The Secrets to Your Lowest Possible Price on a New Car

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2016 Honda CR-V Overview

Price Range: $23,745 to $33,395

Your Price: Ask Us


Returning after a major update last year, the 2016 Honda CR-V is back with a new Special Edition trim level, but no other significant updates for the new model year.

The Special Edition (SE) is now the fifth trim level available on the CR-V and slots in above the LX, but below the EX, EX-L, and Touring. SE models get unique two-tone wheels, privacy glass in the rear and second-row, and a security system.

The CR-V goes head-to-head with the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 among others in a crowded small SUV segment. Last year’s styling updates brought the CR-V more in line with the rest of the Honda lineup and it bears a striking resemblance to the Accord sedan. The front grille is flanked by sharp headlight clusters, and an off-color lower element that pinches up to give the CR-V a more expressive fascia than the previous model. A power liftgate and is optional for easier loading/unloaded. The available 17- and 18-inch tires have also been widened, which improves grip.

Under the hood, the CR-V got a new engine/transmission combination in the refresh. The 185-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder (also borrowed from the Accord) is part of Honda’s “Earth Dreams” family of engines and combined with a CVT, gives the new CR-V a leg-up on fuel economy. Two-wheel drive models offer 27/34 mpg city/highway, with all-wheel drive models right behind at 26/33 mpg. The CR-V also got mechanical updates to improve drivability with a more rigid body structure, tighter steering ratios, and suspension updates.

Inside, the CR-V continues to offer a flexible cabin with its 60/40-split rear seats the fold and tumble forward with the simple tug of a strap. There is also what Honda calls a “conversation mirror” up front; the sunglasses holder flips down partway to reveal a mirror, so parents can see what’s going on in the backseat without having to turn around. The center console has been redesigned with removable partitions to customize the storage space.

The CR-V’s standard features list has expanded with air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, SMS text message functionality, power windows/locks, Pandora internet radio, USB port, and newly added vents for rear seat passengers coming on every CR-V. Although each trim level has only gone up around $200 in MSRP, the EX in particular gets a lot of new features such as Honda’s LaneWatch system, power driver’s seat, push button start, a power moonroof, heated front seats, and a 7-inch screen for the audio system.

Honda also introduces several new safety technologies to its lineup with the CR-V. The Touring trim features a new suite of safety features called “Honda Sensing” which employs sensors and a forward facing camera to power safety technology like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, a lane keeping assist system that will steer the car autonomously in short stints, forward collision warning, and a collision mitigation braking system. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, six airbags, an electronic stability system, and antilock brakes.

Secret 1: Consumer Incentives

Zero percent financing, employee discount, cash back, out-the-door price tags...

Most dealers work hard to offer the public competitive prices. These incentives can grab your attention, but they can also obscure the actual terms you're getting on your purchase.

How can you fully understand incentives to get the lowest possible price on your car?

Secret 2: Finance & Insurance

Most state franchise laws prohibit manufacturers from selling cars directly to the public, so the dealer will be your middleman. But in terms of financing and insurance, you can choose a bank or the dealer directly.

How can you determine what's in your best interest?

Secret 3: Additional Costs

Destination charges, taxes, license and title fees, advertising fees... When going to a dealership, you must ask for an explanation of any fee you don't understand. But you need to choose your battles wisely. Your local car dealer may have taken a loss or slim profit along the way, and your fighting over something like a doc fee when the deal is nearly wrapped up may be counterproductive.

In any case, there are many fees and charges in the sale process: some inevitable, others questionable.

How do you tell them apart?

Secret 4: Trade-in Value

If you currently own a car, it probably represents profit. The question is, whose profit will it be?

With few exceptions, you'll get the most money for your used car by selling it privately. That's because dealers pay wholesale prices — not retail prices — for used cars, and they sell them at retail.

Your current car's value can be used to lower the price on your new car. However, most people underestimate their used car's value when going to a dealership.

How can you maximize your value?

Secret 5: Dealer Holdback

The car manufacturer holds back a fraction of the price of all vehicles the dealership sells. Then, it returns the money to the dealership, usually on a quarterly basis.

Dealer holdback began its life as a safety net that ensured the manufacturers would have a security deposit of sorts if a dealership missed payments, and the dealerships would have money on hand to cover overhead costs when the holdback was returned.

How can you take advantage of dealer holdbacks to get the bottom line price?

Secret 6: Dealer Incentives

Unlike consumer incentives, dealer incentives are factory-to-dealer incentives that reduce the dealer's true cost to buy the vehicle from the factory to below invoice.

Manufacturers offer these incentives on a regional basis to generate sales on specific models. These incentives are sometimes referred to as "spiffs," and they can touch off competition among dealers to move slower-selling stock.

For instance, a dealer incentive may kick in when a certain sales target is reached, with each subsequent sale resulting in a higher factory-to-dealer rebate.

How can you benefit from that?

Get your free quote above and we'll tell you these secrets.
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