Best deals on hybrid, plug-in and electric cars for August 2018


2019 Chevrolet Equinox

2019 Chevrolet Equinox

This month, green-car buyers can find some screaming deals.

These aren't just local programs or restricted to California buyers, either.

As always, our list of deals comes from our partners at CarsDirect. This month, they have focused on deals available nationwide and on cars that are more shoppers can find (unlike, for example, the VW e-Golf, of which Volkswagen dealers had just 10 in stock at the beginning of July).

Here are a few of the best deals on hybrid, plug-in, and electric cars this month.

2018 Nissan Leaf SL

2018 Nissan Leaf SL

Electric car

The Nissan Leaf is the cheapest electric car available nationwide, with a lease deal of $219 a month for 36 months with $3,979 due at signing. The effective cost of $330 a month comes out to $120 a month less than the Chevy Bolt EV.

The affordable price is based on a huge $10,025 discount for lessees, which Nissan will boost by an extra $1,000 for current lessees.

The lease covers only the base S model which comes with a 5.0-inch radio display, automatic emergency braking, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and manual cloth seats.Those who want the SV with navigation, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, will pay a lot more. In addition to its higher price, discount on the SV drops by $1,850.

2019 Chevrolet Volt

2019 Chevrolet Volt

Plug-in hybrid

The Chevy Volt delivers the most electric miles of any plug-in hybrid ("extended range electric vehicle," as GM would like us to call it), along with the best deals.

California and Oregon buyers can lease a Volt for $234 a month for 36 months with no money due at signing. The lease only allows 10,000 miles a year, not the more common 12,000, so these lessees will be likely to manage an even higher portion of their driving on electricity than those who drive more.

Those who currently lease a car from another automaker can get even lower lease payments by taking an extra $500 in GM conquest cash.

In other states that follow California's zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate, primarily in the Northeast, the incentives from GM are $1,500 less. In non-ZEV states, incentives drop by another $2,500, so Volt prices aren't as compelling.

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Hybrid

Like the Volt, the Ford Fusion Hybrid has been among our best deals for months. At this point in its life, it is cheaper to buy than to lease—as long as buyers finance through Ford Motor Credit.

Ford Motor Credit is offering $3,000 cash back on the Fusion on top of no-interest financing through October 1. Fusion buyers are better off taking the automaker's financing rather than paying cash or bringing their own bank loan, because the incentive comes through Ford's finance arm. 

The Fusion Hybrid earns EPA ratings of 43 mpg city, 42 highway, 42 combined, less than the Prius, but not likely by enough to cover the additional cash back that Ford offers on the Fusion Hybrid.

2019 Chevrolet Equinox

2019 Chevrolet Equinox

Diesel

Those looking for the ultimate mileage in a small SUV can also find one of the best deals.

Chevrolet has extended its "18 percent off MSRP" deal on the Equinox to every trim-line of the Equinox, which can net buyers up to $6,400 off the Equinox Platinum diesel. It's rated at 28/38/32 mpg, significantly better than hybrid small SUVs.

As with the Fusion Hybrid, the deal requires financing through the automaker's captive finance arm, in this case GM Financial. Without that, the discount drops to 15 percent. 

Chevrolet says the diesel makes up only 2 percent of the sales of the Equinox combined with its sibling, the GMC Terrain, so it's likely to be the only one on your block.

2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco road trip, May 2016 - Kentucky welcome center

2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco road trip, May 2016 - Kentucky welcome center

Fuel-efficient gas cars

The best deal on a gas car is on the Hyundai Elantra, which is eligible for no-interest financing for 6 years plus a $1,000 cash bonus. 

The discount and financing are available on every Elantra, including the thrifty Elantra Eco. With its turbocharged 1.4-liter engine and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Elantra Eco is rated at 32/40/35 mpg.

Hyundai offers the option of a $2,500 rebate without taking the zero-percent interest financing for those who want to pay cash. CarsDirect calculates that the zero-percent financing with the lower rebate will still come out a little cheaper than a 5-year loan at 3 percent interest.

 
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