Car advertising is at full throttle now as automakers and dealers try to clear showrooms and hit sales targets before the new year begins. This means there are great car deals available, with significant rebates and real flexibility in negotiations.

To help holiday car shoppers, Consumer Reports’ analysts looked through national incentives, finding many models with 12 percent or more projected savings off the original window sticker price. Studying current transaction data, we’re seeing that savvy negotiators are saving even more. Of course, local supply and demand will influence how much a dealer is willing to bend on price.

Because it’s late in the calendar year, we focused on 2018 models because there are more of them on dealer lots. 

To make sure the featured cars represent smart buys, we concentrated on models that meet Consumer Reports’ stringent recommendation criteria, meaning they scored well in our testing, have average or better reliability in our latest subscriber survey, and performed well in government or insurance-industry safety tests, if they were evaluated.


Visit 
Consumer Reports' 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more. And be sure to check our Daily Gift Guide.
 

In the final hours of the year, dealerships may be especially motivated to negotiate in order to reach both monthly and annual sales targets, which are typically rewarded by the automaker. Armed with all the information available on our model pages, you can definitely get a great deal now.

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

All nationwide incentives are good until Jan. 2. The vehicles are listed in order of percentage of potential savings available off the sticker price. Similar discounts can be found on other versions in addition to those spotlighted.

In addition to the 2018 models below, we have seen some extraordinary opportunities for plug-in hybrids and even a few hybrids that are either 2017 models or not recommended by CR but may be of interest.

The most extreme examples are the BMW i3, and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Prius Prime, each with potential savings of $6,800 or more. (Plug-ins can carry the additional benefit of a federal tax credit, for qualified buyers, that could be claimed on the upcoming tax filing season if bought before Jan. 1.) You can check the latest pricing for all current models on the pricing page for each model.


Consumer Reports Build & Buy Car Buying Service

When buying a car, in addition to research and reviews, Consumer Reports offers subscribers access to the Build & Buy Car Buying Service at no additional cost. Through this service, a nationwide network of about 15,000 participating dealers provide up-front pricing information and a certificate to receive guaranteed savings off MSRP (in most states).

The pricing information and guaranteed savings include eligible incentives. Consumer Reports subscribers have saved an average of $2,853 off MSRP with the Build & Buy Car Buying Service.

Hyundai Elantra

2018 Hyundai Elantra

The Elantra is relatively roomy and easy on fuel, and it features intuitive controls. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder returned excellent fuel economy in our tests, but it delivers leisurely acceleration and buzzes unpleasantly as revs increase. The Eco version feels more responsive but comes with a $3,000 price premium. Although handling is secure, there isn’t much driving excitement. The ride is mostly unobjectionable, but sharp bumps tend to come through noticeably. Road noise is elevated as well. Inside, the front seats in our tested SE are short on lumbar support, though the power seat in the Limited is better. Active safety features and a Sport version with a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder are available. New for 2018 is a GT hatchback version with taut, nimble handling.

See our complete Hyundai Elantra road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price

Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Hyundai Elantra SEL 2.0L

1/2/18

$19,735

$19,112

$3,123


Toyota Avalon

2018 Toyota Avalon

Spacious, quick, and quiet, the Avalon is an old-school big sedan updated for modern times. Power comes from a lively 268-hp, 3.5-liter V6, which delivers punchy performance and commendable fuel economy. The four-cylinder hybrid version delivers an outstanding 36 mpg overall. Easy-to-use controls include a straightforward touch-screen infotainment system. Interior noise is subdued. Avalons from 2013 to 2015 had an overly stiff ride, but Toyota fixed that with improvements for 2016 without degrading the car’s handling. Now the ride fits the car’s mission as being a plush and comfortable cruiser. Advanced safety features including forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking are standard. A redesign, based on the new Toyota Camry, is around the corner. 

See our complete Toyota Avalon road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price

Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Toyota Avalon Limited

1/2/18

$42,195

$38,066

$6,629


Ford F-150

2018 Ford F-150

Ford’s big-selling pickup truck has an all-aluminum body, which saves about 700 pounds. Engine choices include a new 3.3-liter V6, 2.7- and 3.5-liter turbo V6s, and a 5.0-liter V8. For 2018 the 2.7-liter and the 3.5-liter turbo V6s, and the V8 are teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Both are quiet and effortless, lending themselves to towing. Fuel economy is commendable. In our tests the 2.7 got 19 mpg overall. The 2.7 is also surprisingly quick from 0 to 60 mph. The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 is updated, as well, with more horsepower and torque. The cabin is very quiet, but the ride is stiff. We recommend getting the optional Sync 3 infotainment system. The 2018 truck also gets precollision assist with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. Diesel and hybrid versions are on the horizon.

