These Are October's Worst Deals On Cars

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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 - October 16, 2020

One of the benefits of finding the best deals on cars is that we come across a lot of awful ones in the process. These incentives can add thousands to your purchase costs and potentially get you a lot less vehicle for your money. In some cases, simply choosing the wrong deal can have a major impact on your bottom line.

CarsDirect's analysis of hundreds of manufacturer incentives finds that one of the cheapest cars you can buy can actually cost more to lease than a $27,000 SUV. Meanwhile, higher financing rates can add up to $18,000 to the cost of buying one of the most popular heavy-duty trucks and make it a bad time to buy.

Here's a look at some deals you should probably avoid in the month of October.

2020 Mitsubishi Mirage: Nearly As Expensive As A $27k SUV

Cheap..unless you lease. With an MSRP of just over $16,000, the Mirage ES is one of the cheapest cars you can buy. However, this month's lease is listed at $189 for 36 months with $3,138 at signing. That comes out to an effective cost of $276/month, making this one of the worst leases on a car and a lousy value.

For that kind of money, you could spend less money to lease a 2021 Mazda3 Sedan ($258). For an extra $4/month, you could even lease a $27,000 Hyundai Santa Fe SE. Here in Los Angeles, it's listed at $199 for 36 months with $2,899 at signing, an effective cost of $280, one of the cheapest leases on an SUV.

Build & Price Your 2020 Mirage »

Build & Price Your 2021 Mazda3 »

Build & Price Your 2020 Santa Fe »

2020 Nissan Kicks: Crazy Expensive To Lease

Pricier than a $28k SUV. The Kicks remains one of the worst vehicles you can lease. Here in Los Angeles, the 2020 Kicks SV is listed at $285 for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing. With an effective cost of $341/month, that makes it pricier than a 2020 Honda CR-V EX ($330) despite a $6,500 difference in MSRP.

Maybe don't lease. If you really want a Kicks, you may want to buy rather than lease. Nissan slashed rates over a month ago and is now offering 0.9% APR for 60 months plus a $500 cash incentive. For the money, we consider this one of the best deals on a cheap, affordable vehicle with a lot of built-in safety features.

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2020 Ford Mustang: Lousy Time To Buy

Pricey pony car. We've seen some great Mustang deals over the past year. However, changes that began in June have made a $40,000 Mustang GT roughly $6,200 more expensive to buy because of a higher interest rate. A stellar 0% APR deal for 72 months has been replaced by a vastly different offer at 4.9%.

Consider a bowtie? You won't see it advertised, but Chevy is offering 0.9% APR for 72 months on all 2020 Camaros. Believe it or not, that could make a $45,000 Camaro cheaper to buy than a $40,000 Mustang. If you're willing to consider a Chevy, shopping around could enable you to get more car for your money.

Build & Price Your 2020 Mustang »

Build & Price Your 2020 Camaro »

2020 Toyota Avalon: More Costly Than A Lexus

Crazy-expensive to lease. The Avalon is so awful to lease that Toyota isn't advertising a deal online. According to the brand's online payment calculator, the 2020 Avalon XLE can be leased from $584 for 36 months with $3,234 due at signing. That comes out to an effective cost of $674/month. For that kind of money, you might as well lease a Lexus ES.

Step up (and save money). Believe it or not, the 2020 Lexus ES 350 is listed at $369 for 36 months with $3,999 at signing. Even better, the ES 300h hybrid is just $10/month more with an effective cost of $490. As a result, the ES 300h manages to be $6,270 more expensive on paper can be as much as $184 (per month!) cheaper to lease.

Build & Price Your 2020 Avalon »

Build & Price Your 2020 ES »

2020 Ford F-Super Duty: Up To $18k Spent On Interest?

Bad time to buy. Big truck deals may have peaked in March when Ford offered 0% APR for 84 months. Now, the automaker is offering a choice between 7.9% APR for 84 months or a $500 rebate. With the financing, a $60,000 truck can end up costing $78,304 including $18,304 in interest — enough to buy a small car!

Not enough trucks. Pickups are hard to find across much of the country and prices remain high at dealers. In some cases, our analysis finds that 2021 trucks may offer surprisingly good deals, particularly when choosing a full-sized truck. Sadly, fall deals on HD pickups may remain practically non-existent.

Build & Price Your 2020 F-250 »

Build & Price Your 2020 F-350 »

, 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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