What’s Going On – Change is good!

It’s been a solid nine months since I posted an announcement so I felt that this month might be a good month to shake things up a whole bunch!
Here are this month’s new headlines!!


Yup, I have officially joined the fatherhood ranks and I’m loving every minute. Even those were I find myself wide awake at 4am changing diapers, feeding and burping my kid. I cherish this opportunity so that mean my day-to-day involvement with this site will begin drop a bit until I got this whole “dad” thing figured out and I can carve myself out a nice little schedule.

What does this mean for you? Not too much really. I will still try get numbers posted every month (more on this later), but if you thought I didn’t many questions lately, you are in for a bigger surprise!!! 😛 I will have to rely on you, the readers to help each other out a bit. A huge thanks to all of you in advance.


In the coming months, I would like to get your opinion on what brands this website should focus on. It’s impossible to be all things to all people so the goal is to streamline the process and try to delivery what most of you want and need.  The added bonus is that for those of you who bother to read what I write, you get to help shape the future of this site. With that in mind, please select EIGHT brands you see yourself considering when you choose to lease a vehicle?

What 8 brands should this blog focus on?

  • BMW (12%, 362 Votes)
  • Audi (11%, 330 Votes)
  • Mercedes-Benz (11%, 317 Votes)
  • Lexus (9%, 269 Votes)
  • Infiniti (9%, 268 Votes)
  • Acura (7%, 207 Votes)
  • Volkswagen (5%, 155 Votes)
  • Honda (5%, 147 Votes)
  • Porsche (5%, 142 Votes)
  • Nissan (3%, 97 Votes)
  • Cadillac (3%, 92 Votes)
  • Volvo (3%, 77 Votes)
  • Ford (3%, 75 Votes)
  • Land Rover (2%, 73 Votes)
  • Hyundai (2%, 65 Votes)
  • Jaguar (2%, 59 Votes)
  • Jeep (1%, 39 Votes)
  • Subaru (1%, 39 Votes)
  • Mazda (1%, 38 Votes)
  • MINI (1%, 28 Votes)
  • Chevrolet (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Kia (1%, 19 Votes)
  • GMC (0%, 9 Votes)
  • Lincoln (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Buick (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Scion (0%, 5 Votes)
  • FIAT (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Chrysler (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Dodge (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 428

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PS: Yup, not gonna deal with Toyotas. Sorry.

34 thoughts on “What’s Going On – Change is good!

  1. Awesome site! Would like to see more info on 2 yr deals and I would seriously pay to see more brands. You’ve saved me $1,000’s already. Keep up the great work!

  2. Congratulations! As a father of a 7 months girl, I can relate to your joy and sleep deprivation.

    As far as brands, the mainstream luxury brands should be the core: audi, bmw, lexus, mercedes benz. I personally have learned that only bmw, lexus, and mb are worth considering for luxury brands. Lexus has a real strong non-jacked up residual with sometimes quite aggressive mf too. That gives you a strong flexibility at the end of the lease or if you want to end it early. Bmw and mb often set the residuals high, making their cars more affordable. Bmw (i think mb too but not sure) allows a change of annual mileage in middle of the lease so you can always start with 10k. Audi’s high mf and low residual never personally makes sense to me to get their cars although I and a lot of people like their cars.

    Vw should also be on the list because some of they have a wide range of offerings from mainstream to semi premium. Although the residuals tend to be low, their mf and incentives tend to be very aggressive to compensate it.

    Toyota and Honda, although popular, arent lease brands as people tend to purchase their cars. However, it is a good idea to keep track of their more expensive offerings. The more expensive suvs and minivans. Admit it, young parents like us entertain the idea of a minivan but we dont want to be committed to it, do we?

    Hyundai is a the “it” brand, regardless of your less than stellar experience. A lot of people would probably want to lease their cars as they are willing to try but not to commit.

    I think those are the most logical sense.

