Best Green Car Deals: September 2016

By

Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website

, Senior Pricing Analyst - September 13, 2016

Looking to upgrade your aging car or truck to something more fuel-efficient? September is shaping up to be an excellent time to take advantage of some of the best green car deals of the year— if you know where to look.

In some cases, we’re seeing up to $10,507 in lease discounts and special offers for financing like 0% APR plus up to $6,000 cash. We’ve even found as much as $1,500 in additional savings simply for coming from a competing automaker.

We looked at hundreds of advertised offers and listed the best deals on hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electrics, diesels and fuel-efficient gas cars below. Since these cars tend to strongly benefit from lease incentives, we’ve also listed every lease that we track based on effective cost. Just use the links to the right to navigate.

Deals assume a Southern California location.

Editor's Note: California has removed the limit on the number of Green HOV lane stickers it can issue for plug-in hybrids. In addition, funding for the Clean Vehicle Rebate has recently been approved. Both programs have been amassing waiting lists for months, so this is excellent news for shoppers.

Last updated 9:26 am Tuesday, September 20

Top Hybrid Car Deals This Month

Toyota Prius
  • Best Deal: Lease from $199 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $25,260
  • Expires: October 3, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 54/50/52

Toyota has slashed lease prices on the 2016 Prius now that the 2017 model has begun arriving at dealers. This month’s payment on the Prius Two has been cut by $20, making this the best deal we’ve seen all year.

With an effective lease cost of just $255/month, the Prius is now just $20/month more to lease than the Prius c despite a $4,640 difference in MSRP. If you prefer to buy, Toyota is offering a choice between 0% APR for 72 months with a $500 signing bonus or $2,000 cashback.

Key selling points: Outstanding brand reputation, versatile hatchback design, up to 56 mpg with the available Eco variant, 2 years complimentary maintenance plus free roadside assistance. Get your custom quote »

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
  • Best Deal: Up to $5,000 cash back
  • MSRP: From $26,835
  • Expires: September 30, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 40/44/42

Now that the 2017 Sonata Hybrid has been announced, Hyundai has begun sweetening deals on the current version. The 2016 Sonata Hybrid now features a $4,000 bonus (up from $2,500 last month) in addition to a $1,000 conquest bonus for anyone coming from a competing vehicle. Altogether, that’s up to $5,000 in discounts before factoring savings at the dealer.

Key selling points: Roomy cabin, available driver assistance technology, latest smartphone connectivity, lifetime battery warranty. Get your custom quote »

Back to top of page

Top Plug-in Hybrid Car Deals This Month

Ford C-Max Energi
  • Best Deal: Lease from $199 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 10,500 miles/year
  • MSRP: $32,645
  • Expires: October 3, 2016
  • MPGe (Combined): 88
  • Estimated Range: 20 miles (EV), 550 total

*Other Incentives: $4,007 Federal Tax Credit, $1,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate + HOV lane access in CA

Once again, the C-Max Energi ranks as the best deal on a plug-in hybrid. Interestingly, $10,507 in discounts give it the exact same cost to lease as the C-Max Hybrid ($255 vs. $255). That’s despite a difference in MSRP of $7,600.

If you prefer to buy, Ford is offering 0% APR for 72 months in addition to a $5,000 bonus (up from $4,500 last month). There’s even a $1,000 conquest incentive targeting current Prius and Chevy Volt owners.

Key selling points: Practical hatchback design, impressive combined electric/gas driving range. Get your custom quote »

Ford Fusion Energi
  • Best Deal: Lease from $219 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 10,500 miles/year
  • MSRP: $31,995
  • Expires: October 3, 2016
  • MPGe (Combined): 97
  • Estimated Range: 22 miles (EV), 610 total

*Other Incentives: $4,007 Federal Tax Credit, $1,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate + HOV lane access in CA

With $6,257 in lease discounts, the 2017 Fusion Energi is a remarkable value with one of the lowest effective lease costs you’re bound to find. Now that the 2016 model is nearly sold out, expect to find a good supply at your local dealer.

Key selling points: 22 mi electric driving (up from 20 mi the previous year), impressive 610 mi total electric/gas range (up from 550 mi). Just $10/mo more expensive to lease than a 2017 Toyota Camry SE this month ($275 vs. $265). Get your custom quote »

Hyundai Sonata Plug In Hybrid
  • Best Deal: Up to $5,000 cash back
  • MSRP: $35,435
  • Expires: September 30, 2016
  • MPGe (Combined): 99
  • Estimated Range: 27 miles (EV), 600 total

*Other Incentives: $4,919 Federal Tax Credit, $1,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate + HOV lane access in CA

The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid is a much better deal compared to last month. Hyundai is now offering a $3,500 bonus (up from $2,500) as well as a $1,500 conquest bonus (up from $1,000) on all versions. Altogether, that’s up to $5,000 in potential savings— a $1,500 increase compared to August.

