My 2013 Honda Pilot lease is almost up - well, in 7 1/2 months. When I leased it, I traded a car with 5k in value, so my payment was $271 for 36 months. Payout is $20206, due on 10/1/2016. What car should I get next?

I already have a fun car - 2014 FIAT Abarth Convertible, and I’ll probably drive it and the new car (each) between 4-6k miles per year - I rarely drive more than 12k miles per year total. That makes 10k mile leases OK for me.

What I need is a utility vehicle of some sort, with AWD/4WD (I’m in Colorado). We have 2 large dogs - 100lbs and 80lbs - and they need to be able to fit behind the second row, so that I can have 4 adults and 2 dogs in the car, for those occasional hiking trips with my wife, parents and dogs.

I am partial to Japanese, especially if I am buying a keeping for a while, but if I lease 24-36 months, I can go with anything.

These are the cars I’ve considered so far:

  • Buy out my existing lease - around $380 for 60 months
  • Toyota 4Runner Trail - lease or buy around $700 for 60 months
  • Toyota Tacoma TRD Off road - lease or buy around $700 for 60 months
  • Toyota Tundra TRD Off road - lease or buy around $500-600 for 60 months (I think I can score a decent deal on these)
  • Honda Pilot (2016)- lease, LX model for probably $400-ish
  • Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium with 6sp manual- lease specials are around $165 per month, with few grand down + taxes, so I guess around $250 per month
  • Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium - I had two of them already, probably just under $300 per month to lease
  • 2012 Toyota RAV4 V6 - only used car I have on my list - that V6 can surprise quite a few people, but they keep their value like crazy, mid-20's for most of them on the market.


What I really want is a Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition with KDDS, and I think I can get one for about $36000 or so. Buying it would probably make the monthly payment around $700 for 60 months - I can afford it, but I am pretty sure I don’t want to spend that much. If I do buy it, I want it to look like the TRD PRO, but retain the KDDS, so I’d need a few grand for wheels and tires and the grill. I could go for longer term 72 or 84 months, and drop the payment under $500 - these cars hold their value so well, I’d probably be able to trade it any given time for what I owe even with those unfavorable terms.


Other options are Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road or Tundra Off-Road, but the money situation is the same - both run $35-40k. I am thinking that truck might be a good option - put a topper on it, and dogs can stay in the back, and I can have a clean, hair free interior. Plus, I had a 2000 Tundra that my dad still drives, so I am partial to those. Only issue is the size - Tundra is freaking huge as a short bed - crew cab version. I do like the Tacoma size, but I think they are overpriced - deals might be available in October though, when the initial demand drops.

If I stay with Honda, my own Pilot works just fine, currently it has 26k miles on it, and I don’t see myself putting more than another 30k miles on it over the next 5 years. I’d have a 8 year old Pilot with under 60k miles, it should be worth $10K + at that point. I could also sell it - my payoff is 20k, I could sell it for $22-25k (maybe), and have some down payment money.


Honda would probably like to keep me as a customer, so I presume I can expect some sort of a deal if I decide to lease another Pilot from them.

On TTAC, one commenter mentioned that he leased a Chevy Traverse for $145 per month, zero down. I would be very interested in an option like that, but what I see on the market is closer to $300+ per month, even with GM conquest $1500 on the table.


I would be OK with a crew-cab pickup as well, but most are $30-40k, not sure how low they go for leases.

What else might work? Ford Edge/Explorer, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Sante Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee.... I don’t want a VW, and I don’t think most popular CUV’s like CR-V, current gen RAV4, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5 etc would work as the dogs are too big.


What are your thoughts? Are you aware of any amazing deals on mid-size SUV/CUVs or on crew cab pickups?