    Personally, I’d like to keep track of Jaguar, Land Rover, and Cadillac as they are nice alternatives. The first two for the exclusivity (but $$$), and Cadillac for their often aggressive offerings that often significantly undercut the lease prices of the mainstream luxury brands. Cadillac works for people who are willing to overlook small details to save money.

    Just my thoughts and congrats again!

    • Thanks LT. So far I am getting decent sleep so I’m good. Haahaa. Not sure how things will be when family help leaves. The current poll is pretty much confirming my suspections. BMW, Audi, MB, Lexus, Infiniti and Acura are definitely sought after by many people. And it makes sense, people lease, generally want to get into something luxurious for a decent payment per month. I am a bit surprise to see VW struggling a little with the votes though. I was expecting them to outpace Honda. I am also disappointed that more folks aren’t interested in Jeep, Ford, Mazda and Cadillac. I personally voted for Cadillac. In any case, Rman brought up a good point Weymouth does share all Honda numbers on their site so folks could technically get their rates there. In any case, everything is up in the air right now. I will keep everyone posted on what the final decision will be in the next couple months.

      • I voted for Cadillac and VW, too. I believe that Caddy is on an upward momentum and their offerings have become more and more exciting (their dealers, at least in my area, don’t. It is hard not to fall asleep there). I like the ATS but it is too small for me. I definitely will take a closer look at the CTS when they become available locally.

        I am surprised too that VW isn’t more popular. I have got 2 VWs and both beat the popular myths: quality and resale value. No problems on mine and resale values were quite strong: call it luck? But I didn’t have them long enough to comment on long term reliability. VW often throws really good lease programs, making it a good alternative, especially with free maintenance. True that their residuals are on the low side, but they have aggressive MFs and often throw in cash bonus, not too mention low actual transaction prices.

        BTW, care to comment on the “no Toyota” policy? Thanks.

  3. Totally forgot about Infiniti. I class the the same as Cadillac: a cheaper alternative for those who are willing to overlook small details. Why not Acura? I dont think they are different enough than Honda to justify the price. That new RLX is not a $50k+ car in my book: drove it and sat long enough inside to touch everything.

  4. I cant emphasize enough how great this website is! and congratulations! As I told you before my wife and I are having twins so I can just imagine what I will be going through soon. My vote is in. BMW, MB, Infiniti, Audi, Lexus, Nissan, VW and Honda. All in that order.

  5. LeaseAddict,

    What brands have you leased from and how have your experiences been? Thanks.

    I personally think VW/Audi daily updated and separate leasor/third party payoff quote as tricky.

  6. @ LT

    I’ve leased with Nissan, Toyota, Infiniti, and VW. Personally my best experience was with Nissan and Toyota. Infiniti was very aggressive with their wear and tear policy which ended up costing me at the end. Toyota and Nissan was seamless and pain free considering I had major fender damage at both turn ins. I am in a VW lease now, and it’s good so far. Recently I had my VW GLI appraiser at Carmax just for the heck of it, and they gave me a great quote. VW didn’t hesitate to provide them with the dealer buyout either. When I spoke with a VW Financial rep. they strongly discourage me from having someone take over my lease since I will still be responsible for any missed/late payments. I think if the third party payoff is from a reputable dealer then they don’t really give you much hassle.

  7. I agree with you that, other than their separate payoff policy, vw financial is helpful and easy to deal with.

    Carmax offered a high quote for my touareg too. I guess getting a great cap reduction upfront (selling price+incentive) combined with a low mf are more important than the name of the brand.

    It is interesting that your nissan and infiniti experiences were different as they are they have the same financial company too, dont they? This is also not the first time i heard about infiniti’s aggressive policy on wear and tear.

    I hope other readers would share their experiences too here so that we have collective information that will educate us all.

    • @LT

      Unfortunately Nissan and Infiniti do not have the same Financial Services. However, the good news is you do get credit from both. So if you had a Nissan then leased an Infiniti then they consider that loyalty.

