Pricing pressure from Tesla, increased EV supply, IRA Tax credit, and the looming model year changeover have spurred legacy automakers to continue sweetening incentives on their electric vehicles. Now there are six factory lease offers on EVs with an average monthly cost of under $400 before tax and license, which is a price point that rivals factory lease terms of low-priced ICE vehicles that include the Toyota Corolla LE, Chevy Equinox LT, and Honda HR-V LX.
Keep in mind, the lease tax “loophole” which allows vehicles/households not eligible for the $7500 IRA tax credit, are available on all vehicles regardless of income. Some folks are using the “1-day lease” to take advantage of these where they buy out their lease almost immediately thus enabling the federal tax credit on all EVs without stipulations. Ask about this at your local dealer.
1. 2023 Nissan LEAF: $289/month, S: $355/month
At $289/month for 36 months with $2679 to start, Nissan’s LEAF S lease is currently the cheapest factory lease offer on an electric vehicle, but as one might expect, its low cost does come with concessions. Capable of traveling 149 miles on a full charge and accelerating from zero to 60mph in 7.4 seconds, this front-wheel-drive 5-passenger hatchback with 24 cubic feet of cargo space is a bit short on range and performance compared to most EVs. However, the good news for folks who can’t live with those shortcomings is that we did find a few dealers in California advertising lease terms on the 226-mile range LEAF SV Plus that undercut the factory LEAF S lease offer.
We also found a number of dealers in several states that are discounting the SV Plus deep enough to dip its effective lease cost to well under $400/month. With a 226-mile range and zero to 60mph time of 6.8 seconds, a dealer-discounted LEAF SV Plus can provide range and spunk that rivals other EVs mentioned here, and as a bonus, includes higher-trim appointments typically not included on base models such as 360-degree camera coverage, larger wheels and tires, navigation, and intelligent driver assist technology. Dealers with discounts of over $3000 on a LEAF SV Plus include Gettel Nissan in Florida, Glendale Nissan and Nissan of Van Nuys in the Los Angeles area, and Bob Bell Nissan in Maryland. Check for Nissan LEAF deals near you.
2. 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 SE Standard Range – $362/month
Hyundai’s recent mid-month improvements to Ioniq 6 SE lease offers are huge. For example, the average monthly cost to lease the rear-wheel-drive 149-horsepower Ioniq 6 SE Standard Range plunged by over $100, now at a very attractive $229/month for 36 months with $5005 due at inception. The Standard Range is good for 240 miles on a full charge, should reach 60mph from a standstill somewhere between eight and nine seconds, and can carry 11.2 cubic feet of cargo in its trunk. But there’s one problem – the Standard Range configuration of this 5-passenger sedan is hard to find; we estimate that it accounts for less than a half percent of all Ioniq 6 sedans in dealer stock. So out of twenty Ioniq 6 that are sitting at a dealership, most will probably be equipped with the higher priced SEL trim, and maybe one will be a Standard Range SE. We didn’t have any luck finding one in California or the New England area, but we did find one at Koons Woodbridge Hyundai in Virginia and another at Hyundai of Wesley Chapel in Florida.
For those that can squeeze another $68 out of their monthly budget, the Ioniq 6 SE Long Range sedan is a bit more available than the Standard Range and leases at $299/month for 36 months, $4999 at signing, which works out to an effective cost of $430/month. Yeah, it blows our $400/month threshold, but get this – that two or three bucks more per day is good for another 121 miles of range (361 miles total) and shaves the sedan’s zero to sixty time down to a quick 6.2 seconds. Look for a Hyundai Ioniq 6 SE in your area.
3. 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric SE – $373/month
Hyundai’s current 2023 Kona Electric SE lease offer of $269/month for 36 months with $3999 due at signing is a real bargain, considering that the front-drive, five-passenger 4-door crossover goes 258 miles on a full charge and sprints from zero to 60mph in 6.4 seconds. Its 19 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the rear seats is on the smaller side for a crossover, but the rear seats do fold flat to provide a very usable 45 cubic foot volume.
We didn’t find any dealer lease offers that improve on the factory terms, but we did spot two retailers – McDonald Hyundai in Colorado and Werner Hyundai in Florida – that are offering discounts on a Kona Electric SE that should translate into lower lease payments. Unfortunately, dealer inventory seems to be dwindling as today’s Kona gives way to the next-generation 2024 Kona, which will be larger in all three dimensions and will offer a choice of battery capacity. Which sounds great, except that it looks like someone beat the rear end of it with an ugly stick. With any luck, the open wounds at each corner of its lower back will heal up in time for a mid-cycle refresh. Bottom line – if you prefer the style of the 2023 model over 2024, act fast before they’re all gone. Find a Hyundai Kona Electric at a dealership near you.
