What a bargain
Kia offers the US market quite a lot of options: from entry level subcompact sedans like the cheap and cheerful Rio, all the way to the potent Stinger and the eco-friendly Niro EV. The Korean manufacturer has been hard at work delivering new models and in the same breath keeping prices down and standard features up, but as it turns out, some models might end up being more expensive to lease than expected. Case in point is the Kia Rio, the brand's cheapest car, which can turn into a financial burden when taken on lease, and can end up being more expensive than the new Kia K5.
According to Cars Direct, the 2020 Rio LX will cost customers $263 per month for 36 months, with a fee of $2,263 due upon signing. These figures are calculated on an MSRP of $16,815, and a total driving distance of 12,000 miles per year, but if you work in the initial signing fee, the true cost ends up being $326 per month before taxes and fees. If that sounds like a decent deal, then you should take a step back and look at the new K5.
The 2021 Kia K5 LXS goes for $25,455 and can be leased at $209 per month for 36 months. With a $2,999 signing fee, the monthly repayments work out to $292 per month. That's $34 less than the Rio, for a much larger and more premium car. Even better is the fact that the better-equipped K5 GT-Line is only $10 more at $302 per month.
There's a reason what the K5 is so affordable: according to a dealer leasing bulletin, the K5 qualifies for up to $1,530 in manufacturer lease cash, and interest rates of around 2.7 percent APR. The Rio, which is expected to arrive in 2021 with a number of notable updates, enjoys no such incentives. It also turns out that leasing a Rio will be cheaper than buying on finance. With a down payment of $2,000, the Rio LX will cost around $224, while leasing the same car will come to $262 per month. To further contextualize how bad this lease deal is, one can lease a 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid in San Francisco for only $169/month for 39 months with a $1,999 signing fee. This further highlights the importance of simply shopping around before making a final decision.