Best Green Car Deals: December 2018

By

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 - December 6, 2018

We’ve uncovered cheap leases in December on electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and other fuel efficient cars starting at just $199/month. Some involve special year-end discounts and perks like Employee Pricing.

Plug-in buyers benefit from a number of unique incentives not available with traditional cars. In California, drivers enjoy use of the carpool lane. The Clean Vehicle Rebate also offers up to $4,500 in savings based on income.

We've decided to de-emphasize certain models that are only available in token quantities. We're also now highlighting what we consider to be the best deals for EV models sold nationally.

You can still find all leases that we track in the tables located at the bottom of this page.

Best Electric Car Deals This Month

  • Best Deal: Lease from $219 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $2,929
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: From $30,885
  • Expires: January 2, 2019
  • Fuel Economy: 112 MPGe
  • Range: 151 miles

What's Hot: Discounts for leasing the LEAF S remain at $10,075, which is down from $11,350 just a couple of months ago. Fortunately, Nissan boosted the car's residual value at the same time, resulting in no change in lease price.

With an effective cost of $300/month, this is still the best deal we've seen to date, $90 (per month) less than the 2018 Chevy Bolt LT ($390).

What's Not: Not all versions of the LEAF are eligible for the same incentives. For example, the LEAF SL only gets $8,250 in lease cash, $1,825 less than the S. Shoppers may want to consider the fact that Nissan plans to add an extended-range model early next year.

Where you can find this deal: Figures listed here are for California. Get your custom quote»

  • Best Deal: Up to $4,675 off MSRP
  • MSRP: From $37,495
  • Expires: January 2, 2019
  • Fuel Economy: 119 MPGe
  • Range: 238 miles

What's Hot: Like most 2018 Chevys this months, the Bolt is eligible for Employee Pricing plus $1,500 in bonus cash. On a well-equipped Premier, that's worth up to $4,675 off MSRP. This is arguably better than last month's 10% off promo, which couldn't be combined with other incentives or lease deals.

What's Not: GM is expected to reach the 200,000 vehicle limit for EVs that triggers a mandatory phase-out of the $7,500 federal tax credit. Factory incentives for the Bolt can also vary heavily by region, and your savings with the above deal will vary based on configuration.

Where you can find this deal: The featured deal is available in 10 states: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. Get your custom quote»

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Best Plug-in Hybrid Car Deals This Month

Chevy Volt
  • Best Deal: Up to $4,958 off MSRP
  • MSRP: From $34,095
  • Expires: January 2, 2019
  • Fuel Economy: 106 MPGe
  • Range: 53 miles (EV), 420 total

What's Hot: This month, all versions of the 2018 Volt are eligible for Employee Pricing plus a regional bonus worth up to $2,000 for buying & leasing. On a well-equipped Premier model, that can equate to as much as $4,958 in savings. And that's before applicable state and federal plug-in credits.

Through January 2, Costco warehouse members can also enjoy a $500 bonus on top of other offers. You'll have to work with a dealer in the Costco Auto Program, however, so be sure to consider all your options carefully.

What's Not: GM recently announced plans to discontinue a number of cars, including the Volt. The $7,500 federal tax credit is also expected to begin its phase-out process early next year once GM reaches 200,000 plug-in sales. Once that happens, the credit will be cut in half to $3,750.

Where you can find this deal: Figures listed here are available in California and Oregon. Get your custom quote »

Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid
  • Best Deal: Lease from $209 for 36 months
  • Due at Signing: $2,299
  • Mileage: 12,000 miles/year
  • MSRP: From $34,295
  • Expires: January 2, 2019
  • Fuel Economy: 110 MPGe
  • Range: 48 miles (EV), 340 total

What's Hot: The Clarity is eligible for as much as $10,800 in factory lease discounts in some parts of the country. With the featured deal, the vehicle's effective cost comes out to just $273/month. That's just $5 more than a Honda Civic 2.0 EX ($268).

What's Not: Incentives vary quite a bit by region, and are worth $3,200 less in California and Oregon. However, shoppers should be sure to consider the added benefit of state incentives like the California Clean Vehicle Rebate.

Where you can find this deal: This is an offer available in CT, MA, MD, ME, NJ, NY, RI and VT. The effective cost of this lease is $99/month cheaper than what Honda is advertising in California and Oregon ($372). Get your custom quote »

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Best Hybrid Car Deals This Month

  • Best Deal: 0% APR + Up to $3,000
  • MSRP: From $28,450
  • Expires: January 2, 2019
  • Fuel Economy: 43/41/42 (City/Hwy/Overall)

What's Hot: The 2019 Fusion Hybrid is eligible for $3,000 in bonus cash, half of which you can only get when financing through Ford Credit. The incentive can be combined with 0% APR for up to 60 months.

Although the 2018 model gets the same rate for up to 72 months, we think the 2019 version is a better value. The biggest change is the addition of Ford Co-Pilot360, which gets you auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and more.

What's Not: Unlike competitors like the Prius, adaptive cruise control doesn't come standard. If that's a must-have feature, expect to pay extra for it.

Where you can find this deal: These are regional offers available in California. Get your custom quote »

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Best Fuel-Efficient Gas Car Deals

2018 Hyundai Elantra
  • Best Deal: Up to $4,000 off MSRP
  • MSRP: From $18,835
  • Expires: January 2, 2019
  • Fuel Economy: 32/40/35 (City/Hwy/Overall)

What's Hot: Like all Elantras, the fuel-sipping Eco trim benefits from a $1,000 bonus this month when you finance at non-promotional rates. Coupled with a $3,000 rebate, that means you can now save up to $4,000 before dealer discounts.

