Dealership lots are getting crowded due to slow sales during the coronavirus pandemic, so dealers are motivated to sell the still-new 2019 models they have on hand. You'll see some great deals, and shopping for an outgoing model may give you a leg up at the negotiating table, as sales managers are likely to be more aggressive with pricing on a vehicle that has been on the lot for much longer.
You Can Still Get a New 2019 Model, and the Deals Are Great
2019 Might Be Old News but the Cars Are Still New
We scoured national data to find vehicles with the highest available inventory of new 2019 models. Next, we narrowed down the list by selecting vehicles recommended by the Edmunds editors. Here are 10 new vehicles we recommend with a high percentage of new 2019 inventory remaining — although they might not last long. Follow the links below to check out more detailed reviews or to check the inventory in your area.
The 2020 Audi Q7 is an updated version of the popular three-row crossover that wows with its upscale interior and more powerful V6 engine. But in March of this year, more than half of all Q7 sales nationally were for the 2019 model. And there are plenty more left in stock. Audi dealers have thousands of Q7s available — enough to supply 66 days' worth of sales even if no more are shipped in.
The 2019 models are missing some of the bells and whistles of the new Q7, such as the V6 and a new dual-screen infotainment system. Navigation is standard on the 2019 Q7, and it has superb ride quality at a lower starting price than its replacement. In fact, we rated the 2019 Q7 the No. 1 three-row luxury crossover on the market. Here's your chance to grab one at a bargain.
Why mess with a good thing? The current version of the Chrysler 300 debuted in 2011 and has gone through minimal updates since. Predictably, there is little to differentiate the 2019 and 2020 models. So why not pick up the 2019 version? The big four-door has a comfortable and quiet cabin, strong engines and timeless style. Accordingly, it earned the No. 2 spot in our large sedan rankings.
And dealers currently have a lot. Chrysler sold nearly 1,700 of them in March, a whopping 80% of which were the 2019 model. Those dealerships are now stuck with enough supply to last about two more months and could be willing to part with them on favorable terms for buyers.
This should come as no surprise. With the F-150 the top-selling vehicle in the United States for more than 40 years running, it's said that Ford builds a new one every 53 seconds. And even though truck sales have stayed relatively unaffected through the coronavirus pandemic, that still leaves an awful lot of inventory sitting stagnant on dealer lots.
At the beginning of April, there were an astonishing 190,000 F-150s available across the country. That is by far the most of any single vehicle, and more than double all of them except the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500. Even at an aggressive sales pace, there are enough trucks to last those dealerships more than three months. As foot traffic slows, look for great deals on 2019 models to become commonplace.
The Honda Fit is evidence that big things come in small packages. Though it's a compact hatchback, the Fit has impressive interior capacity and clever seat stowing that allows it to fit more equipment and cargo than you might think. Even better, there is little difference between the 2019 Fit and the 2020 version. Opting for the previous but still new model could save you some cash up front.
In addition to huge storage, it turns out the Fit also has a huge inventory. Honda dealerships headed into April with more than 200 days' supply of Fits in stock, which is among the highest in the industry. And since more than half of all Fits sold in March were 2019 models, there is likely still a healthy number of those vehicles available.
Like the Fit, storage and fuel economy are the greatest strengths of the Honda HR-V. Think of a Fit that's been stretched into a compact crossover, and one of the few that doesn't feel overly hampered by its size restrictions. Buyers will find a perfectly usable package whether they choose a 2019 or a 2020 model. We like the HR-V so much it's earned the No. 3 spot in our top-ranked extra-small crossovers.
Honda is flush with them. Starting in April, dealerships had more than 30,000 HR-Vs in stock, which is enough to last them more than 200 days. And the 2019 version accounted for nearly half of all HR-V sales in March, meaning you will likely find no shortage of the older model year that managers are very eager to move. If value is a priority, there are a lot of reasons to start thinking about a 2019 Fit.
Are the Fit and HR-V not enough Honda for your needs? Consider the Ridgeline, the automaker's midsize pickup that offers truck-like capability with the ride comfort of a crossover. Dealerships have a large number of vehicles in stock, and many of them are 2019 models. The older version made up 42% of Ridgeline sales in March, with plenty of supply still hanging around.
The Ridgeline differs from some vehicles on this list, though, because there are significant differences between the 2019 and 2020 versions. Most importantly, the 2019 Ridgeline does not have the nine-speed automatic transmission that comes standard for 2020. The same goes for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and several advanced safety features. Still, if you need a truck and don't mind a six-speed transmission, the 2019 Ridgeline is primed for a good deal.
Hyundai completely redesigned its Sonata sedan for 2020, with sharp new looks and a great ride. And buyers are flocking to it. The 2020 model accounted for more than 80% of Sonata sales in March. But if you want to save some money and still get a solid sedan, the 2019 Sonata has a lot to offer as well.
Dealerships currently have more than five months' worth of Sonatas in stock. That means there are plenty of 2019 models, and sales managers will especially want them gone to make way for a brand-new version. Strike a deal and you'll walk away with a great package. The 2019 Sonata is equipped with a spacious interior, a usable infotainment interface and Hyundai's famous warranty coverage.
Demand for trucks remains strong, so you may not have much luck finding a deal on any old pickup. If you're in need of some serious towing power, however, the highly regarded Ram 2500 may be just the thing. Dealerships have a healthy supply on hand with about 115 days of inventory. But what makes the Ram stand out is the number of 2019 models being sold of late.
Nearly two-thirds of Ram 2500 sales in March were for the 2019 version. That means there are likely loads more ready to go. Even better news for buyers is that there is little difference between the 2019 and 2020 model years. You won't have the option of lane keeping assist or a massive 50-gallon fuel tank. But otherwise the powerful capability and superior comfort we hold in high regard is ready for the taking.
The three-row Highlander easily makes our list because it's fully redesigned for 2020, which means that dealerships want the 2019 models out, out, out. We specifically chose the hybrid version for several reasons. First, Toyota knows hybrids. Second, the floor-mounted battery lowers its center of gravity and actually gives the Highlander a better ride. Most importantly, though, there are more on dealer lots.
Toyota dealers have about the same days' supply of Highlanders and Highlander Hybrids. But in March, the 2019 version made up 44% of Highlander Hybrid sales and only 26% of standard Highlander sales. Chances are you'll be able to score a great deal on a better version of the crossover if you ask for the hybrid. And of course, you'll score extra points at the pump too.
We didn't forget about the driving enthusiasts. Easily the sportiest car on our list, the Golf GTI makes the cut for one simple reason: Dealers appear to have far more 2019 models than the newer 2020s. GTI sales in March were made up of 82% 2019 versions and only 18% 2020 versions, indicating the updated GTI has been slow to reach lots across the country.
The older model gets the same punchy engine and tight handling dynamics as the new one. You will miss out on a Wi-Fi hotspot and Driver Assistance package, both standard for 2020. But Volkswagen also raised the price for 2020 and reduced its factory warranty. So in the 2019 GTI you get great performance and better coverage at a lower price — plus a leg up at the bargaining table. Better get your driving gloves.