An old car-buying "pro tip" goes something like this: Buy a new car in the late summer to early fall, when the current model year is winding down, and you'll get a great deal. But there are better bargains in store if you're willing to buy a model that's about to be discontinued or redesigned. We've put together a list of nine such cars and SUVs, based on the potential for a discount and their right-now availability. With these cars, you'll find that dealerships will be more flexible with price and manufacturers will provide generous incentives and rebates to attract bargain hunters.
A few things you should keep in mind: When automakers redesign a car, the outgoing model depreciates more quickly, and it might be more difficult for you to resell it. Similarly, if the carmaker discontinues a model because of slow sales, it may affect how many people are interested in it as a used car. However, if you're going to keep the car for a long time, depreciation has little effect on you. Keep in mind that since you are shopping at the end of the car-buying year, inventories may be low and color and options choices will be limited. In other words, if you want a great deal you can't be that picky.
Also keep in mind that offers, incentives and rebates are regional and have expiration dates. You will not only need to check to see what offers are available in your area, but also when they expire. Finally, keep an eye out for Edmunds Price Promise® offers, which will give you a guaranteed, up-front price on a specific car. When you see the Price Promise "special offer" box on our site, enter your name, phone number and email address to immediately see the price.
2016 Buick LaCrosse (Redesign)
The all-new 2017 Buick LaCrosse will be hitting dealer lots soon, but there are still plenty of 2016 models on hand. The LaCrosse is a comfortable, entry-level full-size luxury sedan with a hybrid model and all-wheel drive as options. Edmunds data shows that the average price paid is below invoice and when you factor in the thousands of dollars off from incentives, it makes for an even more attractive package.
2016 Cadillac SRX (Replaced by XT5)
The Cadillac SRX isn't exactly going away. Instead, Cadillac is giving its luxury SUV a makeover and a new name: Cadillac XT5. There are still a fair number of SRX models left in the wild and we saw a few Price Promise offers of $8,000 off MSRP, once the incentives were factored in. Some of its more notable features are a classy interior and a comfortable ride.
2016 Chrysler 200 (Discontinued)
Despite giving the Chrysler 200 a full redesign in 2015, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has decided to discontinue this midsize sedan in favor of producing more Jeep and Ram vehicles. It's a shame too, because it seemed like the 200 was just hitting its stride. Edmunds editors gave the 2015 version a "B" rating, and with a few minor changes for 2016 this is still a solid car that can be had for roughly $3,000-$6,000 off MSRP.
2016 Dodge Dart (Discontinued)
The Dodge Dart also fell under Fiat Chrysler's car-cutting ax. But while the 200 was a solid pick, Edmunds editors weren't as fond of the Dart, giving it a "C" rating for the 2015 model year. This small sedan does have attractive styling and an excellent infotainment system, but its engines and a few refinement quirks kept it from being at the top of its class. But perhaps our editors' reservations aren't yours, and you just want an inexpensive car that looks good. With discounts ranging from $3,000-$4,000 off MSRP, the 2016 Dart can deliver on both of those fronts.
2016 Kia Cadenza (Redesign)
The Kia Cadenza, set for a redesign in 2017, is a bit of a dark horse among full-size sedans. It has an upscale interior, comes with plenty of standard features and has a five-year warranty. However, dealers didn't really have many in stock to begin with. As such, inventories might be limited. But if you can find one, you'll likely pay thousands below invoice once you factor in the incentives.
2016 Hyundai Genesis Sedan (Rebranded as Genesis G80)
If you want a midsize luxury sedan with many of the same features of the E-Class, but with a lower price tag, give the Genesis sedan a look — especially now. The price gap becomes even more pronounced with the savings on the 2016 Hyundai Genesis. We spotted Price Promise offers of $3,000-$5,500 off MSRP. An added bonus is that there won't be much difference in the 2017 version. Hyundai is creating its own luxury brand, Genesis Motors, and this model will carry over largely unchanged but with a new name: Genesis G80.
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan (Redesign)
Even luxury car shoppers can appreciate a bargain and the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class delivers both on the car and the price. The E-Class sedan, set to be redesigned for the 2017 model year, has long been one of the go-to picks for midsize luxury sedans. The "A" rating our editors gave it in 2015 further solidifies its reputation. The coupe and wagon will remain unchanged for now. We spotted a number of Price Promise deals of $7,000- $10,000 off MSRP for the sedan. While E-Class sedan shoppers are more likely to lease than buy, a lower selling price usually translates to a better lease deal.
2016 Subaru Impreza Sedan (Redesign)
The Subaru Impreza sedan is scheduled for a 2017 redesign. In the meantime, Subaru will be encouraging its dealerships to clear out the remaining 2016 models of this spacious and reliable sedan with standard all-wheel drive. When it comes to potential savings, we should note that the Impreza has a small price window between the MSRP and the invoice price. There's not a ton of profit margin on this car to begin with, so the savings won't look as impressive as some of the other cars on this list. Expect to see offers around $900-$1,100 off, but that could change in the coming months if incentives are added.
2016 Toyota Highlander (Refresh)
The current Toyota Highlander, a comfortable and spacious crossover, is going out on a high note before getting a refresh in 2017. Our editors gave the 2016 model an "A" rating. We recommend looking at models with the smooth V6 engine, since it has more power and the same fuel economy as the four-cylinder version. There are plenty of Highlanders in stock. This means that for now, the savings may not be as substantial (roughly $2,000-$3,000 below MSRP). We recommend keeping a close eye on this crossover however, as prices are sure to fall in the coming months.