5 Cars That Became Worse Deals in July

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 - July 25, 2017

Although it's often advised that new car deals improve with time, that's not always the case. In fact, it's common to see discounts taken away and for leases to become more expensive. This month, we found instances where prices increased by up to $2,200.

We're calling out 5 of the most notable offenders and will explain why they became worse deals in July. We'll even offer some alternatives that we think could be smart to consider. In some cases, it may actually be cheaper to upgrade to a nicer vehicle.

Here's what we found.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

The popular Honda Civic benefits from a $10 cut in payment nearly across the board. We said nearly. That's because the hatchback is the sole exception after getting a $10 price hike in the case of the 1.5T LX.

It now starts at $189 for 36 months with $2,299 due at signing, which equates to an effective cost of $253. That's actually $2/month more expensive than a 1.5T EX Sedan even though the hatchback is $1,800 cheaper on paper.

Finance rates are also quite different. The sedan and coupe are both offered at 0.9% APR for 60 months. However, the rate on the hatchback is 2.9% — a huge difference that will affect your total purchase cost.

Recommendation: While not a terrible deal, you'll be paying more for the sporty 5-door. Consider a sedan or coupe if you're looking for a better value whether you're buying or leasing.

2017 Toyota Prius c

Just because it's Toyota's cheapest hybrid doesn't make the Prius c a good value, at least if you're leasing. At $259 for 36 months with $1,999 at signing, the Prius c One has a payment that's $10 higher than before. That doesn't sound so bad, but let's put it in perspective.

With an effective cost of $315 here in Los Angeles, it's only $10 less than the larger Prius Two despite a difference in MSRP of $4,516. For that price, you could actually lease a $34,000 Chevy Volt LT for $3/month less than the Prius c ($312 vs. $315).

We think Toyota's smallest hybrid is a much better value when you opt to buy. This month, it features a $2,000 cash incentive or an option to finance at 0% APR for 72 months.

Recommendation: Consider an upgrade or buying outright

2017 Toyota Yaris iA

Normally, we consider the Yaris iA an outstanding value. However, leasing is a big exception now. For months, it was one of the cheapest leases on any car until Toyota decided to increase its payment by $40 (per month!) in July. It now starts at $189 for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing.

With an effective cost of $245, it actually has the same price as a nearly $25,000 Camry SE here in Los Angeles. Based on our analysis, the iA is a much better value when buying thanks its low base price and a choice between either $2,000 cash or 0% APR for 72 months.

Recommendation: Consider an upgrade or buying outright

2017 Acura TLX

Acura has slammed on the brakes when it comes to deals on last year's TLX now that the 2018 model has arrived. Lease prices have gone up, mainly due to the fact that Acura has taken away generous dealer cash incentives and since entry-level offers have been cancelled.

We're now left with a handful of offers starting with the 4-cylinder TLX with Tech Package starting at $329 for 36 months with $3,799 due at signing. Although the payment is unchanged from before, the amount at signing has skyrocketed by $2,200.

At that price, you could actually lease a similarly-equipped 2018 TLX for just $7/month more when comparing effective lease costs ($435 vs. $442) based on $359 for 36 months with $2,999 at signing. Although we don't consider it a particularly great value, it's an easy upgrade to make in our view.

Recommendation: Consider the latest version instead

2017 Volkswagen Beetle

The Beetle is one of the worst advertised leases in existence. In recent months, VW has been taking up prices by up to $50 (per month!). The Beetle 1.8T S Coupe now starts at $319 for 36 months with $1,999 at signing.

With an effective cost of $375, it's one of the most expensive leases on a car with an MSRP of just $20,815. That's like taking something with the sticker price of a Corolla and giving it a higher lease price than a nearly $35,000 Jaguar XE.

Recommendation: Run away

, 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