5 Leases That Get You More For Your Money In January

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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 - January 24, 2018

Leasing can be an affordable way to get behind the wheel of a brand new car or SUV. However, differences in manufacturer incentives can sometimes actually make it smarter to upgrade to a nicer vehicle.

In some cases, you may be able to take home a much more expensive vehicle with better features for about the same amount of money. Based on our analysis, there are even cases that equate to a free upgrade.

Here are 5 instances in which you can get more car for your money in January.

Honda Fit LX vs. Fit Sport

The Honda Fit is a smart choice if you want a fuel-efficient car that's easy to park and can carry a surprising amount of stuff. However, the budget-friendly LX model isn't the one to get if you're going to lease.

As it turns out, the better-equipped Sport features the exact same lease because it's eligible for more discounts. Here's a look at how the offers stack up based on national promos.

Vehicle MSRP Advertised Deal Effective Cost
2018 Honda Fit LX $17,880 $169 for 36 months, $2,299 due at signing $233/month
2018 Honda Fit Sport $19,190 $169 for 36 months, $2,299 due at signing $233/month

The Sport is normally $1,310 more expensive and gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen audio system and slightly more distinctive bodywork. We consider this an easy upgrade to a nicer vehicle.

Ford Fusion vs. Focus

The Ford Focus may be tempting to some because of its reasonable price, but it isn't the best deal. The Fusion actually benefits from discounts that give it the same effective cost despite the fact that it's $3,020 more expensive.

Here's a look at how the numbers stack up based on local offers here in Los Angeles.

Vehicle MSRP Advertised Deal Effective Cost
2018 Ford Focus SEL $21,650 $189 for 36 months, $1,999 due at signing $245/month
2018 Ford Fusion SE 1.5T $24,670 $189 for 36 months, $1,999 due at signing $245/month

Choosing the Fusion gets you a well-equipped SE trim with Tech Package. Under the hood, it comes with a 1.5-liter turbo making 181 hp, plus features like SYNC 3 with enhanced voice recognition and an 8-inch touchscreen audio system.

Nissan Rogue vs. Rogue Sport

It may sound hard to believe, but the Rogue Sport subcompact SUV now has the exact same effective cost as its big brother, the Rogue.

The main reason has to do with the fact that the Rogue is eligible for $3,275 in factory lease discounts, compared with just $1,300 on the Sport.

For the same amount of money, you can now get a vehicle that's normally $2,520 more expensive. Here's a look at what the numbers look like here in Los Angeles.

Vehicle MSRP Advertised Deal Effective Cost
2017 Rogue Sport S AWD $24,610 $159 for 36 months, $4,499 due at signing $284/month
2017 Rogue S AWD $27,130 $199 for 36 months, $3,049 due at signing $284/month

There are a couple of nice things to report. First, dealers still have a good amount of 2017 vehicles left in stock. Second, both models benefit from a late-month $500 bonus that can be applied to the amounts at signing.

Having said that, Rogue buyers should be aware that Nissan began building it with automatic emergency braking as a standard feature about half-way through the year as a 2017.5 model. If you can, that's the version to ask for.

Volkswagen Atlas V6 vs. 2.0T

This month, a favorable residual value is making the V6 a smart choice for Atlas shoppers. Unlike past months, it now features the exact same lease as the less-expensive 2.0T variant.

Both undercut the Ford Explorer XLT by a whopping $71/month when comparing effective costs ($371 vs. $442). However, it's the V6 that amounts to a superior deal since it's $1,400 more expensive than the 4-cylinder.

Here's a look at the numbers based on advertised offers in Western states like California, Nevada and Utah.

Vehicle MSRP Advertised Deal Effective Cost
2018 VW Atlas S 2.0T $31,675 $279 for 36 months, $3,299 due at signing $371/month
2018 VW Atlas S V6 $33,075 $279 for 36 months, $3,299 due at signing $371/month

Both versions seat up to 7 passengers, but the V6 belts out an extra 41 hp (276 hp vs. 235). Fuel economy suffers by 4 mpg overall (20 mpg vs. 24), and the EPA estimates that this translates to about $300 in extra yearly gas costs.

Infiniti QX50 vs. QX30

The Infiniti QX30 may start just above $30,000, but it'll cost you more to lease than a car in the same lineup that's $5,600 more expensive.

Due to differences in discounts, you can lease a well-equipped QX50 Premium for about $13/month less than the least-expensive QX30.

Here's a look at what the numbers look like here in Los Angeles.

Vehicle MSRP Advertised Deal Effective Cost
2018 Infiniti QX30 Base $30,945 $309 for 39 months, $3,199 due at signing $391/month
2017 Infiniti QX50 Premium $36,545 $299 for 39 months, $3,099 due at signing $378/month

The QX50 gets you an extra 117 hp under the hood (325 hp vs. 208), leather seats and 3-inches of additional legroom for front passengers. There's also a 16.1 cu.ft. advantage in cargo space (50.1 cu.ft. vs. 34), making the QX50 a smart choice in terms of practicality.

, 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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