Best Green Car Deals: May 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 - May 10, 2016

Looking to live a little greener and save time at the pump? It's a great time to upgrade in May with an array of cashback, finance and lease deals on fuel-efficient cars ahead of Memorial Day.

Don't let high sticker prices fool you—discounts worth over $9,000 can help bring cars with some of the most advanced drivetrains within reach. We've even seen electric car deals cheaper than some cable utility bills.

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. Just use the links to the right to navigate.

Deals assume a Southern California location.



Top Hybrid Car Deals This Month

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
  • Best Deal: Up to $3,500 Cash Back
  • MSRP: From $26,835
  • Expires: July 5, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 40/44/42

With up to $3,500 in discounts, the Sonata Hybrid ranks as our top hybrid deal. To save the most money, be sure to take advantage of a $2,500 cashback offer and $1,000 conquest bonus for coming from a competitor. That’s more savings plus better fuel efficiency than a Toyota Camry Hybrid (42 mpg vs. 41). Get your custom quote »

  • Best Deal: $1,000 or 0% APR for 60 mos
  • MSRP: From $25,035
  • Expires: May 31, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 54/50/52

Deals on the redesigned 2016 Prius just got a whole lot better. Toyota doubled cashback in most regions, and introduced a 0% financing alternative for up to 60 months (up from 48).

Leasing has become more appealing, too, thanks to a huge $30 payment cut. You can now lease a 2016 Prius Two from $229 for 36 months with $1,999 at signing (12,000 mi/yr). That’s the best deal we’ve seen since the car’s launch.

Expect the selection on dealer lots to be outstanding this month— however, shoppers should be aware that the 56 mpg Prius Two Eco has been extremely difficult to find in stock. Get your custom quote »

Ford Fusion Hybrid
  • Best Deal: Lease for $189 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 10,500 miles/year
  • MSRP: $27,350
  • Expires: May 31, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 44/41/42

It’s hard to ignore the Ford Fusion Hybrid— with an effective cost of $245, it’s cheaper to lease than a 2016 Toyota Camry SE ($245 vs. $255). Cases like this show you don’t need to pay a hefty premium to get access to hybrid technology. Now that the updated 2017 Fusion has started arriving, we expect deals to continue to be aggressive on the outgoing version. Get your custom quote »

Kia Optima Hybrid
  • Best Deal: Lease for $193 for 24 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,499
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $26,845
  • Expires: July 5, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 36/40/38

Interestingly, the 24-month lease on the Optima Hybrid LX ranks as a superior value versus the 36-month deal. In fact, the shorter lease has a $26/month payment advantage with the same amount due at signing ($193 vs. $219). With an effective cost of $255/month, the car has a hefty $40 advantage over a Camry Hybrid LE this month ($255 vs. $295). Get your custom quote »

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Top Plug-in Hybrid Car Deals This Month

Ford Fusion Energi
  • Best Deal: Lease for $189 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 10,500 miles/year
  • MSRP: $34,775
  • Expires: July 5, 2016
  • MPGe (Combined): 88

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

Did you know the 2016 Fusion Energi SE is over $9,000 more expensive than a gas Fusion SE but has the exact same advertised lease? A whopping $9,232 in lease discounts are substantially more than you’ll find from competitors.

Prefer to buy? A massive $4,000 bonus can be combined with 0% APR for up to 60 months. That’s not all— Prius and Volt owners are eligible for an additional $1,000 conquest bonus for a total of $5,000 plus 0% financing. Get your custom quote »

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Top Battery Electric Car Deals This Month

Chevrolet Spark EV
  • Best Deal: Lease for $139 for 39 months
  • Due at Signing: $0
  • Mileage: 10,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $25,995
  • Expires: May 31, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 128/109/119

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

If you’re looking for the most absurdly cheap lease on an electric car, look no further than the Spark EV. To get the deal, you’ll need to reside in CA, OR or MD— the only places the car is sold. However, the car’s future is uncertain since the all-new Bolt EV is due to arrive next year with an estimated 200 miles of range. This is one deal worth taking advantage of before it’s gone. Get your custom quote »

Kia Soul EV
  • Best Deal: Lease for $169 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $32,800
  • Expires: July 5, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 120/92/105

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

The Soul EV is new to our list thanks to a surprising $30 drop in payment on the more affordable EVe variant. With a respectable 90-mile range and standard DC Fast Charge port, the Soul EV offers a compelling alternative to most competitors. To top it off, its effective lease cost of $225 is $30 less than the cheapest deal on the 2016 Nissan LEAF. 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: May 31, 2016
  • MPGe (Combined): 106

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

With a range of 53 miles on electric power and 420 miles with the built-in gas generator, the 2017 Volt offers outstanding flexibility. The lease on the Volt LT continues unchanged at $299 for 39 months with $500 at signing— but you can turn this into a zero-down offer with a $500 “lease conquest” bonus if you’re currently leasing a competitor.

