With the 2016 model year cars now crowding showrooms, there are some scary-good new-car deals available on some appealing leftover 2015s that are still haunting dealerships. The transaction prices on the models included here is at least 7 percent below MSRP, saving on average $3,896 or more.
To size up the buying opportunities for these October specials, our analysts studied recent nationwide transactions, then layered in current available incentives to predict the average savings available now through November 2. This estimate is labeled "Market average" in the charts below.
To make sure these cars are more treat than trick, we focused on those that meet Consumer Reports’ stringent criteria to be recommended, 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 evaluated.
For this grouping, we ranked the models based on total savings available. Predictably, the best deals are found on the largest, priciest vehicles. But there are several midsized models here that come with generous incentives.
Specific savings for each model, including other trim variations, can be found via the Consumer Reports car model pages. (Before taking a test drive, read “Should I Buy an End-of-Summer New Car?”)
Each vehicle featured below is a 2015 model, and all incentives factored expire on November 2. Of course, some might be extended.
See all current Best New Car 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. 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 10,000 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.
The CTS is a luxury sedan with agile handling and a firm, absorbent ride that crowns it as one of the sportiest cars in the class. But as satisfying as it is to drive, the CTS can also be frustrating. Much of the blame goes to the overly complex Cue infotainment-system. The cabin is super-luxurious, with impressive material quality. But rear-seat room is snug and the trunk is relatively small. Neither the four-cylinder turbo nor the 3.6-liter V6 is as refined as the best in class. The high-end Vsport version is better, with effortless thrust. The CTS-V high-performance version can give any of the $100,000 German super-sedans a run for their money, thanks to the 640-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from the Corvette Z06.
The Lexus flagship sedan delivers luxurious, highly refined, and fuss-free motoring with a comfortable and serene ride. It has an exceptionally quiet cabin and is laden with features. Fit and finish is excellent. Its recent freshening made handling a bit more responsive while retaining the silky ride. The strong V8 and eight-speed automatic deliver a very smooth and responsive package. The extended-length version has generous rear-seat room. A self-parking feature and all-wheel drive are optional. The LS 600h hybrid comes with standard AWD. The Entune system and the same overly complicated and distracting-to-use mouse-controlled screen are standard.
The Cadenza banishes any thought that Kia only builds cheap cars. This is a competent and credible competitor among large sedans. There’s a lot here for the money, including a luxurious and quiet interior, a roomy backseat, responsive handling, and a comfortable ride. The only powertrain is a 293-hp, 3.3-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic, which performs slickly and delivers a competitive 22-mpg overall. Controls are refreshingly easy to use, though some drivers found the steering wheel wouldn’t adjust close enough, and head room could be tight for taller drivers. A host of electronic safety aids are available, but some of the most useful ones are bundled into expensive options packages.
Though it’s starting to feel a little dated, the Acadia is still competitive among three-row SUVs. Like its twins, the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, it has a spacious and quiet interior, with a third-row seat that’s roomy enough for adults. Seating for eight is available. Handling is relatively agile and secure, with responsive steering, and the ride is comfortable and steady. Its 3.6-liter V6 is smooth and refined, but it has to work hard and it gets mediocre gas mileage. Upgraded touch-screen infotainment systems bring more capability. Rear visibility isn’t great. Denali versions have more features but no better functionality or performance.
The 3 Series is an excellent car, boasting commendable ride comfort, noise isolation, and fit and finish. The turbo four-cylinder makes the 328i quick yet returns a frugal 28-mpg overall. The 335i uses a smooth and punchy turbo six-cylinder. Handling is very capable, but steering feel isn’t as sharp as past BMWs and overall the 3 Series isn’t as engaging to drive as past versions. Despite some diesel clatter, the 328d’s 35-mpg overall is a standout in the class, and its driving range of 735 miles is impressive. A hybrid, wagon, and less powerful 320i are also available. The ultra-high-performance M3 can give Porsches and Corvettes a run for their money. A 2016 freshening includes a new six-cylinder engine and a plug-in hybrid.
