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Toyota GR86 and Toyota 86
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Dealership and dash: Best new cars to take for a test drive

We hate going to the dealers. Don’t you? For many, going to the dealership is a stressful and unpleasant chore meant to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. However, it does open up the world of fun, drivable cars to the world of consumers, and there is nothing saying you can’t take some fun vehicles out for a test drive just for enjoyment. Just a wee taste. We’re not saying you gotta sign the papers on these things, but maybe, just maybe, a trip to your local dealer can be a fun way to kill an afternoon to sample some fresh metal you might actually want to buy. Or not.

Mazda MX-5 Miata – The impractical romance

For many drivers, the Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t practical enough to own (though some of us don’t car), but they are absolutely worth a trip to the dealership to enjoy. Backed by decades of Miata reliability and presented with new styling and features, it’s obvious why this little two-door is a fan favorite. On paper, it may seem underpowered with an 181 horsepower engine, but the power-to-weight ratio of this minimalist car makes up for the difference. Don’t believe us? Drop by your local Mazda dealership and take one for a spin.

Acura Integra – Civic Deluxe

The Acura Integra was a fan favorite in the 1990s and early 2000s, and it made a strong comeback in 2024. With a buyer-friendly entry-level price of $31,800 for base models with a turbo 1.5-liter four-banger, this sporty sedan might trick you into turning your test drive into a spur-of-the-moment purchase. Bonus points: you can find A-Specs with six-speed manuals for that added enthusiast value. At 320 horsepower from the highest Type-S trim, it isn’t the most performance-oriented car, but it is practical and engaging — so we deem it well worth taking on a test drive, especially if you’re not willing to fork over the price premium over its Civic Type R sibling.

Toyota GR86 – Poor man’s Porsche

We’ve rambled a lot about the Toyobaru twins in past buyers’ guides, but the Toyota GR86 really should be on the “must test drive” list of every car enthusiast. It and its slightly tamer-tuned BRZ twin carry the torch of the affordable sports car deep into the 2020s. This sporty two-door has great looks and receives extra bonus points for the option of manual transmission and a nod to the Trueno for additional brand heritage. While muscle car enthusiasts and large-displacement engine purists would scoff at the 2.4-liter flat-four engine making “only” 228 horsepower, the peppy throttle response and tight handling make the Toyota GR86 one of the most acclaimed products in recent memory and one of the best new sports cars on the market

BMW i4 – Just a dandy EV

The BMW i4 has dominated reviews and “best of” lists this year, and if you’re wondering why, then it’s probably time to take one out for a spin. Buyers may be too timid to drop the $52,000 to $69,700 sticker prices you can expect to see on these electric vehicles. Still, from appearances to the driving experience, it is easy for EV-skeptics to forget that this isn’t a gasoline-powered performance sedan. What’s more impressive is how the i4 M50 is rated for performance that not only parallels a rear-drive M3 Competition but exceeds it, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds. 

Alfa Romeo Giulia – Driver’s delight, mechanics nightmare

The Alfa Romeo Giulia may be a bit harder to find as Alfa Romeo dealerships aren’t as common as some more popular brands, but that’s what makes taking the Giulia for a spin a bit of extra fun. Most consumers haven’t experienced this brand, even if it is a well-equipped and reasonably priced entry-level luxury sedan. But, since we are looking for a great drive and ignoring the price — we aren’t here to buy, after all — go for the M3-fighting Quadrifoglio trim and enjoy the 505-horsepower provided by a peppy twin-turbo V6 engine. You can thank us later. Just make sure to opt for an extended warranty if you really decide to sign those papers on a Quadrifoglio at the end of the day.

Kia K5 – A cooler Camry

Over the past decade, we have seen Kia transform from a caterpillar into a market-competitive butterfly, and the Kia K5 more than proves that. In fact, the K5 breaks the mold for what people expect of an affordable, practical, entry-level luxury car at a starting price of $25,590 and a reliable amount of pep from a fuel-efficient engine. Oh, and by the way, the GT-Line rocks a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder that squeezes out 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet while still scoring 32 mpg on the highway, wink-wink. Do with that information as you wish.

Test driving cars for fun is a great way to spend time behind the wheel of different vehicles, get a feel for what is available on the market, and, most importantly, enjoy some drive time for great cars like those in this list. And hey, even if it turns out that you hate the car you just drove, well, at least you got to try before you buy. Or, you fell in love at first wack of the throttle, then at least you got to take that car on a first date before making that commitment. That’s only fair as major stepping stones in life should always have a little trial run.

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A motor court driveway full of vehicles overlayed with the text "Acceleramota presents: The best car deals of the day"
Deals

The 50 best lease deals and car sales of May 2024

Among our favorite pastimes at Acceleramota is mindlessly scrolling through car deals and sharing the best ones to help people like you (or myself) save money. Ask my wife. The only way I can muster the strength to get out of bed is to find the most cursed Facebook Marketplace listing that morning, and from the laughter-induced dopamine rush, I emerge. But, in genuine pursuit of the best lease deals and finance offers, nothing beats CarGurus. Our marketplace of choice for new and used cars, CarGurus, will connect you directly with a local dealer to redeem these sweet, sweet car lease deals and sales you’ll find on vehicles from all the top auto brands, including Kia, Mazda, Jeep, Chevrolet, Honda, and more!

Quick notes before I set you loose! As some dealers recently signed up with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to apply EV tax credits at the point of sale, keep an eye out for these models. Purchasing one from the right dealer could add even more savings – up to $7,500. That said, if you lease an electric car, any electric car, including plug-in hybrids like the Mazda CX-90, is eligible. In my experience leasing an Alfa Romeo Tonale, dealers are happy to pass on the savings. And when you’re in the market for a luxury vehicle, leasing can make more sense than buying anyway, especially when you can write it off on your taxes.

And don’t forget this. If you think you can score a better lease deal than what’s advertised here, you probably can. Dealer-specific lease offers can sometimes beat out what’s advertised by the manufacturer, depending on inventory and regional trends. So, if you suspect you can score an even hotter lease deal, then by all means, contact your local dealers, which you can do through consumer sites like CarGurus.

(Editor’s Note: Updated April 30, 2024. See updated pricing and new/refreshed offerings from Acura and Land Rover!)

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Acura deals and finance offers

2024 Acura MDX | $589 per month for 24 months ($5,999 due at signing)

Acura MDX
Image credit: Acura

Acura’s lovable, spacious, and dynamic crossover SUV has proven to be an endearing and honest-to-goodness luxury product despite lacking any ultra-advanced tech gimmicks or outlandish styling that rivals may have. Instead, the MDX, which we’ve sampled in its Type S performance trim, delivers luxury in the form of a plush ride, expansive glass with great outward visibility, and an ergonomic interior with a healthy dose of good ol’ reliable physical buttons for managing climate and stereo controls.

