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What Car to Lease?

I am about to start a new job in NJ and need to lease a car to commute there from NYC. I have done the Car Advisor several times but am still confused. I need a solid mid-size or large sedan or small SUV or wagon. My teenage son and his friends think a Honda Accord is dorky and not comfortable for their over six feet frames, especially sitting in the back seat. Here are other cars from the list: Hyundai Genesis, Elantra, or Sonata; Volkswagen CC; Infinity M37X; Ford Fusion; Honda CR-V LX; Suburu Forester; Hyundai Santa Fe; Buick LaCrosse. Please give opinions for safety and comfort. Also, any tips of things to be sure to ask with a lease? Thanks so much.

Of those you list, the Genesis, Forester, Fusion appeal to me. You should also check out the Avalon if you want an extemely comfortable, smooth, and roomy car.

I’d go for a Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti G37 (not an X), BMW 5-series or MB E-Class just because I like RWD. But, that’s just me - it’s your $ so buy whatever blows your skirt up.


I would cross off the Elantra. It doesn’t seem like a very comfortable car. I also didn’t find the old Sonata pretty comfortable, but I haven’t been in a new one. The CC is pretty nice, but I find the Accord more comfortable, but only in the EX versions with leather. If it is not cool enough, then check out the TL. While it is ugly, it doesn’t have the boring, “dorky” connotations that an Accord does.

Your teenage son and his friends think a Honda Accord is dorky and you are letting that affect your decision? Just cut out the middle man and let your teenage son pick the car.

My advice it to think it over again. Leasing is almost always the most expensive way to get wheels. It also complicates things if your situation changes and you car needs change. It can be very expensive to end a lease early.

I totally agree with Joseph Meehan.

If you are leasing because you feel it will cost you as much or less than buying a car, then please do more homework.

If you are leasing because you want a new car and the only way you can afford to get that new car is to lease it, then you might want to understand how much more this “new car” will cost you if you lease it (compared to buying it).

The new Sonata is a very roomy an stylish car. It certainly compares well with a Camry and Accord.

I was disappointed with the new Sonata’s rear seat. That ‘4-door coupe’ styling cuts the headroom, which is nuts on what should be their main-line sedan.

I also hope you’ve done the real math on leasing before you decide. It really only makes financial sense for businesses in certain situations. In addition, with living in New York City, you’ll probably end up with a lot of scratches and dings that will cost you extra at turn-in time.

Have you priced parking in NY? Another alternative is to buy an older car that you leave at the train station in NJ. Just use it to commute from the train to your job and back to the train. I priced parking, insurance, and just general car costs when I thought about a job in NYC. It turned out that it would be cheaper to take the taxi twice a day in Manhattan than to own a car. And you could take a taxi from the train station and be ahead, too.

What car to lease? NONE!

You’re gonna be living in NYC and commuting to NJ. If you’re lucky, you MIGHT be able to find a parking spot 5 blocks from your house. Do you really think that just because you’ve got a nice new car, nothing will happen to it parked alongside the street? Especially those high end vehicles you mentioned, some people will probably smash a window just because they don’t like that someone can “afford” a car like that.
Leasing is essentially a long term rental, and the renters expect that vehicle returned in almost as good a condition as when they rented it to you. BUY a 5~10 year old beater for cash that you won’t care if it gets dented too much.

Some thoughts:

The OP is “all over the map” regarding vehicle prices and sizes.
Putting the Hyundai Genesis and the Hyundai Elantra into the same category is…strange, IMHO.
Similarly, putting a Ford Fusion and an Infiniti M37X into the mix is…perhaps even more strange.

This extreme range of vehicles is reminiscent of a person who can’t decide between the hot dog and the filet mignon on the menu. First, you need to define your price perameters before selecting from the restaurant menu.

The OP first needs to decide the vehicle price and size categories that fit his/her needs.
Then, he/she needs to consider the following facts:

Parking a car in NYC means either paying many hundreds of $$ per month for parking garage fees or parking the car on the street. Street parking is…I will try to be polite…“problematic” in NYC. Whether you consider the bumper and body damage that the car WILL experience in a short period of time, or whether you consider the difficulty in finding a legal parking space in less than…maybe 45 minutes each time that you park the car, street parking is not for the weak-willed. When the leased car is turned in at the end of the lease, all of the parking dings that were sustained over the course of several years will take a major toll on the OP’s wallet.

In essence, leasing is the worst/most expensive way for an individual to possess a car.
And, when you factor in the bumper/body damage that will result from life in NYC, it becomes an even worse/even more expensive way to possess a car.

Leasing might work for a business that can deduct the leasing fees, but for an individual, it is a losing proposition.

I agree with the poster who suggested buying a “beater” to commute to work.
And, speaking as a high school counselor with 34 years of service, I would hesitate to allow a teenager to make any decisions for me.

That’s probably why the Genesis and Infinity are on the list, because that’s what their son is thinking. And it’s not like their son will be driving the car…will he? If he is, let him get his own car, with his own money, if he wants something that isn’t “dorky”. And on that note, buy the “dorky” car, it’ll mean he won’t want to drive it any.