Mitsubishi Is Paying Dealers Up To $1,400 To Sell The Eclipse Cross

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Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - June 6, 2018

The 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross went on sale barely 4 months ago but already features some impressive deals. However, this may not be obvious to the average shopper since the brand has yet to introduce any rebates.

Starting in June, dealers are being given up to $900 per sold vehicle to spur sales, which is in addition to an existing $500 bonus on all models. The move comes after the brand posted a 31.7% gain in May sales over last year.

As a result, crossover buyers unwilling to pay a premium for established competitors could be in store for lower prices. However, our analysis shows that some deals may be a little too good to be true.

Here's what you need to know.

Unadvertised Deal

This month, program guides reveal Mitsubishi dealers are eligible for a bonus worth anywhere from $350 to $900 based on how many Eclipse Cross models they're able to sell. That's in addition to a $500 dealer bonus on the entire lineup.

In the industry, these are known as stair-step programs. The name is derived from the fact that there are varying awards based on different levels of vehicle sales. Altogether, that's $1,400 in incentives.

Unlike a rebate, it's worth noting that the promos aren't being advertised. Not all dealers may choose to participate, especially smaller ones that don't typically sell in large numbers within a given region.

Programs like this often benefit larger dealerships the most, and are sometimes criticized for fueling a "race to the bottom" mentality. That's because dealers have a strong incentive to sell as many vehicles as possible before July 2.

The most interesting part is that the brand isn't offering consumers any sort of standard rebates.

The best deal at the moment that's being advertised is 0% financing for 72 months plus a 90-day deferral on your first month's payment. This can result in substantial savings when it comes to interest costs.

On a $25,000 vehicle, a 6-year loan at 3.5% would equate to over $2,750 in interest and a monthly payment of around $385/month. With the 0%, the payment falls to approximately $347/month.

We think the Eclipse Cross could be an attractive choice for those whom affordability is most important. For reference, the Honda CR-V has no incentives other than a handful of financing offers restricted to the entry-level LX.

In some parts of the country, dealers are advertising incredibly low prices. But a closer look reveals some of those deals make assumptions that could result in a higher price than you might expect.

Deals Too Good To Be True?

For example, one dealer in Lakeland, Florida is advertising a $7,510 discount on the 2018 Eclipse Cross ES, which cuts the $24,425 sticker price down to just $16,915. But that's not the whole story.

First, the dealer isn't including a mandatory $995 destination charge. Next, a $899 "dealer services fee" is also being left out. The price also assumes you'll be eligible for a loyalty discount and military rebate.

Finally, there's a disclaimer that says the price may not include add-ons without stating what those may be. Typical items can include services like VIN etching or additional undercoating.

Not all dealers will resort to these tactics, but shoppers should be sure to read any and all fine print and, as always, ask questions about what is and isn't included.

Under the right circumstances, there are likely some solid deals to be had.

Learn more about the Eclipse Cross »

, Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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