Most savvy car shoppers know that the end of the summer is the traditional end of the model year, making this a good time to find great bargains on the new-car lot. But even better deals await those who are willing to buy a model that is about to be discontinued or redesigned.
Why are these vehicles so attractively priced? Simple. If you buy a model that the manufacturer will redesign or drop in the next model year, you will be driving a car that's soon to be outdated. It's like buying a dress or suit that was hot last year, but has been eclipsed by newer styles. But even if you're the pragmatic type and you don't make decisions driven by fashion, this is your chance to score a new set of wheels at a low price.
Besides good old-fashioned discounts, the cars featured in the list below are likely to carry hefty incentives and rebates to sweeten the deal. Because many such offers are regional, check to see what is available in your area. To correctly apply incentives, remember to negotiate your lowest price first and then deduct any rebate. And if there is a choice between low-interest financing and cash back, run the numbers to see which will save you the most or best suit your budget.
To easily find the greatest savings, look for Edmunds Price Promise® offers, which give car shoppers a guaranteed, up-front price on a specific car. When you see the Price Promise special offer box, submit your name, phone number and e-mail address to instantly see the special price. Print out the Price Promise certificate, call the designated salesperson to ensure the car is still available and go to the dealership to finalize the purchase or lease.
A couple notes of caution for bargain hunters: When carmakers introduce a model redesign, the prior model depreciates more quickly and it might be more difficult for you to resell it. However, if you're going to keep the car for a long time, depreciation will have little effect on you. Also, since you are shopping at the end of the car-buying year, inventories may be low and color and option choices will be limited.
Below are our Top 10 picks and a bonus trifecta. Although these are vehicles that manufacturers are just about to replace with new-generation models, they still represent excellent value and performance.
2014 Acura TL and 2014 Acura TSX
Prices are likely to drop on the highly respected TL and TSX as Acura replaces them with the sleek, new TLX. However, keep in mind that inventories will be limited for both of these sedans. Check incentives and look for dealer cash, listed under the "Marketing Support" category. This is an incentive that a buyer can combine with low-interest financing.
2014 Chevrolet Suburban
General Motors is redesigning all its large SUVs for the 2015 model year. As a result, deals abound in this category. With a redesign in the works for the family-friendly 2015 Suburban (and the Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon), Chevrolet will pump up the incentives and lower the price. Edmunds data shows the average price paid is below dealer invoice.
2014 Ford F-150
In 2015, Ford will introduce a much heralded new version of its top-selling pickup, featuring aluminum body panels, a high-strength steel frame and 700 pounds less weight. If you are OK with a traditional steel body, you can find a good selection of 2014 F-150s at excellent prices with strong incentives. Edmunds Price Promise® offers are already below factory invoice on current year F-150s.
2014 Ford Mustang
The ever-popular Mustang gets redesigned for 2015, adding a new a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a more sophisticated independent rear suspension. This makes the 2014 model a great candidate for pony-car lovers on a budget. Incentives are plentiful and pricing could be close to dealer invoice. For those looking for a bargain drop top, the deals also apply to the Mustang convertible.
2014 Hyundai Genesis Sedan
The Genesis has long been a great value as a luxury sedan. Now it will become more of a bargain, thanks to a redesign for 2015, which will update the styling and add an all-wheel-drive option. Edmunds Price Promise offers for the 2014 Hyundai Genesis sedan are thousands below factory invoice and dealer cash may be available.
2014 Hyundai Sonata
A full redesign for 2015 is pushing prices down on this midsize sedan, making it a solid pick for bargain hunters. Inventories will offer many different color and option choices and incentives are likely to appear later in the year.
2014 Kia Sedona
Although the styling is a little dated, families choosing this minivan could get big-time savings because of a long overdue redesign of the Sedona, which is scheduled for 2015. Edmunds data shows pricing a whisker below invoice, but incentives are available.
2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
If you are looking for a European luxury sedan, the 2014 C-Class will see deep discounts because a larger, more powerful (and more expensive) model is just hitting the showroom floor. Price Promise shows C-Class savings as much as $3,500 under invoice, and Mercedes also offers lease specials as well.
2014 Nissan Murano
An upcoming redesign has drastically lowered the price on this midsize SUV. Edmunds Price Promise offers from some dealers show the 2014 Murano selling at more than $4,000 below invoice. Keep checking for incentives, which might appear later in the year.
2014 Subaru Outback
Typically, Subaru dealers don't discount their cars very much because of the strong loyalty of returning customers. But now that the redesigned 2015 Subaru Outback wagon has arrived, prices will drop on all 2014 models. Many lease specials are available, and prices for the Outback are falling to just below invoice.
2014 Toyota Camry
Toyota will redesign this flagship sedan for 2015, so discounts are already appearing. In some areas, Edmunds' Price Promise price is a notch below invoice. One real bonus for shoppers is that inventories are strong, meaning that there will be wide selections well into the fall.
2013 Infiniti G37
The folks at Infiniti are playing alphabet soup with their vehicle names, changing the G cars to Q models. This means the Infiniti G37 will be renamed the Q40 for 2015. But to make matters even more confusing, Infiniti decided to skip the 2014 model year for the G37, creating bargains for the 2013 model year. Expect a healthy selection of these stylish sport sedans and some deep discounts.
2014 Ford Edge
The popular Ford Edge is due for a redesign, but the new model is still waiting in the wings. Still, this is putting downward pressure on pricing for the 2014 Ford Edge and causing Price Promise offers to drop just below dealer invoice. Ford is also offering an array of incentives.
2014 Nissan Maxima
With a revised 2015 Nissan Maxima on its way, the 2014 Maxima is considered a "carryover" model. Thanks to generous incentives, the price is dropping more than $1,000 below invoice.