Monthly Round-Up: September 2010

Welcome to this month’s Round-Up!

Towards the end of every month, I examine all of the lease data I have collected on this website and present you with the best lease deals of the month. This segment is meant for those who enjoy cutting last minute deals in order to get more competitive pricing. Therefore, this column is posted towards the last week of each month.

Here are some ground rules that I follow (these have been updated to reflect the new rating system):

  • Participating vehicles will be based on the lease rates gathered on this website during the corresponding month.
  • Ideally, 36-month/15k lease terms will be examined. If not available, other terms will be used.
  • A $1500 drive-off fee is assumed for all cars. Since fees and taxes vary from region to region, your drive-off may vary.
  • Sale Price estimates will be based on‘s sales data in the Southern California region, so your numbers may vary.
  • All estimates assume you qualify for the base rate. A minimum FICO® Score of 700 may be required.
  • Sales taxes are not included since different states handle taxes differently. Please refer to “Understanding Sales Tax” to learn how taxes affect your monthly payments.
  • The rating system used is based on RIDE with G’s Lease Calculator. The closer you are to the 100 rating, the better the deal. Anything exceeding a 100 rating is phenomenal.

So wins this month’s Round-Up? Read on!

Tenth Place

2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan TDI
36-month | 15k miles | residual 57% | .00068 base money factor

MSRP – $28,089.00
SALE – $25,952.00
MONTHLY – $304.68

(91.2) The TDI’s lease rates are extremely attractive this month due to a lower-than-usual money factor. Throughout the year, VW Credit hasn’t really lowered the MF on their TDIs, so their leases were never low enough to warrant any attention. That is not the case this month. The trouble is availability, since we are nearing the end of the year, finding the right TDI at your local dealer may prove to be challenging.

Ninth Place

2011 BMW 328xi Sedan
36-month | 15k miles | residual 61% | .00125 base money factor

MSRP – $46,425.00
SALE – $43,180.00
MONTHLY – $502.17

(91.4) The 328xi makes it’s second consecutive trip to the TopTen Round-Up thanks to BMWFS keeping the residuals high and the MF low. The extra savings here is the lack of a security deposit, which will keep your drive-off costs lower than usual, making the lease attractive for those who love BMWs.

Eight Place

2011 Audi A3 2.0T Premium
36-month | 15k miles | residual 55% | .00035 base money factor

MSRP – $29,965.00
SALE – $27,524.00
MONTHLY – $322.16

(91.8) I think the A3 would have easily stayed on this list last month had I had the numbers for it then. I think AFS is trying to move the A3s because a newly-redesigned version is just around the corner. That’s good because I have the A3 on my watch list for next year, when I replace my G37. If the A3’s lease rates remain attractive through the 1st half of next year, I think I could easily get back into another Audi next year.

Seventh Place

2011 BMW 135i Convertible
36-month | 15k miles | residual 63% | .00150 base money factor

MSRP – $48,400.00
SALE – $44,875.00
MONTHLY  – $512.58

(92.8) This was a surprise because BMWFS lowered the money factor on the 135s quite a bit. This is a great deal for lose looking for a fast and fun convertible. Sure, the payments look kind of high in this example, but keep in mind that this car is practically loaded. If you are looking for a more stripped down version, you should see payments drop below $500 a month. If I were in the market for another coupe, I would definitely consider this pocket-sized rocket, that’s how much I like this deal.

Sixth Place

2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited
36-month | 15k miles | residual 56% | .00050 base money factor

MSRP – $28,345.00
SALE – $25,574.00
MONTHLY – $290.19

(95.0) Hyundai’s Sonata Limited has stayed on this list for three-straight months! That’s quite a feat! What’s even more impressive is how you can probably get a fully-loaded Sonata with NAV for less than $400 a month with either your 1st month or nothing due at drive-off. That, to me, is a great deal. I also hear great things about the Sonata Turbo and Hybrid, so I can’t wait to see those lease rates once the cars begin arriving at dealer showrooms.

Fifth Place

2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan Sport Manual
36-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00089 base money factor

MSRP – $39,725.00
SALE – $35,049.00
MONTHLY  – $385.27

(98.8) If you are looking to get into the entry level luxury sedan segment, this car is probably the best one out there. However, you will need to know how to drive a manual because the Journey Sport (automatic) model sports a lower residual, which results in higher monthly payments.

Fourth Place

2010 Acura TSX
36-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00064 base money factor

MSRP – $30,170.00
SALE – $26,919.00
MONTHLY – $290.11

(99.5) If you don’t want to spend G37 money and are willing to sacrifice horsepower in exchange for lower payments and higher fuel efficiency, the TSX is for you. 2010s are probably pretty scarce nowadays, so there may not be a lot of choices. However, if you do find one, snag it because it’s one of the finest cars on the road and it’s backed by one of the best lease programs in the industry.

