Best Green Car Deals: August 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.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - August 9, 2016

Looking to upgrade your aging car to something more fuel-efficient? Green car deals in August help make it a great time to buy— if you know where to look.

Don’t be put off by high sticker prices— automakers are using hefty cashback offers, finance incentives and lease deals to attract shoppers in the wake of low fuel prices. In some cases, the premium of an alternative-fuel vehicle has been eliminated completely.

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 green cars tend to benefit from leasing incentives, we’ve also listed every lease that we track based on effective lease cost.

Deals assume a Southern California location.

Please Note: Shoppers in California should be aware that funding for the state Clean Vehicle Rebate has been exhausted, and that new applications are being placed on a waiting list. There is currently no ETA for approval of new funding.

Top Hybrid Car Deals This Month

Ford Fusion Hybrid
  • Best Deal: Lease from $199 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 10,500 miles/year
  • MSRP: $27,350
  • Expires: October 3, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 44/41/42

Once again, the Ford Fusion Hybrid ranks as the best deal on a hybrid. Thanks to $3,300 in lease discounts, the SE with Tech Package offers a solid $20/month advantage over the 2016 Camry Hybrid LE when you compare effective lease costs ($255 vs. $275).

If you’d prefer to buy, Ford is offering 0% APR for 60 months plus $2,500 cashback (or as much as $3,500 if you qualify for a $1,000 bonus for being a current Prius or Chevy Volt owner).

Key selling points: Sleek design, exact same lease cost as the gas Fusion. Best time to buy before these sell out. Get your custom quote »

  • Best Deal: Lease from $259 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $0 (Sign & Drive)
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $26,845
  • Expires: September 6, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 36/40/38

If you loathe the idea of paying money upfront on a lease, you’ll love this month’s Sign & Drive deal on the Optima Hybrid. It might not get top marks for fuel efficiency, but you’ll have a hard time finding a competitor with such a low effective lease cost.

Key selling points: One of the few Sign & Drive deals in the segment, sportier driving experience compared to most hybrids thanks in part to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Get your custom quote »

  • Best Deal: $2,000 factory cash
  • MSRP: From $25,035
  • Expires: September 6, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 54/50/52

Deals have never been better on the redesigned 2016 Prius. Late last month, cashback was boosted to $2,000— the most we’ve seen to date.

Alternatively, Toyota is now offering 0% APR for up to a whopping 72 months for well-qualified buyers. If you’d prefer to lease, this month’s deal on the Prius Two starts at $219 for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing.

Key selling points: All-new design, legendary reputation, 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 $3,500 cashback
  • MSRP: From $26,835
  • Expires: September 6, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 40/44/42

The Sonata Hybrid continues to rank as a top deal, especially if you’re coming from a competitor. As part of a wider effort to get shoppers to switch brands, Hyundai is offering an additional $1,000 conquest bonus. Coupled with a $2,500 rebate, shoppers have up to $3,500 in savings this month.

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

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Top Plug-in Hybrid Car Deals This Month

Ford Fusion Energi
  • Best Deal: Lease from $199 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 10,500 miles/year
  • MSRP: $34,775
  • Expires: October 3, 2016
  • MPGe (Combined): 88
  • Estimated Range: 20 miles (EV), 550 total

*Other Incentives: $4,007 Federal Tax Credit, $1,500 California Clean Air Rebate

Did you know that the Fusion Energi is around $10,000 more expensive than the gas-powered Fusion but has the exact same lease? That’s because Ford is using $9,582 in lease discounts to help clear remaining 2016 inventory. You may want to act fast— we expect inventory to become difficult to find in the next month or so.

Key selling points: 20 mi of electric driving (550 mi with the gas engine), unbelievably low cost to lease given its MSRP. Get your custom quote »

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 California Clean Air Rebate

The C-Max Energi is another stellar lease deal this month thanks to a whopping $10,507 in lease discounts. As a result, the car is a mere $20/month more expensive to lease than a Ford Focus SE despite a difference in MSRP of nearly $12,000.

If you prefer to buy, Ford is also offering 0% financing for 72 months with a $4,500 bonus, plus an additional $1,000 conquest bonus targeting current Prius and Chevy Volt owners.

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

BMW 330e
  • Best Deal: Lease from $319 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $4,244
  • Mileage: 10,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $44,650
  • Expires: August 31, 2016
  • MPGe (Combined): 72
  • Estimated Range: 14 miles (EV), 350 total

*Other Incentives: $4,001 Federal Tax Credit

BMW is pushing hard when it comes to deals on its “iPerformance” lineup of plug-ins. Last month, the 330e received a massive $80 cut in both payment and amount due at signing. This month’s deal carries over unchanged, offering a rare deal following price hikes on most BMW models several months ago.

