This might be one of the best lease deals we've ever seen.
In today's edition of "well that's no contest," we present you new car shoppers with the following tidbit: the Honda Civic Si is, somehow, currently cheaper to lease in the US than a Toyota Corolla LE. That's the Corolla's high-volume, one-step-above-base trim level, and it wears a suggested retail price more than $5,000 below that of the zippy, sporty Civic Si.
Largely, we have a tantalizing $0 sign-and-drive lease offer from Honda to thank. As CarsDirect reports, the 2020 Honda Civic Si qualifies for that lease offer, which carries a low APR equivalent of 0.74%. The result is a monthly payment of just $260 for 36 months, at 12,000 miles per year.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Toyota Corolla LE this month will lease out at prices as low as $209 per month, with $1,999 due at signing - effectively $265 per month, when all is said and done. That's the equivalent of a 2.4% APR.
But in addition, a higher residual value is partly to thank. The sporty Honda Civic Si has a calculated residual value - that is, the anticipated value of the car after that 36-month lease is through - of 64% of its new retail value. By contrast, the Toyota Corolla LE has a calculated residual value of 57%. Higher residual values contribute to less-expensive leases because the automaker expects to resell the vehicle at less of a loss after it's been returned. It might be some way off the crazy lease deals seen for the Hyundai Elantra, but it's impressive nonetheless.
Any way you slice it, the updated 2020 Honda Civic Si is, objectively speaking, the better deal. It's a genuine budget sports sedan, with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder pumping 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels through a good old-fashioned six-speed manual gearbox - no automatic available. It's also got a stiffened up suspension relative to the standard Civic, with adaptive dampers, upsized front brakes, and an honest-to-goodness helical limited-slip differential to help put the power down and enhance cornering.
That's an impressive list of performance bona fides for the money, and at $260 per month with nothing due at signing, it makes the Civic Si a steal this month.