You may think of Consumer Reports as the go-to site for learning how a vehicle runs in the real world. If you’re thinking about proven reliability and fuel economy tests for cars and SUVs, it’s definitely a trusted source for that.
However, the nonprofit does more than nuts-and-bolts testing. Consumer Reports staff will also survey new-car deals on the market and highlight them for shoppers. In July 2018, the site listed a few dozen models selling below MSRP.
From that group, we pulled the SUVs with the biggest discounts available — from 12% to over 15% off. Here are five utility models with the biggest price drops for the second half of 2018.
1. Ford Edge
The Edge crossover, which runs on the Ford Fusion platform, got the Consumer Reports recommendation in the SEL trim. If you add all-wheel drive, that price tag would break $35,000.
However, a red-carpet lease offer ($3,750 off) and bonus cash could knock that price down closer to $30,000. This deal will appeal most to anyone considering a three-year lease.
2. Kia Sportage
In the competitive small SUV class, the redesigned Kia Sportage nabbed a CR recommendation for its quality drive experience and owner-satisfaction ratings. For auto consumers, the base (LX) model with AWD would run up the score over $26,000.
That’s where the Kia promotions page comes in handy. With the 2019 Sportage already rolling into dealerships, the 2018 edition is getting priced over 10% lower.
3. Hyundai Santa Fe
The 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe features solid fuel economy (over 20 mpg in real-world testing), a comfortable cabin, and the pleasant drive character that’s missing from some midsize SUVs. That’s how it got the recommendation from CR testers.
As far as pricing goes, the base (SE) model will run buyers about $33,500 with all-wheel drive. Hyundai’s retail bonus cash offers can drive the price down another $3,500 or so.
4. Ford Escape
While Consumer Reports knocked the fuel economy in the 1.5-liter Escape (23 mpg) , testers did some raving about the sportiness of Ford’s compact crossover. Add in the improved infotainment system (Sync 3) and quiet ride, and you can see how it got the CR recommendation for 2018.
If you’re building an Escape, adding all-wheel drive to the SE trim bumps the price up to around $28,000 with destination charges. That’s where the $3,500 in incentives will come into play. With that discount, you can likely get the total below $25,000. (You may need to go with Ford financing to get this deal, so read the fine print.)
5. Kia Sorento
For the last of the best SUV deals in 2018, we go back to Kia for the 2018 Sorento EX V6 with all-wheel drive. Ths model got very high marks from Consumer Reports, mainly for its strong road-test score and above-average owner satisfaction ratings. (Sorento also nailed down the IIHS Top Safety Pick for this model year.)
Building out an EX model with a V6 and AWD gets you to around $37,000. That’s when available $3,500 bonus cash comes into play. All told, shoppers can knock as much as 14% off the price.