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Best car lease deals in May 2020

Here are the best new car and SUV lease deals from automakers such as Acura, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Tesla and Toyota.

The hottest version of the Tesla Model 3 can be leased for $649 per month.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Maybe the world is returning to normal. Or maybe it's getting to a new normal living with the novel virus. Certainly there are signs of life returning to the new-car market. The opportunity to get a great lease deal while sales are lousy may be fading away.

Dealer inventories are high, retail sales are slow and interest rates are near zero relative to, say, February. So, there's still some car-leasing opportunity out there. If you feel confident buying over the internet or on a phone, you should act now. Be decisive, do your research and think hard before deciding that leasing is right for you.

What hasn't changed is how to get a good deal. And who should and shouldn't lease. Leasing a car instead of buying one from a dealer is for people with -- current circumstances aside -- generally have settled lives and predictable futures. Folks who've settled into a groove and know they'll be there for the next few years. Don't lease a car if your life you're always moving, you can't hold a job and you have a poor credit score. But if leasing a car is for you, below are 10 good lease deals currently being offered with manufacturer backing. If nothing else, they offer perspective on car leases.

Toyota is trying to clear out 2019 Highlander inventory with a $279 per month lease deal.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

This doesn't mean that they're the best vehicle lease deals out there for your specific situation. It may be that your credit union or leasing company is offering a killer deal, or your mortgage holder is offering a discounted product that bundles a lease with your loan payment. And it's always a great idea to consult with your accountant about how your tax situation may be affected by starting a vehicle lease.

The trick with leasing a new car, SUV or truck is doing research, understanding the components of vehicle leasing, and then negotiating a payment from a position of knowledge and confidence.

2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is a beast. A 707-horsepower, supercharged V8-powered muscle machine that seems almost primal in its appeal. It's not low-key, not sophisticated and growls with the menace of a rottweiler. The six-speed manual transmission operates with all the ease of a jackhammer breaking up granite. While this deal seems to be restricted to certain zip codes around Chicago, there may be other offers available in other areas. Is $599 a month cheap? Nah. Nothing about this is cheap, except some of the interior pieces. But, come on, it has 707-horsepower. This deal is on through June 1st.

2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat lease deal

Monthly charge $599
Money at signing Pay $3,499
Leasing terms 42 months/35,000 miles
Additional fees $395 disposition fee at lease end
Total lease cost $28,453
Cost per mile 81 cents
Extra mileage 20 cents each
Region Chicago area

Read more: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat review

2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance    

Tesla does things differently. On the company's web site is a financing calculator that lets potential customers calculate the cost of a purchase or lease and change variables like mileage allowances and length of lease term. It is a tool every manufacturer should have on their site.

The lease featured here is for Tesla's best seller, the more affordable Model 3. The version calculated is the all-wheel drive, dual-motor speed demon version. In other words, the most expensive Model 3. But using the Tesla lease calculator, we know it's also possible to get a rear-wheel drive, single motor, standard range Model 3 on a $399 a month, 36-month/30,000-mile lease after $5,594 at signing. This offer is good indefinitely. 

2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance lease deal

Monthly charge $649
Money at signing Pay $5,844
Leasing terms 36 months/30,000 miles
Additional fees $0
Total lease cost $28,559
Cost per mile 95 cents
Extra mileage n/a
Region National

Read more: 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance review

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

This an astonishingly cheap lease on an electric car. We featured it last month, and it's just too good not to mention again this month. Hyundai is pushing leftover 2019 model year Ioniq electrics for stupendously silly lease prices. In New York, it's $79 a month after only $999 at signing. Over the leases 30,000-miles allowance, that works out to a mere 14-cents per mile. In other areas the leases are around $108 or $109 a month with $2,500 at signing. Hyundai promises this insane lease will last at least through June 1.

2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric lease deal

Monthly charge $79
Money at signing Pay $999
Leasing terms 36 months/30,000 miles
Additional fees $400 disposition fee at lease end
Total lease cost $4,164
Cost per mile 14 cents
Extra mileage 20 cents each
Region New York City, more in other areas

Read more: Hyundai Ioniq Electric review

2020 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

This deal is only for those people who live in California near a hydrogen filling station. So that's probably not you. But this deal on Honda's Clarity Fuel Cell sedan is stunning. For $379 a month after $2,878 at signing, you get a three-year lease that includes an astonishing 60,000-miles of use. And atop that, the lease includes up to $15,000 worth of fuel, too. Toyota offers its competitor, the Mirai, on a good deal too -- including the free fuel. But the Honda is cheaper and, to those of us who have driven them, a better vehicle. This offer is good through June 1.