See our complete Ford F-150 road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price

Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Ford F-150 XLT 4WD SuperCab

1/2/18

$40,600

$37,848

$5,752


Kia Optima

2018 Kia Optima

Kia’s midsized sedan packs a lot of substance and value. It drives nicely, with a firm yet absorbent ride and responsive, secure handling. The mainstream 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine is pleasant and unobtrusive, and it returned 28 mpg overall in our tests. The uplevel 2.0-liter turbo four packs more punch. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission is new. The EX trim features comfortable leather seats, automatic climate control, a roomy rear seat, and heating for the seats and steering wheel. The controls are very intuitive to use. Low-positioned dash vents are our only gripe. The latest version of Kia’s Uvo touch-screen infotainment system works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions are also available. New for 2018, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on all models. However, forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking are optional only on top trims.

See our complete Kia Optima road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price

Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Kia Optima EX

1/2/18

$26,495

$24,797

$3,698


Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Hyundai’s five-passenger midsized SUV received a number of updates, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-departure warning. It also improved from Marginal to Good in the IIHS small-overlap crash test. This roomy SUV has a comfortable ride and a quiet interior. Power comes from a responsive 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a smooth six-speed automatic. A more powerful 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder is also available. Handling is sound and secure but not exceptional. The well-finished cabin is packed with a lot of standard features, but the rear visibility is only so-so. 

See our complete Hyundai Santa Fe Sport road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price


Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.4L AWD

1/2/18

$27,450

$26,274

$3,676


Ford C-Max Hybrid

Ford C-Max Hybrid

Based on the compact Focus sedan, the five-passenger C-Max hybrid is a clever, quiet, spacious, and practical hatchback. It rides well and handles capably. Regenerative braking helps with fuel economy but makes the brake pedal seem touchy. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor deliver adequate acceleration and seamless transitions between gas and electric power, and the C-Max can run in electric mode up to about 40 mph. We measured excellent fuel economy overall. Ford’s easy-to-use Sync 3 infotainment system is available. The Energi plug-in version was dropped for 2018, and the hybrid is expected to have a short 2018 run before being discontinued.

See our complete Ford C-Max Hybrid road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price

Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Ford C-Max Hybrid SE FWD

1/2/18

$24,995

$23,910

$3,335


Ford Escape

2018 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape has 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbocharged engines with a start/stop system. But fuel economy isn’t great with the 1.5-liter, and when the engine shuts off at idle the A/C weakens. The fleet-footed Escape has impressive handling prowess, which makes it one of the sportiest models in the small-SUV class. It also has a taut, controlled ride and a quiet interior, but the rear seat is a bit low and the cushion is short. The impressive Sync 3 system is standard. One new feature is Sync Connect, a smartphone app that allows owners to use their cell phone to lock and unlock their Escape, remotely start the engine, and track the vehicle location via GPS. Advanced safety features such as forward-collision warning are optional.  

See our complete Ford Escape road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price

Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Ford Escape SE 4WD

1/2/18

$27,950

$26,738

$3,712


Ram 1500

2018 Kia Optima

This is the most comfortable-riding full-sized pickup on the market, yet the Ram is also plenty capable of grunt work. Its coil-spring rear suspension helps cushion the ride, and the spacious cab is luxury-car quiet. Our Big Horn Crew Cab, with its smooth 5.7-liter V8, averaged 15 mpg. The base 3.6-liter V6 is no weakling, but it tows less. The torquey 3.0-liter diesel V6 version is expensive but delivers effortless thrust and returns a class-leading 20 mpg overall. Rear-seat room is generous, and the Uconnect 8.4-inch touch-screen infotainment system is easy to use. The top trim Limited is lavishly furnished inside and benefits from air suspension that lends the Ram a comfortable ride.

See our complete Ram 1500 road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price

Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Ram 1500 Big Horn 4x4 Regular Cab

1/2/18

$37,090

$35,016

$4,574


Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry

The latest Camry is now slightly more nimble, yet retains its comfortable and quiet demeanor. The lower stance makes access a bit more difficult, and the rear seat has lost some roominess. It offers familiar engines: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that provides ample motivation and gets an impressive 32 mpg, and a 3.5-liter V6. Both are paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. A super-frugal hybrid LE gets 47 mpg overall without any sacrifice in acceleration or trunk room. Interior upgrades nudge the car upscale, particularly the XLE version. The Entune infotainment system is even more capable but lacks Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. Standard safety equipment includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning are optional. 

See our complete Toyota Camry road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price

Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Toyota Camry LE

1/2/18

$24,895

$22,855

$3,040


Ford Fusion

2018 Ford Fusion

The Fusion is a delight to drive, with a comfortable ride and nimble handling that’s reminiscent of a European sports sedan. All trim levels and powertrains feel solid and upscale, with a well-finished and quiet cabin. We found the optional leather seats to be more supportive than the cloth ones, but the rear seat is somewhat snug. The 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinders are powerful enough, but neither has competitive fuel economy. A new high-end version, the Sport, is equipped with all-wheel drive and a 325-hp, 2.7-liter V6. It is quick, comfortable, and quiet, but it costs more than $40,000. The Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid were updated with more efficient electric motors. A rotary shift dial and Ford’s improved Sync 3 infotainment system highlight the updates to the interior.

See our complete Ford Fusion road test.

Make & Model

Incentives Expire

MSRP

Invoice Price

Potential Savings Off MSRP

2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE

1/2/18

$27,120

$25,676

$3,194