By on February 8, 2018

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

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.

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

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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15 Comments on “Leasing a Wrangler? If You’re Really Cheap, You Might Want to Choose the Newer Model...”

  • avatar

    WOW! TTAC discovere America… I mean – residual value affect on lease

    • 0 avatar

      Naturally, they’re betting that resale value will be higher after the lease period than it was when new. Buying outright is really the cheaper way to go when it comes to a Wrangler. Even at 9 years, I got a full 50% of my initial sales price back on trade, meaning a $31K vehicle only cost me about $15K to drive (not counting fuel) for 9 years (to the month.)

      • 0 avatar

        I am going to keep this in mind. My only problem, can’t make it clear – Mustang or Jeep/4Runner? I don’t know what I want more, speed/handling or off-road

  • avatar

    So if you lease a Jeep, can you take it off road or are you restricted to going to the genius bar at the apple store?

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly what I was thinking. Other than projecting image, there doesn’t seem to be a point in it.

      “Hi, I’d like to lease a vehicle with lots of disadvantages on road, but that performs great off road, where I’m forbidden to take it because it might be damaged, and that will be damage I’ll be liable for.”

      • 0 avatar
        G8 Zo

        This sounds the same as if you bought it. You would still be liable for the damage it you took it off road. Doesn’t change anything.

        • 0 avatar

          Well it is a convertible. The doors come off and it seats 4 comfortably. Find me another convertible that does that? And one that is also capable in the snow. Or that you can take on the beach.

          It’s a versatile car as long as handling, acceleration, and MPG aren’t concerns for you.

      • 0 avatar

        Whenever I read these comments here it’s clear how many people have never actually leased a car and just reverberate other internet leasing theories. My last leased car, a fully loaded 2015 $56,000 Lexus RC FSport black with red leather interior, cost me $469 per month for 2 years including tax, $1,000 down, including DMV fees, etc.. I get a new car every 2 years anyway, because I work my a$$ off, so why not? The finance payment on my old $32k Ford Fusion was $500 a month for 5 years and at the end I was left with a car that was worth maybe $9k..,.Daily drove the Lexus to my office and everywhere else, drove the car from California to Florida, everywhere in-between. Turned in at the end in need of tires, an oil change and with large scrapes and gouges on the front bumper from hitting a metal construction road sign on the freeway at about 75MPH.

        The INTERNET would say “OHMIGOD LEASING NIGHTMARE YOU’RE ON THE HOOK FOR ALL OF THE FEEZ WHy WOULD ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN WASTE TIME AND PRECIOUS MONEY ON A LEASE!?!?!” Guess what!?! I ended up getting $780 of my $1,000 initial down payment REFUNDED approx. ~3 weeks after returning the lease. Imagine that.

        Unless you turn in a pile of steaming you know what at the end of the lease, you are fine. Give it a try some time and understand why thousands of smart people do leases every year. Sometimes, the financial benefits actually work thousands in your favor vs. financing, especially if you’re one to enjoy a brand new vehicle every few years. Signed, -Someone who has actual experience leasing 4 high-end vehicles

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think it matters. When you bring back, they look at damages and if they determine that you’re liable for it, you will pay. What you do, you buy insurance and repair damage using that. Where you drove the car – nobody cares. Only the result of your driving is matters. Just like any other car that you lease. If you bring damaged Accord, even if you never took it off road, will be same thing. They may say, we will charge you whatever. You simply should fix it before bringing back, using cash or insurance – up to you.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve leased three Jeeps. Everyone taken off-road (and I don’t mean a gravel parking lot). Nothing in the lease papers forbid me from doing that. And as long as you are not doing something stupid, they can take the off-road. Cosmetic damage is often fixed with a Torx driver and a new part.

        I lease my current ZR2 as well. Almost as much of a beast off-road as the Rubicon (almost).

  • avatar

    Unlike EVERY other vehicle in the Fiat Chrysler lineup.

  • avatar

    Considering the resale value, why would ANYBODY lease one?

  • avatar

    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?

    • 0 avatar

      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!

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