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Best Car Deals for Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Consumer Reports logo Consumer Reports 11/20/2015 Jeff S. Bartlett

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The airwaves are abuzz with door-busting Black Friday deals on the latest gizmos and gadgets, but if you're looking for colossal savings, check out the offers at your local car dealerships.

Consumer Reports' analysis shows that there are hundreds of cars with savings potential measured into four figures. As you strategize how you'll spend time shopping this November, consider the benefits of spending that time buying a car:

• You could save thousands on a new car.

• If you can still find them, remaining 2015 models are heavily discounted to clear the way for the 2016 models, and dealers may even sweeten the deal further to clear their lots.

• It’s the end of the month, so dealers are more willing to negotiate to meet their quotas.

• And, you’ll find plenty of parking and fewer crowds at the dealership than the local mall.

Below is a tasty sampling of Consumer Reports’ recommended cars with potential savings of at least 10 percent below the manufacturer's suggested retail price, factoring customer rebates, hidden dealer incentives, and dealer holdback. These are just a few of our best new car deals, meaning notable discounts on models that meet Consumer Reports criteria to be recommended. These vehicles scored well in our testing, had average or better reliability in our subscriber survey, and performed at least adequately if included in government or insurance-industry safety tests.

Each vehicle featured below is a 2016 model, and all nationwide incentives carry until at least Nov. 30. Of course, some offers might be extended. The vehicles are listed in order of total savings available.

In addition to these models, we also discovered many compelling lease deals during our research, including one from Toyota that effectively makes lease payments on a Camry nearly like those on a Corolla. Hyundai is offering sweetheart deals, with discounted leases augmented by retail bonus cash and a loyalty rebate.

However you wish to finance your next car, do explore the options. There are definitely deals out there worth being thankful for.

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.

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Cadillac CTS

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The CTS is a luxury sedan with agile handling and a firm, absorbent ride that crowns it as one of the sportiest cars in the class. But as satisfying as it is to drive, the CTS can also be frustrating. Much of the blame goes to the overly complex Cue infotainment-system. The cabin is super-luxurious, with impressive material quality. But rear-seat room is snug, and the trunk is relatively small. Neither the four-cylinder turbo nor the 3.6-liter V6 is as refined as the best in class. The high-end Vsport version is better, with effortless thrust. The CTS-V high-performance version can give any of the $100,000 German super-sedans a run for their money, thanks to the 640-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

2016 Cadillac CTS Sedan 3.6L V6 AWD Luxury

MSRP: $56,280

Invoice: $54,069

Total Savings Available: $3,659

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Hyundai Equus

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Hyundai’s flagship competes with the largest luxury sedans but costs a good deal less. The Equus absorbs and hides all but the most severe impacts, but buoyant body motions give the car a busy feeling at times. Handling can best be described as ponderous, with notable body lean and steering that lacks any feedback. The standard V8 has smooth and refined power delivery, and the eight-speed automatic does its job with little notice. The interior is spacious and well-finished, but some controls are complex. Overall, the Equus doesn’t quite measure up to the established luxury brands. Available features include adaptive cruise control and a lane-departure warning system.

2016 Hyundai Equus Signature

MSRP: $62,450

Invoice: $59,029

Total Savings Available: $3,345

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Hyundai Veloster

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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 gets you a strong 201-hp turbo four and an available seven-speed automatic. 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.

2016 Hyundai Veloster Automatic

MSRP: $19,935

Invoice: $19,440

Total Savings Available: $3,323

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Chevrolet Malibu

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More than a humdrum midsized sedan, the Malibu has a comfortable ride and a well-finished and exceptionally quiet interior that set it apart. Handling is sound, if a little soggy at its limits. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an unobtrusive start/stop system, paired with a six-speed automatic, is standard. The uplevel 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder delivers plentiful power and gets 24 mpg. Controls are straightforward to use. The wide, soft front seats lack support on long trips, and the backseat is cramped. But trunk room is sufficient, even in the hybrid. Changes for 2015 include a standard built-in Wi-Fi hot spot with three months of complimentary data. A redesigned version is on sale now.

