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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In my 30 years of driving, I've only owned 4 cars (Toyota, Honda, Subaru and my current car is a 2000 Saturn. I've always bought used, cars $3500 and under, and parted ways when it stopped running, was too expensive to keep, or was falling a part in one way or another. Never owned a new car, much less leased, but all of that changed when I recently rented the Kia Soul base. I felt safe, liked being high up, lots of room, liked the way it drove, the way it looked was secondary but now it's grown on me, it checked all the boxes!'

I figure I can write off the lease payment for business, and after years of being embarrased to drive a raggedy car, I felt it was time! I need a bit of help. Happy to find this forum;) I've decided on a 2 year lease!

I've narrowed it down to the Plus model, While I liked the base with convenience package, it was a bit sluggish going up steep hills, so I decided on the 2.0. I'm not a fast driver so don't need turbo, so I've settled on either the red with black or the black (I'll get the roof rack installed so I can carry stuff as needed) my quandry is the 18" wheels on the designer package, my test drive was far too brief to tell, but based on what I read you feel the road more, it's not as smooth. I was wondering if anyone who has the larger wheels, how does it handle on road trips, highways? Safety of the bigger wheels versus smaller. Little or no difference? the designer package is only $400 more, so wondered if the 17" has better tires. Overthinking this maybe but as it's my first new car, I'm both excited and nervous. In <1.5 years I'll be a bit of a gypsy, road trips, and at times sleeping out of the back of car (a separate topic).

Lastly, considering on adding the wear and tear provision to the lease payment for peace of mind.

Thanks in advance!!
 

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Bigger wheels, thinner tires will make it a bit more fun driving in town, but feel a bit more road imperfections. Highway travel should be little difference. I personally would go with the 18's.

Curious, why only a two year lease? Wouldn't that make a larger monthly payment?
 

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I think wheel size is largely a matter of personal preference (except in the case of winter tires, when I always want more rubber than steel; but that won't be an issue for you). There are some objective advantages and disadvantages, however, that go into that preference.

Bigger wheels with smaller tires tend to deliver better cornering and quicker response to driver input. It will take a bit less input, for example, to initially enter a turn. Traction is usually better in sudden and high-speed turns, as well, because there is less rubber to flex (although obviously this also depends on the tire chosen).

The disadvantages of lower-profiles are that they deliver a rougher and noisier ride, place more stress on the rest of the suspension system, increase the chance of wheel damage if you hit a pothole, are more prone to sudden and near-complete loss of traction if you push them beyond their limits (especially on wet roads), and are more prone to following ruts in the road. They also have a higher risk of blowouts due to wheel damage, but this risk is somewhat offset by better handling in blowout situations.

I raise my eyebrows at all blanket statements about relative fuel economy of high- and low-profile tires because there are too many variables in the real world. But in theory, lower-profile tires should have less rolling resistance due to flexing of the rubber, but may have more rolling resistance due to width if the specs call for a wider tire to maintain load capacity when bigger wheels are used. (I don't know if the Soul's specs do.)

Also, the total weight of tire and wheel affect the unsprung weight, which definitely will affect fuel economy (higher unsprung weight = lower MPG), but not by very much in the real world. Moving from steelies to alloy usually results in small, but measurable MPG improvement. Moving from one size of alloy wheel to another, probably not so much.

My personal preference has always been for smaller wheels / bigger tires. "Wheels small, sidewalls tall." But I learned to drive in New York City, which is a virtual minefield of potholes; and with the exception of my time in the military, I've always lived in the Northeast, where the snow does a nice job of hiding road hazards. Where I live now, the potholes aren't as bad, but the snow is worse; so my winter tires and wheels will always be the highest profile the car allows for. I'm not as picky about the summer configuration; but given a choice, I still prefer the ride of the higher profile to lower ones.

As for leasing, be aware that unless you're buying or leasing another car from the same dealership, the lease-return inspection can be brutal. In all likelihood, nothing will be overlooked. Even the tiniest damage will be noticed and charged to you. I think they recruit guys with OCD to do those inspections. They miss nothing. (If you are buying or leasing a replacement car from the same dealership, however, they tend to be much more forgiving, at least in my experience.)
 

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regarding the tires, its not something we can tell you, only you can decide for yourself by simply testing driving both vehicles with the difference tires over the same stretch of road (with some rough sections). And as I mentioned, when you posted this on another forum, it also depends what you've been previously used to driving.

I have the 18" on my Soul SX and also had 18" on the 2012 Soul 4u I owned before that. They came with the 18" rims because it was the model I chose with all the other features I wanted. The 18" will give more grip as there is more rubber on the road as its a pretty wide tire (8").
 

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I agree with Geek, smaller wheels & larger sidewalls give a good, less choppy ride. I honestly would drive your new Soul as is, at least for awhile. I think you'll be impressed out on the highway. It's stable & holds the road very well.

The urge to mod may pass once you spend some time with the Soul & you see Kia has put together a great vehicle.

I agree on the advice to BUY & not lease. Especially when your dealer has a 75 month, zero interest purchase package.

All the best and keep us posted.
 

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2017 KIA Soul base, Titanium. Bought some better taars.
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Kaismom,
FWIW, after you hear all the other tire info and 18" vs. 17", the same tire brand and sub-model should ride more smoothly in the 17" vs. 18". The 18s are 235.45.18 and the 17s are 215.55.17. What that means in English is the taller sidewall of the 17" tire offers more cushioning than the shorter sidewall in the 18".

