America's Cheapest Lease: Pay Little, Go a Reasonable (but Not Exceptionally Long) Distance

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
americas cheapest lease pay little go a reasonable but not exceptionally long

There’s a new version of a rarely-seen car coming out for 2020, meaning if you’re living in the right place, and can find one, you may be able to get into a $109/month lease with nothing down. That’s currently the best lease offer in the country. So, what is this low-priced wonder car?

Well, it gets 124 miles to a charge, seats five, and hails from Ulsan, South Korea.

That vehicle is the electric variant of the Ioniq, a compact hatchback most often seen in hybrid or plug-in guise. If you’re living outside a ZEV state, perhaps you haven’t seen one at all. However, if you’re a person of modest means who loves the planet, your chariot may have just arrived.

As reported by CarsDirect, Hyundai aims to clear out a fairly spartan inventory of 2019 Ioniq Electrics before the updated, longer-range 2020 model appears. (It isn’t known how far a 2020 Ionq can go on a charge, but expect a range slightly exceeding that of a base Nissan Leaf).

If you can source an Ioniq Electric, the offer runs to the end of the month. Whereas previously, lessees would be on the hook for $219 a month, the new offer sees EV aficionados pay $109 a month with $2,500 due at signing. And if you’re in California and can get your hands on a Clean Vehicle Rebate, that one-time charge is (eventually) reduced to zero. Even with the Ioniq Electric’s less-than-stellar range, that’s a solid get for a car that starts north of $30k.

Thanks to a bump in factory lease cash, it isn’t just the base model that’s eligible for the lease offer in the Golden State. There’s a Limited to be had, too. Elsewhere, it’s all about that base.

In New York, the lease offer differs, but is no less appealing. For $79 a month and $999 down, residents of the Empire State can get into one of these little electrics for the equivalent of $107 a month. While you won’t make it to Albany on a charge, you can head from the Big Apple to the Hamptons with reasonable peace of mind.

Feeling very much like an Elantra GT with less cargo room, the Ioniq EV scoots around with surprising swiftness thanks to the 218 lb-ft of torque funneling to its low-drag front tires. Expect busloads of squeal if your right foot can’t help but mash the pedal.

[Images: Steph Willems/TTAC]

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  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Oct 08, 2019

    If I can find one (the closest is 268 miles away, in another state), I would lease one of these just to run radical experiments on it, such as trying to reprogram the software and upgrade the hardware to get 300+ miles out of it, and I'd also beat the ever loving sh*t out of it, as a third vehicle.

    • See 2 previous
    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 10, 2019

      @DedBull Yes - near Pittsburgh. Every round trip has regen, and there is no free lunch. What steeper hills giveth they also taketh away. Level ground is ideal.

  • Brettc Brettc on Oct 11, 2019

    Wow, this sure is tempting. Unfortunately in Maine it would end up costing the $999 at the dealer and then about $900 more in excise tax for the two that are showing as closest to me. Oh well. Good deal for those that can make it work.

  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers. 
  • ToolGuy 2019 had better comments than 2023 😉
  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down.
  • Bobby D'Oppo Great sound and smooth power delivery in a heavier RWD or AWD vehicle is a nice blend, but current V8 pickup trucks deliver an unsophisticated driving experience. I think a modern full-size pickup could be very well suited to a manual transmission.In reality, old school, revvy atmo engines pair best with manual transmissions because it's so rewarding to keep them in the power band on a winding road. Modern turbo engines have flattened the torque curve and often make changing gears feel more like a chore.
  • Chuck Norton For those worried about a complex power train-What vehicle doesn't have one? I drive a twin turbo F-150 (3.5) Talk about complexity.. It seems reliability based on the number of F-150s sold is a non-issue. As with many other makes/models. I mean how many operations are handle by micro today's vehicles?