2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Is one of your New Year's resolutions to go green? We're here to help with this month's deals on electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, and other efficient vehicles.
Against last month, the cars offering the best incentives haven't changed—but the incentives themselves have.
Click ahead to find out where you can save the most as you kick off 2018.
2018 Kia Optima Hybrid
The Kia Optima is again the best hybrid deal on the market in January, with a record $5,000 in factory cash in western states ($4,000 elsewhere), says CarsDirect.
If you'd rather have a low-interest financing deal instead, Kia is currently offering a 0.9-percent rate for terms up to 66 months, plus $2,000 in factory cash.
But be warned: "Low APR is nice, but you’d probably come out ahead by taking the cash," explains Alex Bernstein of CarsDirect.
"On a $26,000 car, a 5-year loan at 3 percent would cost about $22,640 with the rebate. With the 0.9-percent deal, the cost would be $23,582."
2018 Chevrolet Volt
Again unchanged from last month, both the Chevrolet Volt and the Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid lead the pack in plug-in hybrid incentives for January 2018.
A regional offer for the Kia Optima Plug-in Premium gives it an effective cost of $305/month, making it $20 cheaper per month to lease than the Toyota Prius Two conventional hybrid (in Los Angeles, at least) and $73/month less than the Kia's sibling—the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In.
Chevrolet has also increased lease discounts on the Volt to bring its effective lease cost to within $5 of the tiny, underpowered Mitsubishi Mirage G4 sedan.
Conquest buyers and GM loyalists both qualify for an extra $500 bonus to rid this $298/month deal of its $500 down payment.
2017 Kia Soul EV
Continuing deals from December are the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2017 Kia Soul EV, but both see some significant changes to deal terms.
First, if you didn't get a Bolt last month, you'll be paying $66/month more in January. CarsDirect says the change is due to GM Employee Pricing expiring on January 2, with an additional regional bonus worth $2,170.
However, buyers in California will be pleasantly surprised by a deal Kia has offered on the Soul EV-e trim level.
The lesser electric Soul can be had at an effective cost of $215/month—making it cheaper than a gas-powered Soul—though it should be noted the deals apply to the 2017 electric Soul, with a range rating of 93 miles.
The 2018 Kia Soul EV boosts that to 111 miles; CarsDirect says those willing to pay an extra $20/month should opt for the newer 2018 Soul EV, which offers 18 miles of extra range over the previous model year.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
There are few players left in the diesel passenger-car market, but buyers looking for a deal can find one on the leftover 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel.
A combination of incentives and bonuses for certain qualified buyers can cut the cost of a Cruze Diesel by $5,517.
Alternatively, a 0-percent finance offer for 60 months can be combined with a $2,017 bonus.
Both deals are only applicable to remaining 2017 models, so you might want to jump on this one while supplies last.
2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport
Fuel-efficient gasoline cars
If you're looking for a deal on a conventional gas-sipper, Hyundai has a deal on the Elantra worthy of your attention.
The nationwide deal for January is a continuation of the incentive offered over the holiday season—which sees 0-percent financing for 72 months—plus a $1,000 bonus offered on all Elantra models.
Hyundai also offers a $3,000 cash incentive at normal financing rates, but this is one of the few times when opting for the financing offer may be the better buy.
"On a $22,000 car, the payment would be $291/month with the 0-percent," explains Bernstein. "With the rebate at 3 percent over the same period, it would be $303."