Don't Be Fooled by Misleading Ads This President's Day

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

It’s not fair to say there’s no truth in advertising; commercials often show vehicles driving in a straight line down a dry road, and we all know they can do that. Only the most gullible among us thinks a new muscle car will improve their love life faster than Billy Dee Williams can crack open a can of Colt 45.

All too often, smokin’ deals do not await shoppers who leave the house without reading the fine print. And even that fine print can hide whether you’re actually getting a bargain. With President’s Day coming up on Monday, here’s a few examples of juicy car promotions that are sure to waste someone’s time.

Thanks to the folks at CarsDirect, who spend much of the day concerning themselves with such things, we now know not to be suckered in on a $199 lease on the outgoing 2017 Ford Fiesta. This offer, available in California, amounts to $241 a month for 36 month after a $1,499 downpayment. For a buck more a month, you could have a 2018 Ford Focus SEL instead. Four more smackeroos nets you a new Fusion SE with tech package.

While offers vary by region, buyers are more likely than lessees to find a Fiesta deal. Ford has $2,000 in customer cash on the hood of new Fiestas nationwide, with other incentives available for certain customers.

One shouldn’t pay much attention to ads claiming “up to $3,030 off MSRP” on a Nissan Rogue, either, unless you’re hell-bent on buying a Midnight Edition model. To get the full discount, a buyer would need to spring for the uplevel trim and have their financing handled by Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., which shaves $500 off the retail price. While lesser discounts are available for those seeking out lower-run Rogues, how many people are really interested in a SV-trim Nissan? Oh, right. Well, if that’s your bag, expect $1,780 cash back.

As this is 2018, juicy Rams sprout from advertisements everywhere. And what’s juicier than hearing of $11,856 in “total value”? You can just imagine eager would-be buyers shaving that sum from the MSRP of the one-up-from-base 1500 of their dreams (not TTAC readers, of course; they’re are too savvy to fall for such things.)

In reality, this lofty figure concerns only 2018 Big Horn models in a crew cab configuration. At around $41k, it’s hardly a bargain basement truck. As well, only 5,750 of those incentive dollars seem to apply to this particular model, and that’s only after financing through Chrysler Capital. FCA’s fine print says the remainder is what an average buyer can expect in dealer discounts, which isn’t something one can, ahem, bank on.

If you’re a lease customer, however, the Ram world becomes more generous. In Warren, Michigan, for example, there’s $7,500 in lease cash available for this same model. In L.A., that incentive falls to $5,250.

Be on your toes, President’s Day shopper.

[Image: Nissan]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Arach Arach on Feb 19, 2018

    Sometimes these catch me. For example, our dealership had a $199 with $2000 down on a 24 month lease on a crew cab silverado. I almost called, but then wrote it off as a scam. Which makes me wonder. I wonder if there is like that one random legitimate dealer who thinks "Gosh we put this great offer out there and no one even called on it!"

  • Sigivald Sigivald on Feb 19, 2018

    I am - but probably shouldn't be - sort of surprised anyone looks at "up to" savings claims and thinks "I will actually get that on the car I want".

  • Tassos Jong-iL The Peninsula of One Korea.
  • Eric No, I just share my opinions. I have no use nor time for rhetoric from any side.
  • Redapple2 Jeez. This is simple. I 75 and 696 area. 1 nobody -NOBODY wants to work in downtown Detritus. 2 close to the tech ctr. Design and Engineering HQ. 20 miles closer to Milford.3 lower taxes for the employees. Lower taxes for Evil GM Vampire.4 2 major expressways give users more options to suburbs. Faster transport.Jeez.
  • Clark The Ring (Nürburgring) is the only race track I've driven on. That was 1985 or 1986 with my '73 Fiat Spider (and my not-so-happy girlfriend). So I made the Karussell (today: Caracciola Karussell, which I believe the author meant; there is another one: Kleines Karussell).
  • AZFelix This article takes me back to racing electric slot cars with friends on tracks laid out in the basement. Periodically your car would stop due to lost connections or from flying off the track and you would have to dash over to it and set it right. In the mean time your competitor would race ahead until faced with a similar problem. It seemed like you were struggling harder to keep from losing than trying to win. Fun times.“History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.” Mark Twain