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2014 Nissan Pathfinder

Nissan

In 2003, Canadians could choose from 16 available compact utility vehicles (CUVs), which seems like a lot until you take the measure of Canada's hottest segment today, notes auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers.

At the end of last year, in fact, car makers were offering 37 CUVs, including nine luxury models. Sales here have exploded, of course.

Canadians bought 315,141 CUVs in 2013, a jump of 12.9 per cent over 2012, and sales are 16.6 so far this year, notes DesRosiers. Only compact cars out-sell compact CUVs.

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The usual suspects dominate here, rigs such as the Ford Escape which is by far the most popular CUV in Canada with 30,396 sold through the end of July. Honda's CR-V (19,980), Toyota's RAV4 (19,195), Nissan's Rogue (16,688) and Hyundai's Santa Fe (16,324) round out the top five. Deals of the Week followers will know that all five remain heavily discounted. It's a battle out there in CUVs.

One thing that's quite interesting, however, is that car makers have morphed the definition of compact CUV into what DesRosiers calls "sub-segments." These include the Subaru Crosstrek, the MINI Countryman and Chevrolet Trax. These new entries offer choices in design, size, functionality, sportiness and even perceived luxury. Buyers have been responding.

And then there's the pure luxury side of the coin. Where would Audi Canada be without the Audi Q5, which is on offer with up to $1,500 in factory incentives that can be combined with finance rates as low as 3.90 per cent? Mercedes-Benz has had great success with the GLK and offers a diesel version which arguably is better value than the gasoline model. BMW's X3 is also a key player in the luxury crowd.

Indeed, compact CUVs represent the fastest-growing luxury segment in Canada. Models now here include the Range Rover Evoque, Porsche Macan and BMW X1. Coming soon are all-new entries such as the smaller Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The savvy shopper will find plenty of deals in compact CUVs. Kia's Sportage, for instance, has a $1,500 factory deal on the table. The action here also puts pressure on larger utilities, such as the Nissan Pathfinder which can be had with more than $6,000 in factory and dealer incentives.

To get the best deal, stay on top of market developments over a period of time. Look for the introduction of new models that put pressure on outgoing ones and rival vehicles.

Car makers, meantime, look at incentives as a tactical tool to drive forward their bigger strategic plans around model introductions and phase-outs. They watch model shifts, introductions and incentives religiously and so should anyone who wants to get the very best deal.

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_________________________

Deals of the Week consulted with unhaggle.com, Car Help Canada, carcostcanada.com, and other sources on these offers. As usual, pricing information here is subject to change and dealer discounts vary, so consult your dealer for the final details, including expiry dates for all offers.

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan Nissan  

2014 Nissan Pathfinder 4WD 4 door Platinum

  • MSRP: $42,598
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,695
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $2,850
  • Factory discount: $3,500 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $37,943
  • Total price with 13% HST: $42,875.59
  • A $4,500 factory incentive is available with a 1.90% finance rate for 48 or 60 months. A 2.90% lease rate for 48 or 60 months is available, but not with the factory incentive. A 1.0% loyalty rate reduction for both the lease and finance offers is available, too.

2015 Mazda Mazda MX-5 25th Anniversary Mazda Mazda  

2015 Mazda MX-5 2 door Conv Auto GT 25th Anniversary Edition

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  • MSRP: $42,125
  • Freight, dealer prep, fees and air conditioning tax: $1,930
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $2,900
  • Factory discount: $2,500 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Factory discount: $1,000 (Loyalty incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $37,655
  • Total price with 13% HST: $42,550.15
  • Cash incentives are not available with 0.0% financing for 48 months or 0.99% financing for 60 months. Incentives also not available with a 0.99% lease rate for 48 months.

2013 Lexus RX 350 Toyota Toyota  

2015 Lexus RX 350 AWD 4 door F Sport

  • MSRP: $58,900
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,130
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $3,270
  • Factory discount: $2,000 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $55,760
  • Total price with 13% HST: $63,008.80
  • A $1,000 factory incentive is available with a 3.80% finance rate for 48, or a 3.80% lease rate for 48 months.

2015 Kia Sportage Kia Kia  

2015 Kia Sportage AWD 4dr T-GDI Auto SX Luxury

  • MSRP: $38,495
  • Freight, PDI, AC tax: $1,800
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,275
  • Factory discount: $1,500 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $37,520
  • Total price with 13% HST: $42,397.60
  • The factory cash incentives are not available with 0.90% financing for 48 or 60,or a 1.90% lease rate for 48 months.

Pricing information source: unhaggle.com and carcostcanada.com. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Where noted, "dealer discounts" are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis. Unhaggle Savings are actual discounts received by Unhaggle customers.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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