By on June 7, 2017

2017 Toyota Camry SE - Image: Toyota“Stepping up to a midsize is basically a no-brainer for buyers at this point,” CarsDirect’s senior price analyst Alex Bernstein tells TTAC.

With demand for midsize sedans drying up, deals on aging models are warming up.

Now in its sixth model year, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T S — the entry-level Passat — is available in June for a 36-month lease at $189 per month and $1,999 due at signing.

The 2017 Honda Accord, a new version of which is due later this year, is also available in June in basic LX trim on the same terms.

Meanwhile, the mid-grade 2017 Toyota Camry SE 2.5, set to be replaced in the coming months by an all-new model, is likewise available in June for $189 per month with $1,999 down over 36 months.

“This is about as cheap as lease deals have ever been on these midsize sedans,” Bernstein says. But it actually gets even cheaper, marginally cheaper, according to CarsDirect’s examination of 500 lease deals.

The Toyota Camry is America’s best-selling car so far this year, but sales are in decline because of the model’s old age and the general neglect buyers are showing toward midsize cars. Not only are three pickup truck lineups outperforming the Camry in 2017, three compact crossovers are doing so, as well. Camry sales are down 12 percent, year-over-year. That Toyota would offer deals is not surprising, but the affordability of this Camry offer is nevertheless extreme.

The Honda Accord was America’s best-selling car in May 2017. Honda reported a 5-percent uptick in May Accord sales, but year-to-date, Accord volume is down 7 percent.

The Volkswagen Passat, on the other hand, is no best seller. The Passat was also featured in our 12th Midsize Sedan Deathwatch as we begin to see Volkswagen’s midsize sedan sharing space with the new Chattanooga-built Atlas SUV. Passat sales are rising this year, but only in comparison to a dreadful 2016.

According to, there are roughly 114,000 new Camrys, Accords, and Passats in stock in U.S. dealers.

As attractive as deals on that trio of sedans can be, the entry-level 2017 Hyundai Sonata SE’s best lease deal is a $179 monthly payment with $2,199 due at signing. That effective monthly cost puts the Sonata SE five bucks below the Camry, Accord, and Passat.2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium - Image: Subaru

And, one dollar below the Sonata’s effective monthly cost, is a lease offer on the 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium — one rung up from the base model. With $0 down, the Subaru’s $239 payment over 36 months is ever so slightly lower, all things considered.

With prices that low, why buy a small car?

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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76 Comments on “Now Is the Time to Get Yourself a Midsize Sedan on a Dirt Cheap Lease Deal...”

  • avatar

    Residuals on these models is likely to get worse as the flood of former lease cars come on the market and market preferences continue to shift towards CUVs. Whoever owns these leases (or subsidizes them) is going to take a bath in 36 months.

    • 0 avatar

      Probably, but what other choice do automakers have with rows of sedans sitting. I wonder how mid and large luxury sedans are doing compared to their equivalent SUV stablemates.

      For example, 5 series vs X3 or A4 vs Q5.

  • avatar

    Dumb question from a guy who wouldn’t lease if you stuck cocktail forks in my eyeballs:

    Are there comparable deals to be had for those who prefer to buy their car? And if not, what are the financial considerations that let carmakers offer better deals to lessors than to buyers?

    • 0 avatar

      They get the car back in 3 years, almost guaranteed, so they can make another guaranteed profit on the CPO sale.

    • 0 avatar

      I didn’t have good enuf credit one time to buy an Accord, but my credit was good enuf to lease. When the lease was up I bought the vehicle. No regrets.

      As for comparable deals, 0% for 72 months is very common right now. Some, like the Sonata, have $6000 rebates in my area. Deals come & go, you just have to keep waiting for the one that fits your budget.

    • 0 avatar

      eggsalad mentioned the biggest one but there are others:

      1. If they sell a heavily discounted car, they need to take the loss now. If they lease with a generous residual, they (may) take that loss in 3 years.

      2. Lease deals, as a way to move metal, do less damage to the brand that advertising thousands off MSRP. The public tends to view lease deals as a good deal and thousand off MSRP as indicating something is wrong with the car.

    • 0 avatar

      All of these manufacturers offer 0% APR deals as well if you prefer buying.

