NEWS

What’s the Best New-Car Deal for September 2021?

september-sales-21 September car deals | Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

With September comes back to school, tailgating and fall road trips. Along with falling leaves, car shoppers typically see falling prices on current model-year vehicles as new models start to arrive at dealerships. The vehicle inventory shortage remains stubbornly persistent, however, and deals remain sparse. Due to the ongoing global microchip shortage, car shoppers are encountering higher prices for both new and used vehicles, and common negotiating tactics are unlikely to move the needle.

Related: Inventory Shortage Leaves Little Room for Haggling; Here Are 5 Other Ways to Save on Your Car Purchase

According to J.D. Power’s August report, the average new-vehicle incentive last month hit a record low of 4.3%, which is down over five percentage points from the prior year. 2021 models are still very much in demand, even as 2022 vehicles start to roll in. Meanwhile, average used-car prices are at record highs, up 17% over last year, and narrowing the gap with new vehicles in some cases.

Despite the challenges, the goal of finding the right vehicle at a fair price is attainable. The key is taking the time to prepare, researching many different makes and models, and remaining flexible. Choosing a lesser-known model and arriving at the dealership ready to buy is also advised in the current environment. To further help shoppers save on a new vehicle, we found thousands of dollars in deals on 2021 SUVs and trucks for September. Read below to find out where you can best save your money.

chevrolet-equinox-rs-2021-02-angle--exterior--front--red.jpg 2021 Chevrolet Equinox | Manufacturer image

Chevrolet Equinox

  • Factory discount: $3,000, excluding base trim
  • Approximate price after savings: $24,500-$43,500
  • Approximate factory savings: 6-11%
  • Offer ends: Sept. 30

Ahead of a postponed refresh that’s now happening for 2022, the Chevrolet Equinox once again lands among the best car deals for September. Equinox shoppers can get $3,000 cash back on the LS, LT and Premium models, a savings of 6% to 11% depending on trim and options. The base L trim is excluded from the offer, but like most of Chevrolet’s L trims, it’s a rare find at dealer lots. Even though updated 2022 Equinox models are beginning to trickle in, 2021 models comprise nearly three-quarters of all new Equinox inventory as of this writing. In lieu of cash offers, shoppers with good credit can opt for 0% financing for 72 months on either model year if they finance with parent company GM. All deals are valid through Sept. 30.

Shop the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox near you

Chevrolet Certified
2021 Chevrolet Equinox 1LT
5,125 mi.
$29,995
Good Deal
CPO Warrantied
Home Delivery
Virtual Appointments
New
2021 Chevrolet Equinox LS
$25,280 $3,000 price drop
Home Delivery
Virtual Appointments
chevrolet-traverse-high-country-awd-2020-01-angle--black--dynamic--exterior--front.jpg 2020 Chevrolet Traverse | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Chevrolet Traverse

  • Factory discount: $1,500, excluding base trim
  • Approximate price after savings: $33,000-$57,500
  • Approximate factory savings: 3-4%
  • Offer ends: Sept. 30

With summer’s end comes back-to-school season, and shoppers in the market for a large family hauler can save on the Chevrolet Traverse this month. The three-row SUV is ready for soccer practice or road trips, with seating for up to eight and a maximum towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds. On all but the base L trim, families can save $1,500 on the 2021 model year, which still makes up 95% of new Traverse inventory on Cars.com as of this writing. Through the end of the month, a financing offer of 0% for 72 months can take the place of the cash deal for creditworthy shoppers who finance through GM.

