10 Cars From 2013 You Should Buy Now

PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- Get ready to see a lot more balloons, streamers, inflatable gorillas and wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube guys along the dealership-dotted stretch of your local highway in the next few weeks. It's musical chairs time at the car lots.

As a commercial likely screamed at you recently, dealers are trying to clear out 2013 models to make room for 2014 vehicles. When the vehicle in question has received a big overhaul between model years or has been discontinued, the folks in the rumpled suits are especially motivated to go behind the one-way glass and talk to their manager about making a deal.

Right now they could use the help. According to auto sales site TrueCar, 2013 vehicles still made up 86.9% of all vehicles sold at the end of August. The 2014 models made up 11.9%, which is still better than the roughly 10% of the market the 2013s took at this time last year, but it's still a long way from tipping the balance.

While some brands' release schedules put them ahead of the game -- with 2014 models already making up nearly 68% of sales for Honda's ( HMC) luxury brand Acura and 59% for Volvo -- automakers including Dodge and Toyota (which each got 99.2% of their August sales from 2013 models, have some serious sweeping to do before the new vehicles arrive. With help from TrueCar, we found 10 vehicles that are getting price cuts in an attempt to accelerate sales. If you're willing to forgo some model year updates, here are the best deals in the showrooms:

10. 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab
MSRP: $28,610
Selling price: $25,094
Savings: 12.3%

The second-best-selling vehicle in the U.S. usually doesn't need this kind of push, but fans of this mainstay Chevy pickup finally have a reason to pass up a previous year's model. For the first time since 2007, the Silverado and its General Motors ( GM) sister pickup -- the GMC Sierra -- are getting a complete overhaul. They're meaner looking, sleeker and quieter, but just as brawny under the hood. The new base-model Silverado has 262-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-6 with increased towing capacity. There's also a 325-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 with the improved fuel efficiency of GM's muscly Camaro and Cadillac models that far outpaces the current generation's gluttonous 22 miles per gallon on the highway. A 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 376 horsepower rounds out the new lineup and gives it the muscle it needs to lift its truck sales numbers, which went nearly flat last year as Ford's and Ram's soared. The 2013 marks the previous generation's overdue end, but it's getting a big sendoff. Thanks largely to the model year discount, Silverado sales are up a whopping 27.4% from last year.

9. Toyota (TM) Tundra 2WD Truck Regular Cab
MSRP: $28,925
Selling price: $25,279
Savings: 12.6%

Even with only 6% of the U.S. truck market -- compared with nearly 30% for Ford, General Motors and Chrysler -- Toyota isn't content to just sit around and let the Detroit Three pass it by. Toyota's created a niche market for pickups such as the Tundra and the Tacoma and has seen its U.S. truck sales grow almost 11% year to date. The Tundra, much like the Silverado, hasn't had an update since 2007. It's getting a makeover for 2014 that mostly involves giving it a bigger grille and sprucing up the interior with more comfortable seats and touchscreen-driven tech toys. The 2013 Tundra may look a little outdated and still require you to plug in a smartphone if you want any decent apps or features, but the 4.0L V6, 4.6L V8, and a 5.7L V8 engines are the same you'll find in the newer model.

8. Ram 1500 Express, Crew Cab
MSRP: $33,730
Selling price: $29,191
Savings: 13.5%

Chrysler's Ram got its last big update in 2009, but there were enough significant tweaks in last year's edition to keep loyalists happy for a good, long time. That's evident in the sales numbers, which are up 24% year to date. There's a little bit of a change coming to Ram land, though, that may make picking up a 1500 this year a better bet. Starting with the 2014 model, the base 1500 drops from a 3.6L V.6 with 305 horsepower to a slightly more efficient 3.0L V6 diesel with 250 horsepower. Granted, the torque jumps up a bit and helps with payload and towing capacity, but that's still a big switch for the purists. Their fear of change will save them more than $3,000.

7. Mitsubishi Lancer DE manual
MSRP: $16,790
Selling price: $14,477
Savings: 13.8%

Every time Mitsubishi seems like it's going to fall off the map altogether, it surprises the entire U.S. market by stubbornly refusing to do so. Crippled after the end of its on-again, off-again relationship with the various iterations of Chrysler, American Mitsubishi has let once-beloved vehicles such as the Eclipse and Galant fade away while allowing promising concepts such as its i-MiEV to languish in relative obscurity.

It seemed to be well on its way toward making its last Chrysler holdover, the Lancer, its flagship car, but it's giving the new 40-miles-per-gallon Mirage the push instead. In the meantime, Mitsubishi has sold only 37,000 cars in the U.S. year to date. That's a 3.7% drop from the same period last year and fewer sales than the Chevy Silverado chalked up in July alone. Enjoy the discount, but it's anyone's guess whether or not Mitsubishi will remain in the U.S. long enough to make good on the warranty.

6. Dodge Avenger SE
MSRP: $20,790
Selling price: $17,902
Savings: 13.9%

There is absolutely nothing certain when it comes to the future of this car. It's one of Dodge's holdovers from the pre- Fiat bankruptcy years and hasn't had an update since 2007. Fiat doesn't seem to like it very much and, at various points, has toyed with making it a duplicate of an existing Alfa Romeo, holding on to it until 2015 or discontinuing it altogether. It still hasn't made up its mind, and the 2013 Avenger continues to linger on Dodge lots and on the brand's website. If you get the feeling dealers would rather not have this hot mess hanging around, you're not alone. For the sake of an otherwise sound midsize and the folks who assemble it in Sterling Heights, Mich., let's hope someone figures out its fate soon.