Leasing has become more attractive, too. Offers start at $289 for 36 months with $1,699 when factoring the improved conquest bonus. Interestingly, the car is just $26/month more expensive than the Sonata Hybrid when you compare effective lease costs despite a $8,610 difference in MSRP.

Key selling points: Voluminous interior, award-winning engine, standard navigation, the latest available device connectivity, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty plus lifetime coverage for the lithium battery, available driver assistance tech. Get your custom quote »

Back to top of page

Top Battery Electric Car Deals This Month

Chevrolet Spark EV
  • Best Deal: Lease from $139 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $0
  • Mileage: 10,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $25,995
  • Expires: September 30, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 128/109/119
  • Estimated Range: 82 miles

*Other Incentives: $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, $2,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate + HOV lane access in CA

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lower-cost lease than the Chevy Spark EV on an electric car. However, you’ll need to live in California, Oregon or Maryland to take advantage of the deal since those are the only areas in which the car is sold.

If you prefer to buy, there’s a Bonus Tag offer available through September 30 featuring a flat 16% discount off MSRP on the oldest stock. Expect remaining inventory to dwindle ahead of the late-2016 launch of the all-new Bolt EV which will offer up to 238 miles of driving on a single charge.

Key selling points: One of the most efficient choices in it segment, great way to enter the world of EV driving, cheaper per month than most cable television packages. Get your custom quote »

  • Best Deal: Lease from $199 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $0
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $29,860
  • Expires: October 3, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 124/101/112
  • Estimated Range: 84 mi

*Other Incentives: $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, $2,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate + HOV lane access in CA

Last month’s stellar lease on the LEAF continues to be the best we’ve seen all year. Thanks to a $2,000 bonus introduced in August, shoppers can now lease a 2016 LEAF S with zero due at signing.

If you prefer to buy, Nissan is continuing to offer 0% APR for 72 months in addition to $6,000 in cash. All versions of the LEAF are eligible for the finance offer— even the 30 kWh model with up to 107 miles of range.

Key selling points: Proven design, excellent availability at dealers nationwide, class-leading 107 mi range with DC Fast Charge on the SV model. Get your custom quote »

FIAT 500e
  • Best Deal: Lease from $149 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $32,795
  • Expires: October 3, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 121/103/112
  • Estimated Range: 84 mi

*Other Incentives: $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, $2,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate + HOV lane access in CA

FIAT has cut the lease price for the quirky 500e by $30/month just ahead of the arrival of the 2017 model. This equates to the best deal to date on the current car.

Looking to reduce your cost even further? Current lessees of any non-FCA vehicle can take advantage of a $1,000 conquest bonus good toward either the lease or purchase of a 500e.

Key selling points: Fun-to-drive, a bit more design flavor compared to most competitors, features a 6.6-volt onboard charger (compared to 3.3-kw on the Nissan LEAF S). Get your custom quote »

Chevrolet Volt
  • Best Deal: Lease for $299 for 39 months
  • Due at Signing: $500
  • Mileage: 15,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $34,095
  • Expires: September 30, 2016
  • MPGe (Combined): 106
  • Estimated Range: 53 mi (EV), 420 (total)

*Other Incentives: $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, $1,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate + HOV lane access in CA

Last month’s deal on the 2017 Chevy Volt carries over unchanged. Shoppers in select states can lease the Volt LT from just $299 for 39 months and $500 due at signing. Even better, there’s a $500 conquest bonus available for those currently leasing a competitor that turns this into a zero-down lease.

The best deals are currently in the following regions: CA, CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OR, RI and VT. Outside those areas, the national lease is $299 for 39 months with $3,029 at signing, or $2,529 at signing with the $500 lease conquest bonus. These offers include an impressive 15,000 mi/yr allowance— considerably more than competitors.

Key selling points: Impressive 53 mi of electric range, flexible design that will satisfy the needs of most drivers. Get your custom quote »

Back to top of page

Top Diesel Car Deals This Month

BMW 328d
  • Best Deal: Lease from $309 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $4,234
  • Mileage: 10,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: From $40,845
  • Expires: September 30, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 32/42/36

In a final move to sell remaining inventory, BMW has cut the lease payment on the 328d Sedan by $40— a massive month-over-month change. On the other hand, be prepared for a shock if you’re looking to lease the 2017 model.

As part of a shift in strategy, BMW is now factoring optional equipment into 2017 model year leases. The effective lease cost of the 2017 328d is currently $123/month more expensive than the 2016 model ($550 vs $427). Ouch.

