Euro Cars Top Lease List

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

The Detroit automakers are trimming or eliminating their leasing programs due to plunging resale values and inflated residuals. In fact, in July leases accounted for only 19.7 percent of retail volume for the U.S. auto industry. However, leasing remains the way a lot of automakers use to put someone into an expensive car they really can't afford. And four of the most-commonly leased vehicles in the U.S. are BMWs (7 Series, Z4, 6 Series and X3). Bucking the current trend, sales and marketing VP at BMW Group Financial Services, Daniel DeChristopher, told BusinessWeek "we are still very committed to the leasing business." That's even though 70 percent of off-lease vehicles are returned to BMW Financial to be resold, usually as certified pre-owned cars. BMW is hedging its bet on leasing, though. They're also offering 0.9 percent APR loans during their "gotta unload these '08s before the '09s show up" sale. The top ten most commonly leased vehicles, and the percentage of them leased between January 1 and August 10 this year are:

BMW 7 Series – 85.3 percent

Saab 9-7x – 82.2 percent

Audi A6 – 74.1 percent

BMW Z4 – 70.7 percent

Mercedes E-class – 70 percent

Range Rover – 69.6 percent

BMW 6 Series – 68.6 percent

Audi A4/S4 – 68 percent

BMW X3 – 67.3 percent

Jaguar XJ – 65.8 percent

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  • Phil Phil on Aug 27, 2008

    BMWs are perfect lease vehicles. the maintenance is free for the lease period and BMW typically has very aggressive money factors and good residuals on the 3s and 5s. as a business owner i have the business lease the car, so as mentioned above, the lease is paid using pretax dollars and represents a business expense. i don't think leasing is a good choice if you have to use after tax dollars that are not deductible.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Aug 27, 2008

    At first glance I thought I saw "Ranger" as in Ford Ranger!!! Oh! Range Rover... Makes better sense...

  • 200k-min 200k-min on Aug 27, 2008

    I'm wondering how corporate leases work into that list. My brother drives a company car that is leased by his employer through a 3rd party that does bulk purchases through the manufacturers. While he currently drives a Caravan his next promotion will put him into a Cadillac or Lincoln. Higher executives get choices of Lexus, Mercedes, etc. My hunch is the 7 series is a big time corporate lease vehicle where teh Z4 is more leased by private individuals.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Aug 27, 2008

    The United States Government wants me to lease my vehicles. They allow me to write off my lease payments as depreciation (business expense, I'm a lawyer, I use my car to see clients) - and thus deduct my lease payment from my income tax. It gets better. I put 0% on my leases, meaning I finance the sales tax. Meaning when I write off my payments, I get to write off my sales tax - from my income tax. USA USA USA!