Don’t be Fooled by Misleading Ads This President’s Day

2017 Nissan Rogue SL - Image: Nissan

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]