This Week's Top Car Deals & Analysis - December 18, 2020

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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 - December 18, 2020

With less than 2 weeks away from the new year, CarsDirect's team of experts found an assortment of ways to save when buying or leasing a car. Perhaps most notably, FCA recently expanded Employee Pricing to its biggest pickups, promising consumers over $10,000 in potential savings on its flagship HD trucks.

While there are some outstanding year-end deals, not every discount is actually being advertised. For example, Nissan is paying dealers up to $60,000 to sell more Titan pickups. Even the 2021 Rogue has an unadvertised loyalty discount worth $1,500 that can give current Rogue lessees an even better reason to upgrade.

Similarly, Subaru is offering a hidden APR deal involving 72-month financing at surprisingly low rates. Based on our analysis, this can potentially lower a buyer's monthly payment by over $100/month and could go a long way toward making the brand's lineup of cars and SUVs more affordable in time for the holidays.

Meanwhile, a skit on Saturday Night Live showed the folly of buying a car without a plan. For example, even with $4,000 down and 0% APR, the monthly cost of a $50,000 Lexus RX would come out to nearly $800/month. We even found that the cost to lease a GMC Yukon Denali approaches that of an $80,000 BMW X7.

We also learned that $0 down leases can be a bad deal. As we reported earlier this week, a quirk in incentives can actually make a GTI just as expensive to lease as a $36,000 Arteon with the same payment of $399/month. Fortunately, there are still great $0 down leases that can even cover your first month's payment.

Even the newest models can be a surprisingly good value. Yesterday, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe debuted with a $199/month lease in some parts of the country. The updated midsize SUV can even end up costing as little as $10 more than subcompacts like the Jeep Renegade despite a huge difference in size and MSRP.

Once you determine how much car you can afford, shoppers should consider balancing their loan term and monthly payment. Our online payment calculator can help point you in the right direction. After taking the time to check your credit, consumers will be in the best position to get a great deal on a new car, truck, or SUV.

Updates: We've also learned Subaru cut lease prices by up to $50/month by switching to 10,000-mile-per-year deals. We also discovered that 2021 Acura TLX leases are a lot cheaper than before. Meanwhile, Hyundai is planning to add a cheaper FWD version of the 2021 Palisade Calligraphy. However, the 2021 Santa Fe Calligraphy offers a $3,000 discount and could be a better deal.

Explore All Top Year-End Car Deals »

, 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

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