Purchase offers are a bit better this month. In addition to $1,000 cashback in select states, there’s a limited-time $1,000 conquest purchase bonus through May 16 for up to $2,000 cashback if you own a 1999-or-newer non-GM vehicle.

The best deals are currently in: CA, CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OR, RI and VT. Outside those regions, the national lease is $299 for 39 months with $3,029 at signing, or $2,529 at signing with the $500 lease conquest bonus. The leases listed here include an impressive 15,000 mi/yr allowance. Get your custom quote »

Nissan LEAF
  • Best Deal: Lease for $199 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $29,860
  • Expires: May 31, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 124/101/112

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

The LEAF benefits from being one of the most accessible electric cars on the market today with national availability at many dealers. However, it just became more accessible in another way— with a price cut. This month’s deal on the 2016 LEAF S gets a $10 payment cut and has a $400 lower amount due at signing. As a result, this makes it the best deal so far this year. Get your custom quote »

BMW i3
  • Best Deal: Lease for $159 for 30 months
  • Due at Signing: $4,084
  • Mileage: 10,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $43,395
  • Expires: May 31, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 137/111/124

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

If you can find one, this month’s deal on the 2015 BMW i3 is a steal. Both the payment and amount at signing have been cut $70 before selling out. The lease on the 2015 REx is also better, starting at $189 for 30 months with $4,114 at signing.

Prefer the 2016 model? Get ready to pay quite a bit more. The 2016 i3 REx starts at $289 for 36 months with $4,214 at signing, with an effective lease cost that’s $80 more than the outgoing model ($406 vs. $326). Get your custom quote »

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Top Diesel Car Deals This Month

Chevrolet Colorado
  • Best Deal: $1,000 conquest bonus
    + 2.9% APR for 60 mos.
  • MSRP: From $35,355
  • Expires: May 16, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 22/31/25

Once again, there’s a $1,000 conquest bonus on the Colorado Diesel. However, this month’s deal only lasts through May 16. We rarely see such large discounts on this hot-selling model. To get the deal, you’ll need to currently own or lease a 1999 or newer non-GM car or truck. Well-qualified buyers can also take advantage of 2.9% APR for 60 months through GM Financial. Get your custom quote »

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Top Fuel-Efficient Gas Car Deals This Month

Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Best Deal: $3,500 Cash Back
  • MSRP: From $13,805 w/5-spd manual
  • Expires: May 31, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 37/44/40

Last month’s stellar $3,500 cashback offer on the 2015 Mirage has been curtailed slightly to $3,000. However, it effectively still has a 21% discount off MSRP (before dealer discounts), making it an outstanding deal. In contrast, the facelifted 2017 Mirage has absolutely no standard rebates. Get your custom quote »

Honda Fit
  • Best Deal: Lease for $159 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $1,999
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: $17,525
  • Expires: July 5, 2016
  • MPGe (City/Hwy/Comb): 33/42/37

The class-leading Honda Fit rarely gets incentives, but this month is truly special. A reduced money factor has enabled Honda to cut the payment on the Fit LX with CVT by $20 and lower the amount due at signing by $200. There’s also a brand-new zero due at signing option starting at $210.

Prefer to buy? While there are still no rebates or national finance offers, grads and members of the military get access to the first finance offer in recent memory— 0.9% for 60 months. Get your custom quote »

Scion ia
  • Best Deal: 0% APR for 60 months
    +$500 cash bonus
  • MSRP: From $16,495 w/6-spd manual
  • Expires: May 31, 2016
  • MPG (City/Hwy/Comb): 33/42/37

Offers are unchanged on the feature-packed Scion iA. With the sun setting for the brand later this year, it’s an excellent time to buy. You won’t find a competitor that offers such impressive fuel economy with tech like standard automatic braking, not to mention Mazda-derived handling.