2024 Acura Integra | $349 per month for 24 Months ($4,999 due at signing)

2024 Acura Integra
Image credit: Acura

The Integra has a more defined and premium feel than other vehicles in its category, Civic-based or not. While it might not be as flashy as its rival companies, it certainly makes up for those shortcomings in how it handles the road smoothly and safely. It’s a decent value for its proportions and a worthwhile successor to the old Integra nameplate, complete with a decent and lengthy warranty compared to its rivals in this space.

Audi deals and finance offers

2024 Audi Q5 | $523 per month for 36 Months ($4,917 due at signing)

2024 Audi Q5
Image credit: Audi

Audio continues its history of comfort with the Q5. This luxury SUV is superbly quiet for its size, but they do say true luxury whispers. This model adds heated steering wheels as a standard. So if chilly morning commutes are a part of your week, this good be a lifesaver. Speaking of which, the Q5 faired well in crash tests. This paired with automated emergency braking, forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts you’ll feel more than secure even with up to five passengers.

2024 Audi A3 | $440 per month for 36 Months ($3,834 due at signing)

2024 Audi A3
Image credit: Audi

For 20 years, the A3 has been an affordable small sudan and steady seller for Audi around the world. A more fuel-efficient entry makes this a great day-to-day sedan for the aspiring yuppie. The A3 is a bit more expensive than comparable vehicles but it is a smidge more performance-focused with a dose of added modernity and maturity. So what do you need for a few extra thousand? But all signs point to this being a dream to drive in all types of weather.

Buick deals and finance offers

2024 Buick Envista | $239 per month for 24 Months ($3,480 due at signing)

2024 Buick Envista
Image credit: Buick

The Envista is incredibly versatile, and it should cost an arm and a leg… But it doesn’t. Given the current market, this subcompact SUV is very affordable and well worth the investment. Buick designed this with a beautiful exterior, giving off the vibe that it’s a high-end luxury vehicle when it’s also a spunky, fuel-sipping crossover. It’s a good size for those who do not want to commit to a much larger SUV but still need the backseat space for pets, kids, and anything in between. A plus rating across the board for a Buick that’s under $25,000. Now, that’s crazy.

2023 Buick Envision | $309 per month for 24 Months ($3,929 due at signing)

Buick Envision
Image credit: Buick

Although the Buick Envision was discontinued in November last year, it is still an incredibly sleek compact SUV. Its sophisticated aerodynamic lines are in line with that of past Buicks. Exceptional fuel efficiency and smooth cruising have made this the 14th most reliable luxury and small compact SUV at iseecars.com. With heated seats and a heated steering wheel, this is a fan favorite for drivers in chillier climates. And the smart All-Wheel Drive means it tackles snow effortlessly.

2024 Buick Enclave | $479 per month for 24 Months ($4,977 due at signing)

Buick Enclave
Image credit: Buick

Buick is known for luxury, and they didn’t skimp on those details when designing the Enclave. A roomy interior means you can take up to seven passengers on your next trip, of which you’ll be riding in style. Every detail was well thought out with the lavishness you want from Buick. Plus, there is a moonroof for a panoramic view of the night sky. This is a dream for stargazers. The Enclave has a predicted reliability score of 85 out of 100, according to J.D. Power, which is great for an SUV of this stature.

BMW deals and finance offers

2024 BMW i4 | $499 per month for 36 Months ($4,599 due at signing)

2024 BMW i4
Image credit: BMW

BMW enters the all-electric chat. The i4 is a Gran Coupe that delivers a maximum range of up to 307 miles of smooth driving. With a driving performance that charts better than the gas-powered M cars that preceded it, this BMW is a fair entry into EVs. Now in it’s fifth-generation the eDrive technology is vastly improved. Even the position of the battery has changed the car’s center of gravity to ensure a smooth and secure ride every time. High-tensile steel and aluminum were used to mold this vehicle into a sleek beautiful car like only BMW could design.

2024 BMW X1 | $579 per month for 36 Months ($4,589 due at signing)

2024 BMW X1
Image credit: BMW

The BMW X1 is a classier station wagon. Just kidding, it’s BMW’s most affordable SUV, and there’s currently a lease deal on the all-wheel-drive, turbo four-banger xDrive28i. The X1 rates exceptionally on many lists in several categories and is probably one of the best SUVs available currently. Customers have noted its quick reflexes and roomy cabin, making it perfect no matter if it’s run to the grocery store or a jaunt out in the woods. A Benz for all seasons.

Jeep deals and finance offers

2023 Jeep Renegade | $339 per month for 42 Months ($4,599 due at signing)

Jeep Renegade
Image credit: Jeep

Outside of having a totally badass name, the Jeep Renegade is a solid and affordable SUV. This is Jeep’s smallest vehicle, and while this will be the year you’ll find it in America and Canada, there is still plenty of value in it. It’s dang roomy for its size, and the fuel efficiency is excellent, whether you’re running around town or heading into the wilderness for a camping trip. While it might not be as agile as its brother, the Wrangler, it handles bumps and humps better than many of its competitors.

2024 Jeep Wrangler | $349 per month for 36 Months ($4,899 due at signing)

Jeep Wrangler
Image credit: Jeep

Speak of the devil! The current-gen JL Wangler is the best version to ever exist. Packed with all the features, toughness, and reliability of previous generations, everything got upgraded. This off-road legend is timeless and always gets the job done. With a comfy interior and higher-end trims, you’d imagine this to be a much more costly vehicle than it is. There is a reason everyone knows the Wrangler. Trustworthiness and solid safety will earn you a legacy like that. 

Cadillac deals and finance offers

2024 Cadillac CT4 | $399 per month for 36 Months ($3,739 due at signing)

Cadillac CT4
Image credit: Cadillac

A solid entry in the luxury car space, the Cadillac CT4 is a compact premium sports sedan whose performance more than makes up for its size, thanks to the Camaro-based Alpha Platform chassis. This sporty and reasonably priced sedan allows those with a smaller budget to still enjoy the opulence of a Caddy. The Cadillac Smart System safety tech suite is really where the car shines and makes it worth every penny.

2024 Cadillac XT4 | $469 per month for 36 Months ($3,509 due at signing)

Cadillac XT4
Image credit: Cadillac

Cadillac’s smallest SUV is certainly big on details. A feature that truly makes this feel like a vehicle of the future is exterior LED lighting. Stay with me. Now, both the front and the rear have IntelliBeam auto high-beam. This is such a cool look on a very sleek SUV. With a nine-speed automatic transmission, front- or all-wheel drive, and a turbocharged engine, the XT4 certainly has speed on its side. If you think it’s time to own a Cadillac, you won’t regret this one. 