      But given that resale on these cars (excluding the Accord) is bound to be awful, I wouldn’t do an installment purchase one one unless I was planning to keep it for 10 years.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “But given that resale on these cars (excluding the Accord) is bound to be awful”

        Mike, the Accord is below the Legacy in resale and barely higher than the Camry.

        Unless you have a Wrangler or Tacoma or cash-on-hood Big3 pickup, selling any newly purchased vehicle before 10 years will cost you in depreciation.

        • 0 avatar

          That’s interesting, 30 mile – I can find TONS of dirt-cheap ex-rental 2016 Camrys around here, but Accords seem to hold their value a lot better.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Dunno how to explain it and I don’t even know if KBB is right. I just have an annoying OCD fixation with finding something resembling a study rather than anecdotal observations.

            Maybe by the 36 month mark those 2016s will be worth more than their current firesale pricing suggests, maybe its regional, maybe in 3 years it will be a different story altogether and Toyota’s fleet binge really will have depressed resale values.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Voyd

            Toyota has a 3k customer incentive on Camrys until 07/05 – in my area, this pushes the price of an SE (before taxes) to under 20k. The previous incentive was 2k, I believe.

            No wonder ex-rental Camrys are cheap, though even at 16k, a one-year old one at the end of its warranty based on mileage, is no bargain, IMHO.

      • 0 avatar


        On 10 years of ownership and assuming 150k miles and equal condition, all of these cars are going to be within $1000 of each other in value, or at the very least not anywhere near the initial price delta you’ll see between an Accord and an equivalent Sonata.

      • 0 avatar

        According to Edmund’s 12/36 residuals are 56-58% for the Malibu, same as the Accord. Factoring Malibu $1,000 lease cash and a couple more grand on the hood and Malibu residuals are pushing 70%, or much higher than than the Accord.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t understand the aversion to leasing. Let’s say 3 years ago you signed a lease for a midsize sedan for 250 a month instead of paying 500+ a month to someday own it but you took that 250+ a month you didn’t plow into a rapidly depreciating car loan and instead bought stocks. Where would you be right now? You’d be wealthier and you’d be turning in a sedan with outdated tech that you’re tired of driving by now. Or say you alternatively invested the difference in yourself for training, certifications, or education. Leasing can be very useful when you have something better to do with cash.

      • 0 avatar

        Haha. Ask any random person coming out of a Nissan store who just leased a new beigemobile how their investments are going. Hint: they don’t have any. Nice theory, except no one does it.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t think there’s any right or wrong answer when it comes to how to finance a new car, cactuar. But if you want a new car every couple of years, leasing is by far the best way to go.

          • 0 avatar

            Leased vehicles usually have millage limits, which are often incredibly expensive to go over.

          • 0 avatar

            I would love to lease if I could, but given my 90 miles is commuting distance a day, I’d hit the cap with more than half the time left to go.

            Paying for the additional mileage up front give me a payment equivalent to buying (sometimes higher actually), so that’s what I end up doing.

      • 0 avatar

        I can only answer for myself about my aversion to leasing. Two basic reasons:

        1) I like to understand what I’m paying for a car, and whether it’s a good deal. I’ve read till I’m blue in the face about ho to understand the factors in a lease deal, and I’m really good at math generally, and I’m still not intuitively comfortable that I understand the numbers of a lease deal. Say whatever you want about this, but for me personally, every word of it is the truth.

        2) I buy a car new or young, take excellent care of it and keep it for a really long time. Buying makes more sense for me than surrendering that well-kept car, so I can be the one who enjoys the reward for its excellent condition and lengthened life.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @tonycd: and there’s the rub. For many who lease a vehicle, they change the oil/filter twice a year, the air/cabin filter once a year and that is it regarding maintenance.

          If a buyer takes their car for regular maintenance to the dealer the difference in maintenance costs is not insignificant.

          And an alert leaser always has a car that is under the manufacturer’s warranty.

      • 0 avatar


        If your tired of driving a vehicle after 3 years, you made a poor choice at purchase. Leasing cars is like renting an apartment, great if you have a near minimum wage job(but only because you have no choice), but an extremely poor decision if you value your money. As far as depreciation, buy vehicles that don’t depreciate fast, problem solved. 4Runner, SS sedan, Fullsize truck or SUV. If you buy poorly made vehicles they tend to depreciate faster.

        • 0 avatar

          SS? Wasn’t this like a $54K ride when new?