2020 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell lease deal

Monthly charge $379
Money at signing Pay $2,878
Leasing terms 36 months/60,000 miles
Additional fees $0
Total lease cost $16,143
Cost per mile 27 cents
Extra mileage 20 cents each
Region California areas with hydrogen stations

Read more: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell review

2020 Acura TLX

Acura is, yes, still in the sedan building business. And the TLX is the one in the middle -- between the dinky ILX and the oh-yeah-I-forgot-about-it RLX. The TLX is well appointed, rides well, and fades into the background like beige wallpaper. And Acura offers keen deals on the four-cylinder, front-drive version matched with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. If you're coming out of a competitive lease it's a $279 a month after $2,499 at signing on a short two-year/20,000-mile lease. If you're not coming out of a competitive lease, the monthly payment rises to $299, but everything else stays the same. This deal is promised to run through June 1.

2020 Acura TLX lease deal

Monthly charge $279
Money at signing Pay $2,499
Leasing terms 24 months/20,000 miles
Additional fees $0
Total lease cost $8,916
Cost per mile 45 cents
Extra mileage 20 cents each
Region Most states

Read more: 2019 Acura TLX review

2020 Honda HR-V

It's been around a while, but the HR-V is still Honda's smallest and most adorable crossover. And Honda's new-found enthusiasm for zero-money at signing means it's one of the easiest leases to afford and sustain. It's only $250 a month in most states for three-years and 36,000-miles of use. That's for the front-drive model, the monthly price rises to $270 if you want all-wheel drive. Offer ends June 1.

2020 Honda HR-V LX 2WD lease deal

Monthly charge $250
Money at signing Pay $0
Leasing terms 36 months/36,000 miles
Additional fees $0
Total lease cost $8,750
Cost per mile 24 cents
Extra mileage 20 cents each
Region National with a few states excluded

Read more: 2019 Honda HR-V review

2019 Toyota Highlander

When a new model comes out, the previous generation vehicles become boat anchors on dealer lots. Apparently, there are some new 2019 Highlanders still at dealers and in some areas, there are good lease deals sitting on their hoods. This one found in New York is on an LE model with all-wheel drive. It goes off at $279 a month after $2,999 at signing for a three-year/30,000-mile lease. Toyota has also minted some deals on the new 2020 Highlander, but they're not as good as those on leftover 2019s. So, go looking in the back of your dealer's lot for Highlander stragglers. Deal expires June 1.

2019 Toyota Highlander LE AWD lease deal

Monthly charge $279
Money at signing Pay $2,999
Leasing terms 36 months/30,000 miles
Additional fees $350 disposition fee at lease end
Total lease cost $13,114
Cost per mile 44 cents
Extra mileage 15 cents each
Region New York City area with similar deals in others

Read more: 2019 Toyota Highlander review

2020 Kia Soul

Yes, the Kia Soul is adorable. But it's also almost miraculously useful small box. And Kia always pushes multiple lease deals on virtually every version of the Soul. The cheapest one on a cost-per-mile basis, is this $169 a month after $2,699 at signing three-year/36,000-mile lease on the LX model. After factoring in a $400 disposition fee, that works out to a total cost $9,014 and only 25-cents per mile. This deal is in New York. It's somewhat more expensive in other areas, but still cheap. 

2020 Kia Soul LX lease deal

Monthly charge $169
Money at signing Pay $2,699
Leasing terms 36 months/36,000 miles
Additional fees $400 disposition fee at lease end
Total lease cost $9,014
Cost per mile 25 cents
Extra mileage 20 cents each
Region New York City

Read more: 2020 Kia Soul review

2020 Jaguar F-Pace

The F-Pace is Jag's mainstream luxury SUV and the lease that the British company is promoting for it is priced more like a non-luxury model. It's a three-year/30,000-mile lease for $449 a month after $3,995 at signing. The F-Pace is good looking, drives well, and best of all, isn't yet another German or Japanese crossover. Offer ends June 1.

2020 Jaguar F-Pace Premium 25t lease deal

Monthly charge $449
Money at signing Pay $3,995
Leasing terms 36 months/30,000 miles
Additional fees $0
Total lease cost $19,710
Cost per mile 66 cents
Extra mileage 15 cents each
Region National

Read more: Jaguar F-Pace review

2020 Ford Explorer

If you can qualify for a friend-of-Ford A- or Z-plan purchasing discount, the still fresh 2020 Explorer XLT 4WD can be had in Michigan for $299 a month after only another $299 at signing. Make friends at Ford. Get your relative jobs at Ford. Get the discount on this three-row crossover SUV. This is for a short two-year/21,000-mile lease. 

Other regions don't demand such insanely low down payment, but are still a value. You don't need to be on the A- or Z-plan to get an Explorer XLT 4WD in the New York area for instance, at only $209 a month after $3,629 at signing on the same two-year/21,000-mile lease. Offers ends June 1.

2020 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD 2.3L lease deal

Monthly charge $299
Money at signing Pay $299
Leasing terms 24 months/21,000 miles
Additional fees $395 disposition fee at lease end
Total lease cost $7,571
Cost per mile 36 cents
Extra mileage 20 cents each
Region Michigan for Ford friends

Read more: 2020 Ford Explorer review