Leasing a Wrangler? If You're Really Cheap, You Might Want to Choose the Newer Model

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
leasing a wrangler if youre em really em cheap you might want to choose the

Unlike other vehicles in the Fiat Chrysler lineup, and we could list off a number of them, Jeep’s Wrangler line has a near supernatural ability to hold on to its value. Does worrying about depreciation keep you up at night? Forget that compact sedan and shell out a little more for a Wrangler.

For non-buyers, however, the leases offered by Jeep on both the 2018 JK Wrangler Unlimited and next-generation 2018 JL Wrangler Unlimited present both an opportunity and a mystery. Strangely, the cost of leasing an all-new Wrangler amounts to one dollar a month less than the cost of leasing the old Wrangler. What gives?

After discovering the JL Wrangler’s hidden leasing value, CarsDirect has an easy explanation.

First, some figures. In February, Jeep’s U.S. website shows the old 2018 Wrangler Unlimited Sport leasing for $284 a month for 36 months, with $2,499 due at signing. Listed MSRP is $30,390. In the same configuration, the new model leases for $283 a month for the same term, with the same downpayment. Despite a lower monthly payment, the new model’s MSRP is significantly higher than the outgoing model, at $33,690.

With no incentives available for either model, with both leases offered at the same annual percentage rate, the reason for the discrepancy comes down to the two vehicles’ residual value.

Unlike leasing, say, a Mitsubishi Mirage or Ford Focus, the monthly cost of a JK Wrangler Sport is helped by the fact the vehicle retains 71 percent of its value when the term ends. The lease payment has to cover less depreciation. For the next-generation JL Wrangler, an even higher residual value of 75 percent factors into the payment.

Great news for people wanting to spend three years behind the wheel of the newest Wrangler, right? Not necessarily. The residual factor helps lessees of four-door Unlimited models, but doesn’t do much for two-door lovers. A 2018 JL Wrangler Sport carries a residual value of 66 percent, making it 39 dollars a month more expensive to lease than its four-door sibling. In this case, going big saves you money.

As if two-door vehicles needed another disincentive.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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3 of 15 comments
  • Vulpine Vulpine on Feb 08, 2018

    Considering the resale value, why would ANYBODY lease one?

  • Tstag Tstag on Feb 09, 2018

    That’s interesting on this side of the pond you could write a similar article but substitute the brand Jeep for Land Rover. In the UK the brands that lose the least money are Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes and Audi. Consequently I have a penchant for buying used BMWs as they depreciate more than the aforementioned brands but are also very good premium cars. BMW it seems are flooding the UK lease market so getting a great deal is easy. However my next car will be a Land Rover, question is do I buy new?

    • FORDSHO FORDSHO on Feb 10, 2018

      I just picked up a L494 RANGE ROVER SPORT with the Dynamic Package, corris gray with brown leather interior back in October, has the 5.0L Supercharged V8, Meridian sound, pano roof, etc. Amazing vehicle...I was initially scared away from all of the "reliability horror stories" you hear, but quickly learned through research and talking to actual owners that this applies to the late 90s and 2000s vintage Land Rovers. The 2014+ models have had very minor problems, if any, common of any auto-maker. Only widespread things are an initial run of bad 02 sensors due to a supplier glitch that was fixed mid-model year and some ECU updates to the suspension programming to fix initial glitches in weather below 20 degrees. You will not regret it!

  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.
  • Saeed Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models
  • Probert Wow - so many digital renders - Ford, Stellantis. - whose next!!! They're really bringing it on....
  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.
  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.