          MY14 Chevrolet (Commodore) SS

          5/23/17 $32,345* 23,968 – – 8CY/A Black Regular Southwest Texas Hobby
          5/12/17 $25,400 54,875 2.3 8G/A Black Lease Northeast Pennsylvania
          4/25/17 $31,900 7,135 – – 8G/A Red – – Midwest Detroit
          4/5/17 $25,750 23,238 2.4 8G/A Red Lease Southwest Denver
          3/22/17 $27,900 18,831 2.9 8G/A Black Lease Southwest Dallas
          3/20/17 $20,900 102,569 – – 8G/A – – Regular Southeast myCentralAuction

          • 0 avatar

            A 2014 SS was like $45K when new.


            It looks like about a 57% 3-year residual, which seems decent for a big sedan, but I’m guessing a good bit away from a 4Runner or Suburban 2500.

          • 0 avatar

            Look up the 15 and 16, the 14s have a harsh ride and lack the options of the later cars.

          • 0 avatar

            The residual was about 53% on the Buicks during the time of our LORD, so this is typical of GM “car”.

            Heres MY14 Suburban LS 4×4 which doesn’t fare as well as I thought:

            2/9/17 $29,700 31,742 4.2 8ET/A Silver Lease Midwest Northstar Minnesota
            1/12/17 $30,600 33,209 4.3 8ET/A Silver Lease Northeast Fredericksburg
            3/8/17 $29,500 36,545 4.1 8ET/A Silver Regular West Coast Seattle
            3/31/17 $23,600 85,836 4.9 8ET/A Black Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
            3/28/17 $13,100* 104,721 – – 8G/A Black Regular Southwest Denver
            2/23/17 $15,600 123,817 3.6 8G/A Black Regular Midwest Detroit

            MY14 SR5 4Runner 4wd

            5/26/17 $29,000 20,332 4.7 6G/A Blue Regular West Coast Nevada
            5/16/17 $29,800 24,262 4.9 6G/A Gray Lease Southeast Orlando
            5/12/17 $27,000 26,319 3.9 6G/A White Lease Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/26/17 $25,600 27,051 3.4 6G/A Silver Lease Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/12/17 $25,400 27,258 2.7 6G/A White Lease Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/19/17 $28,700 27,262 3.5 6G/A White Regular Southeast Nashville
            5/16/17 $29,000 32,681 4.4 6G/A Red Lease Southeast Orlando
            5/9/17 $27,800 33,632 4.4 6G/A White Lease Southeast Orlando
            5/30/17 $25,000 34,063 3.6 6G/A Gray Lease Southeast Orlando
            5/17/17 $27,750 38,418 4.1 6G/A White Regular Southwest Denver
            5/10/17 $24,100 39,644 4.4 6G/A White Regular Northeast Pittsburgh
            6/2/17 $27,500 44,730 3.4 6G/A Gray Regular West Coast Nevada
            5/22/17 $26,550 46,935 4.1 6G/A Black Regular Southeast Orlando
            5/16/17 $25,900 47,072 5.0 6G/A Silver Regular Midwest Ohio
            6/3/17 $25,000 59,615 3.5 6G/A Black Regular Southeast Palm Beach
            5/10/17 $24,800 62,097 4.2 6G/A Black Regular Midwest Detroit
            5/11/17 $24,750 71,681 4.7 6G/A Gray Lease West Coast Phoenix
            5/18/17 $19,200 129,593 3.6 6G/A Silver Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/11/17 $17,550 132,286 4.0 6G/A Black Regular Southeast Central Florida

            Frack me those are similar, what were the original costs?

            For S&G, it seems the Teslas are starting to come down, if only a little.

            MY14 Tesla S 60

            5/25/17 $42,000 17,592 3.5 EL/A Black Lease Southeast Palm Beach
            4/5/17 $47,000 20,745 – – NON/- – Blue Regular Midwest Milwaukee
            4/21/17 $38,750* 30,424 3.3 EL/A Blue Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/11/17 $43,000 31,551 4.4 EL/A White Lease Midwest Cincinnati
            5/17/17 $39,100 63,389 3.8 EL/A White Regular West Coast San Francisco Bay

            Tesla S 80

            5/26/17 $50,250 25,048 4.1 EL/A White Regular West Coast Nevada
            5/17/17 $41,000 26,359 1.3 EL/A Green Lease Northeast New Jersey
            5/10/17 $50,500 26,505 – – EL/A Silver Regular Southwest Dallas
            5/24/17 $44,000 41,658 3.7 EL/A Black Lease West Coast California
            5/25/17 $46,000 58,162 4.2 EL/A White Lease Northeast Pennsylvania
            4/6/17 $46,500 62,030 4.3 EL/A Red Regular West Coast Riverside

          • 0 avatar

            Can I get a please?

