Canadians buy fewer new vehicles during winter’s only two full months than at any other time of year. That’s no surprise, with dealer lots covered in snow and brief daylight periods. For consumers, this can be good, as automakers are often more willing to make handsome offers to the rare winter car buyer.
Is winter the time to buy a new car?
2013 Honda Fit - $2500 off
2014 Ford F-150 - $8000 discount
2014 Toyota Venza - Interest free
2013 Hyundai Elantra L - 28% off
2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - Three free payments
2014 Dodge Grand Caravan - Cheapest minivan
2014 Chevrolet Cruze - 0% APR
2014 Kia Sorento - $4480 off
2013 Fiat 500 - Under $14K
2013 Nissan Rogue - $5000 discount
2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec - $11,000 price drop
With a new third-generation Fit set to arrive soon and some second-generation 2014s on the shelf, as well, Honda needs to make sure all the 2013 Fits depart showrooms. They’ll go about doing so with a $2500 discount. Rates as low as 0.99% can also be negotiated, a substantial improvement on the 2.99%/60-month rate available on 2014 Fits. The Fit isn’t traditionally a top seller, but it was Canada’s top-selling subcompact in December – the sixth-best-selling car overall – in large part because of an attempt to clear out 2013s.
There’s something to be said for holding out. The 2015 Ford F-150 will almost certainly be better than this outgoing truck: lighter, more efficient, more modern in every meaningful way. And yet, the price of a current F-150 isn’t really the price of a current F-150. Right off the top there’s an $8000 discount on a truck like the popularly equipped FX4 SuperCab V8 – trucks have been incentivized this way for a couple years – and Costco members can reduce the bill by another $1000. The F-Series is Canada’s best-selling truck and best-selling vehicle line overall, and it is hugely responsible for making Ford Canada’s top-selling brand.
As Toyota settles into slightly higher rates on some of its most popular models – 0.9% over 60 months on the Camry, 1.9% over 60 months on the Corolla, 2.9% on the RAV4 – the Venza can be financed completely interest-free over five years. A drop in the interest rate from 2.9% to 0% on a basic Venza can reduce the monthly payment by around $40, or around $2400 in total over the life of your payment plan. The Venza no longer outsells the Camry, as it did in 2011, but it easily outsells the Honda Crosstour and was about 50% more common a sale in 2013 than the Subaru Outback.
Let’s be honest: bare bones economy cars still exist. Admittedly, a basic Hyundai Elantra has a height-adjustable seat, ABS, stability control, a six-speaker audio system, and power locks, so it’s not the economy car of your past. But you’ll power down windows to cool off, there’s no hands-free communication, and you’ll row your own gears. Good with that? A leftover 2013 Elantra L is currently discounted by $4540, a 28% discount. On a car. The Elantra is Canada’s second-best-selling car but led the Honda Civic through the first six months of 2013.
As the top-selling car at Canada’s top-selling luxury brand, the C-Class is relied upon for a great deal of showroom traffic. Current finance rates top out at just 0.9% on five-year payment plans. That’s not abnormal. So Mercedes-Benz’s kicker is the waiving of your first three payments, up to a maximum of $1350. This will help make way for the all-new 2015 C-Class.
There’s no denying that the impact of Chrysler Canada’s steep minivan discount is lessened by the fact that the discount is permanently available. Currently standing at $8100, the Consumer Cash incentive is just a marketing ploy used on the Grand Caravan in place of listing the base price at $18,995 or, on other occasions, at $19,995. That said, we also can’t deny that a basic Grand Caravan currently costs around $10,000 less than all other full-size minivans and even costs less than the truly mini minivans from Chevrolet, Kia, and Mazda. The Grand Caravan is, as a result, easily Canada’s best-selling minivan.
With leasing making a comeback, there’s an inevitable push for automakers to generate more volume not just with leases on luxury cars but entry-level machines, as well. No Detroit brand passenger car sells more often in Canada than the Chevrolet Cruze, and a current lease rate of 0% makes possible a sub-$100 bi-weekly payment on five-year leases with 20,000 annual kilometers. Consumers in this age typically want more than the most basic car, but those guidelines certainly help clarify the level of affordability currently available.
With its cousin, the Hyundai Santa Fe, stealing much of the Korean crossover limelight of late, Kia has had to make the deals a little sweeter on the Sorento. Current “Throwback Pricing” produces a $3840 price drop on an LX trim, all-wheel-drive, V6-engined Sorento, Canada’s 11th-best-selling utility vehicle in 2013. That discount isn’t separate from Kia’s 0% interest rate, which can be applied to finance terms up to five years in length. A basic LX, four-cylinder Sorento has been discounted by $4480.
Fiat’s $2500 consumer cash discount drops the base price of the 500 Pop to $13,495 before the destination charge is applied. In North America, Fiats are sold by the Chrysler Group, the leading seller of automobiles in Canada in January 2014. The 500 accounted for 3% of Chrysler Canada’s volume last month.
The best-selling model at Canada’s seventh-best-selling brand, Nissan’s Rogue is currently in a replacement phase. The second-generation Rogue is far more in keeping with the times, but the outgoing 2013 model is priced in keeping with a bygone era. Nissan will finance the Rogue interest-free for up to seven years or discount the price by $5000, a 21% discount on the basic front-wheel-drive S model.
In the rarest trim of one of Hyundai’s rarest cars, the Genesis is available with a thick coating of cash purchase incentives in February. While Hyundai’s financing customers take advantage of a $1000 price adjustment, the V8 Genesis sedan’s price drops by $11,000 to just $42,499 before fees and taxes. The Genesis will be replaced by an already-introduced sedan later this year. The outgoing model is a unique choice, particularly for those who enjoy reverse snobbery.