Chrysler deals and finance offers

2024 Chrysler Pacifica | $564 per month for 36 Months ($4,069 due at signing)

2024 Chrysler Pacifica
Image credit: Chrysler

My favorite thing about the Chrysler Pacifica is that it was so obviously used in product placement for a certain era of time, like in the Desperate Housewives PC game in 2012. A few Chryslers were but the Pacifica was prominent. But I digress, it has remained a best-seller for Chrysler and a fan favorite for soccer moms nationwide. It is, after all, America’s most-awarded all-wheel-drive minivan. This version is the only van that offers both gas and plug-in power.

Hyundai deals and finance offers

2024 Hyundai Elantra | $199 per month for 36 Months ($3,499 due at signing)

Image credit: Hyundai

One of the most affordable cars on the market, the Hyundai Elantra is in a class all its own. The 2024 version sees leaps in both tech and styling. The modern and streamlined shape makes it perfectly stylish for every day and long-haul journeys. This compact sedan also allows you to turn your phone into a key. Create a digital key to share with loved ones so they can unlock doors without your assistance. Integrating technology seamlessly into our vehicles and lives is all we’ve dreamed of.

2024 Hyundai Kona | $232 per month for 36 Months ($4,012 due at signing)

Image credit: Hyundai

The Kona is on the smaller side of SUVs, yet it manages all weather conditions with confidence and skill. Don’t let size be a deterrent; this is a safe and featureful vehicle. The Kona’s all-wheel drive maintains a firm grip on the slickest of streets, making it a great pick for locations with ever-changing forecasts.

Mazda deals and finance offers

2024 Mazda CX-30 | $244 per month for 36 Months ($2,999 due at signing)

Image credit: Mazda

Elegance was certainly in the minds of the designers for the Mazda CX-30. It quite literally is a work of art. Light and shadow are perfectly captured as this vehicle moves at all speeds; a constantly shifting S-curve dances along the doors. But it is also there as you admire the car from different angles, even at a standstill. It’s a beautiful illusion. The CX-30 is also one of the safest and most affordable vehicles on this list, with a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Alfa Romeo deals and finance offers

2024 Alfa Romeo Giulia | $519 per month for 42 Months ($5,550 due at signing)

Image credit: Alfa Romeo

An Italian with luxury and performance, no, not that car maker. We stan the other famous brand, Alfa Romeo, ’round these parts. The Giulia is no exception; the quality and horsepower we’ve come to love from this renowned manufacturer are well on display. With its roots deep in motorsports, why wouldn’t it produce a car with the most powerful standard turbo engine in its class? The Quadrifoglio isn’t just a good luck charm. It’s a status symbol.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale | $379 per month for 24 Months ($5,210 due at signing)

Image credit: Alfa Romeo

Another beautiful Alfa Romeo makes the list. When I saw this at the 2023 New York International Auto Show, I gasped. It’s actually breathtaking. And as you would expect from Alfa Romeo, the Tonale handles like a dream. Our founder, Gabe Carey, also agrees with the sheer brilliance of the Tonale’s performance and appearance. We here at Acceleramota would rather be in an Alfa than a Ferarri. Sorry, not sorry.

Honda deals and finance offers

2024 Honda Accord | $279 per month for 36 Months ($3,669 due at signing)

2024 Honda Accord driving quickly around a corner on a public road
Image credit: Honda

Built for everyday driving, the Honda Accord is a popular midsize sedan for a good reason. Responsive steering, braking, and a comfortable ride are all reasons why you’ll find this model at the top of many lists. While this deal is only for the LX base trim, you’re getting the basics like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a slew of driver-assistance features.

2024 Honda CR-V | $319 per month for 36 Months ($3,499 due at signing)

Image credit: Honda

The CR-V is a top-seller car for Honda. This sporty hybrid is rugged yet still sleek and efficient. It’s a distinctive style for sure, less angular and Gundam-esque than Toyota’s design language. You don’t need to be heading out for a weekend of camping to truly get the most out of this vehicle. So many of the features make everyday life easier, like the hands-free access power tailgate. Imagine loading in groceries and having the ease of the door just opening with a wave of the foot. What a time to be alive.

Nissan deals and finance offers

2024 Nissan Altima SV | $269 per month for 36 Months ($3,239 due at signing)

Image credit: Nissan

Manufacturers are getting better with safety and technology, and Nissan is at the forefront. The very reliable Altima is right there, ready to keep you safe should you dare exploit that BIG ALTIMA ENERGY. The intelligent all-wheel drive system remains vigilant on the state of the road and can react quickly. A feature like this is so important for driving in busy areas or long commutes. America loves this car for a very good reason.

2024 Nissan Sentra | $239 per month for 36 Months ($2,589 due at signing)

Image credit: Nissan

If you’re looking for efficiency, the Sentra is an excellent option. The 2024 version enhances every drive you take with cutting-edge technology, a dynamic style, agile performance, and a luxurious inside and out. Make your commute a little more comfortable with smooth handling and intelligent climate control.

Toyota deals and finance offers

2024 Toyota Highlander | $459 per month for 36 Months ($4,999 due at signing)

Toyota Highlander
Image credit: Toyota

A tried and true best-seller, the Toyota Highlander is definitely one of the best out there. Year after year, even little tweaks make this a highly desirable SUV. Everything about it was designed with the rugged outdoorsman (and woman) in mind. Its ability to handle all terrain with control and ease means there are very few places you wouldn’t be safe driving this. And that big ol’ turbo powertrain means plenty of torque to get up and over any obstacle. 

2024 Toyota RAV4 LE | $329 per month for 36 Months ($4,999 due at signing)

Image credit: Toyota

The RAV4 was made for the outdoors but handles just as beautifully in the ‘burbs or city. A darling vehicle for Toyota, the RAV4 is prepared to take you and your family anywhere. This compact crossover SUV is prepared to navigate trails with ease just as smoothly as it cruises the highway.

2024 Toyota Camry | $319 per month for 36 Months ($3,999 due at signing)

Image credit: Toyota

There is a very good reason the Toyota Camry is America’s best-selling midsize sedan. It’s everything you look for in a vehicle: style, performance, and safety. This sleek, smooth car has been a US fan favorite for 21 years, and the 2024 version keeps that tradition alive and well.

Kia deals and finance offers

2024 Kia Carnival | $399 per month for 36 Months ($3,499 due at signing)

Image credit: Kia

It’s like they always say: there ain’t no carnival like a Kia Carnival. This eight-passenger minivan features a spacious interior, cutting-edge safety tech, CarPlay, Android Auto, and, of course, it wouldn’t be a minivan without power sliding doors. Bear in mind that this deal only applies to the most basic LX trim.

2023 Kia EV6 | $299 per month for 36 Months ($4,499 due at signing)

Image credit: Kia

Heart set on an electric SUV? The Kia EV6 is a stylish midsize option with decent cargo along with sharp steering and handling. Its performance is impressive, too – you’re looking at Kia’s most powerful production model, complete with 576 horsepower. Go from 0-60 in only 3.4 seconds at a big discount. While this price is exclusive to the rear-wheel drive Wind model, check with your dealer because there may be incentives on other trims, including the all-wheel drive version.