            MY15 Chev Suburban LS 4×4

            1/11/17 $35,000 19,929 – – 8G/- – White Regular West Coast Utah
            5/3/17 $33,000 30,516 – – 8G/A Red Regular Northeast New Jersey
            2/15/17 $34,000 49,134 4.2 8G/A White Regular West Coast Seattle
            1/18/17 $32,500 56,821 4.0 8G/A Gray Regular West Coast Seattle
            3/8/17 $28,300 65,954 2.7 8G/A Gray Regular Southwest Dallas
            4/25/17 $26,200 84,332 – – 8CY/A Black Regular Northeast NY Metro Skylin

            LTZ 4×4

            5/8/17 $51,600 14,590 – – 8G/A Black Regular Northeast New Jersey
            5/12/17 $51,250 19,878 4.6 8G/A White Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/31/17 $51,000 26,303 – – 8CY/A Black Regular Northeast Albany
            5/26/17 $44,600 35,236 4.2 8G/A Black Lease Northeast Pennsylvania
            6/1/17 $43,500 35,407 3.4 8G/A Black Lease West Coast Phoenix
            5/9/17 $49,500 37,146 – – 8CY/A Black Regular Southeast Statesville
            5/24/17 $47,900 38,625 4.3 8G/A White Lease Northeast New York
            5/10/17 $49,500 38,847 4.2 8G/A Black Regular Southwest Dallas
            6/2/17 $44,000 40,382 4.6 8G/A Black Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/31/17 $44,500 43,269 3.7 8G/A Black Regular Midwest Kansas City
            5/18/17 $48,300 45,497 3.7 8ET/A Black Lease Midwest Northstar Minnesota
            5/10/17 $44,250 46,083 4.1 8ET/A Silver Regular Midwest Milwaukee
            6/6/17 $46,200 46,988 4.4 8G/A Silver Regular Southeast Orlando
            5/12/17 $48,000 48,667 4.7 8G/A Black Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/18/17 $45,600 49,535 4.3 8G/A White Lease Midwest Detroit
            5/26/17 $39,500 58,058 3.7 8G/A Black Lease Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/16/17 $42,000 59,895 4.9 8G/A White Regular Southeast Orlando
            5/9/17 $39,900 60,013 4.1 8G/A Black Regular Southeast Nashville
            6/5/17 $41,800 60,448 – – 8CY/A Black Regular Midwest Detroit
            5/30/17 $44,500 61,681 4.6 8G/A White Regular Southeast Nashville
            5/12/17 $36,000 71,221 4.3 8G/A Silver Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/12/17 $36,750 76,276 2.7 8G/A Black Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/16/17 $40,100 78,008 4.2 8G/A Black Regular Southeast Statesville
            5/31/17 $37,250 83,238 4.4 8G/A Gray Regular Northeast New Jersey
            5/17/17 $37,100 86,214 3.4 8G/A Black Regular Southwest Dallas

            MY15 “Cadillac” Escalade ESV 4×4 LUXURY

            5/24/17 $56,500 33,058 – – 8G/A Black Regular Northeast New Jersey
            5/2/17 $53,750 38,732 4.0 8G/A Black Lease Midwest Ohio
            5/26/17 $49,100 44,160 4.1 8G/A Black Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
            5/19/17 $47,500 47,730 4.6 8G/A Black Regular Southeast Nashville
            6/5/17 $46,900 54,656 – – 8CY/A Black Regular Northeast New England
            5/11/17 $44,500 66,051 4.3 8G/A Black Regular Northeast Pennsylvan

            Noticed a few ESVs trading within a few Gs of LTZ ‘burbans.

            What say you Johann?

          • 0 avatar

            What site are you using to compile those searches


          • 0 avatar

            This is from Manheim.

            Looks like the MY16 ESVs lost about 25K in a year and a half, or do Cadiwreck dealers put money on the hood of these?