Alternatively, Hyundai is offering 0% financing for 72 months plus a $1,000 cash incentive. Unlike past months, our analysis shows you may save slightly more money by taking the $4,000.

On a $22,000 car, your cost with the 0% would be $21,000. With the $4,000, the total cost would come out to $20,380 assuming a 5-year contract at 5%. That's an advantage of just over $600.

What's Not: The 2019 Elantra features updated looks but discounts aren't nearly as good. Choices include a $1,500 rebate or 1.9% financing for 60 months plus a $750 bonus.

Where you can find this deal: This is a national promotion. Get your custom quote »

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See this month's top discounts ranked by segment »

All Green Car Leases Ranked By Effective Cost

Leases for many green cars are often heavily subsidized by manufacturers. As a result, shoppers can often find attractive offers.

If you aren't interested in one of our top picks ranked by value for the money, feel free to browse all leases we track for each type of vehicle, ranked by effective lease cost.

Unless specified otherwise, these offers exclude special incentives like college grad, conquest and loyalty discounts sometimes factored in dealer advertisements.

We’ve listed the effective monthly cost of 55 leases. Browse the following segments in order of price:

All Electric Car Lease Deals

Effective Cost Model Monthly Payment Term Due at Signing Region More Info
$275 2019 Kia Soul EV Base $219 36 $1,999 California Get Details
$294 2018 FIAT 500e Base (Non-FCA Lessees) $229 36 $2,349 California, Oregon Get Details
$295 2019 Kia Soul EV Plus $239 36 $1,999 California Get Details
$300 2018 Nissan LEAF S $219 36 $2,929 Los Angeles Get Details
$308 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Base $239 36 $2,500 California Get Details
$330 2019 Nissan LEAF S $219 36 $3,979 Los Angeles Get Details
$376 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT [CA/OR/Northeast] Non-GM Lessees $279 36 $3,490 CA/OR/Northeast Get Details
$390 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT [CA/OR/Northeast] $279 36 $3,990 CA/OR/Northeast Get Details
$430 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT [CA/OR/Northeast] Non-GM Lessees $339 39 $3,550 CA/OR/Northeast Get Details
$443 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT [CA/OR/Northeast] $339 39 $4,050 CA/OR/Northeast Get Details
$468 2018 BMW i3 Base i3 $349 36 $4,274 California Get Details
$519 2018 BMW i3 Base i3 w/Range Extender $399 36 $4,324 California Get Details


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All Plug-in Hybrid Lease Deals

Effective Cost Model Monthly Payment Term Due at Signing Region More Info
$273 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Base (CT, MA, MD, ME, NJ, NY, RI, VT) $209 36 $2,299 Select States Get Details
$280 2018 Chevrolet Volt [CA/OR] LT Non-GM Lessees $199 36 $2,930 CA, OR Get Details
$294 2018 Chevrolet Volt [CA/OR] LT $199 36 $3,430 CA, OR Get Details
$307 2019 Chevrolet Volt [CA/OR] LT Non-GM Lessees $239 39 $2,660 CA, OR Get Details
$320 2019 Chevrolet Volt [CA/OR] LT $239 39 $3,160 CA, OR Get Details
$325 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid Base $269 36 $1,999 Los Angeles Get Details
$328 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LX PHEV $259 36 $2,499 California Get Details
$340 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid Base $279 36 $2,199 Los Angeles Get Details
$341 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring (CT, MA, MD, ME, NJ, NY, RI, VT) $249 36 $3,299 Select States Get Details
$342 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LX $259 36 $2,999 California Get Details
$358 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Premium $289 36 $2,499 California Get Details
$372 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Base (CA, OR) $289 36 $2,999 Select States Get Details
$372 2019 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid EX $289 36 $2,999 California Get Details
$403 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL AWD $289 36 $4,088 National Get Details
$425 2018 Toyota Prius Prime Plus $369 36 $1,999 Southern California Get Details
$440 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring (CA, OR) $329 36 $3,999 Select States Get Details
$719 2019 Volvo XC60 T8 Momentum AWD $615 39 $4,065 Western States Get Details
$835 2019 Volvo S90 T8 Momentum AWD $739 39 $3,739 Western States Get Details
$879 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Momentum AWD $755 39 $4,855 Western States Get Details


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All Hybrid Lease Deals

Effective Cost Model Monthly Payment Term Due at Signing Region More Info
$285 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Blue $229 36 $1,999 Los Angeles Get Details
$292 2018 Kia Niro LX $209 36 $2,999 California Get Details
$300 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Blue $239 36 $2,199 Los Angeles Get Details
$302 2019 Kia Niro LX $219 36 $2,999 California Get Details
$318 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid Premium $249 36 $2,499 California Get Details
$328 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base $259 36 $2,499 Los Angeles Get Details
$342 2019 Kia Optima Hybrid EX $259 36 $2,999 California Get Details
$345 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE $289 36 $1,999 Southern California Get Details
$345 2018 Toyota Prius c One $289 36 $1,999 Southern California Get Details
$355 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE AWD $299 36 $1,999 Southern California Get Details
$395 2018 Toyota Prius Two $339 36 $1,999 Southern California Get Details
$401 2018 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Reserve w/Moonroof (Sign & Drive) $401 36 $0 Los Angeles Get Details
$460 2019 Lexus NX NX 300h $349 36 $3,999 Western States Get Details
$495 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid XLE $439 36 $1,999 Southern California Get Details
$530 2019 Lexus ES ES 300h Premium $419 36 $3,999 Western States Get Details
$590 2019 Lexus RX RX 450h with Blind Spot & Sunroof $479 36 $3,999 Western States Get Details
$610 2019 Lexus RX RX 450h L with Heated Seats $499 36 $3,999 Western States Get Details


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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.

Follow On: Google+ | Website