Best deals on sedans

Big savings on small, midsized, large, and luxury sedans

Published: March 12, 2015 07:00 PM

Discounts are available on a wide array of sedans this month, spanning from compacts all the way to large, luxury models.

Often the greatest potential savings are associated with cars that are due, or even overdue, for replacement. But with this round, there seems to be a variety of models that the manufacturers simply feel the need to grease sales a bit. Among this group, only the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid faces imminent retirement. Conversely, several—such as the Chrysler 200, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K900—are relatively fresh to market.

This list is strictly based on dollars saved. (Our Best New Car Deals list routinely covers just models that meet the stringent performance, reliability, and safety criteria to be Consumer Reports recommended.) Although we highlight one specific configuration, there are similar savings available on other variations.

Each vehicle highlighted below is available with a 10- to 15-percent discount off the retail price in national incentives. Some may also carry additional regional or other special incentives. Specific pricing details on these and other trim variations are available on the model pages, along with complete road tests, reliability, owner cost, and other key information. The vehicles are listed in alphabetical order.

Consumer Reports Build & Buy

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 more than 9,000 participating dealers provide upfront pricing information and a certificate to receive guaranteed savings off MSRP (in most states). The pricing information and guaranteed savings includes eligible incentives. Consumer Reports subscribers have saved an average of $2,919 off MSRP with the Build & Buy Car Buying Service.


Chrysler 200

Redesigned for 2015, the 200 is well-equipped, but loses road test points for its ride and handling qualities. Engine choices are a fairly polished 3.6-liter, 295-hp V6 or an underwhelming though efficient 184-hp, 2.4-liter four cylinder that returned a very good 30 mpg overall. Both are paired with a nine-speed automatic that is neither particularly smooth nor responsive. The V6 is a much nicer engine than the four cylinder and can be had with all-wheel drive. The center console includes a charging station and a rotating knob instead of a conventional gear selector. The cabin is quiet, but handling is clumsy, making the 200 feel like a larger car, and the ride is rough and unsettled. Available safety features include forward-collision and lane-departure warnings, and a self-parking system.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Chrysler 200 C AWD 3/31/15 $31,520 $30,373 $3,916
Photo: A.J. Mueler

Chrysler 300

Chrysler’s roomy and luxurious 300 is one of the best large sedans on the market. Inside, you’ll find plenty of space for five adults and a comfortable cabin decked with attractive trim. The punchy 5.7-liter V8 comes paired with a smooth eight-speed automatic. But the 3.6-liter V6 version, which also uses the eight-speed box, brings a stately ride and responsive handling while averaging a good 22 mpg overall in our tests. With the V6, the 300 is a bargain luxury sedan and our preferred choice. All-wheel drive is optional. The Uconnect touch-screen infotainment system is one of the best in the industry. The 2015 model got a mild styling update, a rotating knob for gear changes, a big driver-info screen in the gauge cluster, and a stack of modern safety gear.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Chrysler 300 Platinum AWD 3/31/15 $45,890 $43,594 $3,847

Ford Taurus

The Taurus is quiet, rides comfortably, and has lots of features. But it feels like Ford put styling ahead of interior comfort and driver visibility. And the convoluted MyFord Touch control system doesn’t help matters. Fuel economy from the 3.5-liter V6 is 21 mpg. The six-speed automatic can be slow to shift and is not very smooth. All-wheel drive is offered on the V6. A more fuel-efficient turbo four-cylinder is available. Handling is responsive but not sporty, and the turning circle is wide. The SHO version, with standard all-wheel drive, is quick but not as engaging to drive as you might think. A rear-view camera is standard for 2015. Reliability of the Taurus has improved to average.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Ford Taurus SEL AWD
3/31/15 $32,160 $30,418 $3,940

Hyundai Elantra

The Elantra sedan combines nimble and secure handling with a fairly comfortable ride. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic deliver solid performance and a very good 29 mpg overall. Some versions get a more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The car is well-equipped for the price, the controls and features are logically laid out, and rear-seat room is fine for two adults. Our major gripe is the pronounced road and engine noise. The GT hatchback has more adventurous styling and is competent enough. Fuel economy of 27 mpg overall is nothing special, and the hatchback suffers from a loud cabin and stiff ride. But, it does have potentials savings of 15 percent of MSRP. Reliability has been above average.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Hyundai Elantra Sport (auto) 3/31/15 $23,425 $22,669 $3,928

