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deals of the week

2012 Toyota RAV4

Toyota Canada has been using big discounts to blast out the remaining 2012 RAV4 compact SUVs, and this has been a stunningly successful sales tactic.

Talk about a tidal wave of offers. Buyers of a $35,045 RAV4 Limited with all-wheel drive, for instance, were eligible for a $3,000 cash rebate in the latest round of offers – plus possible dealer discounts. With deals like that it's no wonder Toyota Canada managed to move 25,942 RAVs in 2012 – a year-on-year sales increase of 20.4 per cent.

Toyota has had two big reasons to slap thousands on the hood of a new RAV.

First, the made-in-Woodstock, Ont., 2013 is rolling into showrooms now and it's a total remake of the popular people-mover. So to clear out the old RAV to make way for the new… Well, discounts.

Also, with the renovation of the RAV, Toyota Canada has done some price cutting. The starter front-wheel drive 2013 RAV has seen its sticker price go down nearly a $1,000 – to $23,790 for 2013 from $24,865 for the base 2012 RAV. It's not a good idea to leave more expensive 2012 RAVs on dealer lots. So again, to blow out leftover 2012s, Toyota has been loading up the RAV with goodies and giveaways.

On top of that, the RAV4 competes with some hugely popular vehicles. Five of the top 10 best-selling light trucks in 2012 were compact SUVs, including the RAV, of course. Now shoppers who do their due diligence will also find great offers on direct RAV rivals such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Dodge Journey and Hyundai Santa Fe – each of which competes head-to-head with the RAV4.

The latest offers on the 2012 RAV were slated to expire Jan. 31, but interested shoppers would do well to look for dealers with leftover 2012s – and see what kind of bargains remain.

That's a healthy approach to take with many, many vehicles. Car companies are free to revise or cancel or improve their incentives at any time, but most rollover their discounting at the first of each month. This being the start of February, a new wave of deals is rolling into showrooms right now.

One deal that continues for now, even though it was slated to expire Jan. 31, is the $3,000 sitting on the hood of a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport ($22,695 base, according to That means buyers should be able to nail down a two-door Jeep with a softtop for less than $20,000, plus fees and taxes.

Deals of the Week is interested to see rich offers on Wranglers, despite reports that Chrysler's Jeep division is having trouble producing enough rigs to meet exploding demand. Automotive News recently noted that Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is fretting about Jeep's inability to build enough Wranglers "to meet global demand."

He told the industry publication that the Toledo, Ohio, plant where Wranglers are built has been running flat-out. Jeep brand boss Michael Manley said he could sell 250,000 Wranglers a year worldwide, according to Automotive News. But the plant itself struggled to build around 200,000 in 2012 -- and was designed to assemble only a 150,000 units a year.

"Demand for Wrangler is off the scale," Manley told Automotive News. "If I look at worldwide demand for Wrangler today, it's thousands of units above Toledo, even when we push. And that demand has been very, very consistent."

The Deals of the Week lesson here: buyers should keep an eye out for rich offers even on vehicles in high demand, like the Wrangler.

This brings us to the 2012 Volkswagen Passat mid-size sedan. If you can find a leftover 2012, VW Canada has a $3,500 factory-to-dealer rebate in play on, for instance, $27,975 model. And if it's a bargain ride you need, Nissan Canada has a $1,000 discount in play on a $16,378 2012 Versa sedan, one really quite loaded with features.

As noted earlier, due take note that all these offers were slated to expire on Jan. 31, and because we're highlighting 2012 models, availability might also be an issue. Consult your dealer for complete details.

As usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from, among other sources. Consult your dealer for all the details.

2012 Toyota RAV4 Toyota Toyota  

2012 Toyota RAV4 I4 Limited AWD

  • MSRP: $35,045
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,735
  • Cash rebate: $3,000
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,200
  • Taxable subtotal: $32,580
  • Total price with 13% HST: $36,815.40

2012 Jeep Wrangler Sport two-door 4WD

  • MSRP: $22,695
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,595
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $500
  • Factory discount: $3,000 (Consumer Cash Discount factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $20,790
  • Total price with 13% HST: $23,492.70

2012 Nissan Versa Nissan Nissan  

2012 Nissan Versa 1.6 SL CVT

  • MSRP: $16,378
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,667
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $400
  • Factory discount: $1,000 (Non-stackable Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $16,645
  • Total price with 13% HST: $18,808.85

Photographer: Ingo Barenschee 

2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L Comfortline

  • MSRP: $27,975
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,465
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $900
  • Factory discount: $3,500 (Dealer Cash non-stackable factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $25,040
  • Total price with 13% HST: $28,295.20

Pricing information source: 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. Dealer discounts are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis.