What is a new car incentive or rebate?

This is part of our Car Buyer’s Glossary series breaking down all the terms you need to know if you’re buying a new or used car from a dealership.

Car dealers aren’t in the business of giving money away. They’re in the game to make a buck – and can you blame them? So is everyone else selling a consumer good. So when you hear about an incentive (that is, a rebate, low interest rate, or cash back offer), you should know what’s going on before you assume you’re getting a free lunch.

There are a few main types of incentive:

  1. A cash-back or rebate offer

  2. A low- or zero-percent interest offer

  3. A factory-to-dealer incentive

On a very basic level, an incentive does one of two things for a car dealer: it gets people into the dealership, and it helps move out inventory. Let’s look at these both a little more closely.

The first part is basically the psychology of marketing. If you tell someone they can get $1,000 back on a new car deal, it might get them excited about (and invested in) the process. You might be a little less concerned about negotiating the price down since you’re getting money back. And the dealer has other avenues to make up that $1,000 – padding the interest rate a tiny bit or selling you some high-profit extra services, like an extended warranty. It’s a bit of a shell game – you’re focused on one thing, but the dealer has several ways to make a buck. The idea is you’ll be a bit distracted and or think you’re getting a better deal than you really are, and they can make some profit in other places. And that’s totally their prerogative.

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The second is a little more helpful for consumers. Let’s say there’s a slow-selling car sitting on the lot. The dealer borrowed money from a lender to buy that car, hoping to sell it for a profit quickly so they pay minimal interest on the loan. Usually, dealers order what vehicles they want, using information about what sells well in the region and on their lot. Sometimes the manufacturer will hold back or allocate models based on dealer performance or other considerations, but it’s mostly up to the dealer what mix of vehicles are on the lot. Sometimes they get it wrong, or the car isn’t as hot as everyone hoped, and a car sits for longer than normal on the lot.

But those cars that won’t sell clog up the lot. They cost the dealer money, but more importantly, they take up room. Room that could be occupied by even more cars coming from the factory. Since the factory wants to sell all the cars they make, they don’t want the pipeline from factory to dealer and then owner clogged up by old inventory.

So another type of incentive is one that’s paid by the manufacturer to the dealer. It’s basically a little financial relief, and some motivation to lower the price a bit and get that old car off the lot to make room for a new one. This is called a “factory-to-dealer” incentive. You, the car buyer, won’t see it. And maybe the dealer will lower the price a bit, but maybe they’ll ask for full price and pocket that money from the factory.

It’s hard to find out about factory-to-dealer incentives, but there are a few sites that list them. You can use them to lower the price a bit on a slow-selling car, because it’s not money that’s coming out of the dealer’s bottom line.

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The same applies to the other types of manufacturer incentives, which are generally advertised. You can use them to reduce the purchase price of the vehicle – which is something you should negotiate. They also don’t hurt the dealer’s bottom line.

So, with either factory-to-dealer or advertised manufacturer incentives, negotiate a low, fair price, and then subtract any rebates that apply. If the dealer is ok with the price you negotiated, they can’t complain too much if you want to share in the manufacturer-provided bounty.

Lastly, let’s talk about low- or zero-percent APR offers. There are two catches here, the first being that you have to have excellent credit to qualify for them. The dealer is hoping that you’ll be so committed to the deal that by the time the finance person tells you that you don’t qualify for it, you won’t feel like walking away. You’ll be psychologically invested.

The second is that you will almost certainly be locked into using the manufacturer’s captive lender – like Honda Financial Services or Ford Credit, to give you two random examples. That may be a problem for you, or may not.

Really, the dealer is trying to do two things with a low-interest rate loan: clear out inventory, or make money on other parts of the deal such as the purchase price or high-profit extras tacked on to the deal. The latter could be an extended warranty or an undercoating service – neither of which we recommend.

So there you go. Incentives are generally a good thing for savvy car buyers, and now that you know the basics of the three major types of incentive, you’ll be better equipped to use them to your advantage.

Source: AutoBlog.com

2023 Range Rover Sport teased before May 10 debut

It’s going to be an English double play on Tuesday, May 10, at 12:30 p.m. London time. Bentley will reveal a new variant to its lineup, anticipated to be a long-wheelbase Bentayga. A little less than seven hours later, Land Rover will show the third-generation 2023 Range Rover Sport. The luxury SUV makers have given us the second teaser for the rorty version of the posher-than-ever Range Rover. It’s a brief video clip of a red beast racing down a wet tunnel, as well as a stylized rendering of the interior. If the image translates to reality, the Range Rover Sport’s center console will place its controls along a concave sweep from the instrument panel to the center tunnel instead of being laid out in orderly angles as in the Range Rover.

The automaker says the model will come boasting of having completed another challenge at launch, too, one of the Sport’s favorite feathers to pluck. The new 2014 Range Rover Sport made a record-setting mark climbing Pikes Peak in the summer of 2013, then crossed the giant desert known as the Empty Quarter in the Arabian peninsula in November of that year. In 2018, an RR Sport PHEV climbed the 999 steps to China’s Heaven’s Gate natural arch, an SVR trim following that stunt with a sprint up the 99-turn Tianmen Mountain road 

Evolution will be the name of the design game, same as with the big Range Rover, with a few bits likely cribbed from that SUV. One of the biggest overhauls is rumored for the top SVR trim, which will jettison its 5.8-liter supercharged V8 for the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 in the BMW X5 M and X6 M. If all goes to petrolhead plan, the SVR will gain the full 616 horsepower available in those BMWs, a 41-hp boost compared to the current Sport SVR. A battery-electric model is also expected to debut after the pure electric Range Rover launches in 2024. All the details to come on May 10, and perhaps another teaser or two before then.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Ford and Honda drop out of SEMA, VW jumps in

Two of the biggest automaker exhibitors at SEMA, Ford and Honda, are dropping out of the show this year. This came in an announcement from SEMA, initially spotted by The Drive. As such, the automakers won’t have their displays on the floor. With that being said, it’s possible the companies will still announce things at a similar time as the show, like some have with other big auto shows.

In fact, a representative from Ford said that we can still expect to see stuff from the company around SEMA. Specifically, the representative said, “Ford will still have a presence at SEMA, but instead of our traditional displays, we look forward to showcasing our winning portfolio of vehicles in select displays at the show and digitally online. We will share more details closer to SEMA.”

We’ve also reached out to Honda for comment, but haven’t received a reply at the time of writing. We will update this post if we hear back.

Still, both companies pulling out their official displays is quite surprising, since both automakers have had a large footprint at SEMA. Ford in particular has had their exhibit square in the middle of one of the main halls at the show, and the company typically exhibits many vehicles built by collaborators. Honda has also exhibited many of their vehicles customized by partners as well as cars and parts from their motorsports and accessories divisions. Still, as Ford noted, there will be vehicles from them at other displays, and we expect many Honda models will appear throughout, too.

SEMA said that the space vacated by the automakers will provide areas for other existing exhibitors to expand into, such as brands from GM, Stellantis, Toyota and Nissan. And Volkswagen will be coming back to the show with official presence. The company has in the past had some SEMA exposure.

As for the decision, a VW representative told us: “We thought it was a good opportunity to demonstrate the aftermarket potential with our newly introduced and freshened performance models and also to show some interesting extensions for our burgeoning range of sport-utility vehicles.”

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Man breaks vertebra after jumping a 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor

Released for 2021, the third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor benefits from several suspension upgrades that make it more capable off-road than its predecessor. Its front suspension system notably offers 14 inches of travel. The truck’s ability to withstand abuse off the beaten path is so great that it seemingly exceeds a human’s: a man broke a vertebra after hitting a jump in a Raptor with an unmodified suspension. 

Footage of the incident posted on Instagram by the truck’s owner, who goes by Caz, shows the Raptor rapidly approaching a jump, catching a good amount of air, and landing on four wheels. “I aimed for 60 [mph] but it may have gotten beyond that as I wasn’t looking at the speedometer. Got a nice, smooth jump but unfortunately I landed a perfect pancake; all four wheels at the same time,” he told The Drive.

The extra travel didn’t soften the blow, and the landing broke the driver’s T12 vertebra in three pieces. He told The Drive that the injury caused the worst pain he has ever felt. “I literally threw the truck in park and dove onto the ground to straighten my back,” he explained.

 
 
 

 
 
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A post shared by Caz (@sezac80)

In a follow-up Instagram post, Caz wrote that doctors repaired his vertebra with two rods and six screws. He said that the truck is fine; he hasn’t been able to drive it because he’s been hospitalized since the incident, but his father has and reported that there is nothing wrong.

“I knew there was a chance to damage my truck off-road, but I never in a million years thought about me being physically harmed. It’s definitely a wake-up call,” Caz concluded. He wasn’t the only off-roader that landed in the hospital with a back injury. He added that the driver who hit the same jump at about the same speed in an identical truck right after his run was hospitalized with a fractured spine as well.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Bentley announces its fifth model will debut May 10

Bentley announced it would debut “a fifth model” on Tuesday, May 10 to join the Continental GT, Continental GTC, Flying Speed and Bentayga. The notice included all kinds of wordplay suggesting extra length and roominess, Crewe members having “gone to new lengths” on the “long-awaited” vehicle that will bring “an extra dimension of on-board wellness,” and so on. We can’t be certain of what’s coming, but we’re willing to place a large wager that it’s the extended-wheelbase Bentayga. A prototype of the stretched family conveyance with an enlarged wheelbase and grandiose rear doors was caught testing at various points throughout 2021. And the door card in the teaser vid matches that of the Bentayga, not that of the only other four-door Bentley makes, the Flying Spur.

We don’t know how much additional knee space Bentley will grant to back-seat VIP types; were this another era, we’re sure Bentley would never quantify it beyond “more ample.” We’ll find out on May 10. There could be other changes in store for the variant as well, the automaker promising “a breadth of capabilities beyond anything previously offered.” If the teaser is correct, there’s a nifty shade of purple on the way, too.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Porpoising like a “virtual barrier” to Aston Martin’s F1 progress

Along with engine partner Mercedes, Aston Martin is among the teams most impacted by porpoising. While some rivals have dialled it out, and Ferrari appears to be able to deal with the problem without compromising performance, Aston has been obliged to raise the ride height of its car which has had a disastrous impact on its aerodynamics. Sebastian Vettel scored the team’s best result of the season in last weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix by finishing eighth, but Krack is clear that it doesn’t mean the team has resolved its issues. “I think we cannot explore the aero potential that the car is having due to the porpoising,” said Krack. “And this puts like a virtual barrier on how far we can go. So we cannot extract the performance that the car is really having, this is the main problem.” Krack says that the car will be improved in a “couple of races”, implying that updates are coming for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. However, he is reluctant to be too tied to a public declaration of when new parts are scheduled to hit the track, and what impact they are likely to have. “I think in a couple of races we will be in better shape,” he said. “It would be foolish to say, in race X or race Y, because even if you bring new parts on, you always need to understand them. Mike Krack, Team Principal, Aston Martin F1 Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images “And you need to understand what job you have done. So say, for example, we bring a big package to Miami, and there is rain or whatever, and we don’t make it work. “You create a lot of expectations, and then everybody will consider you have failed. Take the sprint [at Imola], we have only one session on Friday, you bring a big update, and you have no chance at all to test it, or to validate if it works or not. “From that point of view, I think it’s very important not to say a specific event, especially to the outside world. “I mean, we have our internal plans, you will understand that I don’t want to go into detail there. But I think in a couple of races we should be in better shape.” Krack says the team prefers to bring regular small updates rather than commit to a major package. “For us we want to bring updates every race, so we want to have a continuous development, and bring updates all the time. “Sometimes they are a bit bigger, sometimes they are a bit smaller, but it’s important to keep the development alive and not stop. “Obviously at one point in the season you have to stop and focus on the next year’s car, but we are quite far from that at the moment.” Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22 Photo by: Erik Junius After the team suffered four accidents over the Melbourne weekend, Krack was concerned that updates planned for Imola would have to be postponed due to a manufacturing focus on replacing damaged parts. However, in the end the team did get the new items made in time. “We managed basically with a huge effort from the team in Silverstone to not delay the upgrade, and still have spares,” he said. “We cannot do this every week either. Because otherwise, it’s just immense, what hasn’t been achieved.” Regarding the impact of crashes on the budget cap, he added: “We have to worry, the accidents always figure in your calculation. So you must not have these every race, because otherwise you end up on the deep red very early. “So yeah, we have this on the radar. It is still under control. There is provision for such stuff, but it must not happen every race.” shares comments
Source: AutoSport.com

