Deals of the Week has noted this before: When the sales numbers are goofy, look for a deal.
Goofy? In March, new vehicle sales in Canada were up 14.1 per cent. But sales of Honda's CR-V compact SUV were up 117.6 per cent in March. And sales of the Toyota Camry midsize sedan were up 78.7 per cent and the Nissan Sentra compact jumped 27.4 per cent.
Deals can sniff a deal here. And while looking, we also came across leftover Pontiac Vibe compact hatchbacks on dealer lots, all carrying tidy discounts. Pontiac may be "dead brand walking," but the "new" General Motors backs the warranty on the Vibe just as the General backs vehicles from the remaining four brands: Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.
So those are the four deals we're looking at this week. Here is a closer look based on numbers sourced from www.carcostcanada.com:
2010 Toyota Camry V-6 Auto
To juice action on the Camry, Toyota Canada has put in place what's called the "Pull Ahead Program." That is, if you a current lessee of any Toyota, you qualify. In essence, Toyota Canada wants to take back your older vehicle and put you in a new Toyota.
To get that deal done, Toyota Canada will pro-rate the kilometre allowance and work out a swap price that is obviously appealing to plenty of Camry owners. The trick here is the interest rate deals Toyota has on offer: 0.0 per cent financing for five years or 0.9 per cent on a two- or three-year lease.
Finally, this is a time when Toyota dealers are motivated, for obvious reasons. Fight hard for that (estimated) $1,500 dealer discount. You might even be able to squeeze out more money on a new Camry.
- MSRP: $31,555
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,520
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,500
- Taxable subtotal: $31,575
- Total price with 8 per cent PST and 5 per cent GST: $35,679.75
A 'nice' car that does just about what you expect it to do in every circumstance
2010 Nissan Sentra 2.0 CVT
Nissan is not throwing huge dollars directly at the Sentra, a perfectly serviceable compact with good fuel economy. A tough negotiator should be able to grind out an (estimated) $300 in a dealer discount, though profit margins on a Sentra are slimmer than a celebrity after a "cleansing" diet. Nissan Canada will throw in another $300 in factory money, too.
What seems to be sparking Sentra sales is the interest rate deal: 0.0 per cent financing for five years or 0.9 per cent on a lease for three years.
- MSRP: $16,498
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,485
- Dealer discount (estimated): $300
- Factory discount: $300 (Trading Dollar factory-to-dealer discount.
- Taxable subtotal: $17,383
- Total price with 8 per cent PST and 5 per cent GST: $19,642.79
- Factory discount: $1,000 (Graduate Program factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Final price: $18,642.79
Sentra has a slew of safety features, but if you want your commute to be fun, you'll have to pony up for options
2010 Honda CR-V EX 4WD
Honda is offering a $2,500 factory-to-dealer discount on cash sales only. If you want Honda Canada financing, Honda has 0.9 per cent for five years. The lease rate is 0.9 per cent for two years. The CR-V is a superbly done small sport-ute with excellent ride and handling and excellent safety features and crash test scores. Very reliable, too.
- •MSRP: $31,490
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,690
- Dealer discount (estimated): $800
- Taxable subtotal: $32,380
- Factory discount: $2,500 (Non-stackable factory-to-dealer Trading Dollars on cash purchases)
- Total price with 8 per cent PST and 5 per cent GST: $33,764.40
2010 Pontiac Vibe GT FWD
Yes, the Vibe is no longer in production, and yes, Pontiac is one of the brands phased out by the restructured GM. But GM warranties 2010 Vibes just like any other product. Parts and service will not be a problem; the Vibe and the Toyota Matrix share all the basic mechanical bits and pieces.
- MSRP: $26,155
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,425
- Dealer discount (estimated): $400
- Factory discount: $2,500 (Stackable Cash factory-to-dealer rebate in all provinces other than Ontario and Quebec. In Ontario and Quebec, the cash is $2,000.)
- Taxable subtotal: $24,680
- Total price with 8 per cent PST and 5 per cent GST: $27,888.40
- Factory discount: $1,500 (GM Loyalty Bonus factory-to-customer rebate)
- Factory discount: $500 (Canadian Forces factory-to-customer rebate)
- Final price: $25,888.40
Pricing information source: carcostcanada.com.