Now Is the Time to Get Yourself a Midsize Sedan on a Dirt Cheap Lease Deal

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
now is the time to get yourself a midsize sedan on a dirt cheap lease deal

“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.

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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5 of 76 comments
  • Steve65 Steve65 on Jun 08, 2017

    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.

    • Caltemus Caltemus on Jun 08, 2017

      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.

  • Chaparral Chaparral on Jun 08, 2017

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

    • See 1 previous
    • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Jun 13, 2017

      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.

  • Inside Looking Out Enforcing laws? It is so yesterday! Welcome to California!
  • Lou_BC You'd think cops would have an understanding of the laws they are supposed to enforce.
  • Merlyn I’m on my second Spark and love it! I can pass any car I’ve never had a problem going up a hill it does just fine. As for cargo I can fit three suitcases, two book bags and still have the front seat for a passenger. Not sure what point this guy is trying to make. I have hand free phone service and Sirius radio plug in my phone and have navigation. I would buy another spark in a heartbeat.
  • Buickman I won't own one and I'll be happy!
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