SUVs That Are Cheaper To Lease Than Cars

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 - May 17, 2018

Although sticker prices for SUVs are generally more expensive than cars, leasing one can actually be more affordable because auto manufacturers have geared the underlying incentives to be more favorable.

Based on our analysis, it's now possible to pay up to $87/month less to lease an SUV that's $2,590 more expensive. As a result, many shoppers may find it to be a better value to upgrade.

Here are 5 SUVs that are cheaper to lease than cars from the same brand ahead of Memorial Day, reflecting offers that can be found nationally unless noted otherwise. For the latest Memorial Day deals, see our ongoing coverage.

Honda CR-V: $1 Cheaper Than Accord

We aren't accustomed to seeing deals on the 2018 CR-V, but May is an exception with the model's first advertised lease offer. The LX is listed at $259 for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing, an effective cost of $315/month.

On the other hand, the 2018 Accord LX is being advertised at $249 for 36 months with $2,399 at signing, an effective cost of $316/month. That's $1 more than the CR-V despite a $780 difference in MSRP.

Unfortunately, there's sort of a catch. Earlier this month, our analysis found that the CR-V LX is the only version eligible for special rates. If you prefer an EX or higher, the Accord may end up being more attractive.

How To Choose Your CR-V »

Chevy Equinox: $3 Cheaper Than Malibu

Here in California, you can lease a 2018 Equinox LT from $229 for 39 months with $3,299 due at signing, an effective cost of $314/month. It's not the cheapest SUV to lease, but it's a better deal than the Malibu.

The 2018 Malibu LT may have a cheaper payment but the amount due at signing is much higher. It's listed at $219 for 36 months with $3,539 at signing, an effective cost of $317/month.

The MSRP of the Equinox is $27,695, $1,695 more than the $26,000 price tag of the Malibu. That makes it a pretty solid upgrade for roughly the price of a Happy Meal.

How To Choose Your Equinox »

Mazda CX-5: $20 Cheaper Than Mazda6

In Los Angeles, the 2018 CX-5 Sport is listed at $209 for 36 months with $1,999 at signing, an effective cost of $265/month. We consider this a pretty awesome deal given the vehicle's $24,985 MSRP.

At the same time, the 2018 Mazda6 Sport has an MSRP of $23,890 and starts at $229/month with everything else identical. Here, the Mazda6 is $20 more expensive despite having an MSRP that's $1,095 lower.

How To Choose Your CX-5 »

Toyota RAV4: $20 Cheaper Than Camry

In Los Angeles, the all-new Camry LE is listed at $239 for 36 months with $1,999 at signing, which translates to an effective cost of $295/month. Its MSRP is $25,119, or $510 less than a RAV4 LE.

However, the 2018 RAV4 is actually $20/month cheaper to lease. It's listed at $219 for 36 months with $1,999 at signing, an effective cost of $275. Both models come standard with automatic emergency braking.

How To Choose Your RAV4 »

Nissan Rogue: $87 Cheaper Than Altima

Discounts on the 2018 Altima are pretty terrible. Here in Los Angeles, the entry-level S trim can be leased from $269 for 36 months with $3,299 due at signing, an effective cost of $361/month.

Believe it or not, that's $87 (per month!) more than a 2018 Rogue S with all-wheel drive, which is listed at $199 for 36 months with $2,699 at signing, an effective cost of $274/month.

If you're wondering why Nissan is asking shoppers to pay more to lease a car that's $2,590 less expensive, you're not alone. At that price, you could step up to an Infiniti Q50 for an extra $5/month.

How To Choose Your Rogue »

, 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