Traditionally, the best time to go new-vehicle shopping is New Year’s Eve and the days leading up to it. Dealerships are more inclined to haggle with shoppers to meet year-end quotas and clear their inventories of last year’s models before they become as stale as week-old bread. The deals may not be as rich or plentiful heading towards 2023 as they may have been in past years due to lingering supply-chain issues, but there are indications it could still be a favorable time for bargain hunters to go out and kick some tires.
For starters, reports suggest that dealers’ lots are once again filling up with cars, trucks, and SUVs, after an extended drought. Where the average dealership’s so-called days’ supply of vehicles on hand was as low as seven days earlier this year, Cox Automotive reports it was up to 53 days by the end of November. A 60-day inventory is generally considered ideal. This is still low compared to pre-pandemic times when the average days to sell rate reached 83 days, but should be considered good news for new-vehicle shoppers.
Cos Automotive says Buick, Jeep, Infiniti, Dodge, Ram, Jaguar, Volvo, and Lincoln dealerships have the most models on hand to sell, which means they’re more prone to cutting prices to help move the metal. The opposite is the case at Toyota, Kia, Honda, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Hyundai, as well as Lexus, Land Rover, BMW, and Acura stores, which remain understocked. At that, some of the hottest-selling rides in the lowest supplies will still likely command transaction prices in excess of their MSRPs.
On the plus side, we’re seeing automakers’ incentives heating up once again this month, both on outgoing 2022 vehicles and incoming 2023 models. While they’re still not as rich or plentiful as they’ve been in past years, with rebates of $500-$1,000 and financing deals of 3.9-5.9 percent being the most common, a few offers remain especially generous. As an example, the 2022 Ram 1500 pickup truck is being offered with $6,500 cash back and 1.9 percent financing for 36 months, with payments delayed for 90 days.
Of note, Tesla is offering $7,500 discounts on its Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles through the end of the month in anticipation of the brand regaining the one-time federal tax credit that’s equal to that amount next month. Chevrolet, likewise shut out of the tax credit until January 1, is offering 2022 versions of its Bolt EV with $5,900 cash back, and the Chevrolet Bolt EUV with a $6,300 rebate.
For many shoppers, however, the cut-rate financing deals automakers’ captive financing divisions are offering can be the biggest money savers, at least for “well qualified” buyers having excellent credit ratings. We found a few models, including the Ford Escape and Edge SUVs, being offered with zero percent financing. According to US News, the average car loan for those having top credit scores is currently averaging 8.85 percent.
Below we’ve compiled lists of the best financing and rebate deals in effect through January 3, as well as those that combine both components. Be aware that, as always, automakers’ incentives can vary from one part of the country to another, usually to address regional supply and demand issues, so be sure to check with various brands’ websites to confirm what’s being offered locally.
Best Financing Deals:
- 2022 Acura TLX: 2.9% for 60 months
- 2022 Cadillac CT4: 2.99% for 48 months
- 2022 Ford Edge, Escape: 0.0% for 66 months
- 2022 Ford Explorer: 2.9% for 60 months
- 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 (Crew Cab models): 1.9% for 60 months
- 2022 Honda Accord, Passport, Ridgeline: 2.9% for 48 months
- 2022 Infiniti QX80: 1.9% for 36 months
- 2023 Infiniti QX80: 2.9% for 36 months
- 2022 Jeep Compass: 1.9% for 36 months
- 2023 Kia Forte, Sorento, Soul: 2.9% for 48 months
- 2022 Lexus IS, RX, LC: 2.99% for 48 months
- 2022 Mazda3: 2.49% for 36 months
- 2023 Mazda3: 2.9% for 36 months
- 2022 Mazda CX-30: 2.49% for 36 months
- 2023 Mazda CX-30, CX-5, CX-50, CX-9: 2.9% for 36 months with no payments for 90 days
- 2023 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: 2.9% for 36 months with no payments for 90 days
- 2022/2023 Mitsubishi Outlander: 1.9% for 36 months with no payments for 90 days
- 2022/2023 Nissan Altima, Frontier, Murano, Versa: 2.99% for 36 months
- 2023 Nissan Armada, Maxima, Titan, Titan XD: 2.99% for 36 months
- 2022 Nissan Kicks, Sentra: 2.99% for 36 months
- 2022/2023 Nissan Pathfinder, Rogue: 2.59% for 36 months
Best Cash Rebate Deals:
- 2022 Chevrolet Blazers: $1,250 cash back
- 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV: $5,900 cash back
- 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV: $6,300 cash back
- 2022 Chevrolet Equinox: $1,500 cash back
- 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (with 2.7 liter engine): $1,500 cash back
- 2022 Dodge Durango: $3,500 cash back
- 2022 Fiat 500X: $2,000 cash back
- 2023 Hyundai Elantra, Tucson: $1,250 cash back
- 2022/2023 Hyundai Kona: $1,250 cash back
- 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe, Sonata: $2,000 cash back
- 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe, Sonata: $1,750 cash back
- 2022 Hyundai Tucson: $1,500 cash back
- 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee: $4,000 cash back
- 2022 Jeep Compass: $2,000 cash back
- 2022 Jeep Gladiators: $4,000 cash back
- 2022 Ram 1500: $1,825 cash back
Best Combo Financing/Rebate Deals:
- 2022 Alfa Romeo Guilia: 0.0% for 48 months, plus $1,250 cash back
- 2023 Alfa Romeo Guilia, Stelvio: 0.0% for 36 months, plus $750 cash back
- 2023 Hyundai Elantra: 0.0% for 36 months, plus $500 cash back
- 2022/2023 Hyundai Kona, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson: 0.0% for 36 months, plus $500 cash back
- 2022 Hyundai Venues: 0.0% for 36 months, plus $500 cash back
- 2022 Nissan Armada, Maxima, Rogue Sport, Titan/Titan XD: 2.99% for 36 months, plus $500 cash back
- 2022 Ram 1500: 1.9% for 36 months with no payments for 90 days, plus $6,500 cash back