A Perfect Mix to Buy this Holiday Season – The 10 Best Cars of 2018
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A Perfect Mix to Buy this Holiday Season

In the midst of the holiday season, now is exactly that time for a lot of great vehicles, like the new 2019 BMW X5. That is often when buyer-friendly deals are offered for smart shoppers.
We have sorted some well-ranked cars and SUVs that aren’t the hottest sellers at the moment. Slow demand suggests you might have a good shot at bargaining for a price below sticker.

2018 Mazda3

$19,145 | U.S. News Score: 8.5/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -14.4%

During the weekday commute, you’ll appreciate the Mazda3’s high-quality interior materials and user-friendly infotainment system. For weekend drives on the back roads, this compact car will have you smiling from ear to ear with its excellent driving dynamics; it should be on the test drive list of any car shopper looking for both practicality and fun.

Many shoppers have been turning away from sedans and hatchbacks in favor of crossovers, and the Mazda3 is not immune. Despite its thorough résumé, sales of the compact Mazda have shrunk by 14.4 percent this year compared to the same period in 2017.

Take advantage of 1.9 percent financing for 5 years. Alternatively, if you are interested in leasing, Mazda is offering a rate of $199 per month for hatchback models and $179 per month for sedan models with the automatic transmission. Those leases are both for three years with $2,499 due at signing if you purchase before January 2, 2019. You also have the opportunity to get $2,000 cash back from the dealer.

2019 Chevrolet Cruze

$17,995 | U.S. News Score: 8.5/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -21.1%

The Chevrolet Cruze should be on the shopping list of anybody looking for a competent daily driver. In addition to having a roomy interior and a comfortable ride, the Cruze comes with a long list of standard features that will improve your everyday experience behind the wheel. The Cruze isn’t sporty, but it boasts commendable fuel economy figures of 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. This compact car is also available as a hatchback if you prioritize cargo space.

Shoppers don’t appear to be compelled by the well-rounded package offered in the Cruze. Sales to date this year are down by 21.1 percent compared to the same period in 2017. To win back consumer interest, Chevy is offering prospective lessees $249 per month for 36 months with $4,059 due at signing if you purchase a new Cruze LT trim this month. Shoppers also have the option of getting $1,500 cash back when they shake on a Cruze purchase before January 2, 2019.

2018 Volkswagen Golf

$22,010 | U.S. News Score: 8.6/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -38.2%

The Volkswagen Golf sports a fun driving experience with nimble handling and a punchy turbocharged engine.  Its hatchback body style provides ample seating and cargo space for those needing some daily practicality. Further still, the Golf possesses an attractive and comfortable cabin that will please drivers and passengers alike.

Consumer demand has gone the way of the crossover, leaving this compact car behind. Despite all of its great qualities, Volkswagen dealerships have moved 38.2 percent fewer Golf models this year compared to the same period in 2017. Just last month, 41.8 percent fewer Golf models were sold compared to November last year.

To entice shoppers, Volkswagen is offering 1.9 percent financing for five years to those who purchase a new Golf before January 2, 2019. People interested in leasing can drive home a new Golf S with an automatic transmission for $219 for 36 months and a $2,499 down payment.

2019 Ford Escape

$24,105 | U.S. News Score: 8.7/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -10.6%

The Ford Escape is one of the top-ranked options in the competitive compact SUV class, so it is a must-have on shoppers’ test-drive lists. In addition to competent handling and powerful engine options, the Escape has generous cargo capacity to make it a versatile option for a variety of buyers. The Escape belongs to a generation that typically earns above-average reliability ratings, meaning you are less likely to have expensive maintenance and repair bills as it ages.

Despite all of the perks, this Ford crossover has lost some consumer interest this year. Dealerships have sold 10.6 percent fewer Escape models in 2018 than they did during the same period in 2017. To combat this decline, Ford dealerships are offering prospective buyers 1.9 percent financing for five years with $500 bonus cash, or $1,500 cash back if you finance elsewhere. These attractive offers expire January 2, 2019.

2019 Ford Fusion

$22,840 | U.S. News Score: 8.5/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -18%

The Ford Fusion possesses many of the features that shoppers look for in a daily driver. Its generous trunk volume and interior space make it a practical option among midsize cars. While competitors like the Mazda6 sport more athletic driving dynamics, the Fusion has an optional turbocharged V6 engine for those who want some extra character when they step on the gas pedal.

Shoppers are choosing alternatives in the class this year though, as Fusion sales are down by 18 percent relative to 2017. To boost sales, Ford is offering zero percent financing for five years or $3,250 cash back on new Fusion purchases equipped with either a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine or a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6. There is also the option to lease for $229 per month for 39 months with $3,069 due at signing for SE models. You’ll have to act by January 2, 2019 to take advantage of these deals.

2018 Kia Sedona

$27,000 | U.S. News Score: 8.3/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -25.3%

The Kia Sedona is worthy of a test drive by all minivan shoppers. It offers a comfortable interior that is great for hauling families and their gear, as well as excellent crash test ratings. On the road, the Sedona provides a smooth ride and respectable acceleration thanks to its strong V6 engine.

Kia dealerships have been struggling to sell Sedonas, despite the attributes that make it a quality family van. It is the slowest-selling option in the minivan segment; to date, sales have declined 25.3 percent this year relative to 2017.

To spur sales, Kia is offering buyers 0.9 percent financing for five years, or $1,000 cash back if you finance through a different lender. Shoppers interested in a lease can get a rate of $329 per month for three years with $2,999 paid up front. (The deal applies to LX models.)

2019 BMW X5

$60,700 | U.S. News Score: 8.7/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -14.3%

The BMW X5 is a top-ranked option within the highly competitive luxury midsize SUV segment. Fully redesigned for the 2019 model year, the new X5 provides something for most prospective buyers. Its powerful engine options and athletic handling will add a layer of excitement to everyday driving, and the luxurious interior should keep shoppers in this segment comfortable.

The X5 comes loaded with tech features ranging from a user-friendly infotainment interface to advanced off-roading technology that can help you navigate tricky terrain. It is definitely an expensive vehicle, but it offers a potent combination of driving dynamics, technology, and luxury to those willing to pay the premium.

Despite all of its qualities, dealerships have sold 14.3 percent fewer X5s this year than they did in 2017.

BMW is offering both financing and lease deals to entice customers toward their latest iteration of the X5. Buyers can drive home a new X5 with 2.89 percent financing for five years and an available $2,000 APR credit. Or, shoppers can opt for a lease and spend $739 per month for 36 months with $5,664 due at signing. To take advantage of these deals, you’ll need to act before the end of the month.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE

$55,700 | U.S. News Score: 8.3/10 | Sales Decline in 2018: -13.3%

The Mercedes-Benz GLE is a strong contender in the luxury crossover segment and should be on the shopping list of people looking for a well-appointed vehicle with a prestigious badge. The GLE offers a highly-refined cabin to keep you and your family comfortable, as well as a long list of features to keep you up to date with some of the latest technologies in the segment.

A base GLE doesn’t offer the sportiest driving experience, but powerful AMG engines are available to shoppers wanting some more excitement. Plus, the GLE comes with a history of above-average predicted reliability ratings.

While it is still one of the more popular options in the luxury midsize SUV segment, the GLE has seen a 13.3 percent contraction in sales in 2018 compared to the same period last year. As a remedy to this decline, Mercedes-Benz is currently offering a limited-time lease deal of $639 per month for three years with $5,833 due at signing.