2020 Toyota Yaris: Memorial Day's Worst Lease Deal

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Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - May 18, 2020

Toyota's smallest and most affordable car is the worst car you can lease for Memorial Day 2020. It may be hard to believe, but our analysis finds that the value-oriented Toyota Yaris can actually be more expensive to lease than cars with MSRPs that are over $9,500 more expensive. Here's a look at why that's the case.

Here in Southern California, Toyota's online payment calculator lists the 2020 Yaris L Sedan at $273 for 36 months with $2,923 due at signing. That's based on an MSRP of $17,705 including the cost of an automatic transmission, 12,000 miles per year of driving, and equates to an effective cost of $354 before taxes & fees.

At that price, the Yaris actually costs $39/month more than a $27,000 Camry. The 2020 Camry SE is listed at $259 for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing, or $315/month. Small car shoppers should know that the 2020 Honda Civic EX Hatchback is also on sale at $270 with $0 down and is one of the best deals on a car.

So why is the Yaris so expensive to lease?

The main things that hurt the Yaris when it comes to leasing are a lack of good interest rates and a relatively low residual value of 48%. The Yaris has a money factor of 0.00265, which translates to an APR of over 6%. Meanwhile, the Camry has an interest rate equivalent to 0% APR and has a residual value of 54%.

But that's not the only upgrade you can make. For less money than the Yaris, you could even drive home a 201-horsepower Acura ILX. The 2020 ILX is this month's cheapest lease on a luxury car based on an advertised offer of $239 for 36 months with $2,799 at signing, which comes out to just $317/month.

Does this mean you should avoid buying the Yaris? Not necessarily.

That's because incentives for buying the Yaris are better than offers for leasing. However, a closer look reveals that rebates are considerably better for the hatchback than the sedan in most parts of the country. Here in Socal, Toyota is offering a choice between $2,000 off the hatchback and $500 off the sedan.

While the two styles have the same price on paper, price-conscious shoppers may find the hatchback a better deal. It's still the brand's cheapest car, just not when leasing. With a lively chassis, modern amenities, and low-speed auto emergency braking system, the car can still be a good value if you buy rather than lease.

Explore Top Memorial Day Car Deals »

, Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

Follow On: Twitter

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