Here are the best bargains for August, with some models leasing for as little as $109 a month.
If it’s August, it must be clearance-sale time in the new car business. And given leasing’s popularity these days it’s no surprise that automakers are coming up with some truly attractive deals to lure shoppers into showrooms and help whittle down dealers’ inventories. In fact, we unearthed no fewer than 55 cars and crossovers leasing this month for $199 or less, ranging from the diminutive Smart ForTwo at a mere $109 a month (with $2,223 due at signing) to the Acura ILX compact luxury sedan at $199 a month (with $2,499 down). Zero-down-payment deals remain rare, however, as car companies instead focus on rock-bottom monthly payments to help bring in shoppers who may be on the edge of affordability.
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With so many great deals being offered right now – we found at least 55 models going for $199 or less – we had to limit our list to the 15 cars being offered this month for $169 or less, with no more than $2,999 cash due at signing (though we did make one exception in the latter case). All deals cited are for base-model cars.
Be aware that we’re seeing more region-specific lease deals than in recent memory, most likely to address local oversupplies and other market-specific concerns as the new model year approaches. For example, if you live in or around New York City, you can lease a 2017 Toyota Camry sedan for $169 for 36 months with $1,999, but if you call the Chicago area home, it’s being offered for $199 a month with a $2,599 down payment. Always check automakers’ websites to find deals specific to your area by entering your zip code (and enter those for nearby regions to see if you can obtain a better deal by crossing state lines).
15. Honda Civic
$169 a month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing.
This deal applies to both the sedan and coupe versions of Honda’s stylish compact. If you prefer a larger sedan, the midsize Honda Accord is leasing for for just $189 a month with $1,999 due at signing.
$169 a month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing.
This deal applies to the four-door sedan versions. You can lease some small cars for less money, but none of them will be as entertaining to drive, nor as well-finished on the inside, as the lively Mazda3.
13. Mazda CX-3
$169 a month for 36 months with $1,979 due at signing.
Mazda’s subcompact crossover SUV shares its automotive DNA with the Toyota Yaris iA sedan. It’s not the roomiest small SUV around, but like the Mazda3 above, it offers truly energetic handling.
12. Kia Soul
$159 a month for 36 months with $2,625 due at signing.
This eccentrically styled tall wagon is every bit as practical and versatile as any small crossover SUV, with a roomier and more thoughtfully designed interior than most of them can muster – plus it goes for far less money. Best of all, you can load it up with luxury-car options and it still remains affordable.
11. Ford Fiesta
$157 a month for 39 months with $2,256 due at signing.
Ford’s subcompact car is attractively styled and reasonably sporty, though you’ll have to shell out much bigger bucks ($242 with $3,089 due at signing) to drive the decidedly sporty Fiesta ST version.
10. Ford Focus
$154 a month for 39 months with $2,564 due at signing (down payment varies slightly by region).
For a slightly lower monthly payment (albeit with a couple hundred more bucks down), you can drive the Fiesta’s larger sibling, the compact Focus. If you want to trade the gas pump for the electric grid, you can lease a Ford Focus Electric for $210 a month for 48 months with $3,855 due at signing. No deals on the racy Focus RS, however.
$149-$169 a month for 36 months with $1,699-$1,999 due at signing (varies by region).
The stylish and capable Elantra sedan is a good deal at this price, but depending on where you live you could step up to a larger Hyundai Sonata sedan or Tucson crossover SUV for only a few bucks more, at a region-dependent $179-$199 a month.
$149 a month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing.
Nissan’s compact sedan is about average in every regard, and tends to be forgotten in a crowded market segment; a close second on the Nissan lot is the new-for-2018 Rogue Sport crossover SUV which is leasing for $159 a month, but misses our best deals list by requiring $3,399 down.
$139-$159 a month for 36 months with $1,899-$2,299 due at signing (varies by region).
Trouble-free basic transportation is what the Corolla does best, and if you can get it for at or near the $139-a-month deal, it’s a no-brainer.
6. Kia Optima
$139-$149 a month for 24 months with $2,904-$2,897 due at signing (varies by region).
Pound-for-pound this is the best bargain on our list. That’s about the cost of dinner and a movie for two per month to drive a large and roomy midsize sedan.
5. Honda Fit
$139 a month for 36 months with $2,399 due at signing.
The Fit four-door hatchback is about as good as it gets among subcompact cars. Like Doctor Who’s TARDIS, it’s roomier on the inside than it seems from the outside, and ups the ante with a back seat that split-folds and tumbles for added cargo flexibility.
$129-$169 a month for 36 months with $1,999-$2,699 due at signing (varies by region).
Sold elsewhere in the world as the Mazda2, last year this crisp-handling subcompact sedan was branded as a Scion. And it’s essentially the sedan version of the above Mazda CX-3, which means it comes with a well finished, and in this case, well equipped, cabin.
3. Kia Forte
$109-$139 a month for 36 months with $2,689-$1,999-due at signing (varies by region).
If you live in or near New York City, you’ll be able to lease this otherwise capable compact sedan for a rock-bottom monthly payment. It varies, however, in most regions we checked by between $10 and $30.
$109-$129 a month for 36 months with $2,999-$3,799 due at signing (varies by region).
We included this sweet deal on the lively Jetta compact sedan, despite the higher down payment, simply because it’s still such a great deal.
1. Smart ForTwo
$109 a month for 36 months with $2,003 due at signing.
This is the cheapest nationally offered lease deal we could find. With only around two grand down (like all lease deals that includes the first month’s payment), you can drive a new car – albeit a small and slow two-seat egg-shaped coupe – for what amounts to pocket change per day.