2023 Kia Forte | $199 per month for 24 Months ($3,499 due at signing)

Image credit: Kia

The Kia Forte is a sophisticated little sedan with above-average utility and great value for the money. With a long list of available amenities, this comfy ride is an affordable dream for commutes and trips. The Forte offers excellent value when paired with good performance from the GT trim, high fuel efficiency, and a comprehensive warranty.

Subaru deals and finance offers

2024 Subaru Outback | $305 per month for 36 Months ($3,055 due at signing)

Image credit: Subaru

TikTok’s favorite manufacturer, Subaru, has rizz. The Outback is an excellent SUV and, for years, has outranked others in this category. Subaru boasts that 97% of Outbacks purchased in the last decade are still on the road today, so this is a very good investment to make. Those engineers are doing something very right; the Outback has become the definition of reliability and durability.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek | $299 per month for 36 Months ($2,549 due at signing)

Image credit: Subaru

A compact SUV paired with Subaru’s legendary Asymmetrical All-Wheel Drive traction makes this a killer pick for those on the go and off to the forest. The 2024 Crosstrek goes hard. This is the safest version of the vehicle that’s ever been on the market. Subaru upgraded their EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, as well as other detection sensors, to alert at a moment’s notice. Very smart to have in low visibility areas. They have also improved their Starlink connection for extra safety, which could be handy in dark, isolated woods.

2024 Subaru Impreza | $249 per month for 36 Months ($2,549 due at signing)

Image credit: Subaru

The 2024 Impreza is the ultimate all-weather vehicle, packed with cutting-edge technology, premium engineering, and a versatile, sleek hatchback style. For this reason, the Impreza was selected by experts at IntelliChoice as a SmartChoice winner for High Retained Value for two consecutive years.

Chevy finance deals and offers

2024 Chevy Malibu | $319 per month for 36 Months ($4,999 due at signing)

Chevrolet Malibu
Image credit: Chevrolet

Looking for an affordable midsize car for the whole family? We like the Chevy Malibu as an option. The Malibu is a reliable and competent sedan that’s kind of sexy and handles well. Honestly, if you need a car you wouldn’t mind letting your teen or young adult kid drive, at least you know it’s safe and sturdy. This almost decade vehicle has some staying power, it’s wallet-friendly, cushy, and spacious. 

2024 Chevy Blazer | $309 per month for 24 Months ($4,919 due at signing)

Chevrolet Blazer
Image credit: Chevrolet

My college truck was a 2001 Chevy Blazer. I drove it all over the mountains of Virginia and Pennsylvania. I loved this SUV, and so did my dog. I moved to NYC in this, so I can vouch for the roominess of it. There are tons of space for pets, friends, boxes, and even skiing equipment. I still think about how beautifully this handled in feet of snow and icy roads and had tons of torque to get up the entire side of a hill to a ski resort. The Blazer is definitely a vehicle I’d recommend for the sporty types. This 2024 version is one of the best yet. 

2023 Chevy Bolt EV | $309 per month for 36 Months (up to $4,919 due at signing)

2023 Chevy Bolt parked in front of attached garage
Image credit: Chevrolet

For the longest time, the Chevy Bolt EV compact hatchback was the EV price defender’s greatest weapon against their adversaries. Not only is it affordable, but it squeezes a lot of power into a compact package. Making considerably more horsepower and torque than the Chevy Sonic it supplanted, the standard Bolt EV can zip from 0-60 in just 6.5 seconds while carrying five passengers up to 259 miles at a time.

2024 Chevy Camaro LT1 | $279 per month for 24 Months (up to $6,689 due at signing)

2023 Camaro (silver) and 2023 Camaro (red) facing opposite directions
Image credit: Chevrolet

Few things scream American more than a V8, but alas, 2023 marked the beginning of the end for big block, high-displacement engines. So, why not make the most of it by leasing one of the last great muscle cars, the Chevy Camaro? Get ’em while they’re hot… and going out of production. The LT1 trim, as the name suggests, shares its 6.2-liter LT1 V8 small block engine with the Corvette C7, making 455 horses and 455 lb-ft of torque. Ain’t nothing wrong with that! Although current Chevy lessees can get away with putting $5,189 down, you will have to plunk down a sizable chunk of change if you’re new to the brand.

GMC deals and finance offers

2023 GMC Canyon | $369 per month for 36 Months ($7,999 due at signing)

2023 GMC Canyon
Image credit: GMC

This is GMC’s all-grown-up big-boy truck, and it is stellar. Although it is pricer than its counterpart (Chevy’s Colorado), this third-gen Canyon is turbo-charged and made very specifically for off-road. This is a workhorse of a pickup truck. With upgraded suspension, robust turbocharged torque, and supreme pulling power, the Canyon will quite literally get the jobs done on all terrain.

Dodge lease deals and finance offers

2023 Dodge Charger | $429 per month for 42 Months ($5,649 due at signing)

Image credit: Dodge

We are a bit biased here, but this is a good-looking car. This might also be sentimental, with the production of the Charger coming to an end, but it’s still a stunning piece of ingenuity. Dodge is releasing six packages inspired by some of the make’s most iconic looks. Whether on the racetrack or just cruising on the highway, the horsepower will have a special place in history and our hearts. Probably a good idea to grab one now, even if it’s just a cozy SXT cruiser.

2023 Dodge Challenger | $399 per month for 42 Months ($5,699 due at signing)

Image credit: Dodge

Past and present, the Dodge Challenger is a stunner. Even in its modern iteration, there is something beautifully timeless about it. Dodge knows how to make pretty perfect muscle cars. Another make getting sent to the junkyard in the sky, the 2023 Dodge Challenger is a glorious send-off version. The incredible horsepower and speed are something to behold for years to come. Instant cool points here, and right now, you can snag a plush SXT at a comparatively low cost.

Volkswagen lease deals and finance offers

2024 Volkswagen Tiguan | $289 per month for 36 Months ($2,999 due at signing)

Image credit: Volkswagen

Its spacious cabin comfortably holds up to seven people. It comes standard with heated front seats, and right now, lessees in select regions can take home the S model with 4Motion all-wheel drive for $299 per month – that’s like half the price of a monthly parking spot in NYC!

2024 Volkswagen Jetta | $279 per month for 36 Months ($2,999 due at signing)

Image credit: Volkswagen

An American fan-favorite, the VW Jetta is a modern sedan that is actually cool. Volkswagen doesn’t overlook any detail in this update. All materials were carefully selected to make the interior as cozy as possible, like a home away from home. This is especially true with a state-of-the-art digital cockpit for an intuitive user experience. Clear, concise driving information helps you get anywhere safely and efficiently. We get why this is a hit.