Key selling points: Well-appointed interior, up to 280 lb-ft of torque, legendary handling. Get your custom quote »

Back to top of page

Top Fuel-Efficient Gas Car Deals This Month

Scion ia
  • Best Deal: 0% APR + $1000 bonus
  • MSRP: From $17,595 w/6-spd Auto
  • Expires: September 6, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 33/42/37

Time is running out to take advantage of some of the best deals we’ve seen all year on the Scion iA. Now that the brand has been discontinued, dealers are beginning to run out of stock.

If you can find one, you’ll enjoy 0% APR for 60 months in addition to a $1,000 bonus here in Los Angeles. We’re even seeing better regional offers like $1,500 in San Francisco.

Interested in the Toyota-branded Yaris iA? There’s already a $500 rebate in many regions just ahead of the car’s arrival. That’s great news for shoppers concerned about the prospect of deals being cancelled with the change in nameplate.

Key selling points: One of the most efficient cars in its class, sporty Mazda-derived handling, standard low-speed automatic braking system, amenities like touchscreen infotainment and alloy wheels. Get your custom quote »

Mitsubishi Mirage G4
  • Best Deal: 0% APR + $750 bonus
  • MSRP: From $16,030 w/CVT
  • Expires: September 6, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 35/42/37

The Mirage G4 has quickly emerged as one of the best deals on a subcompact car if you intend of financing your purchase. Like last month, Mitsubishi is offering 0% APR for 48 months in addition to a $750 finance bonus.

On the other hand, the car ranks as one of the absolute worst deals when you lease due to a $179 payment and absurdly high $3,378 amount due at signing.

Key selling points: Class-leading fuel economy, updated connectivity tech for 2017. Get your custom quote »

Ford Fiesta
  • Best Deal: 0.9% APR
  • MSRP: From $17,625 w/CVT
  • Expires: October 31, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 33/41/36

The Fit has been a class-leader but rarely requires special incentives to attract shoppers. This month, Honda has introduced 0.9% APR for 36 months or 1.9% APR for up to 60 months in a bid to clear remaining 2016 stock.

We’re even seeing unadvertised discounts that dealers have at their discretion to pass along to shoppers. In competitive regions, expect to be able to negotiate a better price. Other cars in the segment may feature better incentives, but this is a rare set of deals for this model.

Key selling points: Ditches the stereotype that economy cars have to feel cheap, extremely versatile design, remarkable resale value, strong reputation for reliability. Get your custom quote »

Chevrolet Sonic
  • Best Deal: 16% Off Select Inventory
  • MSRP: From $15,220 w/5-spd Manual
  • Expires: September 30, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 26/35/30

As part of Chevy’s Bonus Tag promotion, shoppers can enjoy a flat 16% discount off MSRP on the oldest Sonic inventory. Make no mistake— that’s a massive discount at this price point, amounting to $2,947 off a Sonic LT. Be sure to shop multiple dealers to find an eligible car.

Key selling points: Low base price, peppy performance with the available 1.4-liter turbo, choice of hatchback or sedan styles. Get your custom quote »

Back to top of page

See this month's top discounts ranked by segment »

All Green Car Lease Deals Ranked By Effective Cost

Leases for many green cars are often heavily subsidized by manufacturers. As a result, shoppers can often find attractive offers.

If you aren't interested in one of our top picks ranked by value for the money, feel free to browse all leases we track for each type of vehicle, ranked by effective lease cost.

Unless specified otherwise, these offers exclude special incentives like college grad, conquest and loyalty discounts sometimes factored in dealer advertisements.

All Hybrid Lease Deals

Effective Lease Cost Year/Make/Model/Trim Pmt Term Mileage Due at Signing More Info
$235 2016 Toyota Prius c One $179 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$255 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE Tech Pkg $199 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$255 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid LX Automatic $199 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$255 2016 Toyota Prius Two $199 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$255 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid SE 200A $199 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$295 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE Hybrid $239 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$310 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base (Conquest) $249 36 12k $2,199 Get Details
$325 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE AWD $269 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$329 2016 Lexus CT 200h Base $329 36 10k $0 Get Details
$330 2016 Lexus CT 200h Base $299 36 10k $1,099 Get Details
$335 2017 Toyota Prius v Two $279 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$338 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base $249 36 12k $3,199 Get Details
$342 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Base CVT $259 36 12k $2,999 Get Details
$365 2017 Lexus CT 200h Base $309 36 10k $1,999 Get Details
$398 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L CVT $309 36 12k $3,199 Get Details
$402 2017 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Reserve w/Moonroof $319 36 10.5k $2,994 Get Details
$405 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Premium $349 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$438 2016 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Premium $379 39 10k $2,299 Get Details
$453 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring CVT $359 36 12k $3,399 Get Details
$513 2016 Lexus ES 300h Premium $419 36 10k $3,399 Get Details
$574 2016 Lexus NX 300h Navigation $449 36 10k $4,499 Get Details
$593 2017 Lexus ES 300h Premium $499 36 10k $3,399 Get Details
$644 2016 Lexus RX 450h Base with Navigation $519 36 10k $4,499 Get Details
$664 2017 Lexus RX 450h Base with Navigation $539 36 10k $4,499 Get Details

