Auto leases are more popular than ever before. And why not? For a few thousand down and a competitive monthly payment, you can get your hands on a brand new car. And once your lease is up and you haven’t gone over a mileage limit or damaged your car, you can just trade it in, plunk down a little more cash, and you’re out of the dealership with another brand new car.
In recent years, close to 30% of new cars on the road are leased, showing that Americans are starting to change their buying habits when the time comes to trade in for something new. And this shift has allowed companies like Swapalease.com to flourish. The Cincinnati-based company pairs drivers who need to get out of their leases early with buyers eager to find a specific model. And seeing how modern leases can go on for years, you’re likely to get plenty of life out of the car.
The world’s largest online lease marketplace recently sent its annual survey to over 2,500 random users asking them what brands they’re interested in, and the results were surprising to say the least. Let’s take a closer look at the 10 most searched automakers. Along with that, we’ve included the average monthly payment for each brand. Do you drive any of these brands?
Volkswagen is still running in the red, down 2% from 2016. So why did it make the list? Because it looks like it could finally be recovering from the 2015 Dieselgate scandal. Volkswagen searches are up 2% from the fourth quarter in 2016, which suggests there’s a light at the end of the tunnel from the embattled German brand. The brand’s average monthly lease price for customers is $344.64.
Next: The Germans own the back end of this list, but this brand is worlds away from Volkswagen.
9. Mercedes- Benz
Mercedes-Benz had its best-ever sales year in the U.S. in 2016, thanks in no small part to its strong lineup of luxury sedans, crossovers, SUVs and sports cars. With the brand more popular (and attainable) than ever, car buyers are 2% more likely to seek out a Mercedes than they were last year. They’re even willing to take on a daunting $704.65 average monthly payment for one.
Next: It seems like there isn’t a “best of” list that this brand (or one of its models) isn’t on.
Japanese automakers tend to frown on lease transfers, so pickings from them tend to be slim. But that handicap hasn’t stopped the popularity of Toyota, which is enjoying a 2% surge in popularity over 2016. From the Camry to the Rav4 to the Sequoia, there’s truly something for everybody from this automotive juggernaut. Buyers are willing to take on an average $348.34 monthly payment on a lease.
Next: America enters the conversation with an iconic brand of its own.
America joins the conversation with Chevrolet’s entry on the list. Thanks to the key addition of models like the Cruze Hatch, an all-new Equinox, and an updated Silverado, interest in Chevy is high, and there’s been a 2% surge in interest in the brand. Buyers looking to lease a new Chevy are likely to spend an average of $422.67 on their monthly payments.
Next: The brand your grandparents probably loved has finally reinvented itself for the 21st century.
Chevy’s General Motors stablemate Buick is also enjoying boom times, thanks to a well-focused crossover lineup and continuing popularity among women buyers. GM’s attainable luxury brand also saw a 2% jump in interest from buyers looking to take over a lease. They can expect to pay an average of $370.16 every month.
Next: It may have its share of troubles, but this automaker clearly has people interested in its lineup.
Of the Big Three Detroit brands, Chrysler is by far the smallest. With the moribund 200 mid-sizer, aging 300 luxury sedan, and new Pacifica minivan, the brand has a worryingly shallow bench. But that hasn’t slowed interest in Chrysler; Buyers are searching its cars 3% more often than they were in 2016. This means that there are more people out there willing to pay an average $381.89 every month for one.
Next: America’s highest-ranking brand probably isn’t what you’d expect.
With an all-new Acadia crossover and a new Terrain on the way, GMC is proving that it knows how to do a lot more than just build pickup trucks. The brand has seen an impressive 7% gain in interest in 2017, making it the highest-ranking American brand on our list. Lease payments average $465.89 per month.
Next: Proof that a sleek design and luxurious accommodations will always be enough to get buyers talking.
Maybe it’s their Teutonic good looks, or maybe it’s the brand’s fearless embrace of new technology, but Audi cracks the top three in customer interest. Enjoying a 10% jump over last year, Audi’s reputation for quality, luxury, and sportiness extends across its entire lineup. For the privilege, buyers are willing to spend and average $547.89 per month to lease one.
Next: The brand that can barely keep up with demand for its affordable family cars.
Subaru has been red-hot over the past few years, and with its reputation of safe, reliable all-wheel drive cars, it isn’t hard to see why. While its factories have been operating at max capacity for over a year now, the public still wants more. Interest in leasing a Subaru is up 15% over last year, and customers are willing to shell out an average of $348.51 per month for one.
Next: The brand people are most interested in leasing will definitely come as a surprise to you.
Hyundai’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t have a competitive truck or SUV lineup. Other than that, it does virtually everything else well. The car-buying public has taken notice, and as a result, Hyundai runs away from the competition in terms of consumer interest. Buyers are searching for leased cars a cool 18% more often than they were last year, reinforcing the idea that Hyundai has finally become an accepted automotive powerhouse. The average cost for a lease for one if its models is $388.64 per month.