      • Did you go from g37 to gli? Do you feel it as a downgrade? I personally like the interior of gli better than any infiniti cars. But i like substance in simplicity. Nice car.

        • I went from G37 to GLI. At first I felt it was a downgrade but I had a base g37 (no Daul climate control, no heated seats, etc.) My GLI is the autobahn trim w/ navigation. I totally agreed with you the interior is way better so I now I don’t feel like I downgraded. Bottom line though, whatever give me more bang for my buck. I paid more for the Infiniti with less features versus paying less for the GLI with more features.

          • I think it will be useful to start a threat that lists all the pros and contras for the leasing companies of the 8 brands that G will finalize. If G could start such thread later, if he is busy with fatherhood, I am volunteering to compile all the inputs from people so that G would be able to post it later. What do you think G?

          • Good idea. I can create a page for this for people to discuss. Stay tuned.

  8. G-

    Congrats on the baby! This site is great and has saved me $$$$$ on multiple BMW, Lexus and Acura. I voted on top brands – I trust your judgement 1000% with content – keep up the GREAT work – Thanks Again.


  9. I would like to point out that all of Hondas lease rate information is available from the Weymouth Honda website.


    I find it pretty incredible that this dealership offers this information on their website, and would make me buy a Honda from them if I was going to lease one, no matter where I lived.

    Also, Mercedes-Benz provides all the information you need to reverse engineer the lease program on their MBUSA website. This does not allow you to get all the terms, but for the advertised program, one can figure out the money factor and residual from the information provided.

    I think the above to points should be considered when evaluating what brands to focus on.

  10. Congrats on becoming a father. Best of luck.

    Really like the site, and it’s been very helpful. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find a reasonable lease yet. I’m still trying but I think it’s over for this model year.

    Despite voting results I don’t think: Honda, Acura or Porsche should be brands you continue regular coverage of. You recently mentioned you might drop Honda because the lease volume is really low anyway. Overall Porsche sales volume is pretty low as well, at less than 36,000 full year 2012 sales.

    I’d like to see a bit of domestic coverage so I voted for: Cadillac and Ford. Having grown up in the SE Michigan area I often still read the Detroit websites and they advertise some incredible lease deals. It’d be great having some of the real numbers available.

    Thanks and again Congrats on the family!

  11. Congrats on the little one. Back when I had no kids I would have only considered BMW, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura. Quite frankly the actual cars I have leased include: Infiniti G37x (current, month 25 of 36), Acura TL, Audi A4, BMW 325xi, Infiniti G20. But now that I have two kids, the next 2 vehicles on my sites include Honda accord and the ford fusion (did I really just say that???). My wife just leased Pilot. I understand only having the time to publish details on the top 8, but providing as many as possibly really helps to evaluate the landscape. Thanks for the great service you provide. PS our local Nissan dealer jacked up his mf with his quote and after I asked him about it, he said, well we do that because we provide the best discounts from MSRP (sure you do buddy).

  12. And to the person who thinks most people buy Hondas rather than lease, that’s just being ignorant. With some of the best residuals in the industry, they make great leases and my guess is that it is no worse than 50/50 in terms of those that lease vs buy. The residuals on Ford have been edging up lately, which could make these vehicles better leases at some point (eg look at Hyundai as an example of a brand that evolved into a decent leasable vehicle).

  13. Let me elaborate my POV. Kinda hard to type long with a phone here.

    I m not saying that it is never making sense to lease a Honda but consider these facts:

    Honda’s MFs are often high, unless they have special events, making it inefficient to lease the lower trims as the cost will be ladden with $595 acquisition fees. However, with a promotion, Accord EX, for example, could be a good lease. Compared to Sport, EX has a lower negotiated price and 1% higher residual. However, when there is no special program, it is often cheaper to purchase.

    On a different but related issue,
    Honda’s residuals drop significantly for the higher trims, when they have leather, navigation, etc. This often accompanied by a higher MF as well. The same with Acura. Honda’s leasing efficiency often stops at EX. Higher trims are often not making sense.

