Best New Car Lease Deals for September 2020

Labor Day, that languorous final long weekend of summer, is here. Sort of. As if we’ve had a summer. As if the kids are headed back to school. Like there’s anything about the world that’s how it has always been.

That said, the Labor Day weekend is normally an opportunity to assess vehicular needs and go searching for leftover current model year options that might be had for a bargain. After all, the 2021 models are on the way. At least they should be. And when all those ’21s hit the lots, the ’20s are going to look like dorky wallflowers at the new-car dance.

In COVID World, however, keep calm. The usual opportunities may not be out there. Right now, the used-car market is still on fire. So if you have a late-model machine hanging around that you want to dump, you’re likely to get an excellent price for it. And rolling that cash into a lease may make sense, particularly if your work situation has changed and some portion of the lease is now tax deductible. Talk to your accountant or barkeep. If you’re allowed into the bar.

As always: a lease is a financial transaction and should be treated with the same seriousness as getting a mortgage, investing in Ukrainian municipal bonds, or pillaging your IRA. It’s a bottom-line judgment made by a customer to enter into a legal contract. Be flinty-eyed in your assessment of what makes economic sense before signing up for anything. Don’t just assume it’s the right thing to do. Know if the lease works to your best advantage.

Weird times mean weird decisions. Keep in mind that the world as it is now may not be how it is in the next few years. And that’s how long a new vehicle lease runs—a few years. What’s topsy now is almost guaranteed to be turvy soon. Maybe buying something new or used is the right strategy for you right now instead of taking on the contractual obligations of a lease. It may even be best to do nothing at all.

Don’t assume is a lease is for you. Calmly, coolly, and patiently assess what’s going on in your life and your financial situation, research like a scientist, and then decide. You’ll have to live with the decision.

Negotiate, Negotiate

The cost of a lease is rather straightforward. You (the lessee) pay for the depreciation of the vehicle over the lease term and the cost of the money the lessor is using to purchase the vehicle, plus fees such as security deposits, acquisition fees, disposition charges, and anything else the creative accountants can come up with. Basically, you pay some of the capital costs and fees up front in the form of your initial payment and then a monthly charge that varies with expense and depreciation.

Always shop for the total cost first. Don’t negotiate solely on the basis of monthly payments, and never be afraid to ask for a little more sugar to sweeten the deal.

2021 jeep wrangler


$287 per month/$1995 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles
41 cents per mile

Well, it’s 2021 at Jeep. In a lease offered at all the ZIP codes we checked, FCA’s usually profitable division is letting Wrangler Unlimited Sports go for only $287 per month after $1995 at signing. Keep in mind, however, that going off-road in a leased vehicle has some potential consequences. That, however, shouldn’t matter if you’re only looking to profile-cruise through campus. Should there be anyone on campus. The lease only includes 30,000 miles of use, which can go pretty quick over three years.
Offer ends September 30.

2020 kia optima


$139 per month/$3319 at signing
36 months/36,000 miles
24 cents per mile

This is a rerun from last month. The deal is still good through the Labor Day weekend. So, go get it. If you want it.

Optima has been the name of Kia’s mid-size sedan in America since 2000. But the name has been wiped away for 2021, so the leftover 2020 Optimas on dealer lots are the last of their kind. And dealers hate orphaned cars taking up space. Kia, benevolent presence that it is, is helping those poor dealers with lease offers that start as low as $139 per month for 36 months and 36,000 miles after $3319 at signing in the New York City area. Other deals vary slightly depending on the region, and some run for 24 months and 24,000 miles.
Offer ends September 8.

2021 kia k5


$229 per month/$2999 at signing
36 months/36,000 miles
32 cents per mile

This is a rerun from last month. The deal hasn’t changed and it’s good through the Labor Day weekend.

Don’t want to be seen in that old-style 2020 Optima? Prefer the avant-garde appearance and leading-edge tech of Kia’s new K5 (formerly known as the Optima)? Well, the deals on the freshly offered K5 aren’t as keen as those on the leftover Optimas. For comparison’s sake, the factory offers on the new K5 start at $229 per month for either 24 or 36 months with 1000 miles of use per month after $2999 at signing. Those offers are available in Southern California, and slight variations can be found in other regions.
Offers end September 8.

2020 honda odyssey


$299 per month/$3399 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles
46 cents per mile


2020 Honda Odyssey EX

$410 per month/Zero down at signing
36 months/30,000 miles
48 cents per mile

Honda has an updated Odyssey minivan coming for 2021, but the dealers still have 2020 models they need to move. And the 2020 Odyssey is a very good minivan. If you’re a loyal Honda owner (according to Honda’s criteria), then a new 2020 Honda Odyssey EX can be yours for only $299 per month after $3399 at signing on a three-year/30,000-mile lease. Not bad. If you’re not a Honda good buddy, then the same deal is available under the same terms but at $329 per month.

