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The best new-car deals for July 4th highlight savings across all major categories

Consumer Reports News: June 28, 2012 08:08 AM

As America prepares to commemorate its independence, car shoppers may be looking to celebrate the deep discounts available on new cars. As with other patriotic holidays, the weekend preceding July 4th can often be a great time to buy, and your local airwaves will likely be awash in red, white, and blue marketing. To help you look past the Uncle Sam impersonators and drumbeat of offers, Consumer Reports has assembled the best deals on recommended cars.

In doing this analysis, we found savings available across the automotive spectrum, spanning 13 categories, with many good models carrying double-digit discounts. To ensure these picks are good cars, as with all our Best New Car Deals, each meets Consumer Reports' criteria to be recommended. These vehicles scored well in our testing, had average or better reliability in our subscriber survey, and performed well in government or insurance-industry safety tests, if evaluated.

Each vehicle that made the cut offers at least a 9-percent discount off the retail price in national incentives. Many featured cars may also carry regional incentives, enabling further savings for informed negotiators.

When buying in the summer, it is important to know that a 2012 model will soon be considered a one-year old car, despite being relatively fresh off the showroom floor. This means the car will take an initial (admittedly painful) depreciation hit. However, the equity impact will balance out over time, should you hold on to the car for several years, and especially if you log more than 12,000 miles a year.

Several of the listings in this chart are on models that are about to be replaced or updated, such as the Ford Fusion and Toyota Corolla. One interesting example of this is the Ford Mustang, listed here with discounts on both the 2012 and 2013 model. In that case, most buyers should look to the freshened 2013, as the added cost will be offset by retained value. (See what else is coming down the road in our New Car Preview.)

If you're focused on saving at the pump, be sure to see our "Best deals on fuel-efficient cars for July 4th."

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice price Customer rebate Dealer incentive Bottom line price
Potential savings below MSRP
Small cars
2012 Nissan Sentra CVT 2.0 SL
7/2/12 20,540 19,208 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 Kia Forte sedan Auto EX 7/9/12 18,350 17,510 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Toyota Corolla Auto LE
7/9/12 18,670 17,330 No No Get the Bottom Line Price
5%+
Hatchbacks
2012 Kia Forte EX
7/9/12 18,850 17,990 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Suzuki SX4 Crossover CVT AWD
7/2/12 20,564 19,772 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Mazda3 Auto s Grand Touring 7/2/12 24,995 23,938 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
5%+
Family sedans
2012 Ford Fusion SE
7/2/12 23,770 22,012 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 Ford Fusion SEL
7/2/12 26,220 24,218 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 Ford Fusion SEL AWD
7/2/12 29,765 27,408 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
Upscale sedans
2012 Ford Taurus Limited
7/2/12 32,950 30,420 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 Nissan Maxima 3.5 CVT SV
7/2/12 35,900 32,943 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2013 Ford Taurus Limited 7/2/12 33,795 31,238 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
Luxury sedans
2012 Infiniti M37 7/2/12 48,595 45,058 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Cadillac CTS 3.6L Premium 7/2/12 49,185 46,529 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Hyundai Genesis 4.6L 7/2/12 45,375 42,079 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
Small SUVs
2012 Ford Escape 4WD XLT 7/2/12 27,445 25,640 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Nissan Rogue AWD SV 7/2/12 26,635 24,880 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Volkswagen Tiguan 4WD SEL 7/2/12 36,750 35,312 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
5%+
Midsized SUVs
2012 Ford Flex SEL AWD 7/2/12 34,775 32,530 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 Nissan Murano AWD SL 7/2/12 39,655 36,583 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Chevrolet Traverse AWD LT w/1LT 7/2/12 35,585 33,847 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
Large SUVs
2012 Ford Expedition EL 4WD XL 7/2/12 44,145 45,058 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 GMC Yukon XL 4WD 1500 SLT 7/2/12 51,520 47,983 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD 1500 LTZ 7/2/12 59,110 55,042 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
Luxury SUVs
2012 BMW X5 AWD 35d 7/2/12 59,695 54,970 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 Lincoln Navigator 4WD 7/2/12 61,670 57,993 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Acura MDX AWD 7/2/12 43,925 40,758 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
Convertibles
2012 Ford Mustang GT Premium 7/2/12 39,505 36,354 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 Chevrolet Corvette w/1LT 7/2/12 55,575 50,661 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2013 Ford Mustang GT Premium 7/2/12 40,095 37,049 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata manual Grand Touring 7/2/12 27,895 26,412 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
Sporty cars
2012 Ford Mustang GT Premium 7/2/12 34,505 31,854 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2013 Ford Mustang V6 Premium 7/2/12 26,995 24,965 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Ford Mustang V6 Premium 7/2/12 27,105 25,194 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
Pickup trucks
2012 Chevrolet Avalanche 4WD Crew Cab 130" LT 7/2/12 44,240 41,213 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
20%+
2012 Nissan Titan 4WD Crew Cab LWB SV 7/2/12 37,045 33,631 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 Ford F-150 4WD SuperCrew 157" XLT 7/2/12 38,280 35,280 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
Wagons
2012 Honda Crosstour AWD EX-L 7/9/12 35,370 32,409 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
15%+
2012 Toyota Venza V6 AWD LE 7/9/12 31,510 28,747 No No Get the Bottom Line Price
10%+
2012 Mazda5 Auto Grand Touring 7/2/12 24,820 23,770 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price
5%+

Online subscribers are eligible for hassle-free shopping and low prices through the Consumer Reports Build & Buy program. Unlike traditional car buying, there is no pressure or obligation to purchase. Participating dealers are held to high standards of competitive pricing and customer service. Simply click the "Build & Buy This Car" button that appears on the vehicle's model overview page to access the program.

See all current Best Deals or use our New Car Selector to create your own list of vehicles by sorting and filtering by the factors that matter most to you.

Jeff Bartlett

   

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