Lease advice - budget roomy SUV


I’m looking for an SUV to lease (north Cal) and getting lost (especially with all the price increase).

The main factors are big trunk with power liftgate, safe (safety mechanism like adaptive cruise control, front collision assist, lane departure assist, etc)

3rd row is not critical.

From reading online it seems that the Hyundai Santa Fe might be a good option, but there are so many options I’m getting lost.

Also, ideally I would want a 24 or 29 months lease which makes it even harder to compare

Roughly what should I expect to pay these days for such a lease, and which car do you recommend I should focus on (and talks with those specific dealers)?


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On the SUV front, I would suggest driving the Honda Passport and Toyota Highlander first. Nothing is leasing well right now, but these have been leasing - better? And will give you feedback on what may be more/less important.

24 month lease now may really be the tough part, but you can always sell/trade/transfer some brands.

Honda passport is probably your best value option that meets those requirements.

As for paymemt, it is practically impossible for us to tell you what a “good” monthly payment is for your specific lease as lease programs are highly dependent on region, personal qualifications, tax rates, etc.

We always recommend the following method before you ever contact a dealership. If you do all of the work up front, you’ll have a stress free dealer experience and set yourself for success.

  1. Read Leasing 101 (Blog | LEASEHACKR) to understand how to calculate a lease payment and the variables. Monthly payment is an output, not an input!!
  2. Pick a specific vehicle that you want to target
  3. Gather the current MF, RV and incentives from Edmunds forums for your zip code
  4. Research the LH marketplace and other deals that have been made recently on your vehicle - what was their pre-incentive discount? How did their lease terms differ?
  5. Plug your numbers into the LH calculator (CALCULATOR | LEASEHACKR), and use a pre-incentive discount similar to what you have seen
  6. Create a target deal, this is what you’re trying to negotiate to. You can try different terms, selling price discount, etc. and see how your monthly payment is affected. It is also possible that different trims of your vehicle may have different MF and RV (i.e. this is very common with GM), so make sure that you look into that. Come up with a set of inputs that give you the output that you want - your desired monthly payment.

With a target price determined, you now have a deal to pursue and compare dealer offers against. More importantly, you have a solid foundation to work from.

Thanks, will definitely do that. I want to first narrow down my options so I can do just that.

  1. Why is Passport better than the Santa Fe? I mean, based on MSRP it seems higher. Also for that price range, is the Passport better than the CX9?
  2. The reason I’m looking into 24 months lease is that we might leave the area/country in 2 years for a while and don’t want to keep paying the additional 12 months.

It’s advisable for you to drive the cars to decide for yourself. Internet strangers may have a completely set of priorities and preferences than do you.

Read Leasing 101 (as mentioned above). MSRP and total lease cost are not always related.


True, that is what I was referring to. So Passport usually has better lease deals?

Also, I know if varies, but especially these days - are there brands that are easier to lease? i’m near SF

I strongly suggest you use search function look at recent deals (“Shared Deals”) in your geographic area for these cars. Also look at broker deals (if any) in your area (under “Marketplace”).

You are not looking at uncommon cars. There is data here on the site that you will need to search through for yourself.


Thanks, will start there.

Better than sending requests for many car brands in the area :slight_smile:

The best way I can answer this question is to say I had a CX9 GT in my driveway and it’s been replaced by a Passport EX-L, and I find it to be a vastly superior vehicle (and more importantly, my wife who couldn’t care less about cars was ecstatic to replace the cx9 with the passport). Doesn’t hurt that it’s a good $80/mo cheaper too.

The Sante fe is a great option. It’s going to be more a good bit more expensive. If the semi autonomous driving features are important to you, Hyundai’s system is one of the best in the industry.

Please don’t, that is a good way to get ghosted in this market.

If you are planning to lease, read through leasing 101 as others suggested: they are being polite, your understanding of the basics will go a long way to getting the best possible deal in this especially customer-unfriendly time.

Browse Shared Deals to see what’s leasing well, and make a short list.

Go test drive your short list: do NOT negotiate your deal in person (leasing 101 will explain this), just drive, because

I am never going to drive your car, so 99% of my preferences aren’t meaningful or relevant to you. If you hate driving it, it doesn’t matter how cheap it leases (paging Toyota Venzas everywhere).

Only when you have a car (or two), and a deal structure, do you contact a dealer to make them a reasonable offer on a car you want. If you ask what it costs, they will tell you what they want it to cost.

And if you don’t want to educate yourself or do any legwork, hire a broker from the Marketplace. They will pay for themselves in your savings.

Good luck - it’s brutal out there.

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I have test drove the cx9 GT but not passport exl. Curious what makes passport a superior vehicle since cx9 is a solid car (if someone doesn’t need maximum practicality).

Or Murano.

Not much else going on for people seeking budget SUVs

Ya, that’s what I thought when I got it too.

Biggest difference is having actual useful space. The cx9 is incredible in its ability to be so tiny inside for such a large vehicle.

Then there’s the issues with the interior not holding up very well, Mazda having the worst infotainment in the industry, the paint chipping if you look at it wrong, body panels cracking, the drivetrain clunks on liftoff, etc

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Even the Murano - some amazing deals in March & April and then no listed deals at all in May & June.

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Title: Be as specific as possible in the title if you are posting a deal – include car model, monthly payment, and money down.
Tags: make (e.g. toyota, bmw)(required) and region (e.g. ny, ca, ca-socal, usa-nationwide)
Post: Include as much information about your deal as possible to make it a helpful reference for others, and even a celebratory picture. :wink:

Year, Make, Model, and Trim: 2021 Mazda CX-9
MSRP: $37620
Selling Price: $35863 (including $750 loyalty discount)
Monthly Payment: $ 392 + tax
Drive-Off Amount: $3167
Months: 36
Annual Mileage: 12K
Incentives: 750$ Loyalty
Region: CA-NorCal
Leasehackr Score: 6.8
Leasehackr Calculator Link: CALCULATOR | LEASEHACKR

An effective $480/mo is not good for the Touring. Why so much DAS???

You need to research comparable CX-9s on here from this month and go back to that dealer and tell them to eat at Taco Bell where the bathrooms are broken.

This should be no more than $400/mo with $400/DAS imo

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I agree, I’ve got even higher quotes from Honda and Toyota. There seems to be a huge hike in prices due to low inventory (chip shortage)

For an example…this is a Grand Touring

Oh, nice.

Will try and re-negotiate. The problem is that most dealers in the area (50 miles) have very few cars in stock (and most are the premium ones)

Yes, inventory is a low but I bet you could extend your search radius and have the car delivered.
I would keep at it.