Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on our blessings and go off our diets. While indulging in a pants-busting meal is a cherished tradition, if you're looking to use the holiday weekend to buy a new car, be thankful that there's no need for you to bust your budget. Automakers have deals to help you stuff your wallet with savings after you've stuffed your face with pie.
If you're going over the river and through the woods, car reviewers agree that the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse will get the entire family and their stuff there in comfort. The Traverse seats up to eight in three rows, gets good fuel economy for a midsize SUV (17/24 mpg city/highway) and is available now with zero-percent financing for up to six years or $2,000 cash back.
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The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid only seats five, but after a few hours with your in-laws, you might be okay with having to take separate cars for Black Friday shopping. When obnoxious Uncle Eddie has to stop at the gas station, you can cruise by in the Sonata Hybrid, which gets 34/39 mpg city/highway. The Sonata Hybrid is well-liked by reviewers for its upscale cabin, long list of standard features and smooth performance. You can get the 2012 Sonata hybrid with $1,000 cash back and no-interest financing for five years. If you don't want to commit, you can lease a 2012 Sonata Hybrid for $309 per month for 36 months.
Many of the best Thanksgiving deals are on 2012 models, since dealers are trying to get rid of leftovers (In a few days, we'll all be doing that too). However, there are a few good Thanksgiving car deals on 2013 models. One of the best is on the 2013 Volkswagen Passat. The 2013 Passat has an interior that reviewers say could be from a much more expensive car. It also has some of the best performance in the affordable midsize car class and an available thrifty diesel engine. While canned cranberry sauce is a staple of many Thanksgiving tables, the fresh stuff is always better. The 2013 VW Passat is not only ultra-fresh, it's available with zero-percent financing for 66 months.
For a lot of people, family holidays bring the realization that they've turned into their mothers. If you had to nag your husband to turn off the game and come into the kitchen and help, console yourself with the fact that though you may sound like your mom, you don't have to drive like her. The Mazda5 does everything a minivan does, but does it with fun performance and good fuel economy. Let your mom keep on wearing the mom jeans. You can hop into your 2012 Mazda5 (you can even get it with a manual transmission for extra fun) after you've taken advantage of its current five-year, zero-percent financing and $500 cash back deal. Getting a deal that good will make your mom proud.
[See great holiday used car deals]
Your brother-in-law may be obnoxious about the fact that he buys a new BMW every year, but that doesn't negate the fact that BMW makes some of the best cars on the road. Keep pace with status-conscious relatives but keep cash in your pocket by going for a pre-owned luxury car (Want to find the best one? Check out the U.S. News Best Used Car Rankings). Right now, you can get many 2009 or 2010 certified pre-owned BMW models with a payment credit up to $1,000 and 0.9 percent financing.