2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited 1LT

MSRP: $24,710

Invoice: $24,114

Total Savings Available: $2,715

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BMW 3 Series

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The 3 Series is an excellent car, boasting commendable ride comfort, noise isolation, and fit and finish. The turbo four-cylinder makes the 328i quick yet returns a frugal 28 mpg overall. The 335i uses a smooth and punchy turbo six-cylinder. Handling is very capable, but steering feel isn’t as sharp as past BMWs and overall the 3 Series isn’t as engaging to drive as past versions. Despite some diesel clatter, the 328d’s 35 mpg overall is a standout in the class, and its driving range of 735 miles is impressive. A hybrid, wagon, and less powerful 320i are also available. The ultra-high-performance M3 can give Porsches and Corvettes a run for their money. A 2016 freshening includes a new six-cylinder engine and a plug-in hybrid.

2016 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive Sedan

MSRP: $42,845

Invoice: $40,595

Total Savings Available: $2,475

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Hyundai Elantra

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The Elantra combines nimble and secure handling with a fairly comfortable ride. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic deliver solid performance and a very good 29 mpg overall. Some versions get a more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The car is well-equipped for the price, the controls and features are logically laid out, and rear-seat room is fine for two adults. Our major gripe is the pronounced road and engine noise. The GT hatchback has more adventurous styling and is competent enough but not a standout. Fuel economy of 27 mpg overall is nothing special, and the hatchback suffers from a loud cabin and stiff ride. A redesigned Elantra has just been unveiled.

2016 Hyundai Elantra SE Automatic

MSRP: $19,085

Invoice: $18,655

Total Savings Available: $2,298

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BMW 2 Series

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The small 2 Series is a fresh, exhilarating coupe with razor-sharp handling and a sense of immediacy that is missing in other recent BMWs, which seem to focus more on luxury and comfort. The 228i comes with a 240-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder; the uplevel M235i we tested has a terrific 320-hp, 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder that responds instantly to every prod of the throttle. Available six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions are slick and smooth. The excellent front seats have ample space, but the rears are very cramped. Interior appointments are first-rate, but the iDrive unified control system remains a bit of a pain to fully master. All-wheel drive and a convertible are both available.

2016 BMW 2 Series Coupe M235i

MSRP: $45,145

Invoice: $42,715

Total Savings Available: $2,278

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Ford Fusion

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The Fusion is a delight to drive, with a supple ride and agile 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, and the MyFord Touch interface is an annoyance. Most Fusions get either a 1.5- or 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder matched with a six-speed automatic. The 1.5-liter does the job, but the 2.0-liter packs more punch and better suits the car. We recorded 24 and 22 mpg overall, respectively, which is among the lower performers in the category. The Hybrid turned in an excellent 39 mpg overall.

2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid Titanium FWD

MSRP: $31,815

Invoice: $30,084

Total Savings Available: $1,928

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Kia Forte

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Kia’s Forte provides generous interior room and a wide assortment of amenities. Our tested base LX sedan got 28 mpg overall with the smooth 1.8-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic. Though the ride is absorbent, it tends to feel buoyant over undulations. Handling is very secure but not particularly agile. All EXs get a stronger 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and the SX coupe and hatchback version use a 1.6-liter turbo. The spacious interior is quiet for a compact car, and the controls are logically arranged. Available features include front/rear heated and ventilated seats. Changes for 2016 include an optional rearview camera for the LX trim line, and standard keyless entry and heated mirrors.

2016 Kia Forte Automatic LX

MSRP: $18,525

Invoice: $17,986

Total Savings Available: $1,531

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Honda Odyssey

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This versatile and capable hauler combines clever and generous packaging with responsive handling and a supple ride. Its vigorous 3.5-liter V6 and smooth six-speed automatic returned 21 mpg overall in our tests. The Odyssey can seat eight in relative comfort, with varying configurations for cargo and passenger needs. Easy access, excellent child-seat accommodations, and abundant cabin storage add to the family-friendly quotient. Among our few gripes is the tediously complicated dual touch-screen infotainment system. In addition, fit and finish and some material selection are not what one would expect at this price.

2016 Honda Odyssey EX-L

MSRP: $36,805

Invoice: $34,051

Total Savings Available: $1,219

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