These are the ten fastest selling new and used cars

If you’ve been paying any attention, you know that the car market, both new and used, is wild right now. But which car, truck and minivan models are the absolute hottest? ISeeCars.com took a look at how fast cars sell from the time they’re put on sale to when they’re purchased. We’ve gathered up the top ten of the new cars and the top ten used models, here. Each list gives the model followed by the average number of days each one is on the market.

New

  1. Honda CR-V: 7.6
  2. Genesis GV70: 12.2
  3. Lexus RX 350: 13
  4. Toyota Highlander: 13.6
  5. Toyota Camry: 15.1
  6. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: 15.3
  7. Ford Maverick Hybrid: 15.5
  8. Subaru Forester: 17
  9. Toyota Tacoma: 17.6
  10. Subaru Crosstrek: 17.7

Most of these vehicles are perennial high sellers. And, as ISeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer notes, they’re all facing quite low inventories. The Ford Maverick, in fact, has had orders closed for this model year. As such, anything on dealer lots is likely to be snapped up quickly.

Used

  1. Tesla Model X: 28
  2. Honda Insight: 28.9
  3. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid: 29.4
  4. Tesla Model Y: 29.5
  5. Toyota Prius Prime: 32.8
  6. Mazda3 Sedan: 34.3
  7. Tesla Model S: 34.4
  8. Tesla Model 3: 34.6
  9. Chevy Volt: 35
  10. Ford Mustang Mach-E: 35.1

Something you’ll probably notice among the used cars is that it’s dominated by hybrids and electric cars, including the entire Tesla range. Brauer confirms our suspicions that recent high gas prices have driven customers to snap up more frugal machines. Brauer also notes that in the cases of the Teslas and the Mustang Mach-E particularly tight new availability is sending people after used cars. He says that many Tesla models aren’t going to be delivered for another few months, and the Mustang Mach-E order books have closed.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

BMW 7 Series project manager says XM will be heaviest car BMW makes

BMW’s heaviest SUV and heaviest vehicle won’t arrive until next year with as the production version of the XM SUV. Australian outlet Car Sales spoke with BMW 7 Series project lead Christoph Fagschlunger about BMWs developing the mass and gravitational pulls of small planets.

The new battery-electric 2023 BMW i7 weighs 5,820 pounds. To be fair, that is just 132 pounds more than the battery-electric Mercedes-AMG EQS, and 66 pounds more than a Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB. It is also 159 pounds heavier than the mightiest trim of the 2023 X7, the M60i. Fagschlunger said the end of the embiggening is near, “I don’t think cars will get more heavy than they are now, and there are many reasons for that.” 

While electrification is responsible for a sudden leap in vehicle weights, we have to remember that enthusiasts (like us) have been groaning about heavier cars for at least 15 years. The primary culprits have not been batteries, but luxury features, safety equipment, increasing adoption of all-wheel drive, and the popularity of crossovers and SUVs. “Cars were getting heavier even without electrification, with safety regulations and then NCAP and then luxury,” Fagschlunger said. He explained that a modern luxury seat is at least 88 pounds heavier than it was 20 years ago, Car Sales adding that some seats exceed 220 pounds. Those 22-way motors, massaging mechanisms, and climate control equipment are burdensome. This became a pointed issue in regard to safety, because heavier vehicles needed heavier structures to pass increasingly stringent crash tests.