Thanks to its luxurious, well-finished, and roomy interior, and a supple ride, the sophisticated and modern LaCrosse is a competitive large sedan. Buyers can choose from a refined and powerful 3.6-liter V6 or a mild-hybrid eAssist four-cylinder that still delivers good performance as well as 26-mpg overall. We found its stop-start system operates unobtrusively. Handling is responsive and the ride is steady. Rear-seat room is generous, and the seats are well padded and comfortable, though the cockpit is narrow. Controls are quite simple for a luxury car. Exterior styling compromises visibility fore and aft, though a rear-view camera is standard. Additional available safety features include forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Even after six years on the market, the large Enclave remains a competitive three-row SUV. We liked its firm, comfortable, and quiet ride and its agile, secure handling. It actually feels more responsive in corners than some Buick sedans, and it was secure and predictable in emergency maneuvers. But like its corporate cousins, the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, it’s beginning to show its age. The 3.6-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic are smooth and powerful enough, but feel taxed and at times have to work hard in this large SUV. The 15-mpg overall that we got in testing is paltry. A big plus is the ability to fit adults in the roomy third row. Fit and finish is impressive, and forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems are available.
One of our top rated sedans, the Impala is roomy, comfortable, quiet, and enjoyable to drive. It even rides like a luxury sedan, feeling cushy and controlled. Engine choices include a punchy 3.6-liter V6 and an adequate 2.5-liter four-cylinder, both paired with a six-speed automatic. In our tests the V6 returned 22 mpg overall and had good acceleration. Braking is capable, while handling is secure and responsive. The full-featured cabin stays very quiet, and features a sumptuous backseat and a huge trunk. Controls are intuitive and easy to use, but rear visibility is restricted. Advanced electronic safety features are readily available. Updates for 2016 include Apple CarPlay capability and wireless cellphone charging.
The Kia version of the older Hyundai Sonata falls a bit short of its cousin in ride comfort, braking, and fuel economy. It handles well, but the ride is borderline stiff and road noise is noticeable. The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder performs well. Top-level trims get a turbo four-cylinder that's economical and powerful, yet it trails competitors' V6 engines in terms of refinement. A hybrid is also available, but we weren't impressed in our tests of the similar Sonata Hybrid. The front seats are comfortable, but the rear seat is low. Reliability has been average. A redesigned 2016 model, coming out late in 2015, is longer and wider, and will have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Optima will be among the first vehicles on the market to feature both of these systems.
Lexus ultimately hurt the ride comfort and made the controls overly complex with the current ES. In our tests, the powerful 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic got a good 25-mpg overall. The ride is on the stiff side and is made worse with the optional 18-inch wheels. Handling is sound but unexceptional. Inside, the quiet cabin looks good at first, but some cheap touches are apparent. The control interface is distracting and convoluted. For those who don’t care about the best driving dynamics, the ES is a simpler, roomier alternative to similarly-priced sports sedans. The hybrid is more appealing, in our opinion, thanks to its combination of size and luxury, and class-leading 36-mpg overall and 44 on the highway in our tests. But after all, a Toyota Camry provides much of the same for less money.
More than a humdrum midsized sedan, the Malibu has a comfortable ride and a well-finished and exceptionally quiet interior that set it apart. Handling is sound, if a little soggy at its limits. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an unobtrusive start/stop system, paired with a six-speed automatic, is standard. The uplevel 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder delivers plentiful power and gets 24 mpg. Controls are straightforward to use. The wide, soft front seats lack support on long trips, and the backseat is cramped. But trunk room is sufficient, even in the hybrid. Changes for 2015 include a standard built-in Wi-Fi hot spot with three months of complimentary data. A redesigned version goes on sale in the fall.
The Verano is based on the Chevrolet Cruze, and tries to pack a lot of luxury into its compact package. Its most impressive high point is a commendably quiet cabin. Power from the 2.4-liter four-cylinder is adequate, but the engine is noisy and its 24 mpg overall is among the worst in the class. An available 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder makes the car quicker and quieter. It rides relatively comfortably, and handling is responsive though not that sporty. The interior is finished appropriately for the price and roomy enough up front, but it’s very cramped in the rear and the lack of power recline and adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat is chintzy. Forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems are available.
This well-honed and satisfying sports sedan has a European feel, and is the antithesis of the whitewall-tired Buick of old. With its agile handling, quick steering, and a taut, steady ride, the Regal is one of Buick’s best offerings. The 259-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder delivers good performance and fuel economy. Our tested Regal was quick and quiet, and delivered 24-mpg overall. The eAssist mild hybrid version gets about 29-mpg. Rich-feeling materials are used in the cabin, which has excellent fit and finish. The front seats are firm and supportive, though the rear seat is quite snug. Infotainment system controls are mostly simple, and all-wheel drive is available on all trim lines. Overall this is a highly capable, yet understated car.
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