$199 Lease Deals for January 2018 ""

By | January 17, 2018

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For some, leasing is the best way to get into a new car, whether for inscrutable tax reasons or for the peace of mind that comes with never being outside the warranty period. For others, it’s a treadmill of renting that results in never owning a tangible vehicular asset. What’s right for you? Hey, ask your accountant or clergyman; we’re just here to dig up the data and generate a spreadsheet.

This isn’t a comprehensive database; instead, it’s a survey of the deals offered around the $199 price point on manufacturer websites. These are the commodity cars and trucks, the new vehicles that hit the road in huge numbers; once again, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren have failed to offer $200 lease deals. These just-under-$200 deals are seductive come-ons that manufacturers hope will lead to a lifelong addiction to leasing. They are the siren call that beckons you into a world where you always drive a new or newish vehicle and maybe a nicer vehicle than what you’d pay for outright.

Getting the absolute best deal means putting in work beyond reading this story. It means not only researching what vehicle to lease but also doing some smart shopping for the financial products that support your acquisition. A lease is a contract, and the elements of that contract are negotiable at some level. It may be that working with a bank, leasing company, or credit union may yield an even better deal than what the factories offer; it never hurts to shop around. Keep in mind that all of these offers generally require a stellar credit rating. Those of us with lousier financial reputations can expect to pay more.

Use our survey as a baseline for your research. Then make some calls, be honest about your financial situation and credit rating, and be prepared to shop with several financial considerations in mind: the purchase price of the new vehicle, the residual value contracted at the end of the lease, mileage allowances, and the interest rate of the money used to support the transaction.

The $199 target price here is loose, since different regions may offer the same vehicle at lower or higher rates. The charts include calculations for the total cost of each lease: money due at signing, total monthly payments, and additional costs like lease-end disposition fees. Then we divide that total by the number of allotted miles in the lease to calculate a cost-per-mile charge, assuming full use of the agreed miles. If a manufacturer offers a $199 deal in one region, we’ll include that vehicle for all four ZIP codes from which we’re harvesting—in Southern California, Chicago, Ann Arbor, and New York City—even if the deal carries a nominal price higher or lower than $199 per month.

Every month, the deals change. And this month, here are the highlights.

Deal of the Month

2017 Kia Cadenza

The Cadenza is Kia’s answer to the Toyota Avalon. In other words, it’s an answer to a question fewer and fewer buyers are asking. And that’s reflected in its sales numbers, which have been negligible. But what keeps the Cadenza obscure may be an opportunity for you.

Shoppers in Southern California can lease a new 2017 Cadenza, currently languishing in some dealers’ inventory, for $199 a month on a two-year lease or $219 a month for three years. The buy-ins here aren’t cheap—it takes more than $3000 at signing to kick off these leases—but the Cadenza is a cushy, executive-class ride for the monthly chit of a more pedestrian Optima or the hamster-heavenly Soul. And it’s significantly less expensive than what the same car is offered for in the rest of the country.

The Downright Cheapest

2017 Subaru Impreza

Subaru snags the title this month thanks to offering a 2018 Impreza hatchback for only $185 a month for 42 months with absolutely nothing due at signing. This isn’t a fancy Impreza—in fact, it has a five-speed manual transmission—but at a cost of only 19 cents per mile, it’s the sort of sensible transportation that creates ardor in the hearts of people who professionally add up columns of numbers all day.

So Dang Cheap

2017 Toyota Yaris iA

When better Toyotas are built, it will be Mazda that builds them. For proof, check out the Toyota Yaris iA, which is a version of the Mazda 2 small sedan that was originally marketed by Toyota as a Scion. When Scion took its dirt nap, the iA was rebranded as a Toyota (and given the additional Yaris moniker), and it can now be found squirreled away in the dark corners of Toyota lots around the country.

The Yaris iA is one of the best-driving small cars available for under $20,000. In the New York City region, this sweetie can be had for a ludicrously cheap $119 a month after $1999 down. Even after accounting for the $650 acquisition fee and $350 disposition fee that Toyota buries in the fine print, that still results in a totally modest 20 cents per mile on a three-year/36,000-mile lease. It’s a killer deal that you’re likely to survive.

In other regions, Yaris iA leases are substantially more. In Southern California, for instance, it’s $219 a month after $1999 at signing. That works out to 27 cents per mile, or about 35 percent more expensive.

Rocky Mountain High Division

2017 Chevrolet Colorado

If you’re a General Motors employee, the company really wants to put you in a new Colorado pickup. Employee residents of Michigan can snag a Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Crew Cab 4×4 for only $199 per month after a modest $2029 at signing on a two-year, 20,000-mile lease. For everyone else, that same monthly cost can be achieved after hacking up $6409 at signing for the same truck and terms. It almost makes you want to get a job at GM. Outside Michigan, civilian deals on Colorados are even more expensive. Think $299 per month, with significant discounts for returning GM lease holders.

Not Cheap Enough

2017-Mitsubishi-Mirage-GT-Simari

The three-cylinder Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback is detestable headed toward awful after a stop for a 7-Eleven hot dog. But it’s even easier to despise when its lease offer is $189 per month plus $3388 at signing. That’s dang near $3400 of your money just to start driving a terrible car for three years. The very slightly less crummy Mirage G4 sedan can be had for $199 per month with $3398 up front. Have you considered Merrell hiking boots? Or taking the bus?

Variations, Variations

2017 Kia Sorento

This month, Kia managed to stuff in 74 different deals on eight distinct models that all fell within our loose parameters. Our read is that those on the Sorento crossover SUV are the best, including one in the New York metro area that offers a 2017 Sorento LX for $209 per month after $2599 at signing for three years and 36,000 miles.

Driver’s Choice

2018 Honda Civic Si Sedan

Honda offers the sublime 205-hp, six-speed-manual-only 2017 and 2018 Civic Si in both coupe and sedan body styles for as little as $179 per month after $2999 at signing. That’s for residents of Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and all of New England. But it’s actually a better deal to pay $199 a month after only $2299 down for a 2017 model in an offer that’s good nationwide.

The Altima’s Ascent

2016 Nissan Altima SV

Nissan has long been a keen contender in the leasing battles. So why has the featured lease on the 2017 Altima 2.5 S, offered in Southern California, shot up to $249 per month after $3849 at signing? In November, the same three-year deal was $189 per month after $3499 at signing. And in November 2016, an Altima 2.5 S was offered at $189 per month after $2899 at signing in Southern California and a measly $159 per month after a scant $1650 at signing in New York City.

Ram uber Alles

2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon SLT

Driving for Uber and want to keep your costs down and your passenger capacity up? Then how about a Ram ProMaster City wagon for $199 per month after $2999 at signing in the New York City area? Fun fact with which to entertain your passengers: The ProMaster City wagon is really a Fiat Doblò made in Turkey and sold by a brand named after a horned goat.

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