Shop the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse near you

Used
2021 Chevrolet Traverse LT Cloth
7,354 mi.
$40,543 $1,452 price drop
Good Deal | $399 under
Home Delivery
Virtual Appointments
New
2021 Chevrolet Traverse LT Leather
$44,020 MSRP $45,715
Hot Car
Home Delivery
Virtual Appointments
jeep-cherokee-2020-01-angle--dynamic--exterior--front--white.jpg 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Manufacturer image

Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • Factory discount: $2,250, excluding SRT and Trackhawk
  • Approximate price after savings: $34,000-$70,500
  • Approximate factory savings: 3-6%
  • Offer ends: Sept. 30

The Jeep Grand Cherokee attracts a wide range of SUV shoppers, from small families to off-road enthusiasts. This month, Jeep cut the price of its five-seater SUV by $2,250 in the markets we surveyed. This includes 2021 Grand Cherokee models like the 80th Anniversary Edition, which adds leather seats, 20-inch wheels and more safety features. Excluded from the September deals are the performance-oriented SRT and Trackhawk trims. The 2021 Grand Cherokee makes up nearly all new inventory on Cars.com as the 2022 model has not yet arrived. Creditworthy shoppers who finance with Jeep parent company Stellantis can skip the cash offers in favor of 0% financing for 72 months or 0% financing for 48 months with $2,000-$2,500 in bonus cash in most areas we surveyed. The cash and financing offers each are available through Sept. 30.

Shop the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee near you

Used
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
16,606 mi.
$47,500 $500 price drop
Good Deal
Home Delivery
Virtual Appointments
Used
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
16,218 mi.
$47,500 $500 price drop
Good Deal
Home Delivery
Virtual Appointments
19-Ram-1500-Classic_OEM 2019 Ram 1500 Classic | Manufacturer image

Editor’s Choice: Ram 1500 Classic

  • Factory discount: $2,500 for regular-cab models
  • Approximate price after savings: $28,000-$50,000
  • Approximate factory savings: 5-8%
  • Offer ends: Sept. 30

As more pickup trucks cross into premium territory, affordable workhorses are becoming increasingly harder to come by. One strategy for shoppers is to look for previous-generation trucks still available as new models for 2021. The Ram 1500 Classic is just such a truck and returns as Editor’s Choice this month, with up to $2,500 off for the regular cab in Tradesman and Express trims in the regions we surveyed. The 2021 1500 Classic makes up nearly all of the new inventory for the truck’s regular-cab style. Shoppers can save some 5-8% on the Ram 1500 Classic in most metros or, alternately, take advantage of financing deals including 0% for 72 months or 0% for 48 months, and up to $4,250 in bonus cash for creditworthy buyers who finance through Ram’s parent Stellantis.

Shop the 2021 Ram 1500 Classic near you

New
2021 RAM 1500 Classic SLT
$40,579 MSRP $47,265
Home Delivery
Virtual Appointments
New
2021 RAM 1500 Classic Tradesman
$42,705 MSRP $45,055
Home Delivery
Virtual Appointments

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How We Look for Deals

To help car shoppers find the best deals for September, we researched deals among the top 50 bestselling models in the U.S. for the first two quarters of 2021, based on Automotive News’ sales data. We lead with cash deals available to shoppers at large, not those that require financing with the automaker or having certain qualifications (e.g., military or college-graduate discounts, loyalty or conquest bonuses, etc.). In calculating the overall percentage discount and pricing after incentives, we focus on the vehicle’s price range from the cheapest incentives-eligible trim level with no factory options to the priciest eligible trim with all factory options. We include the destination charge in such pricing, but we exclude a few other items: taxes and fees, which vary considerably by region, and dealer accessories, which vary considerably by automaker.

Because these are factory discounts, they should be available to all participating dealers. As such, use them as the starting point for negotiations, not a reason to skip haggling altogether.

Incentives data come from automakers’ websites, while days-to-turn data come from Cars.com inventory. Remember, our numbers are current as of publication for the markets we survey (generally Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and New York). They reflect advertised customer discounts, not unadvertised factory-to-dealer cash. Discount financing typically requires qualifying credit, too, and incentives may vary by region and trim level; automakers may also change them later in the month. In sum: Your discounts may vary, so check with your local dealer for specifics.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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