Five Great Cars for Christmas

December 10th, 2010

2011 BMW M3 GTS

If you really care that Beyonce gave her man a Bugatti Veyron for Christmas, read the post we published this morning. If you want a good year-end deal on any of four excellent cars under $25,000, read this one.

For some holiday extravagance, we included the BMW M3 (above), which, at around $58,000 for the coupe, is probably the best bargain in the sports-car world.

From now until the end of December, you will find dealers looking to unload their inventory of 2010 models—and in some cases 2009 leftovers—selling them at up to 7 percent off MSRP. Add to that some worthwhile factory rebates and incentives, and if you’ve got decent credit, now may be the time to make yourself feel like a celebrity.

The Chevrolet Cruze we wrote about in September has the lowest price (starting at $16,275) of any good compact, and it includes a bunch of standard equipment that most other makes charge extra for. With good looks and fuel economy, this car should be a winner for GM. No year-end rebates, but you can get 2.9 percent financing for 24-48 months.

2010 Volkswagen GTI MkVIThe 2010 Volkswagen GTI ($23,465 MSRP) continues and improves upon the hot-hatch formula the company established years ago. It will outperform anything but an all-out sports car, and carry your kids and stuff into the bargain. The 2011 is little changed from the 2010, so get the latter for 2.9 percent money (36-48 months), a $1,000 cash bonus, and some attractive lease offers.

Back in February, we called the 2011 Hyundai Sonata “sleek, attractive, economical, reliable, affordable, and fuel efficient.” It has also been winning a slew of well-deserved awards and accolades. Starting at just over $19,000, the redesigned Sonata can be bought with 2.9 percent financing (up to 60 months) or leased for 36 months at $199/month. Or buy the 2010 car with a nice $2,500 rebate plus $750 bonus cash, at 3.9 percent money (60 months).

The 2010 Mazda5 compact minivan/wagon (3 trims priced from $18,510 to $23,240) is priced right and, even better, year-end deals can get you up to $1,000 in cash rebates. Financing is 2.9 percent for 48 months. More details on this trend-setting car are in our story here.

2011 BMW M6To bring the holiday spirit to anyone’s jaded automotive soul, test-drive that BMW M3. It is a well-nigh perfectly balanced car with super handling and smooth V8 power. The 2011 car starts at $58,400, and you can buy it with 0.9 percent financing for 24 or 36 months. BMW is also offering the rather more electronic, expensive ($102,100), sport-luxe V10 M6 (right) at the same rate and with a $12,500 “hidden” dealer rebate that may tempt you.

Which of these cars would make your Christmas especially merry?

—jgoods

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Chevrolet Cruze
Used Volkswagen GTI
Used Hyundai Sonata
Used Mazda5
Used BMW M3
Used BMW M6

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