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deals of the week

2013 Acura ILX 2.0L

Toyota Canada had a very good year in 2012, with sales of its three brands (Toyota, Lexus and Scion) up 18.4 per cent. Buyers can find all sorts of reasons to opt for a Toyota, but the most compelling of them surely is the value story.

Toyota and Lexus models finished first in six of 10 vehicle categories in the latest Consumer Reports Best New-Car Value report. The best value of all: the Toyota Prius hybrid which topped the Honda Fit for the best new-car value. The Prius costs $11,000 more than the Fit ($14,580 base price) but bested the Honda based on predicated reliability.

"The Prius may not be the most exciting vehicle to drive, nor the cheapest to purchase, but it's extremely reliable, roomy, rides well, gets great fuel economy, and is inexpensive to operate," says Rik Paul, automotive editor at Consumer Reports.

In the United States, CR says the Prius costs 49 cents per mile to own and operate. That's less than half the average car over five years. So while a new 2013 Prius costs a fairly hefty $26,100, low depreciation combines with very attractive costs for fuel, insurance, interest on financing, maintenance, repairs and sales tax to make the Prius a real deal over time.

If you're shopping for value and a good deal, then it pays to consider all those ownership costs, in particular price and fuel economy, which "are the most important cost factors, and that's where small cars have a big advantage," Paul says.

Here are some of the best values in the new car market beyond the Prius: Toyota Camry Hybrid, Lexus RX 350, Toyota Prius V and Honda CR-V.

Worst values: Ford Focus SE hatchback, Chrysler 200 Limited V6, Nissan Armada, Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L and BMW's Mini Cooper Countryman S.

For the record, while the Prius V and Camry show up as outstanding values, both received the lowest "Poor" rating in a severe front crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – two of 18 mid-size cars to earn such a low rating in this particular crash test.

What makes the Prius even more attractive is the $1,000 factory discount Toyota Canada has been offering on leftover 2012 Prius hatchbacks. Note, too, that the 2012 Prius stickers at $25,995, $105 less than the 2013 version which is listed without discounts.

The 2012 CR-V is also an even better value thanks to discounting. Honda Canada has, for instance, a $2,000 factory discount on a high-end CR-V with all-wheel drive ($33,190).

Meanwhile, Deals of the Week was interested to see an unusual offer on the all-new 2013 Acura ILX sedan, a car intended to compete against the Buick Verano, Lexus CT 200h, BMW 1-Series and Volkswagen's CC, to name four. Acura, reports Automotive News, is not happy with sales of the ILX.

The near-term fix is a powertrain change to address customer concerns about what American Honda vice-president John Mendel calls the "underpowered" 2.0-litre engine. In the meantime, however, Honda Canada has a more immediate tactic in play: a "stackable" $2,300 factory incentive that can be combined with a 0.9 per cent finance rate for three years or 0.9 per cent on a two-year lease. That deal was slated to expire on January 2. Check with your Acura dealer to find out how Acura will juice interest in the ILX in the time leading up to the impending powertrain fix.

Finally, BMW Canada had a grand year in 2012, with BMW brand sales up 5.5 per cent. Yes, there is a grand deal on the 2012 535i xDrive Gran Turismo: a $6,000 rebate on cash purchases. Like the ILX offer, this one was slated to expire on January 2, but something similar or even richer will likely be found at your local BMW dealer.

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

2012 Toyota Prius Toyota Toyota  

2012 Toyota Prius

  • MSRP: $25,995
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,665
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $700
  • Taxable subtotal: $26,960
  • Total price with 13% HST: $30,464.80
  • Factory discount: $1,000 (Non-stackable Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Final price: $29,464.80
  • Can be combined with 0.9% finance rate for up to five years

2012 Honda CR-V Honda Honda  

2012 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD

  • MSRP: $33,190
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,740
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,100
  • Factory discount: $2,000 (Non-stackable Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $31,830
  • Total price with 13% HST: $35,967.90
  • Applies to cash purchases only

2013 Acura ILX 2.0L Honda Honda  

2013 Acura ILX Premium

  • MSRP: $29,990
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,045
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,200
  • Factory discount: $2,300 (Stackable Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $28,535
  • Total price with 13% HST: $32,244.55
  • Can be combined with 0.9% for three years or 0.9% lease rate for two years

2012 BMW 5-Series BMW BMW  

2012 BMW 535i Gran Turismo AWD xDrive

  • MSRP: $69,950
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,095
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $3,000
  • Factory discount: $6,000 (Alternate Cash Back factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $63,045
  • Total price with 13% HST: $71,240.85

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.