Best deals on hybrid, electric, fuel-efficient cars for March 2018

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2018 Hyundai Elantra

2018 Hyundai Elantra

Not a lot has changed since last month: Buyers continue to move from passenger sedans to crossovers and trucks, and gasoline remains relatively cheap.

That means you can pick up some bargains fuel-efficient and electrified vehicles.

DON'T MISS: Lexus lowers hybrid prices a lot to cut premium over gasoline

Our list of deals for March, courtesy of CarsDirect, includes a variety of discounts: low financing rates, cheap leases, and money off sticker prices.

They cover a variety of vehicle types, with hybrids among the heavily discounted.

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, April 2017

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, April 2017

Hybrids

As it's done for a few months now, the 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid offers some hefty incentives.

The sky-high $5,000 in factory cash back offer continues, though the alternate financing terms have changed: Kia now dangles 0-percent financing for up to 60 months on top of up to $2,000 bonus cash.

CarsDIrect calculates you'd be probably better off taking the cash.

2018 Chevrolet Volt

2018 Chevrolet Volt

Plug-in hybrids

The best deal on the current Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid are offered in states where the car is most popular: California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

If you come from a 1999 or newer Asian-branded car, you can get a $2,500 bonus on all versions of the Volt.

But if you're in one of the listed states, the deal can be worth up to $8,250, making a 36-month lease as low as $210 a month with nothing down. 

Elsewhere, the lease is $229 for the same term, with $2,049 due at signing.

2018 Nissan Leaf

2018 Nissan Leaf

Electric cars

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is now on sale at virtually all dealerships, and the deals aren't that lavish as yet.

The base Leaf S, which still carries the 151-mile range rating, works out to a not-that-high effective lease cost of $340 per month.

Otherwise, buying your new Leaf outright gets you 0-percent financing for 72 months—though that doesn't approach the more than $9,000 in various lease discounts.

Cost will be higher for the top-end SL model, so you might also see if the mid-range Leaf SV carries incentives from your dealer, since Leafs are one of the very few cars that sell more at the top and bottom of the range than in the middle.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Sedan

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Sedan

Diesels

Once again the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, in both sedan and hatchback body styles, carries major discounts available at dealerships.

Drive onto the lot in an Asian-branded car from 1999 or newer—you don't actually need to trade it in, just show your lease—and you'll get an additional $2,500 on top of the $2,000 rebate offered to most buyers.

Alternatively, you can choose a 0-percent rate for 72 months with $1,000 on top. Some buyers will find that to be a better deal, but it will depend on individual circumstances.

CHECK OUT: Gas prices primed to rise in 2018, highest in four years: report

Fuel-efficient cars

The compact Hyundai Elantra—in either hatchback or sedan shapes, including the most fuel-efficient Eco version, offering sleek lines and an intuitive, functional interior—continues to provide lavish deals.

Buyers can choose between a $2,500 rebate or take the 0-percent financing for 72 months plus a bonus of $1,000.

As always, do the math yourself, though many buyers will find they can lower the effective cost over the full term of ownership the most by using the no-interest financing rate.

 
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