Hooniverse Asks: What's the most impressive rebate you've seen an automaker dish out?

If you want a Toyota Mirai, you’d better live close to a hydrogen station. In Southern California, that’s not a huge issue as there are a handful scattered around (including one around the corner from my house). Outside of The Golden State, however, you’re a bit out of luck. So a Mirai makes the most sense for a buyer in Southern California and Toyota is offering a healthy deal to put drivers into seats. It arrives in the form of a $15,000 fuel card.
Toyota says it should be good for three years of driving. So the car works for those three years or if you spend $15,000, whichever comes first. That’s a crazy deal, especially if you’re leasing the car and you’re likely to never have to pay for fuel.
What other rebates or deals have you heard of over the years that made you stop and think?

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16 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What's the most impressive rebate you've seen an automaker dish out?”

  1. GTXcellent Avatar

    I’ve never seen a better deal than the 20% off MSRP we got with the SS. If I remember correctly, there were several other GM vehicles included in that sale.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      That’s amazing

    2. Zentropy Avatar

      You got 20 percent off the SS?? What the hell? I couldn’t even FIND one on a lot (at least, with a manual transmission).
      Chevrolet sorely under-marketed the SS. And naming the car after a well-known trim level wasn’t too smart, either (personally, I think Chevelle would have been fitting). I didn’t mind the subtle looks, but they might have done a bit more to distinguish it from the lackluster Malibu.
      Regardless, that was a HUGE deal– congrats. If I find a 6-speed on a used lot, I’m buying it.

      1. GTXcellent Avatar

        You have no idea how lucky we got – I gave the running commentary/updates a couple of years ago, but to rehash:
        We ordered the car in December of 2015 (our agreement with the dealer was for invoice less any incentives – not too shabby). Through a series of delays and painful setbacks, the car took 7 months to be delivered. On July 1, GM announced the 20% off sale. Our car showed up on the 4th of July. We signed papers and took delivery on the 5th. On the 6th, GM announced a complete stop sale because of the seat belt issues.
        Regardless, I’d have paid MSRP for that car!

    3. P161911 Avatar

      Only 20%. I think I got $7,500 off the $25,000 sticker price on my Silverado. All I remember without looking at the paper work is that it was just a shade under $20k out the door after rebates, GM employee discount, tag, taxes, title, and a few added dealer options (under seat ray and bed extender). Sticker was right about $25k. It was at least 30% off. Two years later loan value was still more than I paid for the truck. I wish I could have gotten an SS for 20% off though.

  2. Zentropy Avatar

    The Mirai isn’t even sold outside CA, is it?
    That’s an amazing deal when paired with a lease. But isn’t the Mirai like $60k if you buy it? That, along with the $5K rebate, effectively brings the car down to around $40k, a number that still seems high to me. If I were to drive something as ugly as a Prius, I’d rather save myself $10-$15k and just buy a Prius.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Oh it’s ugly for sure… I think it starts at $58k, yes.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      I guess it would make sense as a company car for someone who drives a lot for work? The car is provided by your company, the fuel is paid for by Toyota, I wonder if you still get the 54.5 cents/mile credit from the IRS if your fuel is free??

  3. 0A5599 Avatar

    If I bought a 60’s muscle car that got only 10 mpg, drove it 15,000 miles per year, burning $3.00 per gallon gas, I’d be spending. $4,500 in annual fuel costs. I’d also be able to fill the tank anyplace that had a gas station. I’d get a driver-quality car for half the cost of a Mirai, and three years from now it wouldn’t lose any significant value, and valet parkers would still put it up front.
    Why would anyone spend $5k per year fueling a caricature of a local-trips-only Toyota that’s going to depreciate another $10k per year on top of that?

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Car buying isn’t rational though – either way (financial/ecological rationality etc). After about five years in my semi-embarrassing Honda, I have spend about 210k NOK (25k$) total in purchase, fuel, insurance, maintenance, tolls etc. That’s about the price of a new Toyota Yaris, Peugeot 208 or Kia Rio – without driving it off the dealer’s lot. Obviously, residual woul differ and what I get differs a lot, too, but moving from A to B at low-ish cost is the one goal I achieve with that.

  4. P161911 Avatar

    I mentioned it before, but when I got my Leaf the discounts were pretty hefty. It included a $7,500 Federal EV tax credit, a $5,000 Georgia state income tax, some sort of Nissan rebate. All I know is that for the 24 month/ 24k miles lease the payments were effectively about $75/month before gas savings after the income tax rebate.

  5. outback_ute Avatar

    Holden were doing big discounts on Commodores when the GFC hit, closer to 20 than 10% from memory, because they needed the cashflow. The story is that all invoices were normally paid through head office in Detroit (I expect revenue went the same way), bit during the GFC everything stopped.

  6. 0A5599 Avatar

    Zap Xebras were about 75% off while the company was circling the drain. I talked to the owner of the pickup version when it still had temporary tags. He didn’t have high expectations, but thought it was a cheap enough risk. A few months later I met someone with a car version parked in the lot of a bar I was visiting. He seemed surprised he made it that far.
    I don’t believe either owner was a geologist.

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    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Worst vehicle I have ever owned.
      So far.

  7. 0A5599 Avatar

    I know a couple people who made out pretty well after purchasing a TDI.

  8. tonyola Avatar

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/467ae87aedaad0db9e6cf709b22eb4dc43f8c3ace230c1fd324909f0952a3f6c.jpg In 1970, our local Buick/AMC/Subaru dealer was foisting off new Subaru 360s for $399, or about 67% off the original list price. This was after Consumer Reports and everyone else in the world declared the car unsafe.