Hyundai Equus

Hyundai’s flagship competes with the largest luxury sedans, but it costs a good deal less. The Equus does a commendable job at absorbing and hiding all but the most severe impacts, but body motions can be a bit buoyant and give the car a busy feeling on some surfaces. Handling can best be described as ponderous, with a lot of body lean and steering that lacks any feedback. The standard V8 has smooth and refined power delivery, and the eight-speed automatic does its job with little notice. The interior is spacious and well-finished, but some controls are complex. Available features include adaptive cruise control and a lane-departure warning system. Overall, the Equus doesn’t quite measure up to the established luxury brands. Factor in the available discounts, and the Equus significantly undercuts its European competitors.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Hyundai Equus Ultimate 3/31/15 $69,700 $65,844 $4,063

Hyundai Sonata

The Sonata is a competitive but ho-hum family sedan with a quiet cabin, a comfortable ride, and good rear-seat room and access. Handling is sound and responsive enough. But the SE we tested had lackluster tire grip, affecting braking and emergency handling. Most Sonatas have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which returned 28 mpg overall in our tests, with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder optional. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic. The Eco model features a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Controls are easy to reach and simple to use. Available safety features include forward-collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, and blind-spot detection.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Limited 3/31/15 $34,350 $32,594 $3,006

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The Sonata Hybrid is still based on the previous generation Sonata. Although it gets better fuel economy than its non-hybrid doppelganger (33 vs. 27 mpg overall), the trade-off in drivability, refinement, and braking performance is high. The car stumbles and hesitates as it makes the transition from electric to gas power and sometimes shakes and vibrates. As a result, it scored too low to be recommended. A new hybrid version comes in June, hence the big discounts now.

 

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited
3/31/15 $30,325 $28,831 $4,385

Jaguar XF

The midsized Jaguar XF may be the sportiest-handling car in its class, with agility and steering feel that surpass the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. The ride is compliant and composed but has an underlying firmness. Most versions will have the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic, which combine to deliver smooth, effortless power. The base engine is a four-cylinder; three powerful V8s top the range. Our AWD V6 proved very quick and agile. Low-slung, coupelike styling takes a toll on access and visibility. The cabin is beautifully finished, with a near-bespoke quality, but it is snug, especially in back. The controls are needlessly complicated, made all the worse by a fussy, slow-reacting touch screen.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Jaguar XF Supercharged
3/31/15 $71,800 $66,880 $3,418

Jaguar XJ

The capable, luxurious XJ sedan comes in regular- and long-wheelbase form, with available all-wheel drive. It appears all variations are heavily discounted right now. Powered by its midlevel engine, a refined 470-hp 5.0-liter V8, the big XJ is quiet and very quick, and handles with grace and agility. The ride is supple and steady. The plush interior is crafted with genuine wood trim, copious amounts of leather, and abundant chrome details. But some controls are confusing. The complex touch screen for the climate, audio, and navigation systems responds slowly, and learning your way around it takes some study. Our tested long-wheelbase XJL has a sumptuous backseat, but the low roofline impedes head room and access, and the trunk is small.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Jaguar XJ   3/31/15 $75,125 $69,939 $4,484
Photo: GREG JAREM

Kia K900

Kia’s new flagship is the brand’s first rear-drive model and cousin of the Hyundai Equus. It is offered with a smooth and punchy 420-hp V8 or a 3.8-liter V6. The K900 is like a traditional freeway cruiser: more comfortable wafting along in a straight line than carving corners. The base infotainment system uses a 9.2-inch screen; top trims get a 12-inch display. A central controller manages the menus and selections, but it takes some getting used to. The cabin is very roomy. Safety options include blind-spot and lane-detection systems, rear cross-traffic alert, a wraparound camera, and front-collision warning.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice Potential savings off MSRP
2015 Kia K900 Luxury
5/4/15 $60,800 $57,048 $3,797

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