            MY16 Escalade ESV LUXURY

            5/23/17 $49,750* 12,993 3.6 8G/A Black – – West Coast Portland
            5/30/17 $59,900 14,873 4.3 8G/A Black Regular Southeast Georgia
            6/1/17 $55,000 20,300 4.3 8G/A White Lease West Coast Riverside
            5/23/17 $54,500 21,423 – – 8G/A Beige – – Southwest Denver
            6/6/17 $59,800 22,506 4.6 8G/A Black Regular Southeast Orlando
            5/24/17 $57,800 26,801 3.8 8G/A Red Regular Midwest Kansas City
            5/18/17 $58,000 27,969 3.7 8G/A White Lease West Coast Riverside

            2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium Luxury
            Luxury vehicle
            U.S. News Best Cars – US News & World Report
            Car and Driver
            Model: 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV
            MSRP: From $85,895

          • 0 avatar

            Gotcha, thanks

            Jeez 50k for 13k miles on a escy? Not surprising but still, I think this proves that the segment is void of any real competition if GM is able to sell so many of them above what the realistic price is. I don’t see why no other automaker is willing to play, easy money.

          • 0 avatar


          • 0 avatar

            Oh boy the dealerships that bought those Teslas are in for a world of hurt. Tesla just aggressively cut their CPO pricing on used Model S’s so you can buy a CPO one from them with a warranty for less than some of those auction prices.

          • 0 avatar

            2017 Buick LaCrosse from Edmund’s:

            Any lease numbers for 24/12k & 36/12?
            24/12 – .00110 and 67%
            36/12 – .00075 and 60%

            $350 lease cash

          • 0 avatar


            How interesting, I wasn’t aware you could even buy a CPO Tesla.

        • 0 avatar

          Ah, hummer, always the judgmental one.

          No, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a new car every couple of years. It’s called “car enthusiasm.”

          And I underwrite high-net-worth mortgage loans for a living. Most of these folks lease their cars.

      • 0 avatar

        I have absolutely zero issues leasing a car. Simple fact is, Im not having a car much longer than 5 years or 100k miles no matter what. I have purchased several cars just to trade up 5 years later. I have reached a point in my life where I can afford new cars, don’t want to drive old cars. Don’t want to pay a dime for maintenance. I love the generalizations about people who lease. I have enough equity in my home, enough saved for retirement and enough in my kids college funds to buy my current fleet outright many times over. But I don’t buy because right now I am leasing 2 cars. Yes 2, I am a truly a proletariat I know. Yet, I put zero down one each lease, both 15k miles per year and pay less than 1% of the MSRP on each vehicle per month (INCLUDING TAXES AND ALL FEES). So if you do the math on that I am into the 4th 3 year lease on a brand spankin new car for the same price as I could have purchased it at zero percent (With ZERO maintenance mind you). OK, the person who purchased and kept their car for 15 years comes out ahead. Don’t care, tell it to the taillights of my new car as I pass your tired jalopy. Leasing is stupid if it is on stupid terms. Simple as that. There are many cars that just don’t lease well, period. Don’t lease them. Then there are cars that are an absolute steal to lease. Lease those ones instead.

        • 0 avatar


          If you want to buy a car and drive it until it begs to be taken to the junkyard 15 years from now, go for it. it’s your money and your choice. Personally, I’d rather have something new every few years, and if that’s what you want, then leasing is by far the best way to go.

      • 0 avatar

        Tbk479, except with domestics as the cash on the hood can be close to $10,000 on a small cuv that is last year’s model or two years old can be quite the deal at 1/3rd off. No such deals with the Japanese.

    • 0 avatar

      Automakers either have unrealistic residual value assumption or they give you a low mileage allowance and hope you get stuck with lots of unexpected charges. They also hope you buy it out at the end of the lease when the residual value is greater than the actual market value.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know if it’s still active, but Hyundai had as much as $6750 in trim-dependent rebates plus $1k in uber driver cash for Sonata buyers. Doing the math on an SE ($5100 off if you sign up for Uber before buying), it’s around a $16500 pre-tax price, which ends up being a $300 payment for a brand new car with 0 down on the 0% finance rate.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Please quit tormenting us Canadians with those U.S.A only deals!

    • 0 avatar

      Base legacy up here at 430 a month… Double!

      • 0 avatar

        I know right! I live in Quebec and a base model Honda Fit with 2000$ down and 36 month lease comes to 202$ per month. Ridiculous! I understand that it’s the exchange rate that’s killing us but most of the sites I look at are in USD$ and it just discourages me every time.

