2019 Nissan LEAF Debuts With 0% APR, $10,000 Lease Discount

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Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - October 17, 2018

The 2019 LEAF is beginning to arrive at dealers and Nissan is already offering incentives to attract shoppers. First, there's a financing deal through Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC) involving 0% APR for up to 48 months. 60 and 72-month rates are available at 0.9% and 1.9%, respectively.

On the surface, that sounds very similar to the 2018 LEAF, which gets 0% APR for up to 60 months and an identical 72-month offer. However, a key difference is that the 2018 model benefits from a $1,000 financing bonus, something you can't get with the 2019 model.

Having said that, financing offers on the 2018 LEAF are considerably worse compared to last month's deal of 0% APR for 72 months plus a $2,000 financing bonus. This represents the most significant change we've seen with LEAF offers in quite some time.

If you're leasing, the 2019 LEAF S is eligible for up to $10,025 in factory lease cash, more than the $8,850 offered on the SV trim and the $8,525 offer listed on the range-topping SL. The amounts look awfully close to discounts worth up to $11,350 on the 2018 LEAF.

However, a closer look reveals there are some key differences when it comes to underlying lease rates and residual values.

2019 LEAFs are eligible for a 36-month money factor as low as 0.00257, equivalent to an APR of slightly over 6%. Base residual values range from 34% for the S trim to 39% for the SL. In contrast, 2018 LEAFs feature a money factor of 0.00178, or 4% APR, with residuals ranging from 29% to 34%.

Nissan doesn't have an advertised lease yet on the 2019 LEAF. Here in Los Angeles, the 2018 LEAF S is listed at $219 for 36 months with $2,929 due at signing, which equates to an effective cost of $300/month. That's $5/month more than a 2019 Kia Soul EV Plus ($295), a vehicle with an MSRP $5,960 more expensive.

Current LEAF owners should be aware that Nissan hasn't extended its $1,000 loyalty discount yet to the 2019 model. At the moment, LEAF drivers can only apply the discount toward the purchase or lease of a 2018 LEAF. This could change and may be worth waiting for if it applies to you.

Nissan hasn't announced offers yet on the upcoming 60-kWh variant with an expected range of over 220 miles. Official specs and prices aren't available yet, but early pricing documents point to a premium of around $5,500 compared to the 40-kWh model, potentially putting prices closer in line with the Chevy Bolt EV.

Learn more about the 2019 LEAF »

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website