It is that time of year again, the time of year when auto dealers are desperately trying to rid themselves of the previous year’s models still taking up space on their lots so that they can make room for the new and improved editions on their way in from the manufacturers.

This, of course, benefits the consumer because there is a lot more room to “move and shake” with dealers in hopes of getting a sweet deal on a new ride. However, not every discounted model from the previous year is a good buy.

So, how can you tell what's good and what isn't? To help you along the way, Bankrate has released its list of the top models from 2012 that offer the biggest bang for your auto buck.

2012 Chevrolet Malibu

  • Price: $22,110
  • Gas mileage: 22 city / 33 highway
  • Note: affordable, $3,000 cash-back rebate or 0 percent financing for 60 months

Ford Mustang

  • Price: $22,310
  • Gas mileage: 19 city / 29 highway
  • Note:  affordable, $3,000 cash-back rebate or 0 percent financing for 60 months; military and police associations get an additional $500

GMC Acadia

  • Price: $31,835
  • Gas mileage: 17 city / 24 highway
  • Note: $2,000 cash-back rebate or 0 percent financing for 72 months

Nissan Sentra

  • Price: $16,430
  • Gas mileage: 21 city / 28 highway
  • Note: $1,000 cash-back rebate, free special-edition package worth $1,000, additional $500 if financed through Nissan and $500 financing bonus and 0 percent financing for 36 months

Kia Sedona

  • Price: $24,900
  • Gas mileage: 18 city / 25 highway
  • Note: $2,500 cash-back rebate with 1.9 percent financing for 36 months; additional $1,500 rebate, recent college graduates get additional $750 off, military gets addition $500 off

 

[NBC News]