    For example, with current aggressive promotions, the real OTD lease payment for 36/12 in my area for an Accord EX L w nav 4 cyl, is only $20 cheaper than a “base” Lexus ES 350 (lexus ships their cars certain ways, a “base” car is a well equipped car with msrp of $42ish K. That’s a $12k spread in msrp for $20 more.

    I always tell my friends to “buy an ‘expensive’ car cheap (lightly equipped) than buy a ‘cheap’ car expensive (loaded)”. Luxury brands often jack up their residual high and throw in aggressive specials such that sometimes you wouldn’t believe the lease payments.

    I hope this clarifies my point? Just my 2 cents, of course a subjective POV. Of course, people could have different POVs and priorities but it is always great to learn new ideas.

    Trivia: my father in law is a huge Honda fan and was connected to Honda that at one point they gave him a bike to ride at Suzuka.

    • only 20% of accord buyers get the V6, so the V6 w/nav buyers are probably in the single digits. the sweetspot is probably that 4-cylinder EX where the mf is currently the equivalent of less than 2%, and the lessor only pays for 40% of the value. the point remains, honda’s generally make for a great leases. the other point that G has to consider is that, maybe the general audience on this site is more focused on those premium brands – and maybe that is the target audience, not sure. in terms of my experience, between my family and the in-laws, i can count 9 hondas that have been owned: 4 leases, 2 purchased new, and 3 used purchases.

      • You hit it right on the nail Derek. The whole purpose of this poll is to gauge what people are interested in leasing. What is my target audience? This is obviously a niche website so trying to cater to everyone is pointless. I’d rather focus on a shorter list of makes but more complete list of models. As you all know, I will lease practically anything as long as there is value in doing so.

    • LT. It seams to me that you often compare average to bad lease deals on lower level cars against good to great leases on higher level cars. Of course this is always going to make the expensive car lease look great….and I know there are lots of unwitting customers who pay too much for their “value” range car leases. But the reality is that ANY lease is good when you combine Low MF with High RV. The acquisition fee on these lower level cars is not as big an impediment as you seem to imply. Did you see my current Honda Civic example in the Honda thread?

      But I do want to support your position that luxury brand cars can be affordable to lease, which most shoppers wouldn’t believe. I’ve only recently begun looking into leasing and my impression of luxury brands is this. High RV are easy to find. Low MF are not so easy to find. BUT, there is a lot more room to negotiate price which can make up for a modest (but not high) MF. Do you agree?

  14. Knight,

    It might seem that way, but for better or worse, luxury cars are often easier to negotiate, making them seem to be “better value” in term of mrsp to payment ratio. G’s rating tends to agree with this, too.

    Without any intentions to sound pompous, I must admit, though, that I am biased as I crunch the numbers of lux car leases more than mainstream cars. Mainstream cars’ numbers that I often crunch for my friends or just for fun are Honda’s and entry level VW’s.

    Again, I admit my bias and appreciate your corrections/comments as you seem to be very knowledgeable in that segment, especially with Honda.

    It is all a learning process and I am glad I get your input.

    Now let me ask you questions. For mainstream brands, which manufactures often give great lease offers? I am also specifically interested in Ford. Any opinions on Ford? Thanks

    • LT,

      The msrp to lease ratio is a good way to think about the “value” of luxury leasing. I don’t disagree with that at all. I have not picked apart the numbers enough to know this for sure, but I’ll bet a “great” mainstream lease would have the same ratio as a “great” luxury lease. It’s just less noticeable because both parts of the ratio are smaller (and the cars aren’t nearly as exciting). I could be wrong though.

      Let’s try this. That Civic I did in the Honda thread…the rating was 90.5. Do you have a recent luxury example with a very similar score? If no, post the details.

      Finally, I’m sorry I can’t be of much help on Ford. I really did just start learning about leases about a month ago (I get rather obsessive when I start learning a new topic). I’ll let you know if I come across some Ford specific information or deals.