Key selling points: Uses tech inspired by the much more expensive i8, offers a unique blend of sporty performance and efficiency. Get your custom quote »

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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: August 31, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 128/109/119
  • Estimated Range: 82 miles

*Other Incentives: $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, $2,500 California Clean Air Rebate

Once again, there’s no stopping the Chevy Spark EV when it comes to being the cheapest lease on an electric car. The catch is that you’ll need to live in California, Oregon or Maryland to take advantage of this deal since those are the only regions in which the car is sold.

If you prefer to finance, there continue to be impressive regional offers. In California, shoppers can take 0% financing for 60 months plus $2,000 bonus cash. In Oregon, Chevy is offering the same finance deal but with a larger $4,500 bonus. Maryland shoppers get a $2,200 bonus on top of the zero percent offer.

Key selling points: One of the most efficient in it segment, great way to enter the world of EV driving, cheaper than most cable TV 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: August 31, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 124/101/112
  • Estimated Range: 84 mi

*Other Incentives: $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, $2,500 California Clean Air Rebate

In a surprising move, Nissan has introduced the first $0 due at signing lease we’ve ever seen on the 2016 LEAF S. This has been made possible by a $2,000 bonus on all versions— even the relatively new 30 kWh model with up to 107 miles of range.

Alternatively, shoppers looking to buy can now take advantage of 0% financing for 72 months plus $6,000 in offers when factoring a $4,000 finance bonus plus the new $2,000 incentive.

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

BMW i3
  • Best Deal: Lease from $159 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $3,584
  • Mileage: 10,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $43,395
  • Expires: August 31, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 137/111/124
  • Estimated Range: 81 mi

*Other Incentives: $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, $2,500 California Clean Air Rebate

If you’ve been waiting for the right deal on the i3, it’s a great time to lease. That’s because BMW has cut the payment by a whopping $80/month in addition to a $580 drop in the amount due at signing. With an effective lease cost of $259, the i3 is a mere $4/month more expensive to lease than a 2016 Kia Soul EV ($255).

Opting for the available Range Extender (REx) variant of the i3 gets you a slightly less-impressive deal starting at $209 for 30 months with $2,634 due at signing, which equates to a $38 difference in effective lease costs.

Key selling points: Futuristic design, remarkably low cost to lease, one of the few models with a range extender option. 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: August 31, 2016
  • MPGe (Combined): 106
  • Estimated Range: 53 mi (EV), 420 (total)

*Other Incentives: $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, $1,500 California Clean Air Rebate

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 conquest bonus. These offers include a 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 »

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Top Diesel Car Deals This Month

GMC Canyon
  • Best Deal: 0% APR + $2,250 in bonuses
  • MSRP: From $35,135
  • Expires: August 31, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 22/31/25

Once again, the GMC Canyon can be remarkable value if you’re coming from a competitor. That’s because GM is offering an additional $1,500 conquest bonus on top of this month’s $750 rebate.

Altogether, that’s $2,250 in offers, which you can even stack with 0% financing for 60 months. You won’t see a deal that good on the Chevy Colorado anytime soon.

Key selling points: Remarkable 369 lb-ft of torque with 7,700 lbs of towing capacity. Get your custom quote »

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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

Scion is in full sell-down mode across its entire lineup. One of the best deals is on the value-packed Scion iA, which features 0% financing for 60 months plus a $1,000 bonus (an improvement of $250 over last month).

Shoppers looking to lease may appreciate offers starting at $149 for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing. Based on our analysis, the iA ranks as one of the cheapest lease deals this month on a new car, a whopping $68/month less than the best deal on the Mitsubishi Mirage G4.

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, more traditional layout compared to the Mirage hatchback, updated connectivity features for 2017. Get your custom quote »

Ford Fiesta
  • Best Deal: 0% APR + $1,000 bonus
  • MSRP: From $14,965 w/5-spd manual
  • Expires: September 6, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 28/36/31

Last month’s deal on the Fiesta carries over with no major changes. Shoppers can currently enjoy 0% financing for 72 months in addition to a $1,000 cash bonus. If you aren’t keen on financing, you can forgo the low APR in favor of $2,000 in rebates plus a $500 bonus for anyone leasing a competitor, amounting to $2,500 in combined offers before factoring dealer discounts.

Key selling points: Available SYNC3 connectivity, nice steering feel, choice of sedan or hatchback styles. Get your custom quote »

Chevrolet Sonic
  • Best Deal: 16% Off Select Inventory
  • MSRP: From $15,220 w/5-spd Manual
  • Expires: August 31, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 26/35/30

Once again, the Sonic ranks as a top deal thanks to a modified version of last month’s Bonus Tag promotion. Shoppers can now take advantage of a flat 16% discount on the oldest in-stock units, which is equivalent to $2,947 off a Sonic LT. Sadly, last month’s 20% discount is long gone, but we have a feeling offers may improve in time for Labor Day.