Don’t want to put out that much initial cash? Then Honda is also offering the 2020 Odyssey EX on a three-year/30,000-mile lease for $410 per month with nothing due at signing. That’s nothing. Nada. Not a dime or a farthing. But you will be paying more every month—and $1050 more over the life of the lease.
Offers end November 2.

2020 subaru ascent


$305 per month/$2999 at signing
36 months/36,000 miles
39 cents per mile

Subaru’s biggest crossover, the Ascent, is now offered at $305 per month plus $2999 at signing on a 36-month, 36,000-mile lease. That’s a big, big crossover at only 39 cents per mile. This offer was found in Southern California. In other areas, like Chicago and New York City, it’s $319 per month under the same terms. Want a 2021 edition? The monthly chit goes up to $335 per month in all the ZIPs C/D checked.
Offer ends September 30.

2020 mazda cx 30


$189 per month/$2999 at signing
36 months/36,000 miles
27 cents per mile

The CX-30 is Mazda’s in-betweener crossover. Not quite as dinky as the CX-3, but somewhat less expansive than the CX-5. Not that the CX-5 is all that huge. A $189-per-month charge in New York City is a good monthly hit and, get this, Mazda will make the first month’s payment for you. So that’s 36 months of use for 35 payments. It takes $2999 to launch and requires a $350 disposition fee at lease end. In Southern California the deal is the same but goes off at $205 per month.
Offer ends September 30.

2020 buick encore gx


$239 per month/$1649 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles
35 cents per mile

Buick’s new, very sweet Encore GX is offered in various featured leases around the country. The best deal is in Southern California for $239 per month after only $1649 at signing for three years and 30,000 miles. There are disposition fees that can reach $495 at lease end. And you have to be coming out of a competitive lease to get the best deal. In New York City, another deal goes at $179 per month but takes $2749 to start and only lasts 24 months and 20,000 miles—and goes to anyone credit-worthy and coming out of a GM lease. In Chicago, the lease runs 39 months and 32,500 miles for $229 per month after a stout $3089 at signing and is available to anyone with a stellar credit rating.
Offer ends September 8.

2020 ford f 150


$179 per month/$3219 at signing
24 months/21,000 miles
37 cents per mile

It’s the best-selling vehicle on earth. It’s a full-size crew-cab pickup with a turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6. And it’s got four-wheel drive. What’s not to love about $179 per month after $3219 at signing on a two-year, 21,000-mile lease? Well, it is a short lease. But C/D found this deal at various ZIPs around the country. And that seems pretty good.
Offer ends September 8.

2020 cadillac ct5

Jessica Lynn WalkerCar and Driver

$379 per month/$3189 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles
57 cents per mile

Or . . .

$379 per month/$3709 at signing
39 months/32,500 miles
58 cents per mile

Have a hankering for a Cadillac sedan? You know, thick padded roof, whitewall tires, fake wire wheel covers, and velour upholstery a dog could drown in? Well, go back to 1974 and the lots are full of them. But here in the 21st century, which may or may not be better, you can get either the new CT4 for $379 per month or the larger CT5 for $379 per month. Your choice.

The difference between the two featured nationwide deals is that, well, they’re on different vehicles. And, also, the CT4 lease needs $3189 at signing and runs 36 months, while the CT5 takes $3709 at signing and runs 39 months. Both include 10,000 annualized use miles. So hurry up and decide. Surely some dealer will add the vinyl roof and wire wheel covers if that’s what you really crave.
Offers end September 30.

2020 toyota tacoma


$259 per month/$2999 at signing
36 months/36,000 miles
34 cents per mile

You may as well lease something you truly want. And what a lot of people want is a Toyota 4×4 pickup. In the New York City area, the attractive TRD Sport package crew-cab model with a V-6 is available on a three-year lease with 36,000 miles for only $259 per month after $2999 at signing. It’s perfect for rock crawling in Brooklyn or trail running across the Bronx. Other deals are offered in other areas, but we didn’t see one as good as this one on a truck this well equipped.
Offer ends September 30.

2020 gmc sierra 1500


$339 per month/$1358 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles
46 cents per mile

In a world where trucks rule the universe, here’s another truck. It’s the big GMC Sierra in extended double-cab form for $339 per month after $1358 at signing. You have to be coming out of a GM lease and live in Southern California, but that means your life is already pretty good. Other deals are featured in other parts of the country.
Offer ends September 8.

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