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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
don t be fooled by misleading ads this president s day

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]

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2 of 22 comments
  • 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".

  • MaintenanceCosts This is now our fourth 20th Anniversary GTI, and the third of those four that had major structural modifications for purely aesthetic reasons. I didn't picture Tim as the type to want to join the STANCE YO crowd, but here we are?
  • JMII This is why I don't watch NASCAR, it just a crash fest. Normally due the nature of open-wheel cars you don't see such risky behavior during Indy car events. You can't trade paint and bump draft with an Indy car. I thought it was a sad ending for a 500. While everyone wants a green flag finish at some point (3 laps? 5 laps?) red flagging it is just tempting people too much like a reset button in a game.The overall problem is the 500 is not a "normal" race. Many one-off competitors enter it and for almost every driver they are willing to throw away the entire season championship just to win the "500". It sure pays way more then winning the championship. This would be like making a regular season NFL game worth more then the Super Bowl. This encourages risky behavior.I am not sure what the fix is, but Indy's restart procedures have been a mess for years. If I was in charge the rule would be pit speed limiter until the green flag drops at a certain place on the track - like NASCARs restart "zone". Currently the leader can pace the field however they wish and accelerate whenever they choose. This leads to multiple false and jumped starts with no penalty for the behavior. Officals rarely wave off such restarts, but that did happened once on Sunday so they tried to make driver behave. The situation almost didn't happen as there were two strategies in the end with some conserving fuel and running old tires, driving slower with others racing ahead. However the last caution put everyone on even terms so nobody had advantage. It always gets crazy in the last few laps but bunching up the field with a yellow or red flag is just asking for trouble.
  • Tim Healey Lol it's simply that VWVortex is fertile ground for interesting used cars!
  • Jalop1991 I say, install gun racks.Let the games begin!
  • EBFlex For those keeping track, Ford is up to 24 recalls this year and is still leading the industry. But hey, they just build some Super Dutys that are error free. Ford even sent out a self congratulatory press release saying they built Super Duty’s with zero defects. What an accomplishment!