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13 Scary-Good New-Car Deals for Halloween

Consumer Reports logo Consumer Reports 10/19/2016

© Provided by Consumer Reports

With the 2017 model year cars now crowding showrooms, there are some scary-good new-car deals available on some appealing leftover 2016s that are still haunting dealerships. The transaction prices on the models included here range from 13 to 27 percent below MSRP, saving on average $2,193 to $10,871. 

To size up the buying opportunities for these October specials, our analysts studied recent nationwide transactions, then layered in current available incentives to predict the average savings available now through Halloween. This is labeled "Market Average" in the charts below.

To make sure these cars are more treat than trick, we focused on those that meet Consumer Reports’ stringent criteria to be recommended, meaning they scored well in our testing, have average or better reliability in our latest subscriber survey, and performed well in government or insurance-industry safety tests, if evaluated.

For this grouping, we ranked the models based on percentage difference between MSRP and market average transactions. Predictably, the best deals are found on the largest, priciest vehicles. But these models all promise generous savings.

Beyond being model-year remnants, several vehicles will be on dealer lots alongside updated or redesigned models, including the Buick LaCrosse, Ford F-150, Ford Fusion, and Lincoln MKZ.

Specific savings for each model, including other trim variations, can be found via the Consumer Reports car model pages—just click through the model names for details. (Before taking a test drive, read “Should I Buy an End-of-Summer New Car?”)

Each vehicle featured below is a 2016 model, and all incentives factored in expire on October 31st or later.  

See all current Best New Car Deals, or use our New Car Selector to create your own list of vehicles by sorting and filtering by the factors that matter most to you.

You'll see the market average savings off MSRP next to each model name below.

Ford F-150: 27% off

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Ford’s big-selling pickup truck uses an all-aluminum body, which saves about 700 pounds over steel. Powertrain choices include a 3.5-liter V6, 2.7- or 3.5-liter turbo V6s, and a 5.0-liter V8, each paired with a six-speed automatic. We tested the 2.7- and 3.5-liter turbo engines, and each delivered abundant power. In our tests the 2.7 got 17 mpg overall, 1 mpg better than the turbo 3.5. The 2.7 is also surprisingly quicker from 0 to 60 mph. The cabin is very quiet, but the ride is jittery and handling is rather ponderous. New safety offerings include lane-departure warning and blind-spot detection. Other notable features include a 360-degree-view camera and integrated loading ramps.  

See our complete Ford F-150 road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Ford F-150 4WD Regular Cab 6-1/2 Ft Box XLT

$36,525

$34,889

$28,778

Research the Ford F-150 on MSN Autos | Find a Ford F-150 near you

Hyundai Veloster: 27% off

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The sporty Veloster hatchback has three doors, with the right-side rear door providing access to the tight rear seat. Based on the small Accent, the Veloster’s 138-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder delivers adequate power, and the precise six-speed manual has low-effort throws. A dual-clutch, six-speed automated manual is optional. We got 31 mpg overall from a version with the manual transmission. Moving up to the Turbo trim gets you a strong 201-hp turbocharged four-cylinder and an available seven-speed automated-manual transmission. Handling is responsive and secure. While the ride is quite stiff, it isn’t punishing. Rear visibility through the split back window is decent at best.

See our complete Hyundai Veloster road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Hyundai Veloster Automatic

$19,935

$19,541

$15,719

Research the Hyundai Veloster on MSN Autos | Find a Hyundai Veloster near you

Hyundai Sonata: 24% off

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This competitive, but ho-hum, sedan has a quiet cabin, a comfortable ride, and excellent rear-seat room and access. Handling is sound and responsive enough. But the SE we tested had lackluster tire grip, hurting braking and emergency handling. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder returned a good 28 mpg overall; a stronger 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder is optional. The Eco uses a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder paired with a seven-speed automated manual. We found the controls easy to use and the rear seat very roomy. Safety features include forward-collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, and blind-spot detection. Plug-in and hybrid versions are available; the latter returned an impressive 39 mpg overall in our tests.