5. 2013 Chrysler 200 Sedan Touring
MSRP: $23,560
Selling price: $20,141
Savings: 14.5%

Chrysler has shown nothing but love for the car that replaced the reviled Sebring. The name change to 200 not only brought a semblance of respect back to the affordable convertible, but boosted sales. The 125,500 sold last year were not only a vast improvement over the 38,000 Sebrings sold in 2010, but the most the Sebring/200 line had sold since 2007. Though it's only been around since 2010, when no less than Eminem welcomed Detroit's newest addition into the world, the 200 is getting an update for 2014. What will it look like and what's going to change? It's a bit speculative at this point, but those who love the current iteration can get a deal for playing conservatively.

4. 2013 Ford F-150 Regular Cab
MSRP: $27,340
Selling price: $23,229
Savings: 15%

Why mark down a vehicle that's not only been the best-selling in the U.S. for three decades, but whose sales are already up 22% this year -- forcing Ford to add a third shift at its Kansas City plant? Well, when you have a truck that makes up roughly a quarter of all vehicles a company sells, it pays to get the new ones in as quickly as possible. There's also the small matter of this particular generation's days being numbered. A big update and increased fuel economy are coming in 2015, which makes the current model seem like a bit of a gas guzzler. Ford may just be throwing the F-150's rabid fans some gas money before they realize they might just save in the long run by waiting a year or so.

3. 2013 Nissan (NSANY) Titan King Cab
MSRP: $32,695
Selling price: $27,148
Savings: 17%

It was anybody's guess whether the Titan would live long enough to see another generation, which explains why Nissan has been playing this discounting game for the better part of three years. This pickup hasn't had a significant overhaul in a decade and, at one point, was just going to be handed off to Chrysler to produce a Nissan-badged version of the Ram. That fell through when Chrysler -- already plagued by doppelgangers across its Dodge, Chrysler and now-defunct Plymouth brands -- went bankrupt and had a big stake in the company bought by Fiat. The Titan's been in limbo ever since, but a recent report by engine maker Cummins hinting at a new 5.0L V8 turbo diesel engine for an upcoming Titan makeover strongly suggests they'll be a new model next year. For buyers, this is probably the last chance to catch Titan on the discount racks for a while.

2. 2013 Ford (F) Taurus Limited
MSRP: $33,895
Selling price: $28,021
Savings: 17.3%

The Taurus throws the discounting rules out the window a bit, but there's a big reason behind it. Ordinarily, when a car gets as big of a facelift as the full-size Taurus did for 2013 -- complete with LED lighting, the Microsoft ( MSFT) Sync information and entertainment system and a 3.5L V6 that gets 288 horsepower and a combined 25 miles per gallon -- the price doesn't shift a whole lot. Unfortunately for the Taurus, which came into the world as a midsize in 1986 and went full-size in 2008, that still didn't do much for sales. Back in 2000, when the Taurus was Ford's go-to midsize, its sales peaked at 382,000. Last year's sales came in at 66,000, which is not only way off that mark, but down from the 68,000 the vehicle sold when the 2008 model year update was introduced in 2007. Don't blame the recession, either: Taurus managed to sell 69,000 vehicles in 2010 as the nation was figuring out its finances.

It's a full-size problem. With even midsize car sales down 0.2% and competitors such as the Toyota Avalon being rebuilt as more fuel-efficient sub-luxury vehicles, the costly, fuel-gulping Taurus sticks out in the Ford lineup. The only car with similar or worse mileage is the Mustang, while even the popular Escape crossover conserves more fuel. When post-recession car buyers look at that price tag and know they can get a larger, less gluttonous Escape or Edge for the same cost -- or look at that MSRP and realize it's roughly similar to that of a base Lincoln MKZ -- the Taurus has a tough time making a case for itself. All that said, a 17% discount on the loaded Limited package with heated seats, push-button starter, blind-spot detection and the Sync system is the closest Taurus buyers will get to a steal.

1. 2013 Cadillac CTS Wagon
MSRP: $40,100
Selling price: $32,975
Savings: 17.8%

Usually, the only way to hitch a ride in a Cadillac wagon is to die and have your casket slid into the back of one or be the grim-faced funeral-home employee charged with driving that hearse around. In 2010, the folks at GM decided that Cadillac's wayback should be enjoyed by the living and released a sport wagon version of the Cadillac CTS.

Why not? Luxury brands including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Acura, Volvo and Infiniti have all released wagons or something reasonably like them. Surely there had to be a niche for a Caddy wagon.

Umm, maybe not. In the years since the wagon was released, CTS sales peaked at 55,000 in 2011 but failed to top 47,000 in 2010 and 2012. CTS sales hit a record 61,000 in 2005 and sat at 55,000 or better each year from 2004 to 2008. We all know what happened after that stretch, and the economy certainly plays a big role in CTS sales. Even with the wagon releasing in post-recession 2010, demand never really materialized. When GM announced a CTS update for 2014, the wagon was noticeably absent. It felt a little redundant with Cadillac's SRX crossover available with more horsepower, cargo space and passenger capacity for less money, but buyers considering one of the leftovers should consider that it comes with all the same perks (including a Bose seven-speaker audio system), but better mileage than its crossover counterpart.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.

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