        • 0 avatar

          Fits are expensive to lease in the U.S. as well. I looked at one last fall and was shocked to learn you could actually lease an Accord cheaper.

  • avatar

    “As attractive as deals on that trio of sedans can be, the entry-level 2017 Hyundai Sonata SE’s best lease deal is a $179 monthly payment with $2,199 due at signing.”

    Wait, how come consumers cannot find 1000$ for an unexpected emergency but don’t have issues with a large $2,199 initial payment on a lease?

    • 0 avatar

      Well…if you can’t (or in my case, wouldn’t be stupid enough to) put down two grand on a lease, you just recalculate the payment based on zero cap cost. It’d probably add about $60 a month to the payment assuming a 36 month deal.

      • 0 avatar

        Right but the term specifies “at signing”, so surely you can’t just roll in that amount into the monthly payment?

        • 0 avatar

          You can roll it in, at which point it ends up added to the cap cost of the car (and you pay whatever interest is required on the lease on the first payment amount). Some dealers will toss in the first payment during negotiations (which is what happened on my car). Just make sure the cap cost is reduced by the amount of the payment they’re tossing in.

    • 0 avatar

      They don’t. This is a fake number to make the payment look good. Likewise, here in NY, they never have “taxes” included, which adds 8% to the transaction price, and leases get no love here, full price, thanks-add $3,000 to the price of a normal car.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s one of the nice things about leasing in Colorado – the state sales tax gets added to the “monthly usage.” In my case, that’s 8%, or $17 a month – $612 over the life of the lease.

        If I’d paid cash or done an installment loan, then the sales tax for my car would have been well over a grand.

    • 0 avatar

      Most buyers probably have a trade that covers the amount or at least comes close.

      • 0 avatar

        I wouldn’t trade in for a leased vehicle. Put $0 into the new leased car, sell the old one, and bank the cash.

        • 0 avatar

          To most people it’s not worth the time or effort, or they don’t have any idea how to.

          • 0 avatar


          • 0 avatar


            Carmax is going to give you what amounts to trade-in value, but without the tax advantage on a new vehicle purchase.

            I mean, I don’t know if those advantages apply to leases, but it’s not like you’re magically coming out ahead.

          • 0 avatar

            “without the tax advantage on a new vehicle purchase.”

            Which is?

          • 0 avatar

            I think duffman’s talking about how sales taxes are calculated in most places (i.e., on the net purchase price of the new car after trade). Valid point. But if I were thinking of how to grow the money I got off the old car, I’d invest it, and be less concerned about having to spend a couple hundred bucks extra on sales taxes.

            Let’s face it – buying and selling cars isn’t going to make you money if you’re a consumer, unless it’s some kind of “buy a Dodge Demon and then store it for 20 years” kind of scenario.

  • avatar

    These are indeed decent deals. However, as someone who recently did a lease, watch for a couple of things:

    1) Decide if you REALLY want to put any money down. Personally, I think it’s a bad move – it’s like spending money to upgrade the cabinets in an apartment, if you think about it. No-cap-cost leases are available – on any of these, it’d add around $60 a month. Typically a dealer can also toss in the first payment if you negotiate (which is what I did with my lease).

    2) Watch for the taxes – they’re never included in these payments. In my state (Colorado), the sales tax is paid monthly for the term of the lease and varies by locality. In my case, it’s an 8% add to my base usage. Personally, I think this is a FAR better deal than paying thousands of dollars up front, and when the lease’s over, so’s the tax bill.

    3) Watch for the mileage allowance. The Passat’s lease deal assumes 10,000 miles a year. No one drives that little. In my case, a reasonable mileage allowance added around $25/mo to my bill.

    4) Dealers need to disclose cap cost, money factor, and dollar residuals as part of any deal. If a dealer won’t do that, walk.

    Personally, I’d take the Camry – the mileage allowance is reasonable and they toss in two years of scheduled maintenance.

  • avatar

    Fantastic. I’m going to need a new Uber vehicle in a year or so. A nice, cheap off lease sedan with a crushed residual will do just nicely.

