Best And Worst Car Brands To Lease In 2020

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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 - February 25, 2020

While new car incentives can change from one month to the next, our analysis finds that some brands can be considerably better to lease than others. We look at hundreds of leases each month to uncover deals featuring a stellar mix of value and low price.

The best brands to lease tend to feature larger discounts, bonuses for switching brands, and incentives that can favor leasing instead of buying. The worst brands to lease can be shockingly expensive due to a mix of low residual values and lackluster incentives.

Here's what we found.

Best Brands To Lease

Brand Reason Current Incentives
Acura Better discounts for leasing than buying View Acura Deals
Chevy Large loyalty discounts and bonuses for switching brands View Chevy Deals
Ford Extremely cheap leases around holidays View Ford Deals
Hyundai Far greater discounts than competitors View Hyundai Deals

Brands listed in alphabetical order

Acura typically features far better incentives for leasing than buying. For example, the 2020 Acura MDX currently features up to a $7,700 incentive when leasing but just $500 for buying. In the case of the TLX, up to $8,700 in lease cash can make the car cheaper than a mainstream model like the 2020 Honda Accord.

Chevy tends to offer outstanding loyalty discounts and bonuses for switching brands called conquest incentives. Some of these may favor those leasing a competitor. For example, the 2020 Chevy Equinox LT features a $199/month lease after a $1,500 bonus for those leasing any non-GM car or truck.

Those looking to buy around a holiday will find leases from Ford rather amazing. For example, Presidents' Day deals on the 2020 Explorer resulted in an over $50/month decrease in monthly payment. Last year, Labor Day deals on the Ford Fusion were as cheap as $199 per month with $199 at signing.

Hyundai's discounts for leasing can outpace competitors by thousands. As a result, the brand's cars and SUVs often rank among the cheapest vehicles to lease. For example, the 2020 Elantra is eligible up to a $4,000 discount when leasing here in Los Angeles, compared to just $600 on the 2020 Toyota Corolla.

The cost of a lease can be influenced by other factors, such as the residual value, money factor (interest rate), and mileage restrictions. To find more great values for every type of vehicle, be sure to explore our sortable list of every lease to find a deal you like on a car you'll love. The result could surprise you.

See This Month's Best Lease Deals »

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Worst Brands To Lease

Brand Reason Current Incentives
Dodge Low residual values View Dodge Models
Lincoln Often overpriced View Lincoln Models
Mitsubishi Horribly expensive View Mitsubishi Models

Brands listed in alphabetical order

Low residual values make Dodge one of the worst brands to lease. For example, the 2020 Dodge Journey has a 42-month residual as low as 30%. Frankly, this is something we've observed from brands like Chrysler and Jeep, too. We think this is one of the reasons why the brands opt to advertise 42-month leases. After all, a high price may not seem as high when spread out over a longer period. Meanwhile, a vehicle like the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek has a published residual of up to 55% for the same term. Not every vehicle is awful to lease, especially when it comes to models like the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

Lincoln boasts a heavily updated lineup of vehicles like the 2020 Corsair, Nautilus, and Aviator. However, choosing the wrong model could result in a very overpriced lease. For example, our recent analysis found that unfavorable incentives can make the Corsair more expensive to lease than the Nautilus despite an approximately $5,000 difference in MSRP. Although we sometimes see bonuses for switching brands or trading in a vehicle, the underlying numbers are often quite terrible.

Mitsubishi may be oriented around value but its vehicles can be surprisingly expensive to lease. For example, the 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 has an MSRP of $17,290 but is advertised at $199 for 36 months with $2,999 due at signing. However, that comes out to an effective cost of $282 per month, making it more expensive than vehicles like the 2020 Honda Civic LX ($263) and Subaru Impreza ($243). For that kind of money, you could even step up to a Kia Sportage ($276).

Having said all that, shoppers should keep in mind that dealers can sell cars for whatever price they like. If you're really set on leasing a brand known for bad leases, we recommend shopping around and considering all your options. Just keep in mind that some models can be better to buy than lease. The result could enable you to get behind the wheel of a car you like without necessarily finding out later that you could have leased a nicer car for less money.

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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.

Follow On: Twitter

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