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Los Angeles, CA
Price Range (MSRP): $33,300 (S60) to $39,900 (S80)
Maker of some of the safest cars on the road, Volvo returns with a smaller lineup of passenger cars and SUVs for 2014.
For 2014, Volvo has given subtle front styling tweaks to several of its models, including the S60 and S80 sedans, the XC60 crossover, and the XC70 wagon. Last year, headlight washers and rain-sensing windshield wipers were added as standard equipment to every Volvo model.
The S60 midsize luxury sedan is the most exciting car Volvo offers when it comes to performance, featuring a trio of turbocharged engines and an adjustable chassis which changes to suit your mood, whether it be for a more composed ride or sporty hijinks.
Topping off Volvo’s lineup of passenger cars is the S80 which is filled with luxurious touches like hand-finished wood trim along the dash and steering wheel, and perforated leather seating surfaces. The five-seat S80 offers HD radio and Volvo’s Sensus system as standard equipment.
The compact XC60 crossover comes standard with Volvo’s City Safety system, which can detect obstacles and brakes the car at low speeds to avoid collisions if the driver fails to do so. It features 18-inch alloy wheels and a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The XC70 wagon seats five passengers across two rows and was built with family friendliness in mind, sporting features like available built-in rear booster seats and a powered tailgate. It also has plenty of off-road capability making it a very well rounded option for families on the go.
Rounding things out is the seven-seat XC90 midsize crossover, which got refreshed exterior styling in 2013 and instead adds new wheels and a new trim (3.2 R-Design) which offers a few more interior goodies like a digital compass, garage door opener, and grocery bag holders.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
We use your ZIP code to find accredited dealers in your area who will quote you their best internet price.