Open to many models to lease or buy cash- what is the BEST SUV deal right now?

I need to get a newer SUV for my wife. I have always bought my cars 4-5 years old from private party cash. I have grown frustrated with the used market this time, and am considering new.

I have spent a couple hours on this site and I could use some advice from you deal experts!

I want to know what the absolute best deal on a SUV is right now, and whether leasing or buying makes the most sense. Most important factor for me is lowest cost of ownership - and I have always thought buying used private party with cash was the key - but having trouble finding something this time around.

I can buy cash, but would want it to be a Highlander, MDX, pilot, CX-5, CX-9, or Lexus RX/NX.

Now that I found this site, I’m open to a lease if that makes more financial sense in some scenarios? If I don’t plan to own after lease term, I am open to pretty much ANY make/model as long as it has AWD/4WD.

Very interested in this topic for the same advice

Why not use @Jrouleau426, buy a new RAV4 hybrid or highlander and keep it a few years. That’s if he has one and sells in your market. Low cost of ownership, reliable, and will hold value well. They won’t lease well but if you can buy it you know it won’t lose much value.


Between value retention and reliability, your best bet is a Toyota product.

  1. Lexus RX if you don’t need a third row, I’ve seen $5,000 off in the #marketplace

  2. Grand Highlander (if you can wait). Order one or get on a waitlist now.

  3. Highlander.

  4. Pilot / Telluride / Palisade for those who need something slightly larger than a Highlander but cannot wait for a GH.

  5. CRV over CX5 in that segment. CX90 instead of CX9 in that segment.


Shipping from the east coast destroys the value proposition for a CA buyer. There are local brokers and dealers in the #marketplace

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Is this strictly in terms of TCO? How much less would the TCO of a GH be over a Telluride/CX90?

The CX5 size is Hyundai Tucson Limited. This weekend You can get great deals. Hyundai added $500 bonus to the lease.
Did You concider this car?

The size of these cars are all over the place. Some are a foot and a half longer than others. I’m guessing you don’t need a 3rd row.

In SoCal you can find some nice discounts on Passport, Lexus NX, RX, etc. better to purchase/finance though.

If you really must lease, probably a Murano or JGC.

That’s just impossible to answer.

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Right. Just wondering why you recommended the unknown GH over the others.

Agree with @max_g here. Depends on the deal.

Also the new CX-9 is not in the same league as the Telluride and palisade. Telluride and palisade are great cars to own and rate highly in drive quality, reliability, and space comfort ability (personally had both), but are hard to find deals on. If you put in the time and make moves during month/quarter end or sales event (Memorial Day, Independence Day etc.) you’ll be able to find some. Personally, CX-90 is not worth it.

The CX-90s have very nice interiors and the PHEV is interesting but the surge of random problems (new model after all) would keep me away.

To the OP - “Most important factor for me is lowest cost of ownership” - probably a Toyota then. You give up space (Highlander’s third row is poor), creature comforts, newest safety tech + highway driver assists.

Personally I’m a huge fan of the Hyundai/Kia highway driver assist system vs. the ping-pong system of Toyotas… and I primarily drive gas/ICE cars to road trip (and use EVs for daily commutes) so that is most important to me. For a daily and if you only need 2 rows… maybe a RAV4 Prime. It’s pricey but should keep long-term value. It’s not a great car for long road-tripping due to poor NVH… but that all depends on what you value the most… TCO seems to be your priority.

Probably based on Toyota’s reputation.

Now if the GH came with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ and the 23 Sequoia’s interior + infotainment + audio… and was priced at $55-60K… ugh… I’d run away.

Took the wife to sit in each car today to try to narrow down. She says the highlander is a bit too large, but loves the RX350H. (I think these are on the same chassis, but I couldn’t convince her on the highlander. (Also salesperson says hybrid highlanders are still selling $10K over MSRP - which I doubt).
NX was too small. CX-5 felt bigger and was fine - but CX-50 felt like the perfect size.

So if I buy - we are narrowed down to:

-RX350(h preferred)
-Tesla Y (additional - she really liked the size/storage and the way it drove).

Interesting observation from being at a major automall today: Really felt dead on such a major weekend. Each dealership had at most 3 or 4 families inside. Nearly no one walking the lot looking.

Nobody suggesting the EQS?

That’s where the market is heading. Size / capacity/ utility… whatever you want to call it.

The CX90, like many Mazdas, will be a niche model compared to the sales leaders. It will appeal to people who want to spend $55-60k but don’t want a BMW badge or a $85-90k price tag of an X7.

Brokers are offering RX over $5k off, what’s not to like? Check out marketplace.

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Agreed, that’s the idea. My reference is based in the context of the CX-90s competence among competitors in the three row mid-size SUV class. I checked one out myself as that seemed to be the only “good” deal offered among brokers in the soflo market. While the exterior and interior redesign gives the impression of X5 lookalike, there’s not much substance behind looks. The infotainment system is a major fail. Even in case of desperation, this would be the last choice on the list.