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Greatest New Automobile Lease Offers for December 2022




Historically, December was the best month to pick up a new car, particularly one at the end of its model year. Dealers always overstocked, automakers overbuilt, and discounts reigned. Clearing inventory was crucial. Any unsold vehicles spilling into the following calendar year would nosedive in value. This all happened long ago, in 2019.

A new car wearing a big red bow today means a dealer is willing to sell that car at sticker. The wheeling and dealing of days past might now get you a set of floor mats. Production and inventories are improving, but not fast enough to restore equilibrium. Supplies are tight. Cox Automotive, like many analysts, predicts U.S. dealers won’t even sell 14 million new cars by the time the ball drops. That would be the worst total in 10 years (through the third quarter, automakers sold 10.2 million cars, a 13 percent decline from 2021). With the deck stacked against shoppers, buying a new car has become more of a luxury than ever.

This month, we picked lease specials for eight cars featured in our most recently published reviews, including two with manual transmissions. Manufacturer specials at least guarantee a price, which is as good a gift as you’re going to get until the factories crank out more cars.

Check Our Leasing Guide First

Make sure you first read our leasing guide. We’ve covered everything that may get glossed over in the showroom: advertising fees, money factors, residuals, legal implications, and all the other fine print that could cost you thousands more than you’d expect. When comparing similar cars, be aware that a lower monthly price often demands more money up front. As with any national lease special, enter your ZIP code on an automaker’s website to check if these deals apply to your area. Prices do not include taxes or fees and may be higher or lower depending on your location. Research is always your friend.

$269 per month/$2999 at signing
39 months/39,000 miles

Allow us one bait and switch. We tested the mighty GR Corolla and launched the living hell out of that 300-hp hatch, but something about an all-wheel-drive rally car built in limited numbers has put dollar signs in the eyes of Toyota dealers. A fellow journalist called 25 dealers on the East Coast and, on average, they were asking $16,000 above sticker. At that price, you could buy almost three regular Corolla hatchbacks. Or you could lease one and put on 12,000 miles a year—a generous allowance—for under $300 a month. The base Corolla’s chassis is the basis for the GR, and while Toyota dropped the six-speed manual, it’s made an engaging car to drive and a decent one to look at when parked. Save your money. The GR is great but it’s not worth 60 grand.

2023 kia niro

Kia

$299 per month/$3499 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

Kia is the only automaker that promotes 36- or 24-month leases for the same model. The Niro is the rare car starting under $30,000 that offers three distinct powertrains (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric). That’s a lot of choices for an inexpensive subcompact. We prefer the PHEV over the hybrid for its snappy acceleration, but the noisier, slower base LX in this lease special delivers an EPA-estimated 53-mpg city (and in our testing, 39 mpg on the highway). The Niro’s style and quality inside have dramatically improved over the previous version, although the hybrid powertrain is mostly carryover.

2022 subaru wrx

Subaru

$355 per month/$2655 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

Subaru has lease specials on two stick-shift performance cars and the faster, all-wheel-drive WRX costs less over three years than the BRZ. How can you pass up that deal? We tested the CVT-only GT, but the base six-speed manual is the better car. You can roughhouse a WRX without feeling any guilt. Wind it out, kick up gravel, dive into the snow—a WRX is the shoulder devil the typical Subaru owner clogging the left lane will never summon.

2022 hyundai elantra n

Hyundai

$467 per month/$3299 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

Hyundai charges a hefty premium to buy its boosted, lowered, and utterly extroverted Elantra N. Given that this front-wheel driver beat the WRX in a comparison test, yeah, the N is very much worth the upcharge. In that comparison, the WRX emerged as a grown-up car like a Volkswagen Golf R, which seems weird, but that’s next to the Elantra N’s axle-hopping madness. What other entry-level car can you lease that feels like it already has a dozen aftermarket mods on it?

2023 volkswagen taos suv rear parked near a desert wall

Volkswagen

$529 per month/$0 at signing
36 months/36,000 miles

When Volkswagen does basic, it plays to win. Sadly, though, the days of base-model Golfs are gone. Today it’s the Taos, a small crossover nearly as large as the Tiguan with an unusually sweet deal: No money down, first month waived, and 12,000 miles a year instead of the usual 10,000. That’s why the monthly price looks so high. This lease is for the SE 4Motion, which includes VW’s IQ.Drive semi-automated driver-assist system and 18-inch wheels.

2022 gmc sierra denali

GMC

$529 per month/$4029 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

For the exact same monthly payment as the Taos but with an extra four grand at signing, you can drive away in a full-size pickup truck instead of a compact SUV. The Sierra 1500 was refreshed for 2022 and has Google-native infotainment like what you’ll see in the latest Volvo and Polestar models. That’s part of a Sierra interior that we can finally call good, even if this lease special is for the Elevation trim rather than the extra-fancy Denali we tested. This lease is for the short-bed crew cab with four-wheel drive and the 2.7-liter turbo-four, another unusual element in a truck that for years seemed like it could never catch up to the F-150 or Ram 1500. It’s a good deal.

2022 mercedesbenz eqb

Mercedes-Benz

$819 per month/$6193 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

Spending $800 a month before taxes for the Mercedes-Benz EQB—the electric GLB—is not what you’d call a good deal. In fact, it’s solidly in GLE territory. Or could lease an E450 for barely $30 more per month. That said, the EQB is an adequate EV with average performance, range, and charging times. It does offer a lot of interior space in a very small footprint. Don’t expect a federal tax credit, though: This foreign-made Benz is not eligible.

2023 bmw ix m60

BMW

$1539 per month/$11,079 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

Fast, ugly, and expensive, the iX is yet another polarizing BMW. Perhaps the exterior styling of this bleeding-edge Bimmer will grow on us. Inside, though, the iX incorporates our favorite concept-car cues such as a touch-sensitive wooden console, glass controls, colored fabric wrapping the dash, and huge curved display screens. The 290-mile highway range is among the best we’ve tested, and the M60 model’s 811 pound-feet of torque is addictive in traffic. Just know that the Kia EV6 GT at roughly half the price hits 60 mph in the same 3.2 seconds.

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