In fact, they can be cheaper than 2019 lease prices. What gives?
Not so long ago, Jeep was reportedly having a difficult time getting rid of unsold 2018 Wranglers. This overstock issue put increased pressure on dealerships to empty out their lots in order to make way for 2020 models, not to mention also unsold 2019 Wranglers. It'd be right to think that those 2019 Wranglers are now being offered with killer price tags compared to their slightly updated 2020 counterparts. Apparently, according to CarsDirect, that's not necessarily the case, at least when it comes to leasing.
A pricing analysis has shown that advertised prices for the 2020 Wrangler, in some cases, can be cheaper than 2019 examples. What's going on, exactly? It comes down to residual values. But first, let's look at some pricing comparisons. At least for California, Jeep is advertising a 2019 Wrangler Unlimited Sport for $289 a month for 36 months with $4,419 due at signing. That translates to an effective cost of $412 a month.
However, a 2020 Wrangler Unlimited Sport is listed at $309 a month with $1,339 upfront. Effective cost? $346 a month. It's also important to know both model year vehicle lease terms are about the same, such as a 10,000-mile yearly limit. But as noted above, the answer for the $66 monthly difference is because of underlying residual values.
A leasing guide sent to Jeep dealerships gives the 2019 Wrangler Unlimited Sport a 36-month residual value of 69 percent, while the 2020 model is 77 percent. On top of this, Jeep is not offering any factory lease cash incentives to help push prices down.
So, is this a good time to lease a new Jeep Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited? Perhaps, but it's important to shop around and compare prices. A dealer may try to convince you a 2019 Wrangler is the better deal for the sole reason of clearing out inventory, but you should not rule out a 2020 model, as the above example shows.