June 24, 2018


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Yes, you can lease any new car for $199 per month. Provided of course you pay down the capital cost enough at signing the lease, your credit is sturdy enough, and there’s a leasing company that will write the deal. But that’s not the subject of this story.

The goal here is to gather a representative sample of the factory-advertised lease offers clustered around $199 per month. We then, in one chart, guide you toward those that are great deals and away from those that are sneakily expensive.

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive database. Instead, it’s a survey of the offers on manufacturer websites around the $199 price point. These are the commodity cars and trucks, the new vehicles that hit the road in huge numbers—although that doesn’t mean there’s nothing here for car enthusiasts.

Getting the absolute best deal means putting in work beyond reading this story. It means researching not only what vehicle to lease, but 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. And it may be that working with a bank, leasing company, or credit union may yield an even better deal than what the manufacturers offer; it never hurts to shop around. Keep in mind that 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 for everything from 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 a loose one—some regions can 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 such as 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-upon 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.

Deals of the Month

Live in Michigan? Then Ford has a killer deal for you on a new Fusion SE. Just $119 per month after $1449 at signing. Yes, this lease only runs two years and 20,000 miles, but the cost per mile is just 20 cents. And any additional miles will be charged at only 15 cents each. Surprisingly, this deal isn’t restricted to Ford employees but to virtually any Michigander with a lofty credit rating. Meanwhile in Chicago, the same Fusion is $209 per month with $2669 due at signing—that’s 32 cents per mile.

The Autumn of the Accord Coupe

2016 Honda Accord coupe Touring

2016 Honda Accord coupe Touring

Honda held out as long as it could. Low-key, mainstream, mid-size two-doors had been long ago abandoned by other manufacturers in the face of overwhelming consumer disinterest, but Honda kept pumping out the Accord coupe right up until the end of the 2017 model year. And while Honda isn’t making the Accord coupe anymore, there are enough left in dealer inventories that Honda is offering the four-cylinder Accord LX-S coupe on three-year leases for $189 or $169 a month. Factor in the money due at signing, and both leases cost the same $9014 over their life span. But hurry, because once these Accord coupes are gone, they’re gone.

Welcome to the Fray (Part One)

2018 Hyundai Kona

2018 Hyundai Kona

Now competing for your $199-per-month lease attention, here’s Hyundai’s new Kona, a small, SUV-like crossovery thing. It’s yours on a three-year lease for $199 a month after $2399 at signing. Be the first on your block to get one. Or two.

Welcome to the Fray (Part Two)

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Launch

2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Launch

Also new to the list this month is Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross, which is also kind of small and SUV-like. Powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four, this is a promising new entry from Mitsubishi, even if some may view the use of the once-beloved Eclipse name on something other than a sports coupe as a betrayal of sorts. Mitsubishi is promoting leases of $189 per month for the front-drive Eclipse Cross and $257 per month for the all-wheel-drive version. But Mitsu is also asking a hefty $4388 at signing for the front-driver and $4531 for the AWD version.

Driver’s Choice

2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan

2017 Honda Civic Si Sedan

Honda is still offering the sublime, 205-hp, six-speed-manual-only 2018 Civic Si in both coupe and sedan form near this price point: $209 or $229 per month with modest buy ins. We’ll keep mentioning this killer deal until you succumb and sign up for a lease—or Honda kills the deals.

Old Ironsides

2017 Nissan Frontier

2017 Nissan Frontier

Nissan is offering its well-seasoned, proven, classic—okay, it’s old, old, old—Frontier pickup at just $209 per month for a 4×4 after $3369 at signing on a three-year lease. But that’s only in the New York City region. The rest of us have to hack up $299 per month and put down between $2999 and $3999.

No-Money-Down Subaru

2017 Subaru Impreza

2017 Subaru Impreza

Subaru offers several leases near the $199 price point, including an Impreza hatchback with a five-speed manual transmission, with nothing due at signing. That’s a lot of Subie even if you’re short on cash.

Michigan Is Chevy Country

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

If you’re a General Motors employee in Michigan, Chevy is giving you the opportunity to acquire a new Silverado Double Cab 4×4 for $199 a month after $1949 at signing. That’s chump change for a full-size pickup. Keep in mind it’s for a low-mileage, two-year lease, but that’s still a lot of truck for the buck. Those who don’t work for GM and don’t live in Michigan? They pay more.

Michigan Is Ram Country

Ram-1500-lease-deals

Ram-1500-lease-deals

Fiat Chrysler employees in Michigan can get their own screaming deal on a full-size pickup. FCA is offering them the opportunity to acquire a crew-cab Ram 1500 4×2 for $189 a month after a measly $1148 at signing. Again, it’s for a low-mileage, two-year lease, but that’s still a lot of truck for the buck. Those who don’t work for FCA and don’t live in Michigan? They pay more.

Michigan Is Ford Country

2018 Ford F-150 4x2 SuperCrew

2018 Ford F-150 4x2 SuperCrew

Not to be left out, Ford is offering Michigan residents the F-150 XLT SuperCrew 4×4 for just $139 a month after $2229 at signing. As you’ve probably guessed, that offer is for a low-mileage, two-year lease. The big news here is that you don’t have to be a Ford employee. Ford is happy to lease an F-150 to GM employees, FCA employees, the self-employed, and the unemployed—provided their credit is good enough.

Remember the 6

2017 Mazda 6

2017 Mazda 6

The Mazda 6 is a silky-smooth mid-size sedan that is often overlooked in the marketplace. But it’s there, and if you’re in the New York metropolitan area, a three-year, 36,000-mile lease is available for only $149 per month after $2499 at signing. That’s a bargain at only 21 cents per mile. It’s also a good chunk cheaper than what you’ll pay in other parts of the country.


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