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 »

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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 Ford C-Max Hybrid SE 200A $199 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$259 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid LX Automatic (Sign & Drive) $259 36 12k $0 Get Details
$275 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE Hybrid $219 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$275 2016 Toyota Prius Two $219 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$305 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE Hybrid $249 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$305 2016 Toyota Prius v Two $249 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$310 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base (Conquest) $249 36 12k $2,199 Get Details
$327 2016 Lexus CT 200h Base $299 36 10k $999 Get Details
$329 2016 Lexus CT 200h Base $329 36 10k $0 Get Details
$335 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE AWD $279 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$338 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base $249 36 12k $3,199 Get Details
$356 2016 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Reserve w/Moonroof $279 36 10.5k $2,779 Get Details
$390 2017 Lexus CT 200h Base $329 36 10k $2,199 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
$482 2016 Lexus ES 300h Premium $399 36 10k $2,999 Get Details
$489 2016 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Premium $379 39 10k $4,299 Get Details
$563 2016 Lexus NX 300h Navigation $449 36 10k $4,099 Get Details
$656 2016 Lexus RX 450h Base AWD $559 36 10k $3,499 Get Details

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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
$350 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Base (Conquest) $289 36 12k $2,199 Get Details
$378 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Base $289 36 12k $3,199 Get Details
$437 2016 BMW 330e Base Sedan $319 36 10k $4,244 Get Details
$464 2016 Audi A3 e-tron 1.4T Premium $389 36 10k $2,683 Get Details
$728 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e $589 36 10k $5,014 Get Details
$863 2016 Volvo XC90 Hybrid T8 AWD Momentum (Los Angeles) $739 39 10k $4,839 Get Details
$1,093 2017 Volvo XC90 Hybrid T8 AWD Inscription $969 39 10k $4,845 Get Details
$1,217 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550e Premium Sedan (Sign & Drive) $1,217 36 10k $0 Get Details
$1,239 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550e Premium Sedan $1,049 36 10k $6,843 Get Details
$1,760 2016 BMW i8 Base $1,539 36 10k $7,964 Get Details

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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 BMW i3 Base w/Range Extender $209 30 10k $2,634 Get Details
$225 2016 Nissan LEAF S (24 kWh) $199 36 12k $0 Get Details
$225 2016 Kia Soul EV EVe (CA only) $169 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$235 2016 FIAT 500e Base (CA, OR) $179 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$244 2016 Kia Soul EV EV (CA only) $199 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$255 2016 Ford Focus Electric Base $169 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$283 2016 Kia Soul EV EV+ (CA only) $229 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$285 2016 BMW i3 Base $239 36 10k $4,164 Get Details
$297 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf SE $179 36 10k $2,349 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
$312 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- CA/OR $299 39 15k $500 Get Details
$355 2016 Mercedes-Benz B250e Base (Sign & Drive) $440 36 10k $0 Get Details
$364 2016 Mercedes-Benz B250e Base $329 36 10k $4,123 Get Details
$377 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- National (Current GM lessees) $299 39 15k $2,529 Get Details
$440 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- National $299 39 15k $3,029 Get Details
$444 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Base $189 36 12k $3,388 Get Details
$844 2016 Tesla Model S 60 $667 36 10k $6,362 Get Details
$921 2016 Tesla Model S 60D $742 36 10k $6,437 Get Details
$968 2016 Tesla Model X 60D $788 36 10k $6,483 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
$1,634 2016 Tesla Model S P90D $1,436 36 10k $7,131 Get Details
$1,734 2016 Tesla Model X P90D $1,533 36 10k $7,228 Get Details
$1,800 2016 Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous $1,597 36 10k $7,292 Get Details

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All Diesel Lease Deals

Effective Lease Cost Year/Make/Model/Trim Pmt Term Mileage Due at Signing More Info
$468 2016 BMW 328d i Sedan $349 36 10k $4,274 Get Details
$509 2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d $389 36 10k $4,314 Get Details
$529 2016 BMW 328d xDrive SportsWagon $409 36 10k $4,334 Get Details
$550 2017 BMW X3 xDrive28d $429 36 10k $4,354 Get Details
$700 2016 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC Premium Sedan (Sign & Drive) $700 36 10k $0 Get Details
$713 2016 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC Premium Sedan $569 36 10k $5,183 Get Details
$769 2016 BMW X5 xDrive35d $629 36 10k $5,054 Get Details

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, 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