Ford lease deals and finance offers

2024 Ford Escape | $393 per month for 48 Months ($3,601 due at signing)

2023 Ford Escape side profile (red)
Image credit: Ford

While the Ford Escape might not be the most exciting car on the road, sometimes you just need an affordable, reliable daily to get you from point A to point B without spending half your salary on fuel. And that’s exactly what the Escape is: a practical, front-wheel drive family hauler with the option of all-wheel drive across trim levels. But even without any upgrades, the 2023 Escape includes all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from modern vehicles, including a touchscreen infotainment system, a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system.

2023 Ford Explorer | $496 per month for 36 Months ($4,855 due at signing)

Image credit: Ford

“Built Ford Tough” is a very true statement, and no vehicle exemplifies this better than the Explorer. This SUV was made to work, as it can tow up to 5,600 lbs. The Class IV Trailer Tow Package makes bringing your camper or boat along on your wilderness vacation quite simple. You don’t need to love the great outdoors to get the most out of the Explorer, but it doesn’t hurt. With Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Technology, stay completely in control no matter where you roam.

Volvo lease deals and finance offers

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country | $609 per month for 36 months ($3,985 due at signing)

Image credit: Volvo

A roomy, hardy, and reliable wagon built for all adventures. The Volvo V60 Cross Country can literally weather all storms and road conditions. Regenerative braking with this mild hybrid means that energy gets stored in the  48V battery, and this helps cut fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions.  With all-wheel drive, an off-road mode, and high ground clearance, this is everything outdoorsy people search for in a car.

2024 Volvo S60 | $435 per month for 36 Months ($3,909 due at signing)

Image credit: Volvo

Volvo’s mild hybrids save fuel without sacrificing performance in the process, and their S60 is a beautiful example of this. The S60’s smooth takeoffs and gentle acceleration tackle the streets of cities and bumpy highways with ease. If you didn’t love driving before, you will after experiencing this car.

Mercedes lease deals and finance offers

2023 Mercedes S-Class | $1,349 per month for 36 Months ($10,763 due at signing)

Image credit: Mercedes-Benz

It’s okay to be posh; there is no judgment here. Every year, the S-Class evolves into a more intuitive and advanced vehicle, and that’s exactly what embodies the Mercedes-Benz User Experience. The sportiness of this sedan and its very recognizable grille not only help it stand out in the mix but also make it unmistakably an S-Class. This is kind of a beauty and brains situation, and it gets our thumbs up.

Porsche lease deals and finance offers

2024 Porsche Taycan | $949 per month for 39 Months ($9,829 due at signing)

Image credit: Porsche

Unlike VW, its more affordable sibling, it’s not cheap to own a Porsche, and the Taycan is no exception. Despite its $90,900 starting price, the base model Taycan might not keep up with the Tesla Model S in a straight line, but its two-speed transmission on the rear axle, superb handling and suspension system, and sportier interior make it a great family cruiser that’s still plenty capable on a track or a backroad. And now you can score one for under a grand a month for 39 months.

2024 Porsche Macan | $849 per month for 39 Months ($8,649 due at signing)

Image credit: Porsche

One might expect the 2024 Porsche Macan to cost an ungodly amount, but it’s quite reasonable. The Macan is Porsche’s other bread-and-butter sports ute behind the Cayenne and will soon be their second EV alongside the Taycan sedan. Porsche was able to create this Macan with a strong emphasis on the brand’s signature driving dynamics and steering feel. They ate with this model, and you’ll definitely turn heads cruising in it.

Land Rover deals and finance offers

2024 Land Rover Range Rover Velar | $849 per month for 36 months ($6,995 due at signing)

Land Rover Range Rover Velar
Image credit: Land Rover

Make a statement with the other lil’ Range Rover in Land Rover’s opulent arm. Arguably the sleekest and prettiest of the Rover SUVs, the Velar will be sure to turn heads with that deep front fascia and clean, mature rear fascia. Base Velars utilize a 2.0-liter turbo-four to output a respectable 247 horsepower and 269 pound-feet through an eight-speed auto, and Range Rover’s typical suite of drive modes and terrain settings are available for those who dare venture off the beaten Rodeo Drive valet driveway.

2024 Land Rover Defender | $829 per month for 36 Months ($7,495 due at signing)

2024 Land Rover Defender
Image credit: Land Rover

Every good list should include something a little high-end. Enter the Land Rover Defender. Is it silly expensive? Yes. Is it worth that price tag? Also, yes. When you look up the very definition of off-road there will be a picture of the Defender. Combine the sexy, flowing Land Rover box design with a beautiful, luxurious interior, and you get a winner. It could be more fuel-efficient, but when you look this good, that’s a small price to pay for everything else being excellent.

Best car subscription deals

Finn | $200 off first month

Promo code: FINN11XACCELERAMOTA200

Image credit: Finn

Finn is completely changing the process of what it’s like to shop for cars. In fact, we called it the best car subscription you’ll find in 2023. Browse its selection online of an ever-growing catalog of different makes and models, select your subscription term length, and then confirm your order. Your car will be delivered right to you if you live in the Northeast. And right now, we have an exclusive discount to save $200 on the first month of your subscription. Just use the code FINN11XACCELERAMOTA200.

Car accessories, merch, and collectibles

RevMatch | 15% off ANY coffee bag

Promo Code REDLINE15

Image credit: RevMatch

Don’t go falling asleep at the wheel. RevMatch has a wide selection of small-batch, craft-roasted coffee to help you start your engines (wake up in the morning). Right now, you can use the promo code REDLINE15 to receive 15% off everything on the site.

Acceleramota Merch | 20% off

Promo code: INSTANTTORQUE20

We’ve finally launched our merch store! And, starting off, we have a selection of T-shirts, crewneck sweatshirts, and hats to choose from. Be sure to use our promo code INSTANTTORQUE20 for 20% off your order for a limited time.

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Ford Mustang GT, Veloster N, V6 Mustang Subaru BRZ
FeaturesSaturday Morning Car Tune!

You should daily drive your track car

Welcome! Tune in to your Saturday Morning Car Tune to read about the raddest yet dumbest and least practical thing I’ve ever purchased. You know all those awesome vloggers and auto journos who chronologize their lives behind the wheel of their muscle car restoration project or high-horsepower tuner build? Yeah, you know that most of those folks also have regular-ass daily drivers behind the scenes, right?

The Gears & Gasoline Bens have pickup trucks and a reasonably-built WRX STI to shuttle them around when they’re not grenading transmissions or setting lap records. David Patterson, a.k.a. ThatDudeInBlue, has a Ford F-150 for his regular grunt work. Matt Farah has a Mustang Mach-E and a Vespa, and Jason Cammisa has a Volkswagen e-Golf. Remember those things? And I have… A lowered Subaru BRZ with a silly wing and no catalytic converters.

