Spoiler alert: There isn’t much out there compared to previous years. Actually, I did find something – a bona fide ad that really said “Black Friday” on it, from a California dealer we track monthly – but the one and only Nissan LEAF was scooped up shortly after including it on our Electric Vehicle Best Lease Guide. Coincidence? Perhaps. Fortunately for those that have to buy or lease a car ASAP, there are still a handful of electric vehicle deals that are worth considering in this logistically challenged, chip-starved economy that hopefully hasn’t become our new norm.
With an average monthly cost of $254 before tax and license, Nissan’s 3-year, $119/month lease offer on a 2022 LEAF S with 150 miles of range is one of the least expensive EV leases that’s currently available across the US, even with its rather hefty $4,969 due at signing. There are a couple of Los Angeles area dealers – Nissan of Mission Hills and Nissan of Costa Mesa – that are advertising two-year, one-only lease offers on a 2021 LEAF S that average much closer to $200/month, but as one might guess, those vehicles are no longer in inventory. Nonetheless, these are two dealers that have a history of advertising attractive lease offers, so with some haggling, they may be more amenable to discounting the 2022 models they have in stock.
Nissan does not have any unconditional cash incentives on a LEAF purchase, but they do have a 0% financing offer for up to 72 months. Inventory is still historically thin, and most dealers are still listing their LEAF stock at MSRP. Our best find comes from Nissan of Richmond in Virginia with a $5,075 discount on a 2022 LEAF SV Plus. Nissan Mesa in Arizona follows with discounts on their entire LEAF inventory, the best being an SL Plus at $2,113 off MSRP.
We did come across two dealers offering discounts in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $2,500 on a 2021 LEAF, and one dealer offering a new 2019 at almost $3,000 off. But beware – Nissan drastically cut the MSRP of the LEAF for 2022 models. We’re talking $4,245 for the 150-mile LEAF S and $6,545 for the 215-mile SL Plus. So avoid buying a new 2021 or earlier LEAF unless it comes with a huge discount. Check local Nissan dealers for LEAF discounts and availability.
Hyundai Kona Electric
With its 258-mile range and average monthly lease cost of $249 before tax and license, Hyundai’s lease offer on a 2021 Kona Electric is probably the best EV lease value currently published. The bad news is that the chances of finding a 2021 model is practically nil for any of the coastal states where EV demand is hottest. The good news is that 2022 models are trickling in across the US, and at an average monthly cost of $352/month, Hyundai’s lease offer on the attractively refreshed 5-seater should be worth considering. Yes, that’s over $100/month more than the nearly nonexistent 2021 model, but at that price point, it’s competitive with the factory lease offers on the 215-mile 2022 Nissan LEAF ($500/mo effective cost for an SL Plus) and 238-mile Kia Niro EV ($300/month for a 2021 model, $310/month for a 2022 model).
We didn’t find any dealers that beat Hyundai’s factory lease offer, but we did find one dealer – Vision Hyundai in New York – that is discounting 2021 models by $1,500 and offering Hyundai Motor Finance (HMF) cash of $3,000 and 0% financing. Combined with the $7,500 federal EV tax incentive and $2,000 NYSERDA rebate, a 2021 Kona Electric can be had in New York at $14,000 off MSRP.
That $3,000 HMF incentive is good for 2022 models, too. So in California, a Kona EV SEL with a $36,065 MSRP can be owned at a net cost of $25,815 after the $7,500 federal EV tax incentive, $750 California Clean Fuel Reward, and $2,000 California Clean Vehicle Rebate. Find Hyundai Kona Electric deals in your area.
Kia Niro EV
Kia’s three-year lease offers on its five-passenger, 238-mile Niro EV are relatively attractive – a 2021 model can be leased at an effective cost of $300/month, and a 2022 model can be leased for $310/month. That’s noticeably less than the cost of Hyundai’s lease offer on a 2022 Kona Electric. There also seems to be more availability in EV hotspots along the West Coast and in the Northeast compared to the Kona Electric.
As for discounts, Crain Kia of Bentonville in Arkansas has a great deal on a 2021 Niro EV EX Premium at $6,155 off window sticker. Also, Gene Messer Kia in Texas is advertising a $3,473 discount from MSRP on a 2021 Niro EV, and Kia of Quincy in Illinois has a $3,197 discount on a 2022 model. To help seal the deal, Kia is currently offering 0% financing on loans up to 60 months. Check your locale for deals on a Kia Niro EV.
I’ve mentioned the Polestar 2 earlier this year as a relative bargain from a leasing perspective because its factory lease offer kept getting cheaper and cheaper in the months following its launch. I’m mentioning it again because after inching up into the fall months, its lease cost is now falling toward a low point, currently at an average monthly cost of $588/month for a 2022 Polestar 2 in dual motor all-wheel drive configuration.
Polestar does this while Tesla is repeatedly ratcheting up the price of its Model 3. In Long Range Dual Motor AWD trim with 19-inch rims, the Model 3 now has an effective lease cost of $673/month before tax and license. That could be high enough to steer cross-shoppers toward the Polestar, particularly those that might favor the more conventional exterior styling and instrument cluster of the Polestar 2. Both are capable of exhilarating mid-4-second, zero-to-60 sprints, but the Model 3 wins out on top speed (for those that really care about that), cargo space (Model 3 has about 5 cubic feet more back there), and of course, range (an incredible 334 miles versus Polestar 2’s relatively disappointing 249 miles).
Polestar 2’s big win? You don’t have to wait until next year to accept delivery of your new ride. Polestar retailers across the nation have pre-configured 2022 models ready for immediate delivery, just in time to wrap up and stuff under a Christmas tree for your significant other. Check Polestar 2 availability in your area.
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