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


2017 Fiat 500e

2017 Fiat 500e

Often, to sell electric cars, supporters and salespeople argue that buyers will save money in the long run from lower fuel (or power) bills.

With deals up to $15,700 off and payments as low as $179 a month, several hybrid, electric, and fuel-efficient cars will cost less this month right up front.

A few of the cars are older models, but that doesn't mean they're not good cars, especially at these prices.

2016 Ford C-Max Energi

2016 Ford C-Max Energi

As always, this list comes from CarsDirect, which also offers extra car-buying and pricing insight.

Hybrids

The Ford C-Max makes another appearance as an older hybrid model with big incentives. Lessees in California can drive one home for $179 a month for 36 months after putting $1,999 down.

Ford has already announced that it will end C-Max production in North America this year, citing slow sales, and the corresponding C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid went out of production last fall.

CarsDirect says only a few examples of the 2018 C-Max Hybrid will be available, so buyers who want one should act fast.

2017 Kia Niro Touring, Catskill Mountains, NY, March 2017

2017 Kia Niro Touring, Catskill Mountains, NY, March 2017

Kia's Niro hybrid follows much the same format as the C-Max, and is much newer, but still available at big discounts. For $1,999 down and $219 a month,

Buyers can also opt for $1,500 cash back on 2017 models, or $1,250 on 2018 models, or get 0-percent financing for up to five years.

The deal applies to the 49 mpg Niro LX. CarsDirect notes that the Niro FE, which is rated at 50 mpg is in shorter supply than other Niro trims with more amenities but lower fuel economy ratings.

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

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

If a stylish sedan is more your cup of tea, Kia offers the 2017 Optima LX Hybrid for the same deal as the Niro: $1,999 down and $219 per month for 36 months.

Cash buyers can choose a $5,000 discount, or 0-percent financing for 60 months.

The Optima Hybrid earns a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 42 mpg,

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016

Lots of people really want a hybrid, but struggle to give up an SUV, and for those people (in California), Toyota has a great deal on the RAV4 Hybrid—just in time for a new version to debut next year.

The RAV4 Hybrid XLE comes standard with all-wheel drive and offers a voluminous cargo area and convenient interior storage.

They're available to lease for 36 months for $249 a month with $1,999 down. Buyers can choose between $500 cash back or 0.9 percent financing for five years.

2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid charging at office park, Santa Cruz, California, Dec 2017

2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid charging at office park, Santa Cruz, California, Dec 2017

Plug-in hybrids

Like the standard Niro hybrid, the Niro Plug-in Hybrid is available for a great price this April. California buyers can lease one for $259 a month for 36 months with $1,999 down.

Lessees are also eligible for $4,543 in bonus cash, a feature normally reserved for purchasers.

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is rated at 26 miles of electric range and 46 mpg running on gasoline once its range-extending engine begins to run.

2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid, 2016 Chicago Auto Show

2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid, 2016 Chicago Auto Show

Kia leads the way with plug-in hybrid deals, as it does with hybrids.

You can drive home a Kia Optima LX Hybrid for 36 months for $259 a month with $1,999 down. Buyers can choose $2,500 in rebates and incentives instead.

The Optima doesn't have quite as much versatile space as the Niro, but it does offer 29 miles of electric range. After the electric range runs out, the gas engine returns 40 mpg, a little less than the one in the Niro, but still excellent for a midsized sedan.

2018 Chevrolet Volt

2018 Chevrolet Volt

The original plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt now also offers compelling discounts: a 36-month lease for $266, with just $500 down if you live in California or the Northeast.

The Volt still has the longest electric range of any plug-in hybrid at 53 miles, and gets a very good 42 mpg the rest of the time. 

In those states, Chevrolet also offers $1,000 bonus cash.

2014 Fiat 500e - Quick Drive, September 2014

2014 Fiat 500e - Quick Drive, September 2014

Electric cars

As in the past several months, the best EV deals are leases on older models with as little as 80 miles of range, or as many as 115, starting with the Fiat 500e (which is only sold in California and Oregon.)

At $180 a month for 36 months, with $2,149 due at signing, buyers can drive the 500e for very little money indeed.

With such compelling lease deals, not many people buy the 500e outright, but you can still get a $500 rebate or 0-percent financing if you do.

2017 Ford Focus Electric

2017 Ford Focus Electric

The aging Ford Focus Electric makes its way back onto the list with a $189-a-month lease for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing.

The deal only applies to California residents, but that state is one of the few where Focus Electrics can actually be found.

The current version of the Focus Electric offers a 115-mile range, though the charger mounted in a hump between the rear wheel wells still significantly diminishes the car's cargo space.

2018 Kia Soul EV

2018 Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul EV makes a compelling package, though its 107-mile range seems dated these days.

It has the same handy space inside and the same easy view down the road as the standard gasoline Soul, but as an electric, it feels much quieter, more powerful, and refined.

Lease deals are available from $199 a month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing. Buyers are also eligible for 0.9-percent financing for 60 months.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel (with 6-speed automatic transmission), Catskill Mountains, NY, May 2017

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel (with 6-speed automatic transmission), Catskill Mountains, NY, May 2017

Diesels

Back on the list—at least through the first half of this month—is the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Hatchback.

Chevrolet offers 20 percent off the sticker price nationwide for this combination, which can amount to as much as $6,036. That's more than enough to offset the price premium for the diesel engine in the Cruze.

The EPA rates the Cruze Diesel at 35 mpg in mixed driving; the car with the six-speed manual transmission can get up to 48 mpg on the highway. 

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited, Catskill Mountains, NY, Apr 2016

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited, Catskill Mountains, NY, Apr 2016

Fuel-efficient gasoline cars

The Hyundai Elantra makes the list again with its six-year 0-percent financing, plus $1,000 cash back for buyers.

Cash buyers have the option of taking $2,500 cash back without the 0-percent, but if you need a loan to buy a car, CarsDirect shows the 0-percent financing may be more compelling.

With the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Elantra earns the same great 35 mpg overall EPA fuel-economy rating as the Chevrolet Cruze diesel.

 
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