I bought a thingy

modified Subaru BRZ
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

As you can see, the weight of my genius hurts sometimes. 

But alas! I have… Reasons. Probably not smart ones. But I didn’t start this new features section to discuss moneywise consumer advice. 

Say hello to the latest notch in my belt, a modified 2022 Subaru BRZ that I bought off an old coworker from my speed shop days, who himself bought it off the shop as it was a former shop car. Akin to the press BRZ I drove to GRIDLIFE in the fall, it’s a Limited trim, which means alcantara and leather upholstery throughout, heated seats, and a fairly banging sound system. It has wired Apple CarPlay as standard, as well as cornering headlights and a digital gauge cluster. Oh, and it’s a manual, too. Huzzah!

It has also been modified to high heaven, as this car had previously served as a work friend’s track car, having accumulated 3,200 miles over some mostly highway commutes and three track days, one of which Larry Chen photographed the car. Keen to always sign up for the next event but also deeply religious about a proper break-in, the BRZ has undergone one diff fluid change and five oil changes. And then there’s the laundry list of mods, including, ahem:

  • 200TW Hankook RSV4 tires (245/40/17) on 17-inch WedsSport TC105X wheels
  • Obnoxiously squeaky track brake pads that are surprisingly usable in daily driving and all weather
  • Zebulon swan neck wing
  • Artisan Spirits front lip with a barely-livable splitter extension
  • Catless full exhaust with equal-length headers and an A’PEXi catback
  • Ecutek programming kit with a custom 91-octane tune
  • Jackson Racing oil cooler
  • Antigravity battery
  • SPL adjustable rear control arms
  • Vorshlag camber plates
  • Cusco strut tower brace
  • Motion Control Suspension (MCS) coilovers, the exact model of which I still need to figure out

There’s probably a bunch I’m forgetting. And I’m still learning the exact details of what exactly each model of part is in the event I ever need to repair or replace them. Among spare things that aren’t installed, I still have an oil catch can, various chassis doo-dads, and the all-important oil pan baffle. If you’re even remotely familiar with the BRZ/GR86 platform, you’ll know these things are… Finicky, to say the least. But I’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. But how does it rip? Well, let me tell you.

I don’t know all that much. In the 800 miles I’ve logged in the last two weeks, I haven’t really pushed it hard at all, not even in the local canyons since seasonal traffic is high and road temps are cold. But that’s okay. My friend built it for the track. And to the track, it’ll return to show me just how much I’ve grown (or devolved) since my time ripping around canyon roads and road courses in my trusty old V6 Mustang. But I can tell you what it’s like to live with and how you can replicate such an experience, should you dare. 

Daily driving a BRZ track car isn’t the worst idea I’ve had

This little tike, for all its track-focused intentions and intimidating looks, is actually a bang-on daily driver. No, I didn’t take that much copium today. I mean it! It’s usable, and it’s comfortable. Ish. Or at least it’s a comfortable-ish daily if you haven’t experienced a new Toyota Prius lately.

The MCS coilovers ride remarkably well despite being adjusted to a stiffer dampening setting by the previous owner. Hell, I’d say it rides close to, if not the same as, the stock suspension setup, albeit with slightly more noticeable jitters over high-frequency bumps. And when I mean slightly, I mean you just feel them a little more than stock, and it’s never harsh. Large road imperfections like asphalt patches, dips, and potholes are nonissue, which is fantastic to hear about in a track-built car. It means you have the compliance to attack apexes without upsetting the chassis, and you have the comfort of not shattering your spine on the drive home.

It’s a testament to the quality of the coilovers and proof that, and say this with me, you don’t need to ride like shit to have a great handling car. Porsches and Corvettes prove this. This does, too. Color me impressed. Get yourself some quality coils or adjust your dampers to find that happy middle ground, people. It exists, and I promise you it’s not maximum stiff.

Subaru BRZ
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

What isn’t so hot is this goddamn splitter. Getting into my family’s driveway is now a learning curve. And speedbumps near my friend’s house are now a practice session for autocross. It’s tolerable, but only barely. Normally, you’d be able to not scrape on most crap on the road. But now I actually have to be paying attention, whereas a stock BRZ may as well be a rally car in comparison, billygoating over dips and inclines.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Stance scene folks are laughing and envious at my comparatively truckish ground clearance. Again, it works for now. I’ll live, even if it means putting a few scuffs in concrete driveways here and there.

Video credit: Jeric Jaleco, Sean Grey

Fuel economy? Okay. I lauded the stock BRZ press loaner for handily beating the EPA estimates with hardly any effort, easily eclipsing 32 to 35 mpg on most freeways. Now, I have to try to hit 30. I should be lucky to even be averaging 24 in mixed driving. As it turns out, things like bigger, stickier tires and fat aero parts that produce a lot of drag end up producing a lot of drag. Who would’ve guessed? Fuel economy is still okay. Better than my V6 Mustang. But the small tank means fill-ups are just as, if not more, frequent.

If there’s anything to truly take solace in besides the commendable ride, it’d have to be that my friend left the interior mostly intact. No goofy rear seat deletion or removal of any carpeting or insulation to cut weight. He daily drove this car, too, and he’s more sensible than most. Or at least he’s sensible enough not to completely ape the livability of a car when it still has to drive to and from the track.

The OEM heated seats are still here and still get lovably scorching in our bitter desert winter. The stock sound system is still a banger, too. The only hints of modification inside are the custom steering wheel upholstery and a shift knob. The trunk liner has been removed to allow for access to the rear shock towers where the dampening adjustment lies, but if that’s had any effect on NVH, I haven’t noticed. If anything, it just made more room for groceries. Totally important in a car like this.

The exhaust is annoy-the-neighbors loud on startup but becomes smooth, balanced, and mature when warmed up, producing no drone whatsoever. In the cabin, it sounds as though the car was fitted with a somewhat tame catback and nothing more; that’s to say, it’s quiet when you want it to be. Great for dates. Or if you have tinnitus. Or if you and your date both have tinnitus. 

Daily your track car. Who’s gonna stop you?

So. Driving someone else’s former track toy. Not bad. Not bad at all. It could do with a milder splitter or no splitter at all. And the catless exhaust means that CARB reps will shoot me on sight the instant I cross the state line to buy a lotto ticket. But not bad at all. At least it’s done right, which is the defining line between versatile track cars you can use daily and hyper-focused track cars you’d rather trailer.

Subaru BRZ
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

Any track-built car could pull shifts as a commuter. A car is a car. It’s all a matter of how it’s set up and the quality of the parts. Just know there will have to be compromises in how comfortable you can be or how hardcore you can build it. Frankly, if your idea of a track car is decent coilovers and sticky tires, you’re set! Hell, you’d clear more speed bumps than me. You’ll generally be fine if you leave ground clearance for larger floor jacks and attacking apex curbing and if you fervently believe the stiffest suspension setups aren’t always the best. Oh, and unless you’re entering time trials in the damn thing, don’t turn your interior into a scrap heap. Leave that to the dedicated race car builds. Your bum and your eardrums will thank you.

