Help! Looking for lease-end advice on 2019 Outback 3.6

Hi, was hoping to get the forum’s thoughts on whether to purchase or lease another Outback Touring. Current Outback is Touring 3.6, on a 36 month lease that ends in a few weeks (I will have made around $15,357 in lease payments over the 3 years). Car has around 31K miles, in very good condition. Purchase option is $22,334, and I just got a Carmax offer for $32K and a dealer offer for $30K. Had been strongly considering exercising the purchase option (would pay cash), but now it’s killing me to leave that equity on the table given I assume the FMV of this car is going to drop 20-30% once market prices normalize over the next year. My wife is pushing hard to buy it (she has a “buy” bias versus leasing). Thoughts on what to do in this current market? If I lease another one, I assume I won’t be getting near the same deal I got on my current Outback without putting some of that equity into the new deal, and I really don’t want to pay more than I am now ($424/month with no cap cost reduction paid on that original deal). I was also thinking about trying the Subaru VIP voucher route to help normalize the cost, and try to “have my equity and eat it to so to speak.” Would love to borrow someone’s finance expertise here to offer some advice on how to think about this. Thank you!

Buy it out (or sell directly to Carmax if they buy Chase leases), sell it, and then buy a new one. Pocket the equity (or use it as a down payment).

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As long as you understand there isn’t a direct replacement, and have driven enough cars to find something new that you like.

So many Internet threads from 3.6 owners fussing about the XT.

You have a unicorn, which is one reason it’s worth so much.

Don’t be so upset with your XT. 3.6 is the same boring minibus (that’s the one I test drove).

I’m not. I’m speaking for the overwhelming number of 3.6 folks who complain. Personally I liked the 3.6 better but it’s been gone for years.

Yes used car prices won’t stay high forever, but we also shouldn’t expect them to correct back to ‘where they should have been’ either.

I feel like we hear this a lot about the equity burning a hole in one’s pocket. And I feel like the need to ‘cash out’ sometimes leads one to a decision that ultimately is not financially advantageous. Especially since there’s more sales tax, higher reg on the new car. VIP is a decent price in todays market, so it could work out better, especially if you purchase.

In the end it’s a calculation based on a series of assumptions and bets on the future you make.

I almost upgraded to a 2022 Tiguan, cashing in equity from my 2019. In the end, it was a matter of the delta from the value of the 2019 to the all in price of the 2022.


Personally i’d buy it and keep it for a while. I’d look at it as getting a well looked after, low mile $30k+ car for just $22k. Even if the market drops quite a lot over the next few years (which I still doubt) your car is still fairly desirable for most folks so will retain value well.

Like you said, you’re not going to get anything remotely decent on a new lease unless you put a bunch of your equity down and the ‘happy wife, happy life’ mantra also applies.


Thanks for all of your comments - very helpful (especially the “happy wife” comment). I think we’re going to buy it and keep it for now. Thank you!

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Good job :vulcan_salute:

I went through the same thought process with my 2018 Outback Limited 2.5. I have 1 more payment and it will be paid off, took advantage of the 0% promotion 4 years ago and financed 100% ($32K + TTL). I had offer for $29K couple of month ago, now down to $26K.

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