Back to top of page

All Plug-in Hybrid Lease Deals

Effective Lease Cost Year/Make/Model/Trim Pmt Term Mileage Due at Signing More Info
$255 2016 Ford Fusion Energi SE $199 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$255 2016 Ford C-Max Energi SEL 300A $199 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$275 2017 Ford Fusion Energi SE Luxury 800A $219 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$336 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Base (Conquest) $289 36 12k $1,699 Get Details
$378 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Base $289 36 12k $3,199 Get Details
$396 2016 BMW 330e Base Sedan $279 36 10k $4,204 Get Details
$464 2016 Audi A3 e-tron 1.4T Premium $389 36 10k $2,683 Get Details
$519 2017 BMW 330e Base Sedan $399 36 10k $4,324 Get Details
$677 2016 BMW X5 eDrive xDrive40e $539 36 10k $4,964 Get Details
$972 2016 Volvo XC90 Hybrid T8 AWD Momentum $845 39 10k $4,945 Get Details
$1,091 2017 Volvo XC90 Hybrid T8 AWD Inscription $967 39 10k $4,819 Get Details
$1,216 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550e Premium Sedan (Sign & Drive) $1,216 36 10k $0 Get Details
$1,239 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550e Premium Sedan $1,049 36 10k $6,843 Get Details
$1,514 2016 BMW i8 Base $1,299 36 10k $7,724 Get Details


Back to top of page

All Battery Electric Lease Deals

Effective Lease Cost Year/Make/Model/Trim Pmt Term Mileage Due at Signing More Info
$139 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV 1LT (CA/OR/MD) $139 36 10k $0 Get Details
$199 2016 Nissan LEAF S (24 kWh) $199 36 12k $0 Get Details
$205 2016 FIAT 500e Base (CA, OR) $149 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$225 2016 Kia Soul EV EVe (CA only) $169 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$225 2016 Ford Focus Electric Base $169 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$244 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf SE 4dr Automatic $179 36 10k $2,349 Get Details
$255 2016 Kia Soul EV EV (CA only) $199 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$259 2016 BMW i3 Base $159 36 10k $3,584 Get Details
$275 2016 Kia Soul EV EV+ (CA only) $219 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$299 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- CA/OR (Current GM lessees) $299 39 15k $0 Get Details
$299 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- CA/OR (Current Non-GM lessees) $299 39 15k $0 Get Details
$300 2016 BMW i3 Base w/Range Extender $199 36 10k $3,624 Get Details
$312 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- CA/OR $299 39 15k $500 Get Details
$364 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- National (Current GM lessees) $299 39 15k $2,529 Get Details
$377 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- National $299 39 15k $3,029 Get Details
$440 2016 Mercedes-Benz B250e Base (Sign & Drive) $440 36 10k $0 Get Details
$444 2016 Mercedes-Benz B250e Base $329 36 10k $4,123 Get Details
$464 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e Base $349 36 10k $4,143 Get Details
$897 2016 Tesla Model S 60 $593 24 10k $7,288 Get Details
$986 2016 Tesla Model S 60D $679 24 10k $7,374 Get Details
$1,039 2016 Tesla Model X 60D $730 24 10k $7,425 Get Details
$1,056 2016 Tesla Model S 75 $874 36 10k $6,569 Get Details
$1,139 2016 Tesla Model S 75D $954 36 10k $6,649 Get Details
$1,196 2016 Tesla Model X 75D $1,010 36 10k $6,705 Get Details
$1,304 2016 Tesla Model S 90D $1,115 36 10k $6,810 Get Details
$1,403 2016 Tesla Model X 90D $1,211 36 10k $6,906 Get Details
$1,675 2016 Tesla Model S P90D Performance $1,476 36 10k $7,171 Get Details
$1,734 2016 Tesla Model X P90D $1,533 36 10k $7,228 Get Details


Back to top of page

All Diesel Lease Deals

Effective Lease Cost Year/Make/Model/Trim Pmt Term Mileage Due at Signing More Info
$427 2016 BMW 328d i Sedan $309 36 10k $4,234 Get Details
$488 2016 BMW 328d xDrive SportsWagon $369 36 10k $4,294 Get Details
$529 2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d $409 36 10k $4,334 Get Details
$550 2017 BMW X3 xDrive28d $429 36 10k $4,354 Get Details
$550 2017 BMW 328d i Sedan $429 36 10k $4,354 Get Details
$601 2017 BMW 328d xDrive SportsWagon $479 36 10k $4,404 Get Details
$718 2016 BMW X5 xDrive35d $579 36 10k $5,004 Get Details


Back to top of page

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website