See our complete Hyundai Sonata road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

$26,835

$25,859

$21,574

Research the Hyundai Sonata on MSN Autos | Find a Hyundai Sonata near you

Ford C-Max: 21% off

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Based on the compact Focus, the five-passenger C-Max hybrid is a clever, quiet, spacious, and practical hatchback. It rides well and handles capably. Regenerative braking helps with fuel economy but makes the brake pedal feel touchy. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor deliver adequate acceleration and seamless transitions between gas and electric power, and the C-Max can run in electric mode up to about 40 mph. We measured an excellent 37 mpg overall. The Energi plug-in can travel in electric-only mode for about 18 miles before switching to hybrid operation. It takes 6 hours to charge on 120-volt and 2 hours on 240-volt.  

See our complete Ford C-Max road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid SE

$25,045

$24,491

$20,576

Research the Ford C-Max on MSN Autos | Find a Ford C-Max near you

Ford Fusion: 20% off

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The Fusion is a delight to drive, with a supple ride and handling rivaling that of a European sports sedan. All trim levels and powertrains feel solid and upscale, with a well-finished and quiet cabin, and comfortable seats. But the rear seat is somewhat snug. Both the 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinders are powerful enough, but neither has competitive fuel economy. A new high-end version, the V6 Sport, is equipped with all-wheel drive and a 325-hp, 2.7-liter four-cylinder. It is quick, comfortable, and quiet, but costs more than $40,000. The Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid both receive more efficient electric motors for 2017. A new rotary shift dial and Ford’s new-and-improved Sync 3 infotainment system highlight the updates to the interior.

See our complete Ford Fusion road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Ford Fusion SE FWD

$24,705

$23,505

$20,613

Research the Ford Fusion on MSN Autos | Find the Ford Fusion near you

Lexus CT200h: 19% off

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This small hatchback has excellent fuel economy, but its refinement isn’t up to the Lexus standard. A 2016 freshening brought styling updates and mechanical tweaks said to improve ride comfort and noise levels, two areas we found problematic in our testing. Using the same powertrain as the previous-generation Prius, the CT’s 40 mpg is 4 mpg less than the roomier Toyota. The CT can drive solely on electric power at low speed. Handling is responsive and secure, but the ride is stiff and choppy. The cabin is well-assembled, with quality materials. But the rear seats are tight, cargo capacity is modest, and the view out back is limited.

See our complete Lexus CT 200h road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Lexus CT 200h

$32,225

$31,257

$27,082

Research the Lexus CT on MSN Autos | Find a Lexus CT near you

Lexus ES 350: 18% off

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The Lexus ES is an upscale alternative to a Toyota Camry. It has sound handling but falls short of being engaging or fun. Uncharacteristic for Lexus, the ride is on the stiff side, and the optional 18-inch wheels make it worse. The powerful 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic got a good 25 mpg overall. But we find the hybrid more appealing, thanks to its combination of size and fuel economy, returning a class-leading 36 mpg overall and 44 on the highway in our tests. Inside, the quiet cabin looks good at first, but some cheap touches are apparent. The mouselike infotainment interface is distracting and convoluted. Reliability has been excellent. For 2017, the Lexus Safety System+, which includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, is standard.

See our complete Lexus ES road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Lexus ES 350 Sedan

$39,050

$37,400

$33,104

Research the Lexus ES on MSN Autos | Find a Lexus ES near you

Nissan Murano: 16% off

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Nissan’s midsized SUV uses a punchy, refined 3.5-liter six-cylinder paired with a continuously variable transmission. The cabin is quiet and well-finished, and has an upscale feel to it. Handling is not very sporty, with overly light steering that reduces driver confidence. The ride is steady and absorbent on the standard 18-inch tires but less so on the Platinum trim’s 20-inchers. Optional safety features include blind-spot and cross-traffic warnings, as well as forward-collision warning with emergency autobrake. An available 8-inch color display houses the NissanConnect infotainment system. Good crash-test results are a plus.

