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Drive Time

Expect Deals on New 2015 Car Models

You'll find the biggest bargains on cars that buyers are steering clear of. That includes compact and midsize sedans.

This fall should be a very good time to buy a 2015 car or truck. Vehicle sales have heated up over the past few years, fueled by a healthier economy and low interest rates. Now automakers are fighting tooth and nail for market share. Look for cash incentives in addition to low-rate financing on more vehicles. Carmakers will also dole out dealer cash—which dealers can pass on to you.

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For an even sweeter deal, shop for a 2014 model. As the new models stream into showrooms, dealers will be anxious to clear their lots. Look for average discounts to approach 10% off sticker prices by year-end. You’ll find the biggest bargains on cars that buyers are steering clear of. That includes compact and midsize sedans, thanks to gas prices that were recently at their lowest levels in four years. (Buyers have been migrating to crossovers.) Lease deals are also abundant on the 2014s. For $200 or less a month, you could recently lease a Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Altima or Mazda3.

A leaner, greener 2015. Among the more than 50 brand-new and redesigned models for 2015, the small-crossover segment is seeing the most action. Small crossovers meet the Goldilocks test. They’re big enough to carry your family and cargo, but small enough that you won’t pay an arm and a leg for gas or feel as if you’re driving a truck.


And some crossovers are getting even smaller. Carmakers have been introducing subcompact crossovers, which are just a bit smaller than compacts, have lower prices and get better fuel economy. The Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V—all starting at about $20,000—are among the entries for 2015 from mainstream brands. German luxury brands are also launching subcompacts—the Audi Q3 (starting at $33,425) and Mercedes-Benz GLA ($32,225)—and others are coming out with new compacts, including the Lexus NX (about $35,000), Lincoln MKC ($33,995) and Porsche Macan ($50,895).

Luxury makes are also tweaking their entry-level sedans to tempt you to make the switch from mainstream brands. For example, Audi has reconfigured its A3, formerly available only as a hatch, as a sedan ($30,795) and Mercedes revamped the compact C-Class ($39,325). See our 8 Best Values in Luxury Cars

Two midsize sedan stalwarts, the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry, are redesigned for 2015, as are the Chrysler 200 and Subaru Legacy. All of these models boast enhanced suspensions for better handling, as well as better interior materials.

Have a big brood to haul? The Kia Sedona minivan gets a redesign for 2015, with “First Class” lounge seating in the second row, a 360-degree-view monitor for parking and a refrigerated glove box for cooling drinks. General Motors is overhauling its lineup of big SUVs to provide more power and 10% better fuel economy. Plus, GM has boosted legroom and enhanced ease of use of the cargo area of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and the GMC Yukon/Yukon XL.


As the industry strives to meet strict average-fuel-economy regulations that demand 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, you’ll find improved mileage, whether you’re considering a vehicle with a traditional engine or an alternative powertrain. More transmissions will sport seven to nine speeds, and you’ll see more turbocharging, direct injection and auto stop/start in internal combustion engines.

Sales of electric vehicles and hybrids have plateaued for now, but you’ll still see more EVs in 2015: the Kia Soul EV, Volks­wagen e-Golf and long-awaited Tesla Model X crossover. Volkswagen, one of the biggest sellers of diesel vehicles, is adding a new TDI engine to its Beetle, Golf, Jetta and Passat lineups, improving both power and fuel economy.

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