But the BMW engineer believes technology will be start shaving pounds from platforms thanks to advances like more energy-dense batteries and wider use of active noise cancellation (sound deadening is heavy). Suppliers are working on features like vehicle audio that uses the architecture as speakers, instead of loading a car up with woofers and tweeters (speakers are heavy, too). Let’s hope the diet begins before the industry hits the wall Fagschlunger warns is imminent: “Size of cars will have a natural ending someday, when you can’t fit in the garage or turn around on the street corner. That day is getting closer.” 

If you want to see how far the 7 Series has come, PD Evolution just released an eight-minute tour of how the executive sedan has evolved since its debut in 1977 — when it weighed “just” 3,527 pounds. 

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Polestar 2 rolls on with new colors, new wheels, range improvements

We got a lead on changes coming for the Polestar 2 by peeking at the automaker’s European configurators. Volvo’s pure electric arm has finally dished on the menu of tweaks coming to our Polestar 2. Outside, we’ll be getting two new colors: “Space” (a metallic black) and Jupiter (a gold-grey with red flake); under the skin, “numerous” combined improvements will “increase range in all climates,” Polestar says.

Completing the exterior updates, there are new designs for the standard 19-inch and optional 20-inch aluminum wheels. The company is trying out a supplier that makes aluminum using renewable energy, claimed to result in a reduction of 1,322 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions for each Polestar that rolls off the line with four wheels. The same kind of aluminum production is being used for the battery tray, resulting in a further reduction of 1,653 pounds of CO2 emissions per car.   

Under the skin, Polestar upgraded the optional heat pump with a wider optimum temperature range, from 20 degrees Fahrenheit to 77. Polestar says the pump can extend range by up to 10%, the current version working in a range of 41 degrees Fahrenheit to 59. Also, a better cabin filter comes with an upgraded particulate matter sensor and an app feature displaying how much better the air is inside the car than outside.

Inside, the ventilated Nappa leather upholstery comes in a new Zinc gray paired with Light Ash trim. Polestar switched its leather supplier to Bridge of Weir, the luxury leather company known for supplying hides to carmakers like Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover. Finally, the panoramic glass roof will come with a removable sunshade that can also be purchased as an accessory for all Polestar 2s fitted with the glass roof.

We’re not sure just yet where these new features will fit into the current mix. Right now, Void, a glossy black, is the only free color, the rest charging $1,200 to apply. In the UK, Space replaced Void as the only available black, but whereas Void was free, Space became a cost option. Magnesium, a silver, became the new free standard color across the Atlantic. And Jupiter replaced Moon, a deep greige hue.

Polestar says North American pricing, range rating, and availability will be announced in the coming weeks. There’s no doubt we’ll see bumps in some categories; Australia the latest to note large increases for the Polestar 2.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

2023 Acura Integra w/ CVT starts just under $32,000

Pricing for the 2023 Acura Integra is out, and it’s unsurprisingly a fair bit more expensive than the Civic it’s based on. The base model starts at $31,895 including the $1,095 destination charge. The base version comes only with a CVT, as does the next highest A-Spec trim. To get a manual transmission, you’ll have to fork over $36,895 for the top A-Spec with Technology. Fortunately, the manual isn’t any more expensive than the CVT version. The full pricing breakdown is below.

  • Integra: $31,895
  • Integra A-Spec: $33,895
  • Integra A-Spec with Technology Package: $36,895

The base model comes well equipped. Standard features include LED lighting, a sunroof, heated seats with power adjustment on the driver side, an eight-speaker sound system, 10.2-inch instrument display, 7-inch infotainment screen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The standard safety feature list is quite good with adaptive cruise control with lane-keep assist and stop-and-go (the latter on CVT only), blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking. And all Integras come with the same turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. They also have two years of free scheduled maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations and inspections).

The A-Spec model mainly adds the sporty A-Spec appearance package, while the A-Spec with Technology Package adds quite a few more features. It includes adaptive suspension with adjustable stiffness, a larger 9-inch infotainment screen, ambient interior lighting, leatherette and faux suede upholstery, power adjustment on both front seats, a 16-speaker sound system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charging and more USB ports. And of course that top trim is available with a six-speed manual, which also adds a mechanical limited-slip differential like in the Honda Civic Si.

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Source: AutoBlog.com