See our complete Nissan Murano road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Nissan Murano AWD SL

$39,630

$37,754

$34,043

Research the Nissan Murano on MSN Autos | Find a Nissan Murano near you

Lexus LS: 16% off

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The Lexus flagship sedan delivers luxurious, highly refined, and fuss-free motoring with a comfortable and serene ride. It has an exceptionally quiet cabin and is laden with features. Fit and finish is excellent. Its recent freshening made handling a bit more responsive while retaining the silky ride. The strong V8 and eight-speed automatic deliver a very smooth and responsive package. The extended-length version has generous rear-seat room. A self-parking feature and all-wheel drive are optional. The LS 600h hybrid comes with standard AWD. Despite retaining some conventional knobs and buttons, the mouse-controlled infotainment system is complicated and distracting to use.

See our complete Lexus LS road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Lexus LS 460 L RWD

$79,795

$75,064

$68,924

Research the Lexus LS on MSN Autos | Find a Lexus LS near you

Lincoln MKZ: 15% off

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Based on the engaging Ford Fusion, the upscale Lincoln MKZ is updated for the 2017 model year with new engines, a plusher ride, simplified controls, and a more conveniently located trunk release. Base models get a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that provides ample power. In our tests the hybrid got 34 mpg overall. For more punch, a Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 puts out 400 hp with all-wheel drive, and 350 hp on front-drive versions. The MKZ is delivers a comfortable ride. Inside is a quiet, luxurious cabin with comfortable seats, but it’s a long reach to the pushbutton gear selector and the rear seat is snug. Forward-collision warning with automatic braking and pedestrian detection bolsters safety credentials.

See our complete Lincoln MKZ road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Lincoln MKZ FWD

$36,115

$34,418

$31,367

Research the Lincoln MKZ on MSN Autos | Find a Lincoln MKZ near you

Buick LaCrosse: 14% off

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The redesign of Buick’s flagship rests on a new structure that resulted in a weight reduction of 300 pounds and improved visibility. Buick stretched the wheelbase by 3 inches, resulting in more passenger space, while keeping the footprint the same. Under the hood, a revised 3.6-liter V6 is mated to an eight-speed automatic, forming a smooth powertrain. Handling is sound and the cabin is quiet. The ride on the optional 20-inch tires has trouble coping with some harshness. We think the standard 18-inch tires are a better choice. Inside, there’s an 8-inch touchscreen, fewer buttons, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, but the unintuitive gear selector is maddening. Advanced electronic safety features and all-wheel drive are available.

See our complete Buick LaCrosse road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Buick LaCrosse FWD Leather

$36,825

$36,107

$32,221

Research the Buick LaCrosse on MSN Autos | Find a Buick LaCrosse near you

Chevrolet Sonic: 14% off

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The Chevrolet Sonic hatchback and sedan possess a relatively comfortable ride and a quiet cabin for a subcompact. Fuel economy of 28 mpg overall is nothing to boast about. Handling is secure but a bit darty. The sedan has a large trunk, the hatch offers more utility. Creature comforts such as keyless entry, push-button start, and optional heated seats and steering wheel bring some maturity to the subcompact. A standard 7-inch touch screen is backed by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. A rear camera is standard, and on the safety front, optional forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning are welcome additions.

See our complete Chevrolet Sonic road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan LT Auto

$18,420

$18,069

$16,227

Research the Chevrolet Sonic on MSN Autos | Find a Chevrolet Sonic near you

Lexus GS: 13% off

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The GS competes well, delivering a balanced combination of ride, handling, quietness, and roominess. Engaging to drive, the car’s good handling and taut, yet supple ride compete well against German rivals. Its strong 3.5-liter V6 returned 21 mpg overall in our tests. Rear-drive versions get an eight-speed automatic, while AWD versions get a six-speed automatic. A hybrid with a CVT is also available. Interior space is on par for the class, and the cabin is nicely furnished. A distracting mouselike controller works the infotainment systems. A high-performance GS F with a 467-hp V8 is available. 2016 brings a rear-drive 200t with a turbo four-cylinder. A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is standard.

See our complete Lexus GS road test.

Make & Model

MSRP

Invoice

Market Average

2016 Lexus GS 350 RWD

$50,975

$48,475

$45,092

Research the Lexus GS on MSN Autos | Find a Lexus GS near you

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