES Sedan
4/4/2011 18,870 17,587 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Buick Lucerne Super 2/28/2011 44,460 42,682 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT 4WD Crew Cab 2/28/2011 35,010 32,534 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Acura RL 3.7 Auto (48-state only) 2/28/2011 47,200 42,802 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab SLT SWB 2/28/2011 42,275 39,316 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4WD Crew Cab 2/28/2011 34,615 32,192 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Acura TL 3.5 Auto 2/28/2011 35,105 32,673 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Toyota Tundra 5.7 Auto 4WD FFV Tundra Grade Crew Max 2/28/2011 33,540 31,023 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Nissan Versa 1.8 FE+SL CVT hatchback 2/28/2011 16,940 16,337 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 GMC Yukon XL 4WD 1/2 Ton SLT1 (4SA) 2/28/2011 48,765 45,351 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2011 Cadillac DTS Luxury Collection 2/28/2011 51,925 49,069 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 20%+
2011 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT 2/28/2011 22,825 21,684 Yes Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 20%+
2011 Nissan Sentra 2.0 SL CVT 2/28/2011 18,870 17,600 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 20%+
2010 Volvo XC70 3.2 AWD A 3/31/2011 37,950 35,673 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 20%+


Full pricing information is available to online subscribers through the model overview pages.

Consumer Reports also has a "Build & Buy" service that lets you configure a new vehicle online and receive guaranteed, competitive price quotes from up to three dealers in your area who have agreed to meet strict guidelines of conduct. Available to Consumer Reports New Car Price Report purchasers, as well as ConsumerReports.org subscribers, the service is completely free and you are under no obligation to buy.

See all current Best New Car Deals.

—Jeff Bartlett and Mike Dempsey

   

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