The 2021 Ford F-150 is among the most discounted cars based on transaction prices

Most cars are available with discounts throughout the year. Sure, holiday sales and marketing can attract and motivate shoppers, but the reality is that prices tend to be fairly consistent month to month. Until now. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, new-car prices have become a roller coaster, impacted by unique supply and demand forces. 

We recently published the best nationwide incentives on Consumer Reports–recommended models: the Best New-Car Deals and Best New SUVs Deals. Those forward-looking pieces show where the best deals on good cars and SUVs can be found.

For the analysis presented here, we looked back at recent transaction data to find where people are finding significant savings off the sticker price. The automotive market is going through strange times, with unique supply and demand factors. Consequently, the savings off MSRP that buyers are experiencing are smaller than usual, although our analysis shows that there is the potential for 10 percent or more off good vehicles with negotiation.

This underscores the importance of knowing how much room is available for negotiation and what others have paid, information that's available on our vehicle model pages. There are many vehicles where extra savings are available, but people are leaving money on the table. In fact our analysis shows that some models below are being sold for up to 11 percent off MSRP.

We focus here on mainstream consumer-targeted vehicles. Outside that scope is the Ram ProMaster cargo van that is selling for 20 percent off. 

More on Car Buying

Most months there are a few models that are given an extra push with incentives tied to supply and/or a coming redesign. Automakers and dealerships need to make room for new vehicles.

Transaction prices remain aggressive for many models, so this can be a great time to buy. But the amount you'll save will vary greatly by model. It may seem surprising, but there are many vehicles that are selling for close to the MSRP. Supply and demand still has sway even during these strange times. 

For this list, we focused on what people paid, and we didn't limit the selections to models that meet the stringent criteria to be CR-recommended. We identified 10 models that are selling for well below their sticker price, covering sedans, SUVs, and trucks. With SUVs and trucks, we're seeing an extra percentage point or two off MSRP on front-drive versions. 

You might be able to negotiate an even lower price as some dealerships clamor for business. But bear in mind that there's a limit to how low prices can go. 

The other maxim to keep in mind is that deals can vary not only by vehicle but also by geographic region. Being armed with the latest information on pricing, rebates, and transaction prices can help net a good deal. 

The 2021 models below are listed in descending order of savings off the MSRP by percentage. The savings that other buyers have recently experienced on these vehicles are 6 to 11 percent off the original price.

Pricing details on these versions and other trims are available on our model pages, along with complete road tests, reliability, owner satisfaction, and other key information. CR members can log in to see the car ratings.

Even though these deals are relatively good, it's wise to buy when the time is right for you. Dealerships will be happy to sell you a car anytime. (If you want to buy now, read about the CR Build & Buy service and its new Buy From Home program below.)

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.


Shop CR's Car Buying Service From Home

The Consumer Reports Build & Buy Car Buying Service is evolving to factor in the challenges of shopping during the pandemic. The core service engages a nationwide network of over 16,000 dealers to provide upfront pricing information and a certificate to receive guaranteed savings off MSRP. A growing number of dealerships are enrolled in the Buy From Home program, which lets consumers complete the buying process without going to a dealership.

Participating dealerships will take you through the paperwork remotely and deliver a sanitized vehicle right to your home, all at a fair price. When using the Build & Buy Car Buying Service, accessed through the car model pages, you'll find Buy From Home participants denoted by a special banner highlighting “Buy From Home: Have your vehicle delivered to you and complete your paperwork at home.”


Cadillac XT6: 11% Off

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Price Range: $47,995 - $57,195

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Alfa Romeo Stelvio: 9% Off

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2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Price Range: $41,500 - $80,800

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Buick Encore: 8% Off

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2021 Buick Encore

Price Range: $23,200 - $25,220

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Ford F-150: 8% Off

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2021 Ford F-150

Price Range: $28,940 - $74,250

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Jeep Grand Cherokee: 7% Off

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2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Price Range: $32,545 - $87,870

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Nissan Versa: 7% Off

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2021 Nissan Versa

Price Range: $14,930 - $18,340

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Toyota Avalon: 7% Off

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2021 Toyota Avalon

Price Range: $35,975 - $43,400

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Toyota Highlander: 7% Off

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2021 Toyota Highlander

Price Range: $34,910 - $50,415

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Nissan Maxima: 6% Off

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2021 Nissan Maxima

Price Range: $37,090 - $42,320

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Nissan Murano: 6% Off

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2021 Nissan Murano

Price Range: $32,610 - $45,710

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Tips for Buying a New Car

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a new car. On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports expert Kelly Funkhouser explains to host Jack Rico what to look for before taking a test-drive.