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Los Angeles, CA
The luxury division of Honda, Acura offers a five-car lineup of sedans and crossovers. Their combination of Honda reliability with high-quality materials and cabins loaded with standard features is hard to beat.See all Acura models
Known for its four-ring logo and sharp, minimalistic designs, the German luxury automaker offers a full lineup of cars and SUVs of all sizes, from the ultra-luxurious S8 sedan to the bite-sized Q3 crossover.See all Audi models
BMW has one of the largest fleets of vehicles in a wide range of sizes and body types, from convertibles to SUVs. It focuses on performance and is fittingly home to the legendary M performance division.See all BMW models
Part of General Motors, Buicks can easily be identified by their signature portholes which can be found on all of their models, including the tiny Encore, one of the most unique SUVs on the road today.See all Buick models
The luxury division of GM was traditionally known for making comfortable cruisers, but Cadillac has changed gears with a new focus on performance and design with the introduction of cars like the CTS and ATS.See all Cadillac models
The largest of GM's four divisions offers a diverse lineup from tiny sedans to giant heavy duty pickup trucks. Chevy is also home to two American muscle car legends: the Camaro and Corvette.See all Chevrolet models
With a tidy, four-vehicle lineup that includes three sedans and a minivan, Chrysler offers near luxury levels of comfort and brash styling — especially on the 300 sedan, its most recognizable model.See all Chrysler models
Dodge remains the home for American muscle and retro styling, with cars like the Charger and Challenger which combine the latest in technology and comfort with rear-wheel drive for tire shredding fun.See all Dodge models
Gone from U.S. shores for more than two decades, the Italian automaker returned to America with the tiny 500 microcar in 2010. It now offers several varieties of the 500, including an emissions-free electric version.See all FIAT models
The "Blue Oval" made the first mass produced car, the Model T, and is now one of the largest carmakers in the world. Its F-series pickup trucks have been the best-selling vehicles in America for over 30 years.See all Ford models
Genesis is the luxury division of the Hyundai Motor Company. Earning a great reputation on value and warranty for all its vehicles, the Korean automaker is now targeting the luxury car companies on style and classiness.See all Genesis models
GMC is the heavy-duty branch of GM, with a lineup full of SUVs, trucks, and work vans. GMC vehicles also offer better materials and features than their Chevrolet counterparts, with upscale cabins and bolder styling.See all GMC models
Renowned for the reliability and value of its vehicles, Honda also keeps a close eye on safety — all of the vehicles in the Japanese automaker's lineup now come with a standard rearview camera.See all Honda models
Hyundai offers one of the best warranties in the business (10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty) and has extensively overhauled many of its vehicles recently, giving them modern styling and even more standard equipment.See all Hyundai models
Nissan's luxury division focuses on performance and driver enjoyment. Infiniti renamed all of its vehicles recently to make them simpler to understand: passenger cars get a Q, while SUVs feature a QX.See all Infiniti models
British luxury meets high-performance in Jaguar's four-car lineup, ranging from the high-performance F-TYPE coupe and roadster to the ultra-sleek XJ flagship sedan, which has an interior fit for a queen.See all Jaguar models
Synonymous with off-road capability, Jeeps are known for their ability to drive over (or through) anything to get you where you need to go, especially the iconic Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited.See all Jeep models
Kia's lineup features some of the best values in all of automotive, with affordable vehicles that don't skimp on the standard features or modern styling, and one of the best warranties around.See all Kia models
Land Rover features a lineup of SUVs designed to get you anywhere in elegant comfort and style, with richly-appointed cabins full of leather and technology riding on very capable four-wheel-drive platforms.See all Land Rover models
Toyota's luxury division is renowned for the reliability and quiet comfort of its cars. Lexus has also embraced hybrid technology in its lineup with vehicles like the CT 200h hatchback and RX 450h SUV.See all Lexus models
Ford's upscale marque offers a diverse lineup of passenger cars and SUVs that seek to provide luxury features at non-luxury prices. Lincoln vehicles can be easily identified by their large, split-wing front grilles.See all Lincoln models
The Japanese automaker places a heavy emphasis on the fun side of driving, making some of the most driver-friendly cars on the road today, including the iconic Miata roadster and the CX-5 compact crossover.See all Mazda models
German luxury epitomized, Mercedes-Benz doesn't just make comfortable cars — it also produces some of the safest vehicles on the road today and offers the latest advancements in safety technology and driver aids.See all Mercedes-Benz models
Quintessentially British, MINIs come with a unique style and feel all their own. Since its return to American shores, MINI's lineup has expanded to include a crossover and the cargo-friendly Clubman as well.See all MINI models
The smallest of the Japanese automakers still on American shores, Mitsubishi's lineup has shrunk over the past few years but still includes one of the most affordable new cars anywhere — the Mirage, which starts at under $13,000.See all Mitsubishi models
Nissan is the Japanese company that takes the most risks with its styling. It offers a full range of vehicles, from the affordable Versa sedan and hatchback to the versatile Pathfinder three-row crossover.See all Nissan models
Porsche is most known for its sports cars, which are exceptional, but the German automaker from Stuttgart also offers a high-performance sedan and two SUVs to keep up with the times.See all Porsche models
Specializing in work vehicles, RAM broke off from Dodge and is the home to Chrysler's lineup of work vans and pickup trucks. They come in a variety of sizes and capabilities, enough to handle any job thrown at them.See all RAM models
smart only makes one car, the diminutive fortwo, which is designed to thrive in urban environments. There is no parking space too small or alleyway too narrow for the fortwo.See all smart models
Known for safety and reliability, Subaru is the only automaker to offer standard all-wheel drive on each vehicle it sells. Impressively, every car in its lineup is an IIHS Top Safety Pick award winner.See all Subaru models
Now one of the largest carmakers on the planet, Toyota helped to put hybrid cars into the mainstream and continues to lead the way for alternative fuels like hydrogen. And remember — reliability is spelled T-o-y-o-t-a.See all Toyota models
The only non-luxury German automaker currently in the United States, Volkswagen offers German engineering at affordable prices. It also produces the fun-to-drive Golf and GTI, two of the best small cars on the market.See all Volkswagen models
Volvo's ambitious goal is to have zero fatalities in their vehicles by 2020, a fitting vision for a company that puts safety first. Its cars also feature premium cabin materials and understated Swedish styling.See all Volvo models
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?