Leases remain “just okay”, however— at $149 for 36 months with $1,999 at signing, the iA has the same cost as the more expensive Corolla S Plus, and is just $10 less than this month’s deal on the segment-leading Honda Fit. 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 Link
$245 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE FWD Technology Package $189 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$245 2016 Toyota Prius c One $189 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$255 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid LX Automatic $193 24 12k $1,499 Get Details
$261 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid LX Automatic $219 36 12k $1,499 Get Details
$275 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid SE 200A $219 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$285 2016 Toyota Prius Two $229 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$295 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE $239 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$310 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base (Conquest) $249 36 12k $2,199 Get Details
$325 2016 Toyota Prius v Two $269 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$338 2016 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Reserve w/Moonroof $249 36 10.5k $3,199 Get Details
$338 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base $249 36 12k $3,199 Get Details
$341 2016 Lexus CT 200h Base $299 36 10k $1,499 Get Details
$425 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Premium $369 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$456 2015 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Premium w/Navigation $359 39 10k $3,799 Get Details
$491 2016 Lexus ES 300h Premium $399 36 10k $3,299 Get Details
$586 2016 Lexus NX 300h Navigation $469 36 10k $4,199 Get Details
$589 2016 Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Premium $479 39 10k $4,299 Get Details
$670 2016 Lexus RX 450h Base AWD $559 36 10k $3,999 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 Link
$235 2016 Ford C-Max Energi SEL 300A $179 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$245 2016 Ford Fusion Energi SE $189 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
$464 2016 Audi A3 e-tron 1.4T Premium $389 36 10k $2,683 Get Details
$800 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e $659 36 10k $5,084 Get Details
$1,027 2016 Volvo XC90 Hybrid T8 AWD Momentum $899 39 10k $4,999 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 Link
$139 2016 Chevrolet Spark EV 1LT (CA/OR/MD) $139 39 10k $0 Get Details
$225 2016 Kia Soul EV EVe $169 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$225 2016 Ford Focus Electric Base $169 36 10.5k $1,999 Get Details
$235 2016 FIAT 500e Base (CA, OR) $179 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$244 2016 Volkswagen e-Golf SE $179 36 10k $2,349 Get Details
$255 2016 Nissan LEAF S $199 36 12k $1,999 Get Details
$283 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Base $189 36 12k $3,388 Get Details
$295 2015 BMW i3 Base $159 30 10k $4,084 Get Details
$299 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- Select States (Current GM lessees) $299 39 15k $0 Get Details
$299 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- Select States (Current Non-GM lessees) $299 39 15k $0 Get Details
$299 2016 Chevrolet Volt LT- Select States (Current GM lessees) $299 39 15k $0 Get Details
$299 2016 Chevrolet Volt LT- Select States (Current Non-GM lessees) $299 39 15k $0 Get Details
$312 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT- Select States $299 39 15k $500 Get Details
$312 2016 Chevrolet Volt LT- Select States $299 39 15k $500 Get Details
$326 2015 BMW i3 Base w/Range Extender $189 30 10k $4,114 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
$406 2016 BMW i3 Base w/Range Extender $289 36 10k $4,214 Get Details
$464 2016 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Base $349 36 10k $4,143 Get Details
$513 2016 Cadillac ELR Base $499 36 10k $499 Get Details
$1,007 2016 Tesla Model S 70 RWD $826 36 10k $6,521 Get Details

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All Diesel Lease Deals

Effective Lease Cost Year/Make/Model/Trim Pmt Term Mileage Due at Signing Link
$519 2016 BMW 328d xDrive Sedan $399 36 10k $4,324 Get Details
$560 2016 BMW 328d xDrive SportsWagon $439 36 10k $4,364 Get Details
$560 2016 BMW X3 xDrive28d $439 36 10k $4,364 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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For an easy way to find the best deals, visit the CarsDirect Deals Page for the latest deal-related news and analyses. Browse expert buying advice updated monthly on nearly 300 models for insider insights you'll only find at CarsDirect. Be sure to sign up for email alerts to have the latest deals delivered straight to your inbox.

Offers listed here are based on a resident in Southern California and may be subject to change. Most lease offers are for well-qualified buyers based on available credit and exclude tax, license, title, registration, document fees and insurance. Not all buyers may qualify. Please check with your CarsDirect Trusted Dealer to confirm details and eligibility.

, 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