4 great deals on American-made cars for July 4th
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To ensure these picks are good cars, as with all our Best New Car Deals, each meets Consumer Reports' criteria to be recommended. These vehicles 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.
Each vehicle highlighted below offers at least a 10-percent discount off the retail price in national incentives, available through either July 4th or the 8th depending on manufacturer. Others may also carry regional incentives, enabling further savings for informed negotiators.
We focused the list on just those models that are made in the United States, regardless of brand. The models spotlighted standout as having a tempting combination of overall road test score and significant discount. We also mention other vehicles that likewise are both Recommended and attractively priced.
When buying in the summer, it is important to know that a 2013 model will soon be considered a one-year-old car, despite being relatively fresh off the showroom floor. This means the car will take an initial (admittedly painful) depreciation hit. However, the equity impact will balance out over time, should you hold on to the car for several years, and especially if you log more than 12,000 miles a year.
As is often the case, several models that made the cut will be updated or replaced with an all-new model. It pays to understand what is coming down the road, as it may impact your decision to by the last of a generation or empower your negotiations.
Small cars: Chevrolet Cruze LS
A sharp, competent small sedan, the Ohio-built Chevrolet Cruze feels solid and substantial, handles competently, and has a taut, steady, and controlled ride. The well-finished cabin is spacious up front but cramped in the rear. Noise levels are moderate, which is fairly good for this class. The base model's 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine provides just average acceleration. Fuel economy is so-so for a small sedan. Higher trims get a quieter and more responsive turbocharged four-cylinder that gets the same fuel economy as the base engine. The Eco version's overall fuel mileage improves by only one mpg, and consequently isn't worth the upgrade.
|Make & model||Expires||MSRP||Invoice price||Customer rebate||Dealer incentive||Potential savings below MSRP|
|Chevrolet Cruze 1LT||7/4||$20,465||$19,679||Yes||No||$2,590|
Sedans: Acura TL
Built in Marysville, Ohio, the Acura TL is a responsive, well-dressed upscale sedan. The price climbs quickly as optional content is added. We're seeing the best deal with the base model. It features a slick, punchy 3.5-liter V6, teamed with a six-speed automatic. That combination returns a good 24 mpg overall, but the car requires premium fuel. We found the handling taut and the ride compliant and firm, with good isolation from bumps. The front seats are well shaped and supportive, but the rear seat is tight. The well-finished interior is cluttered with buttons, even when not equipped with the optional navigation system. An AWD model with a 3.7-liter V6 and tauter suspension is also available. The TL has strong reliability record, and we predict this model will be better than average.