A Lexus RC 200t Lease Is Only $5 Above a Toyota 86?!?

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We didn’t believe it ourselves until we dialed up a Senior Pricing Analyst from CarsDirect to crunch some numbers for us.

Leasing can be a great way to get behind the wheel of an otherwise seemingly unattainable Lexus luxury car for less than you may think. And with recently announced changes in the Lexus lineup, now may be the perfect time to upgrade your ride.

Recently in Los Angeles, we’ve begun spotting unbelievable deals on the Lexus RC 200t now that it’s been announced the updated RC 300 will take its place.

Interestingly, our analysis shows that the $44,000 luxury coupe is now just $5 a month more to lease than a Toyota 86, a vehicle with less power, fewer amenities, and a significantly lower MSRP to boot.

But how is that even possible when the difference in sticker price is over $16,000?

We dialed up an expert, CarsDirect Senior Pricing Analyst, Alex Bernstein, to double-check our numbers and make sure that we’re not hallucinating, because this seems like a once-in-a-lifetime Lexus deal.

It turns out, according to Bernstein, that our numbers-crunching was spot on, and the reason for the mere $5 difference has everything to do with how the leases are structured.


‘Despite a $16,445 difference in MSRP, the Lexus is just $5 a month more to lease. That’s about what you’d pay for a pumpkin spice latte.’


“The 2017 Toyota 86 is advertised at $349 for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing,” explains Bernstein. “Its MSRP is $27,840 and comes with 12,000 miles of driving per year. So, the effective cost is $405 per month.

“And the 2017 Lexus RC 200t is listed at $299 for 36 months with $3,999 due at signing,” he continues. “That’s based on an MSRP of $44,285 and includes an allowance of 10,000 miles per year. Thus, the effective cost is $410 per month.

“Despite a $16,445 difference in MSRP, the Lexus is just $5 a month more to lease,” continues Bernstein. “That’s about what you’d pay for a pumpkin spice latte.”


The Facts Behind the Figures

“Based on our analysis at CarsDirect, Toyota’s leasing calculation for the 86 assumes a 55% residual value and a money factor of 0.00114, roughly equivalent to an interest rate of 2.7% APR,” says¬†Bernstein. “There is no ‘lease cash’ to help drive down the price.

“On the flip side, the RC 200t assumes a 54% residual and money factor of 0.00001, the lowest rate Lexus is offering at the moment and basically equivalent to 0% APR. The car also benefits from $4,500 in lease cash.”

Now, we were never great at math in high school, but these numbers are perfectly clear to us. And faced with only a $5 difference between leasing a Lexus RC 200t or a run-of-the-mill Toyota 86, we would not have to think twice about which one we’d be riding home in.

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