2009 Dodge Ram || Get a Price Quote

MSRP: $21,270 - $43,240

There are some amazing deals on 2008 Dodge Rams right now. That's because dealers are trying to clear floor space to make room for the new 2009 Ram truck.

Ram trucks are currently available with up to $7,500 worth of incentives, according to Edmunds.com. That figure includes the value of low-rate financing deals as well as manufacturer-to-dealer incentives that won't be seen directly by consumers.

That's a lot of money. But keep in mind that the 2009 Ram truck will be loaded up with a slew of improvements that could make it worth waiting for, especially when you consider that those features will likely drive down the resale value of the 2008 model.

Besides optional RamBox lockable, water-tight storage bins built into the bed walls, the '09 Ram also features a revolutionary coil-spring rear suspension. Other trucks on the market have leaf-springs, which have been standard for years. Using coil springs results in a nicer ride and better handling.

The 2009 Ram also features a much-improved interior with richer-looking materials and a nice solidly-built feel, not to mention even more cleverly designed storage spaces inside to hide away more stuff.

2009 Audi A4 || Get a Price Quote

MSRP: $32,700 - $48,800

The changes under the hood seem modest, but the change in external appearance is clear and striking. From a dollars-and-cents standpoint, that's what really matters.

The A4's V-6 engine is the same as last years while the 4-cylinder engine gets more power. Also new for 2009, the engine is mounted lower and farther back in the body for noticeably improved handling.

On a practical level, the longer body creates more rear legroom, making the new A4 a much more comfortable choice for those with families.

There's also a financial impact, though. Radical redesigns always reduce the market value of their predecessor version. In this case, the new A4, with its sleek, aggressive appearance, makes the 2008 model look immediately old.

Meanwhile, incentives on the outgoing old-style Audi A4 are relatively good, totaling to up to $3,000 for remaining 2008 models. Even so, the damage the new A4 will do to the 2008 models resale value could ultimately wipe out much of those savings.

2009 Ford F-150

MSRP: N/A

With the pick-up market drying up, at least for now, Ford decided to delay release of the new, redesigned F-150 pick-up. Meanwhile, dealers are working to sell off the remaining 2008 trucks still on their lots. Expect to see the new F-series truck in "late fall," Ford says.

While the new F-150 has nothing as radical (for a truck) as coil suspension, buyers of the 2008 version are passing up on some serious improvements. For instance, there's an additional 6 inches of length that adds to rear seat legroom and bed length in crew cab versions. There's also better fuel economy, thanks in part to a new six-speed transmission. To make it easier to get in and out of the truck bed, the new F-150 also offers tailgate and bed-side steps.

As with other major redesigns, the new look will also hurt the resale value of the predecessor models. Ford is putting some serious money into incentives for 2008 models -- almost $5,000 per truck -- but the new truck may ultimately be worth spending more.

Next Page: Mazda6, Ford Escape Hybrid & Honda Fit


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