4. 2023 Kia Niro EV Wind – $387/month
Kia’s second-generation Niro EV has a starting MSRP that’s over $40K, but that shouldn’t dissuade shoppers that are open to leasing it. For about $20 to $30 more per month than the aging LEAF S or Kona Electric SE, you can lease a freshly designed EV with a competitive 253-mile range that scoots to 60mph in 6.7 seconds.
The base “Wind” version of this front-wheel drive crossover that seats five and carries 23 cubic feet of payload behind the rear seats comes standard with a host of amenities typically reserved for higher-cost trim levels, such as navigation, heated front seats, intelligent driver assistance, and wireless phone charging, which further adds to its value proposition. We found two dealers – Bob Johnson Kia in NY and Lee Johnson Kia in the state of Washington – with lease terms that improve on the factory lease offer. Check for Kia Niro EV deals in your locale.
5. 2023 Mini Electric Hardtop – $393/month
After a $70 cut from its monthly payment and a 10% reduction in its drive-off, the Mini Electric Hardtop’s new lease terms now stand at $299/month for 36 months and $3599 to start. As such, it remains the cheapest EV lease available from a premium brand.
With its kart-like handling and 0-60mph time of 6.1 seconds, the Mini is certainly the most athletic of the sub-$400/month electrics mentioned here. However, this front-drive, two-door four-seater is only able to travel 110 miles on a full charge and carries just 8.7 cubic feet behind its rear seats. For those that can live within the confines of its short range and limited interior space, the Mini is simply a delight to drive, and its timeless looks will continue to draw smiles long after its battery warranty expires. Find a Mini Electric Hardtop near you.
6. 2023 Subaru Solterra Limited – $399/month
Subaru has been whittling away at their Solterra lease offer throughout the summer, and by September they managed to reduce its effective cost to well under $500/month. For October, Subaru took an axe to last month’s $2899 drive-off, leaving just the first $399 monthly payment to start a 36-month lease term. As a result, the Solterra is currently the only all-wheel-drive electric vehicle that can be leased for under $400/month before adding tax and license. This five-passenger crossover that carries 29 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats can sprint from standstill to 60mph in a respectable 6.5 seconds, is good for 228 miles on a full charge, and true to its Subaru outdoorsy all-terrain heritage, sports 8.3 inches of ground clearance.
We found a number of Subaru dealers advertising a Solterra Premium at over $2000 off MSRP, including Hello Subaru of Valencia in the Los Angeles area, Herb Gordon Subaru in Maryland, Hanlees Subaru in Napa, and Sport Subaru South in Florida. A discount of that magnitude should reduce the average monthly cost of a lease closer to $350/month before tax and license. Look for Subaru Solterra deals in your area.
Honorable Mention: 2023 VW ID.4 Pro RWD – $449/month
Volkswagen’s ID.4 Pro is a five-passenger crossover that, in rear-wheel-drive configuration, travels up to 275 miles on a full charge, adequately accelerates from zero to 60mph in 7.6 seconds, and can fit 30.3 cubic feet of cargo behind its rear seats.
It’s worth mentioning here because it’s relatively easy to find VW dealers advertising discounts north of $2000, which should translate to an average monthly cost of less than $400/month on a 36-month lease. Plus, compared to the other EVs covered in this article, the ID.4 Pro appears to have the highest quantity in dealer stock, which is probably why it’s not hard to find attractive deals on it. Find the best deal on a VW ID.4 in your locale.
Honorable Mention: 2023 Toyota Prius Prime SE – $314/mo (NY/NJ/CT), $398/mo (CA)
The new-for-2023 third-generation Prius Prime is a still plug-in hybrid, so it’s only listed as an Honorable Mention. But why even mention it at all? Well, have you seen the latest Prius Prime? Much improved, in many ways. First of all, we no longer have to squint until our eyes are completely shut to enjoy looking at it. In fact, automotive enthusiast publications have described its exterior by using words such as “stylish”, “attractive”, “fantastic”, and even “sexy”. The word I’d use? Stunning. In a good way, of course, particularly from the three-quarter rear angle.
Second of all, instead of lumbering from zero to sixty by tomorrow morning like its predecessor, the third-generation Prius Prime gets there in just 6.6 seconds, albeit with a squirt of dinosaur juice. Third, its electric-only range is much improved, now at 44 miles, versus the outgoing model’s 25 miles. And finally – here’s the kicker – for customers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, Toyota’s regional lease offer of just $249/month for 36 months with $3999 due at signing would be at the top of this list by a wide margin if it included plug-in hybrids. So if you have friends and relatives who suffer from a persistent case of range anxiety that prevents them from abandoning their ICE in favor of a BEV, the 2023 Prius Prime could serve as a cheap gateway drug that eventually leads to a lifelong addiction to driving pure electrics. Just make sure you show them a picture of it before telling them it’s a Prius. Click here to help a friend or relative find a 2023 Prius Prime.
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