So there you go. Go ahead. Daily your track car, and live life like Ryosuke Takahashi except in suburban America and not urban Japan. And if your track car is a little more on the extreme side, Well, daily it anyway. It’ll be funny.

A new car for new adventures

So, if my last car was leagues more practical than this BRZ on a regular basis, why did I even bother with it? Simple.

I felt it was time to part ways with my prior car of six and a half years and wanted to level up. Simple as that. And while the Mustang could’ve definitely been its own track star with more money thrown at it, it was time to try a different platform and expand my palette a bit. So, when the opportunity came to snag my friend’s BRZ and depart from my 10-year-old, 114,000-mile trooper of a My-First-Sports-Car, the car I bought right after dropping out and shuttled me through a rebooted college career, a military enlistment, numerous road trips, getting absolutely lost as fuck in the Eldorado National Forest (beautiful place to get lost, by the way), and my first few jobs, I had to jump on it.

Think of the switch in Takumi and the Initial D story moving from the White Ghost of Akina arc to the Project D arc. And with it will (hopefully) come falling lap times, a more serious and mature take on driving, and, most importantly, all-new learning experiences I never had or bothered to pick up as a deadbeat college kid. But this is not to completely say goodbye to my little blue car. It was sold to a good friend, so it’s still in the social circle for me to witness its growth in new hands.

So far, ownership is looking like it’ll be a breeze despite the car’s livable shortcomings in the Suburban Errand Run GP. But can I fill in the shoes this car needs to topple my buddy’s lap records and move up a couple classes at HPDE days? There’s only one way to find out. But before then, there are those inherent oiling gremlins I must keep at bay first. Because #justsubiethings, apparently.

Ford Mustang GT, Veloster N, V6 Mustang Subaru BRZ
Image credit: Jeric Jaleco

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Jaguar F-Type
Features

This is how brutal luxury car depreciation could benefit lessees

When it comes to new car ownership, leasing makes a lot of sense. If it fits your lifestyle (key distinguisher, by the way), leasing allows you to continually swap to a new car every couple of years with what’s generally considered a low down payment and low monthly payment. As long as you stay under the agreed-upon mileage limit, it could be quite beneficial to your monthly expenses.

But there’s another benefit of leasing that isn’t always talked about. If you’re inclined to buy the car—either cash or with finance—at the end of the term, you might be in a situation where the car has depreciated so much that you could own it for significantly cheaper than otherwise, such as off the lot as certified pre-owned. Not an uncommon trope with luxury cars. It all depends on the car’s residual value, and if that’s pretty darn low, this is worth considering. 

Especially if it’s a luxury vehicle made by a brand with historically hilarious depreciation. Let’s go over a few candidates that are worth rooting for the demise of.

Jaguar F-Type

Image credit: Peter Nelson

Kickin’ it off with a bang! Fingers-crossed, not the mechanical type. According to CarEdge.com, Jaguar has the worst residual value at 72.19%. This means the car lost just under 28% of its value after just three years. Who knows, it could drop even further—drop baby drop!

The F-Type is no exception, and this cat is definitely worth putting up with for three-plus years as its supercharged, 444-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 and rear-wheel drive is so incredibly-freaking fun. It’s also great to look at, quite luxurious inside, and its overall handling is quite good. There’s a little bit of aftermarket support for its engine, too, so once that horsepower figure no longer impresses, there’s room for more.

Currently, a 2024 R-Dynamic P450 RWD—the least expensive coupe model—comes out to $79,175. Lob 28% off, and that brings it down to just over $57,000. Still a decent chunk of change, but chock-full of equity in the looks and performance department. Which will also age more gracefully than many other modern cars.

Mercedes-Benz E 450 4Matic All-Terrain

Image credit: Peter Nelson

Mercedes-Benz’s residual value is a little better than Jaguar’s, but still a whopping 78%, meaning it lost 22% of its value after three years.

So, why not spend those three or more years in opulent, E-Class comfort? The E 450 All-Terrain has an incredibly good ride quality and handles quite well for its class and stature. Thanks to the All-Terrain bit, it handles itself surprisingly well off-road—though, don’t expect to do any rock crawling. Finally, its turbocharged three-liter inline-six puts out 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, so it has ample power to get sideways in the dirt.

A 2023 model commands around $75,000, right before a new generation for 2024, which could bode extra well for depreciation—makes you wonder if even deeper, sweeter deals could be had with remaining 2023 stock in 2024. Based on the above 22% drop, $58,500 could be the figure to keep in mind after three years of faithful German luxury.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti

Image credit: Alfa Romeo

Right in the middle of the F-Type and All-Terrain is the Alfa Romeo Giulia, which has a residual value of about 75%. This means that once it adds 30,000 to 45,000 miles to its odometer, 25% of its value flies out the window. The math isn’t perfectly accurate, as the figures I found are based on 2021 numbers or about two years ago. But still, it’s fun to think about, and surely not a whole lot different now.

To calm our figures down a touch, let’s use the more value-minded Ti trim as an example, which comes to $44,685 out the door. At this level, you get rear-wheel drive, 280 horsepower, and 306 pound-feet of torque out of an entertaining turbo-four, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and a 0-60 time of just five seconds. Not bad at all. Plus, it’s better looking than many other compact luxury cars in its segment; you’re more likely to look back at it every time you park it.

After three years, the value could drop to as little as $33,500, possibly more. Three-years worth of $600 payments—as promoted on Alfa’s website at the moment—is $21,600, so imagine the number that the leasing company might give you after knocking off that chunk.

Do you have equity in a leased car?

If some of the numbers above don’t seem all that appealing, there’s one more factor to consider: Lease equity. According to Leasehackr, this is defined as the car’s payoff number against the potential price that you sell the car for. Meaning, you decide to keep the car post-lease and then resell it for a potential profit.

If a car were to beat depreciation—meaning be worth more money—that money could be used for something else, such as added to a down payment on another vehicle. If it’s worth $35,000, yet the lease company figured it’d be worth $29,000 at the end of the term, that’s potentially $6,000. While this was definitely a thing over the past couple of years with supply shortages, the market has started cooling off, so there’s less chance of it happening now. Though, you never know. 

Regardless, it’s good to know you have options at the end of a lease. You could either take advantage of depreciation and own a car for less than market value, or potentially make a tiny piece of coin at the end and put it into something else.

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EVs Explained Tax Credits feature photo
EVs ExplainedFeatures

How does the EV federal tax credit work and which cars qualify now and in 2024?

