• Many automakers are offering special offers on cars as buyers turn their interest towards SUVs that can handle inclement weather.
  • We've rounded up some of the top car deals of January to help buyers looking for a new vehicle.
  • Some of the best deals are on remaining 2011 units of Toyota's popular Prius, which includes offers ranging from zero percent financing to $750 cash back.

Although many car shoppers are eager to get a new SUV to handle the tough winter weather, some of today's best deals are on traditional passenger cars. We've rounded up some of the best special offers from a wide range of automakers, highlighting some great deals for buyers interested in a new car to start off 2012.

Buick Regal

Car shoppers looking for a sedan that helps bridge the gap between a solid, reliable family hauler and a luxurious, sporty touring car will be extremely interested in Buick's plush Regal - especially considering the special offers available on the sedan through the end of January. Consumers interested in a 2012 model can get interest rates as low as 1.9 percent for up to 60 months or $1,000 cash back on the upscale sedan, while buyers willing to consider a little-changed 2011 Regal can qualify for zero percent interest rates for up to 72 months or a whopping $3,000 cash back - a great deal on a recently redesigned car that's still several years away from replacement.

Ford Focus

Ford's recently redesigned Focus is available with several attractive special offers through the end of January. According to the automaker, cash buyers can take $1,500 back on the base-level Focus S, or up to $2,000 back on Focus SE, SEL or upscale Focus Titanium models. Qualified buyers looking to finance the handsome compact can take advantage of attractive interest rates starting at 0.9 percent for up to 36 months, or 2.9 percent for up to 60 months. Ford is also offering attractive deals on the subcompact Fiesta, including cash back offers of up to $500 and interest rates of 1.9 percent for 36 months or 3.9 percent for up to 60 months.

Honda Accord

Although the year-end "Happy Honda Days" event is over, Honda is still offering great deals on several popular models including the midsize Accord sedan. According to the automaker, qualified buyers who lease a 2012 Accord by January 31 can secure monthly payments of just $250 with nothing due at signing - a great deal on a dependable car with a long list of standard equipment. Honda is also offering 0.9 percent financing on all Accord sedans and coupes for up to 36 months, or up to 60 months on the slow-selling Accord-based Crosstour hatchback.

Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai is offering several attractive deals on its handsome new Elantra compact, including interest rates as low as 1.9 percent for 36 months on all 2011 and 2012 models. The automaker is also offering lease deals from just $179 per month for 36 months on all 2012 Elantras - an attractive rate Hyundai is also extending to its sporty new Veloster, which features unique styling, a fuel efficient 138-horsepower four-cylinder and a novel three-door exterior setup featuring one door on the hatchback's driver's side and two on the passenger's side.

Subaru Legacy

Subaru's midsize Legacy provides a fantastic choice for consumers who don't want an SUV but still need the year-round utility of an all-wheel drive vehicle. Through January 31, it's also a great deal thanks to 1.9 percent financing for qualified buyers, or lease rates starting at only $199 per month with just $1,999 due at signing. Although that offer only applies to the base-level 170-horsepower Legacy 2.5i model, it still strikes us as a great deal for a newly redesigned car that's loaded with all-wheel drive and a host of safety features.

Toyota Prius

Toyota's miserly Prius hatchback is still one of the trendiest cars around - and through the end of January, it's available with a slew of special offers designed to clear out remaining 2011 models. According to Toyota, car shoppers interested in purchasing a remaining 2011 Prius can take up to $750 cash back, while consumers looking to finance the hybrid can qualify for zero percent interest rates for up to 36 months or 2.9 percent for 60 months. For those looking to lease, Toyota is offering monthly payments of just $249 per month for 36 months with just $2,399 due at signing. Regardless of the offer, all three deals represent a great price on one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the market.

What it means to you: Several automakers are offering great deals on remaining 2011 models if you don't need the latest model year.

author photo

Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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