Third Place

2010 Infiniti G37 Sport Coupe
36-month | 15k miles | residual 61% | .00113 base money factor

MSRP – $44,275.00
SALE – $39,281.00
MONTHLY  – $415.83

(101.2) Whatever I said about the G37 Sport Sedan pretty much applies here too, except for coupes. The G37 Sport Coupe topped the last two month’s Round-Up list, but this month’s rate change has made the payments have jumped a bit. Despite this, it is still the best bang for the buck for cars in this segment. No luxury sport coupe can touch the G37 right now when you add all it’s features, performance and price. Eat that Car & Driver!

Second Place

2010 Nissan Maxima SV
39-month | 15k miles | residual 50% | .00028 base money factor

MSRP – $37,500.00
SALE – $30,996.00
MONTHLY – $327.93

(106.2) The last couple of months, we saw the Maxima SV eat the G37 Sport Coupe’s dust in this competition. This month, the tables have turned. If you don’t mind driving a FWD, the Maxima is probably the more budget friendly deal compared the it’s cousin, the G37 Sedan. You pretty much get all the bells and whistles, but at a lower price point. Nissan has yanked the bigger cash rebate, but there seems to be a smaller one still around. Dealers are trying to move these cars because 2011s have started to arrive into dealerships, so now is the time to go test drive one of these.


2010 Honda Civic Coupe LX
36-month | 15k miles | residual 58% | .00090 base money factor

MSRP – $18,955.00
SALE – $15,750.00
MONTHLY  – $156.18

(111.6) You don’t have to be a near-luxury car in order to be considered a great deal and win this Round-Up. Despite it’s low price tag, it seem Honda dealers are willing to discount the car. Sure, its plain vanilla, but it does get great gas mileage and it’s an excellent commuter car; cheap, reliable and efficient.

Notable Absentees

The following vehicles’ were ranked in the Top Ten Round-Up last month but due to the lack of lease rates this month, their deals could not be confirmed.

Parting Shots

Notable models that barely missed the cut include the 2011 BMW 328, 2010 VW Tiguan S and the 2011 Honda CR-Z. The CR-Z has a high MF, but with it’s super-high residual and some minor discounts off MSRP, this lease can still be attractive. I recommend trying to knock down about 5% off the sticker price if you are interested in leasing this fun-looking hybrid, that should make for a reasonable lease that you won’t lose sleep over.

There is still plenty of time to take advantage of these deals, so I encourage you to contact your local dealer. If you don’t know your nearest dealer, you can request quotes using this link.

Got comments? questions? Disagree with my analysis? Please chime in with your thoughts on what you think this month’s Top Ten should be.

4 thoughts on “Monthly Round-Up: September 2010

  1. G,

    I like the list, but I am curious and disappointed not to see the C300 on the list. I thought with a 68% residual, .00084 money factor and 27 month term it would be on there somewhere. Even if it didn’t make the list, I still feel this is the best short term lease I have seen in quite some time.


    • Good point Rman, I went in and crunched some numbers on the C300 Sport using the 27 month term and here’s what I came up with….

      2011 MB C300 Sport
      27 month residual 68%, money factor .00084

      MSRP – $41855
      SALE – $36287
      MONTH – $345
      RATING 113.7

      Hypothetically speaking, this would top the list. But I think it would probably sit somewhere around 2nd or 3rd at most because MBs drive-off costs are the highest of any brand. Their bank fee alone is nearly a grand, in some cases, more. Then you have a security deposit, which probably adds at least $500 more than most other luxury brands. Regardless, you bring up an excellent point though, this is an excellent lease for a great car, and the only reason why it didn’t make it on the lease is because I was it’s 36-month leases as the primary term, with the 27 and 39 month terms as backups.

      Scrap that. I made a mistake. I quoted a 2010 model, not 2011. With a 2011, the discount is not nearly as good.

      MSRP – $40580
      SALE – $37302
      MONTH – $415

      RATING 97.3

      That’s good for 6th place, besting the Hyundai Sonata, but as I stated previously, MB’s inception fees are much higher, so I would think 7th place is more realistic. This would squeeze the Jetta TDI out of the list. Still, very nice catch on your part Rman. Thanks for the comment! I got so excited about the previous quote, I almost called my local MB dealer inquiring about the C300. HAAHAA.

  2. G,

    Very nice summaries, but have you considered the 2010 RX 350?

    2010 RX 350 FWD
    MSRP $45486
    Month $487 with only first payments and fees due at inception

    Don’t know if this is location specific maybe? (bay area)

    • SRDV, thanks for chimming in on that. I couldn’t add it in because I didn’t have Lexus numbers to confirm, but it does look pretty good payment wise. Thanks for sharing.

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