Hello, and welcome back to your regular dose of EVs Explained! Many altruistic reasons exist to switch over from a gas guzzler to an electric vehicle, like keeping hush for the neighbors or allegedly doing your part to help God’s green earth and all. But today’s topic is a little more self-interested, and that’s okay. Here. Have some EV tax credits. On Uncle Sam. But what are they?

Well, hey. You know how Tesla has been raving on about how their Model 3s are now sub-30-grand cars? Well, technically, they are and they aren’t. They’re forty-grand cars that Tesla is advertising as less by factoring in potential gas savings plus a handy little pick-me-up from the feds just for opting for an electric vehicle over a baby seal-clubbing Sonata (to Tesla-stans and Hyundai fans, that’s a joke). That’s the oh-so-desirable tax credits, my friends.

That’s correct. Right now, you can get a cool chunk of cash when purchasing an EV. And in this explainer, we’ll be going over what an EV tax credit is, what you need to qualify, and how it will change looking forward. No tech lessons today. Right now, it’s all about the moolah!

Tesla Model 3 Highland Pair
Image: Tesla

Tax liability and the EV tax credit

Last summer, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was passed into law by Congress. The bill includes revisions to the credit for qualified plug-in EVs and fuel cell electric vehicles purchased from 2023 to 2032. Purchasers of this type of vehicle may now be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500 for new EVs and up to $4,000 for used EVs (limited to 30% of the sale price). This would lower your tax liability for whatever you qualify for up to that amount. 

It is important to note this is a nonrefundable tax credit. You need to have enough tax liability if you want to capture the full amount that the vehicle you’re purchasing is qualifying for. In layman’s terms, what that means is that you have already exceeded your allowable. You will not see any overage as a refund during the approaching tax season and you cannot apply excess credit to the following tax year.

“Wait, stop. What exactly is tax liability?”

Simply put, it’s just the total amount of money owed at the end of the tax year. If you are a general W-2 employee, every paycheck you receive from your company already has taxes taken out automatically. That goes to your tax liability throughout the year. At the end of the year, when filing your tax return, this is the time when you add in any credits and deductions that you qualify for. Once applied, that number you’ve arrived at is now your adjusted tax liability. If you paid more if you’re W-2, you get a refund. If you didn’t pay enough to cover, well, you owe the IRS money. Tax liability is the total, not the difference between what was owed and what was paid.

Phew.

Image credit: Joe Tilleli

“But Mister, can you use ‘tax credits’ in a sentence?”

So a qualifying vehicle such as a Chevy Bolt purchased today (assuming you qualify for the full amount) will let you realize $7,500 toward your tax liability come April of 2024 when you file your taxes. You will use Form 8936 when filing your federal income taxes. Conversely, if you started with a daily low tax liability and have already lowered it through other credits, such as claiming dependents, it’s possible that there isn’t enough liability left to receive the full $7,500. You only realize what you have remaining in your tax liability.

The bill allows for one credit per vehicle. You can claim a tax credit for every qualified vehicle you purchase. However, there are still income limits to be mindful of, and since your tax liability can only be so much, the tax credits you’d be eligible for will also only be so much.

Sorry. No infinite money glitch for flipping a bunch of EVs. You can’t Forza Auction House hack your way out of this one.

Chevrolet Bolt on the beach
Image: Chevrolet

What vehicles qualify?

Many new EVs are eligible for the full amount of  $7,500 though there are exceptions. It’s best to think of the tax credit in two different components — the battery requirement and the critical minerals requirement. Each is responsible for a partial credit of $3,750, each adding up to half of the new tax credit.

For the battery requirement, a certain percentage of the vehicle’s battery must be assembled or manufactured in North America. Over the next ten years when the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is in effect, the required percentage is going up for manufacturers. Those percentages are as follows:

  • 2023: 50%
  • 2024: 60%
  • 2025: 60%
  • 2026: 70%
  • 2027: 80%
  • 2028: 90%
  • 2029-2032: 100%
Lanzador at Pebble Beach
Image: Lamborghini

For the critical minerals requirement, we’re dealing with a similar story. A certain percentage (that will increase over the decade) of the minerals in the car’s battery must be extracted or processed within the United States or within a country that has a free-trade agreement with the U.S. Percentages are as follows:

  • 2023: 40%
  • 2024: 50%
  • 2025: 60%
  • 2026: 70%
  • 2027-2032: 80%

So while a vehicle like the Tesla Model 3 meets both the battery and critical minerals requirement (granting it eligibility for the full $7,500) a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf only meets the battery requirement. Thus, it is only eligible for $3,750.

A couple more stipulations exist as well such as restricting the sourcing of battery components or critical minerals from foreign countries of concern such as China. Those go into effect in 2024 and 2025, respectively. However, if you seek the tax credit amount for a specific EV vehicle, the most up-to-date information exists at fueleconomy.gov where you can look up eligible models and filter based on purchase scenario, model year, and vehicle type, among other stats like MPGe and total range.

How do you qualify?

Beyond the vehicle qualifications, you must also consider the personal qualifications. In order to qualify for the credit, the vehicle you are purchasing must be for your own use (not resale) and primarily driven in the United States.

Your tax filing status and modified adjusted gross income are also part of the picture. The following are the upper-income limits for each status:

  • $300,000 for married couples filing jointly 
  • $225,000 for heads of households
  • $150,000 for all other filers

2024 and onward

As stated in the earlier explanation, the tax credit is currently set up in which you claim the tax credit when filing your taxes. However, in 2024, a new option will allow a purchaser of a clean vehicle to transfer that credit to an eligible entity. What is an eligible entity? Well, the dealer that sold it to you.

Psst. It’s the car.

2024 Ford Lightning Platinum Black from rear angle view
Image source: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

This means you can fully realize the tax credit at the time of sale, turning it into an upfront discount applied toward your purchase. So if you were to purchase that Chevy Bolt in 2024, instead of paying the list price of $26,500, you could transfer that credit, getting the EV for $19,500 – provided you qualify. The option to transfer credit would be effective as of January 10, 2024.

The new system was announced Friday, October 6 , in a press release from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Within, the IRS expands on stipulations the dealer must follow (being registered with the IRS at time of sale, disclose to the taxpayer any other incentive available for the purchase of such vehicle, et cetera. et cetera.). You can find all the legal mumbo jumbo on the IRS website.

Last thoughts

With this tax credit in place, we expect to see a lot more EVs coming onto the road over the next decade. Sometimes, a little bonus is needed to push folks into going green. The tax credit is an excellent incentive for drivers to make the switch, but bear in mind that the process of qualifying and claiming said credit can be a bit overwhelming. Note that everything discussed above is meant to help demystify the EV tax credit and should not be interpreted as financial advice.

If you still have questions pertaining to your own situation, consider consulting a qualified tax professional. I’m just Joe.

This story was originally published by Joe Tilleli on 9/26/2022 and updated with new information on 10/26/2023.

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