Smart Car Shopping: Six Great Deals This Week

September 24, 2010

As summer turns to fall, the strategy for getting a great deal on a new car changes.  All summer, dealers have been trying to get rid of 2010 models as the 2011s arrive.  Now, they've done that...for some cars.  But some haven't cleared out like they should. 

Bargain hunters should target these.  Look for cars that have not sold as well as expected, for reasons that have nothing to do with the car.  In some cases, great vehicles can be found at substantial discounts this month, because they're simply overlooked.

This week, the best deals in the industry concentrate on cars that still have plenty of 2010 models in showrooms -- and a manufacturer incentive to try to fix that problem.

2010 Mazda3

2010 Mazda3

Enlarge Photo

2010 Mazda3 -- 0 % APR financing for 60 months PLUS $500 cash back

This may be the best way to get into a small car you'll love.  Forget the $500 cash back -- it's a nice touch, but you should just apply it to the down payment.  What matters here is the term.  Most small car loans are for 36 months.  This one is for 60 months, keeping payments low.  And those low payments will get you a sprightly little ride with an upscale interior and sharp handling. Note: the marvy MazdaSpeed3 is not included.

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