Summer is upon us, and that means car sales are in full swing. With the July Fourth holiday approaching, car dealership advertisements flood the airwaves and every deal sounds better than the one before it. Given all that noise, you might have a case of car-deal information overload.
To help you clear that promotional clutter, Edmunds presents some offers that are worth a look, including the packages it would recommend for shoppers. Edmunds chose the cars that it has awarded positive reviews and deals that are widely available and offer considerable discounts.
Cash-back offers, rebates and incentives can vary by region. Be sure to check that these offers apply in your area. To do this, click the car link shown and make sure your ZIP code shown just under the car’s photo is correct. These deals should be available through July 5.
2017 Hyundai Elantra (www.edmunds.com/hyundai/elantra/)
Starting MSRP: $18,985
Edmunds is seeing discounts in the $7,500 range, depending on package and the region.
New for 2017, the Hyundai Elantra gets a new look, a trio of new engines and impressive tech features. The Elantra is classier-looking on the outside and more refined on the inside than ever before. No matter which trim level you pick, the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is a strong contender in the compact car segment.
EDMUNDS RECOMMENDS: The Elantra SE. It doesn’t have an abundance of standard equipment, but adding the Popular Equipment package will get you useful technology upgrades while keeping monthly payments low.
— Quiet, comfortable cabin, especially at highway speeds.
— Lots of available technology and safety features.
— Handsome and intelligent interior design.
— Underwhelming performance from the entry engine.
— Dual-clutch transmission can feel clunky at low speeds.
— More steering effort required than in most cars in this class.
2017 Toyota Camry (www.edmunds.com/toyota/camry/2017/sedan/)
Starting MSRP: $23,950
Edmunds is seeing discounts in the $6,700 range, depending on package and region.
A solid reputation for durability and reliability, combined with a comfortable ride and easy-to-use features, has made the Camry a huge sales success. Some rival sedans might be a little flashier, but the Camry remains an honest and worthy pick.
EDMUNDS RECOMMENDS: The XSE trim. It’s a great middle ground between the base LE and top-of-the-line XLE, both in terms of price and features.
— Great interior space with roomy seats for all.
— Trim levels have distinct luxury and sport characteristics.
— Interior controls are easy to read and operate.
— Lackluster fuel economy in the four-cylinder version.
2017 Ford Escape (www.edmunds.com/ford/escape/2017/)
Starting MSRP: $24,645
Edmunds is seeing discounts in the $6,100 range, depending on package and region.
The Ford Escape is a smart, safe choice among a crop of great contenders in the crossover segment. The 2017 model receives style and power upgrades, improved item storage and updated tech. On the road, its agility instills a level of driver confidence that’s rare in this class.
EDMUNDS RECOMMENDS: The Escape SE with the optional 2.0-liter engine, which supplies quick acceleration and reasonable mileage. Even with this upgrade, the Escape’s price stays under $30,000.
— New tech interface features include voice control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
— Drives more like a car than an SUV.
— Tired dashboard design with small look-alike buttons.
— Base-model S trim is available only with older, less efficient 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
2017 Honda Odyssey (www.edmunds.com/honda/odyssey/2017/minivan/)
Starting MSRP: $34,890
Edmunds is seeing discounts in the $7,100 range, depending on package and region.
The Odyssey offers great functionality and space. The second-row seats move forward for easy access, and the middle second-row seat even slides forward so front passengers can tend to little ones in a car seat. Its third row can comfortably seat two adults and still leave plenty of room in back for luggage and kid stuff.
EDMUNDS RECOMMENDS: The EX-L trim. Although it costs a good deal more than the EX trim, it adds a power liftgate, heated leather seating and forward collision warning. And, yes, it also has the integrated vacuum cleaner.
— Spacious and quiet cabin.
— Standard 3.5-liter V6 engine is fuel-efficient and refined.
— Exceptional handling.
— Pricey if you go for all the options.
— Removing the second-row seats is cumbersome.
2017 Ram 1500 Crew Cab (www.edmunds.com/honda/odyssey/2017/minivan/)
Starting MSRP: $40,840
Edmunds is seeing discounts in the $11,100 range, depending on package and region.
The Ram has not been redesigned for quite some time, but constant updates have kept it competitive with the competition. It’s one of our favorite pickups thanks to its smooth ride and well-designed interior.
EDMUNDS RECOMMENDS: The Laramie Longhorn, which wins for its unique exterior styling cues, keyless ignition and remote start. Plus there’s a wood interior trim, upgraded leather upholstery, a navigation system, and front and rear parking sensors.
— Smooth-riding suspension.
— Wide range of engine choices.
— Efficient, smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.
— Tow rating falls short of class leaders.
— Pricey upfront cost for the diesel engine.
— Lacks some of the latest driver safety technologies.
EDMUNDS SAYS: Car dealers will be crowded and busy this weekend. Shop online as much as possible and try to test-drive during the week.
This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds .
Matt Jones is a senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds. Twitter @supermattjones.
Edmunds: A Car Shopping Plan for Holiday Weekends http://edmu.in/2t3DE7X
Edmunds: How to Test-Drive a Car http://edmu.in/2t3Pr67
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