  • avatar

    There is merit to this story. I recently bought my 2016 Nissan Altima 3.5SR for a verified $4,000 below dealer cost. Since I used to work there many moons ago, the F&I guy laughed and showed me their papers confirming this at signing. With financing arranged and extras declined, he had nothing to lose by merely being a proxy to the document signing. Apparently, some midsize sedans are indeed lot poison, and I’m pretty sure I bought the cheapest V6 4DSC (heh) available in my geographic area.

  • avatar

    I just got a Jetta S for $187 per month, all in, no $ down, 12k miles/year. VW put $1500 Memorial Day $ on the hood and the dealer discounted off sticker. NY charges full tax on leases, which goes to the cap cost. We took a manual off the lot in blue. Since that is car for my college kid, I have total peace of mind for $187 per month… I don’t have to worry about a used car which will get no love away from my driveway and if it poops, is a few hundred miles off.

    • 0 avatar

      Mine ended up a bit more expensive than that (no $1500 cash on the hood), but yeah. Excellent deal for a college kid. Just make sure he (or she) doesn’t go over the 12,000 miles a year.

  • avatar

    As a non-leasee who would reconsider my position, I find it irritating that so many of the lease incentives these days are targeted to current lessees of competitor brands (but not owners)

    • 0 avatar

      There are usually 0% deals for purchase. The price really depends of the life cycle of the vehicle. If you can for go tech like Android Auto offered in 2017 and not 2016, the later is usually a better deal with discounting. Today you cannot lease a 2016 even though it may be brand new sitting on the dealership lot. The 2016 will have higher discounts and maybe enough to persuade the purchase of a new 2016 over the lease of a 2017.

  • avatar

    I was helping a friend whose lease on a Chevy Cruze is about to be up. He’s also about to run over the miles on it.

    The best deal would be to buy the car from Ally at a reasonable price but we’ve had no response to the letter I’ve written.

    Actually, once you figure in down payment, the leap to buying the car outright isn’t that much in monthly payment, we discovered. Re: The sonata. Once you divide out the 2199 over 36 months, you end up with a total monthly payment of $240/month. There’s a ridiculous amount of cash on the hood right now so you could buy the car at 17K drive out price, do 60 months, and end up with a payment around $300/more, which is only $60 more per month. If you lease it, at the end of 36 months, you have to lease something else or buy it. Even at 5 years, the Sonata will still have plenty of trouble free life in it and you don’t have to worry about running over the miles.

    The lease deals are good teaser numbers but once you do the math, they aren’t that great compared with purchasing the car.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s even crazier stepping up to the limited. Between the current incentives (they scale with trim level) and the additional stuff I qualify for due to my personal status (military, recent grad school grad, current Hyundai owner), and the fact that they spot you another $1k just for signing up for Uber assuming your current vehicle qualifies, I would be looking at almost $9k off sticker, and probably more than $10k once a little bit of negotiating was done.

      They are stupidly cheap right now.

  • avatar

    Wait a minute, 189 for 36 months, 2k down, that’s about 8800. In my area brand new Camry SE’s are advertised at 20.5-21k all day long. Are Camry residual that bad these days?

  • avatar

    I’m trying to figure why leasing or buying a car I don’t want would be a “no brainer”. I have zero interest in driving a mid-size car. Zilch. Zippo. Nada. Nicht. None. My current car is a compact sedan, my next car will be a compact hatchback, and in a perfect world with an unlimited budget, I still have no need for anything bigger than a Fiesta or Spark as a daily driver. The notion that bigger is an “upgrade” is based on values that don’t apply to me.

    • 0 avatar

      You arent in the market for a new car, and you know exactly what you want. This article was not directed at your demographic; I would say it makes since for someone still shopping around. Why not get more car for the same money? Especially in flyover parts of the country where space doesn’t come at as much of a premium. If I had to do large amounts of highway driving, I’d take the longer wheelbase and higher likelihood of adequate sound deadening on the midsize over a compact.

  • avatar

    28 Cars Later, can you provide me with early ATS 2.0T values? I’m looking for RWD/manual if you have that separated.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know the numbers, but RWD is poison in the NY area and upstate. If you speak “snow tires” you can get a screaming deal by removing a lot turd from the dealer. My RWD car sat three months, and the price was dropped twice before I got there, and they dropped it a bit more when I got there.

    • 0 avatar

      New ATS 2.0T are starting at $26-29K on cars dot c om. Discounts are $8,000-12,000 off MSRP. Used values are off lease are mid to teens or about 60-70% residual or more. Not bad for a luxury car.

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