7 great lease and rebate deals on 2016 cars

  • GM

    With July auto sales flat and dealers hoping to clear their lots for the 2017 models, automakers are boosting financial incentives with rebates, lease deals and zero percent financing.

    Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) both saw declining sales last month from July a year earlier, and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) was just barely positive. This came despite the highest promotional incentives of the year in July -- $3,410 per vehicle sold, according to Kelley Blue Book. That's $339 more than a year earlier.

    After the flat July sales, a Ford executive predicted higher incentives in August and September. "Automakers are going to want to protect their share, and you get some escalation of incentives," Mark LaNeve, Ford sales and marketing vice president, told reporters.

    Against that backdrop, we went looking for some of the best lease and cash-back deals at dealerships now. In addition to the seven deals we examine, various manufacturers are offering zero percent financing for up to six years for buyers with strong credit ratings.

    We selected the most interesting deals from lists published by U.S. News and Kelley Blue Book. Two of our lease deals have the unusually good feature of requiring no down payment at signing. And two other deals combine cash back with zero percent financing, which is typically an either-or choice.

    Read on to learn about seven great lease and rebate deals you can get now on 2016 cars.

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    Jerry Edgerton, author of Car Shopping Made Easy, has been covering the car beat since Detroit companies dominated the U.S. market. The former car columnist for Money magazine and Washington correspondent for Business Week, Edgerton specializes in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.