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Deals of the week: Lexus ES, GMC Sierra, Suzuki SX4 and Nissan Xterra

Lexus ES350

Bill Petro/Toyota

Lexus, Toyota's luxury division, has a reinvented version of the ES sedan coming this summer and while I'd like to report that the price is going down, I can't. I can't tell you it's going up, either.

Truth is, I can't tell you anything about the pricing of the 2013 ES, gasoline or hybrid. I've asked, but Lexus Canada won't say until the on-sale date is upon us in the mid- to late-summer.

Deals of the Week can, however, tell you all about the rich offer on the outgoing 2012 ES 350: $5,000 in a factory-to-dealer rebate. (Note: this deal was slated to expire May 31, but may still be in effect; see your dealer for details.)

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Now, it's unfortunate that the Lexus cash cannot be combined or stacked with discounted rates for those of you who finance or lease. Still, $5,000 in "trading dollars" on a $42,150 car is a good deal. If you want a well-equipped and quite large premium sedan, one with impeccable reliability, this is your chance.

Lexus is in the midst of launching nine new or updated models in 2012, which suggests the brand is in growth mode. That is in sharp contrast to Suzuki, which seems to be hanging on by its fingernails in North America.

Suzuki sales in Canada are down 16.2 per cent this year in an overall Canadian market up 5.2 per cent. In the U.S., Suzuki's sales have slipped 6.0 per cent through the first third of the year – in a U.S. market up 10 per cent.

Automotive News reports that Suzuki has been in severe belt-tightening mode, slashing marketing, public relations and other costs "in an effort to turn a profit in North America, by far the auto maker's smallest regional market in terms of sales volume." It seems that after cutting and slashing to the bone, Suzuki is heading down the deal-making route. The goal surely is to get the attention of car shoppers on both sides of the border.

For instance, in Canada, Suzuki has as much as $3,500 in cash incentives on a $22,835 SX4 hatchback with all-wheel drive. The cash offers, reports, might be stackable with other sales incentives, too, though the latest deals were slated to expire on May 31. That means you'll need to check with your Suzuki dealer. The point to remember is that Suzuki seems to be moving away from slash-and-burn and into a mindset geared to generate cash flow.

Over at Nissan, the Xterra SUV is winding down in its current form; some sort of "volume" crossover is likely to replace this most rugged of SUVs. Thus, a $33,998 Xterra S with four-wheel drive is being pushed with $3,600 in combined cash incentives from the factory.

The Xterra is considered a light truck, and truck sales keep booming in Canada and the U.S., despite high fuel prices. The deals available on trucks might have something to do with how they are moving off dealer lots. Indeed, a GMC Sierra SL Crew Cab Nevada Edition pickup is available with more than $10,000 in incentives to the right buyer. That on a rig with a sticker price of $34,945.

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

2012 Lexus ES 350

  • MSRP: $42,150
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $2,050
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,850
  • Taxable subtotal: $42,350
  • Total price with 13% HST: $47,855.50
  • Factory discount: $5,000 (non-stackable trading dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Final price: $42,855.50

2012 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD Crew Cab SL Nevada Edition

  • MSRP: $34,945
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,595
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,700
  • Factory discount: $8,250 (stackable cash delivery allowance factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Factory discount: $1,500 (GM cash for leases factory-to-customer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $25,090
  • Total price with 13% HST: $28,351.70
  • Note: Finance rates as low as 0.0% for up to four years may be available

2012 Suzuki SX4 JX CVT AWD

  • MSRP: $22,835
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,550
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $700
  • Factory discount: $700 (stackable credit factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Factory discount: $2,800 (trading dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $20,185
  • Total price with 13% HST: $22,809.85

2012 Nissan Xterra S manual 4WD

  • MSRP: $33,998
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,820
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,100
  • Factory discount: $3,000 (trading dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Factory discount: $600 (Nissan employee pricing factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $31,118
  • Total price with 13% HST: $35,163.34

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.

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