      • Not to belabor this discussion any more than it already has been, but once you go through the leasing process multiple times you will find that those lower monthly payments you’ve calculated on paper for the base model (insert premium brand) are almost non-existant in the real world because the dealers pretty much only stock models that are layered with option packages. Once in a while I will see a BMW 3-series on the lot with no options but not that often. Good luck trying to special order any bare bones base models with any real negotiating power. Second, premium brands are not any easier to negotiate…reference Audi, where people seem willing to lease for close to MSRP and pay high money factors to boot (in my neck of the woods). Many factors come in to play depending on the time of year, new model introductions, supply, the economy, so on and so forth.

      • I just got a “base” lexus gs 350 on jul 19. “Base” as this is the cheapest configuration shipped from factory (but has nav, pdc,bsm, rear sunshaded, cooled heated front seats etc). Msrp $53145. Scored a deal $2000 below invoice of 50157 to 48157, then got 2500 lease cash fro LFS to 45657. Residual for 36/12 at 59% mf 0.0005. About 451 base payment. Add CA ridiculous registration fees and 8% sales tax to 522. Make it a zero drive off at 35 x 536. G’s score of 105. Maybe i should go to G’s wall?;)

  15. Fyi, worked on a parallel deal on a base 528, only with nav. Would have been $5-6 more. For me GS is a better car in term of luxury and sportiness. Considered bmw only because the mrs askes me to work on the numbers to see how it would go.

  16. Also worked on ES 350, both “base” with msrp 42xxx and luxury package with msrp 44xxx. The numbers were about 420 and 455 with zero drive off. That’s how i knew that ES was only $20 more than accord ex l with nav 2 weeks ago because wife’s cousin was considering such accord and we played with the idea of ES. However, we perceived gs as a better value as the payment would be $80 more for a $9000 more expensive car.

  17. And yes audi is not a good value. Didnt i mention it a lot of time? Tend to have a Harder to negotiate selling price, low res, high mf.

  18. Hey G

    Glad I found this site and Congrats. I have a question previously i had a 2007 jetta and wanted out because was giving me problems unfortunately i was upside down about 3k any where i went because the new body style jetta came out so i got into a lease 12k a year lease with 2013 VW passat SE ( in October 2012) only have 10k miles on it now and i make a year in October this year. I got into the lease since i was upside with a lease after the term i will have $0 negative equity. Now i would like to get another car I want a BMW 320I and was wondering what are my best options should i see if BMW will payoff my remaining lease payments i have and start fresh with them or should i get it appraised by car max and see what they give me. mind you the passat lease is for 48 months not the best decision but this was my first lease didnt do my research and needed a car and i didn’t know about this site. Any input would be great thanks G!

    • Ouch…pretty deep hole you dug yourself into on the 48 month lease. If you change cars often, longer term leases are typically a bad idea. You are guaranteed to get hit (very hard) trying to unload a ’13 Passat within 1 year of leasing it. Typically, if you keep the car in great condition and keep the miles low, you can probably unload it at little to no negative equity at around 3 years. Anyway, that’s probably not what you want to hear so here is the standard procedure. Get a trade-in value for your Passat (from carmax or various dealers) Then see which one gives you the highest value. Then you see how much your payoff is, then just pay that off and move on to the 320 lease. Expensive lesson, but if a 320 is what you want and you gotta have it now, that is the price you have to pay.

      PS – Please read the big bold print under each page. 😉

  19. yes,

    i know someone told me to wait about 2 to 3 years if maybe ill be lucky to break even. Was looking into swapalease but not sure is anyone is interested in a 36 month lease with almost 12k on it. i think i got a decent deal since i was upside down. But lets see after 2 years maybe something could happen. Thanks G for the quick response definitely learning alot from your site and telling everyone i know that leases about it. Ill keep in touch for my next lease i definitely need a good deal.

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