Edmunds recommends Labor Day car deals for bargain hunters

As the summer season winds down, the car-business clearance season ramps up.

Both car dealers and carmakers are offering deals to sell off the 2018 models and make room for the 2019s. Labor Day weekend will feature some of the best prices of the year to date.

Take, for example, the popular 2018 Ford F-150.

Over Memorial Day, the average discount was a little more than $7,000. Now that clearance season has started, discounts run as deep as $12,000 in some areas.

If you’re eager to pick the perfect car as opposed to being forced to choose from what’s left over, now is the time to shop.

More than 80 percent of cars sold in September will be 2018 models, according to Edmunds sales data.

By December, the 2018 inventory is projected to be about half that. So while discounts might be better at the end of the year, you may not have the choices you will now.

And if you’re concerned about car-cost increases because of rising interest rates or possible tariffs, that’s all the more reason to do some shopping now.

Our picks are based on three criteria: significant savings, good reviews by Edmunds’ test team and widespread availability. Specific discounts vary by region and may differ based on the trim level, and MSRP does not include destination fees.

These deals should be available through Sept. 4 and we’ve included a snapshot of the savings you might see in various regions. Curious about deals in your own area? Visit Edmunds and enter your ZIP code to see what’s available near you.

SUVs—

2018 CHEVROLET TAHOE (starting MSRP: $47,500. Savings up to $12,500 in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area)The Tahoe seats up to nine people in a cabin that’s quiet and nicely trimmed. On the downside, maneuvering in tight spaces is challenging.
2018 FORD ESCAPE (starting MSRP: $23,940. Savings up to $8,400 in the Houston area)The Escape’s steering and handling feel more like a car’s. For better punch, choose the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine on the Titanium trim level, but know it will cost you in terms of fuel economy.
2018 HYUNDAI SANTA FE (starting MSRP: $30,850. Savings up to $7,800 in the Los Angeles area)The Santa Fe offers great standard features for the money, even though its fuel economy is slightly subpar and its cargo capacity falls short of some competitors.
2018 NISSAN MURANO (starting MSRP: $30,800. Savings up to $9,800 in the Chicago area)The Murano delivers the right balance of power and fuel efficiency and has an interior with high-quality materials and a unique design. Although it’s an SUV, it lacks the heft to tow heavy boats or trailers.

SEDANS—

2018 CHEVROLET MALIBU (starting MSRP: $21,680. Savings up to $9,000 in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area)There’s a spacious interior with lots of front-seat headroom. A downside is that the six-speed automatic can be unrefined at low speeds.
2018 HONDA ACCORD (starting MSRP: $23,570. Savings up to $5,500 in the Chicago area)The Accord’s turbocharged engines are powerful and fuel-efficient, and many advanced driver safety aids come standard. The low seating position slightly hampers entry and exit, however.
2018 INFINITI Q50 (starting MSRP: $35,200. Savings up to $9,400 in the Los Angeles area)The turbocharged V6 engines on upper trim levels pack plenty of power. Many high-tech entertainment and safety features are standard. A con is that the interior design is showing its age.
2018 KIA OPTIMA (starting MSRP: $22,600. Savings up to $7,200 in the Los Angeles area)The Optima offers more features for the money than most rivals and boasts an easy-to-use infotainment system. On the downside, the sloping roofline cuts into rear headroom and visibility.

TRUCKS—

2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO CREW CAB (starting MSRP: $26,300. Savings of up to $9,100 in the Miami area)The Colorado’s gasoline V6 and diesel four-cylinder engines can tow more than rivals. Its size gives it maneuverability. But its low-hanging front air dam limits off-road potential.
2018 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 1500 CREW CAB (starting MSRP $34,785. Savings up to $14,200 in the Miami area)The Silverado’s V8 engines offer quick acceleration and strong towing ability. The quiet cabin has front seats that are comfortable for long drives. It does feel heavier from behind the wheel than its competitors, however.
2018 FORD F-150 SUPERCREW (starting MSRP: $34,285. Savings of up to $12,000 in the Chicago area)The F-150’s available comfort and safety technology go from basic to luxurious, while multiple engine choices deliver exceptional balance of power and fuel economy.
However, its aluminum body panels tend to carry higher repair costs, and its fuel economy estimates couldn’t be had in Edmunds’ real-world testing.
EDMUNDS SAYS: Thanks to deep end-of-model-year discounts and plentiful inventory, Labor Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to buy a new car.



SMART NEWS: Summer drought in Central Europe reveals ancient “hunger stones.”

On of the so called “hunger stones” exposed by the low level of water in the Elbe river in Decin, Czech Republic, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. The low level of water caused by the recent drought has exposed some stones at the river bed whose appearances in history meant for people to get ready for troubles. They are known as the “hunger stones” and they were chosen in the past to record low water levels. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

DECIN, Czech Republic— Due to this summer’s drought in Central Europe, boulders known as “hunger stones” are reappearing in the Elbe River.  Due to scorching temperatures, the water in the river has dropped significantly, revealing boulders that were once used to record low water levels. The levels record more than one drought and the earliest drought recorded is attached in at 1616.

The low water levels in the river that begins in the Czech Republic then crosses Germany into the North Sea has exposed stones on the river bed whose appearances in history used to warn people that hard times were coming.

Over a dozen of the hunger stones, chosen to record low water levels, can now be seen in and near the northern Czech town of Decin near the German border.

But hunger stones did more than simply document drought: They also lamented difficult conditions and let people know that trouble was afoot. One of the rocks, for instance, “expressed that drought had brought a bad harvest, lack of food, high prices and hunger for poor people,” according to a 2013 study of drought in Czech lands. A German inscription on the same rock reads: “When you see me, weep.”

The stone, is considered the oldest hydrological landmark in Central Europe. This particular hunger stone has become a well-known tourist attraction in the Czech Republic, according to NPR’s Camila Domonoske.

It is among the oldest hydrological landmarks in Central Europe and, due to a dam that was built on a tributary of the Elbe in 1926, the rock can be seen approximately 126 days each year. But the low water levels in the Elbe today are nevertheless “exceptional,” Domonoske writes. Earlier this month, the Local reported that the river had reached its lowest levels in more than half a century.

People visit one of the so called “hunger stones” exposed by the low level of water in the Elbe river in Decin, Czech Republic, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. The low level of water caused by the recent drought has exposed some stones at the river bed whose appearances in history meant for people to get ready for troubles. They are known as the “hunger stones” and they were chosen in the past to record low water levels. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Throughout the summer, unusually hot and dry weather in Europe has revealed a slew of archaeological treasures, from a prehistoric henge in Ireland, to an ornate 17th century garden in England, to a lost German village once submerged underwater.

The hunger stones are not the first sunken relics to resurface in the Elbe this summer. Earlier this month, receding waters exposed unexploded bombs that may have been dumped in the Elbe after WWII.

Scientists are particularly concerned about the current European heatwave because its increased intensity has been linked to climate change. However, the dates listed on the hunger stones suggest that continental droughts have been a semi-regular occurrence.

A recent study, in fact, found that while 21st century droughts are “the most extreme droughts driven by precipitation deficits during the vegetation period,” they have not been as long or as severe as some of the historic droughts that have struck Europe over the past 250 years.

It is perhaps little wonder, then, that the Czech hunger stones bear ominous messages of impending troubles.

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/hunger-stones-emerge-drought-parched-czech-river-180970130/#HqP77yYHdP6CFwiF.99
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Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/hunger-stones-emerge-drought-parched-czech-river-180970130/#HqP77yYHdP6CFwiF.99