How To Read A Tire Sidewall | Continental
Example: P225/50/R17 98H
P identifies your tire as a Passenger Tire. The P stands for PMetric. If your tire size starts with LT rather than a P than it identifies the tire as a Light Truck tire.
225 identifies the tire section width, which is the measurement of the tire from sidewall to sidewall in millimeters. This measurement varies depending on the rim to which it is fitted.
(There are 25.4 millimeters per 1 inch.)
50 is the two-figure aspect ratio. This percentage compares the tire's section height with the tire's section width. For example, this aspect ratio of 50 means that the tire's section height is 50% of the tire's section width.
R indicates the construction used within the tires casing. R stands for radial construction. B means belted bias and D stands for diagonal bias construction.
17 The last dimension listed in the size is the diameter of the wheel rim, which is most often measured in inches.

Bigger wheels, thinner tires will make it a bit more fun driving in town, but feel a bit more road imperfections. Highway travel should be little difference. I personally would go with the 18's.

Curious, why only a two year lease? Wouldn't that make a larger monthly payment?
But she said she's not a fast or hard driver. Unlikely to feel the difference. And I doubt many here get near the G-limits of the tires during cornering maneuvers anyway.
 

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Generally I do not agree that leasing is the way to go. I will say however if it is for a business then maybe.
Leasing started out for businesses that wanted a new car every one or two years for various reasons. (To look good to the client, no break downs etc etc) It has morphed into a way for people who can not afford the loan to buy it outright to get a new car but in the end you are paying usually quite abit more just as the original businesses did when leasing started. They didn't care for the reasons stated but to the non business purchase rarely is leased so that you can have a new car every year or two it's because you can't afford it.

If you are counting in the write off - I would make sure that is true. If I remember correctly you have keep track of when it is used and what for to prove it is for business. I also do not know if that is in the new tax law.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/small-business-taxes/business-use-of-vehicles/L6hi0zzzh

https://www.moneyunder30.com/why-you-should-never-lease-a-car
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
@XxHaimBondxX
Bigger wheels, thinner tires will make it a bit more fun driving in town, but feel a bit more road imperfections. Highway travel should be little difference. I personally would go with the 18's.

Curious, why only a two year lease? Wouldn't that make a larger monthly payment?


Thanks for the advice, good to get another perspective;)

Going through a major life change in 2 years. I honestly have no idea where I'll be. At the moment I expect to be living overseas for one year. I also have no idea where I'll go when/if I return to the States. I've never had a new car, and buying a new car, with 60 months of payments dosen't make sense, neither does a 3 year lease, eventhough the payments would be less. I can also write off at least one year of lease payments for business.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Generally I do not agree that leasing is the way to go. I will say however if it is for a business then maybe.
Leasing started out for businesses that wanted a new car every one or two years for various reasons. (To look good to the client, no break downs etc etc) It has morphed into a way for people who can not afford the loan to buy it outright to get a new car but in the end you are paying usually quite abit more just as the original businesses did when leasing started. They didn't care for the reasons stated but to the non business purchase rarely is leased so that you can have a new car every year or two it's because you can't afford it.

If you are counting in the write off - I would make sure that is true. If I remember correctly you have keep track of when it is used and what for to prove it is for business. I also do not know if that is in the new tax law.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/small-business-taxes/business-use-of-vehicles/L6hi0zzzh

https://www.moneyunder30.com/why-you-should-never-lease-a-car

Thanks for the links! I will definitely need to talk to my tax guy, especially with the new tax laws! My understanding is I can write off either mileage OR expenses, and since I'm leasing I believe the lease payment, oil changes and the like. I keep a log, and use the car more for business than personal. About 80/20. Schedule C. I'm also going on the record with my insurance company so there is no grey area there. I have my own reasons for leasing now. I may never do so again. But for me right now it makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Kaismom,
FWIW, after you hear all the other tire info and 18" vs. 17", the same tire brand and sub-model should ride more smoothly in the 17" vs. 18". The 18s are 235.45.18 and the 17s are 215.55.17. What that means in English is the taller sidewall of the 17" tire offers more cushioning than the shorter sidewall in the 18".

How To Read A Tire Sidewall | Continental
Example: P225/50/R17 98H
P identifies your tire as a Passenger Tire. The P stands for PMetric. If your tire size starts with LT rather than a P than it identifies the tire as a Light Truck tire.
225 identifies the tire section width, which is the measurement of the tire from sidewall to sidewall in millimeters. This measurement varies depending on the rim to which it is fitted.
(There are 25.4 millimeters per 1 inch.)
50 is the two-figure aspect ratio. This percentage compares the tire's section height with the tire's section width. For example, this aspect ratio of 50 means that the tire's section height is 50% of the tire's section width.
R indicates the construction used within the tires casing. R stands for radial construction. B means belted bias and D stands for diagonal bias construction.
17 The last dimension listed in the size is the diameter of the wheel rim, which is most often measured in inches.



But she said she's not a fast or hard driver. Unlikely to feel the difference. And I doubt many here get near the G-limits of the tires during cornering maneuvers anyway.

Thanks for that! I took a pic of both sets of tires at the dealership though I didin't have time to research yet;)
I had a feeling, with only a $400 difference on the Plus model, there was also a difference in tires. From what I could feel in my test drives, the 17s are smoother. (though I like the look of the 18's)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think wheel size is largely a matter of personal preference (except in the case of winter tires, when I always want more rubber than steel; but that won't be an issue for you). There are some objective advantages and disadvantages, however, that go into that preference.

Bigger wheels with smaller tires tend to deliver better cornering and quicker response to driver input. It will take a bit less input, for example, to initially enter a turn. Traction is usually better in sudden and high-speed turns, as well, because there is less rubber to flex (although obviously this also depends on the tire chosen).

The disadvantages of lower-profiles are that they deliver a rougher and noisier ride, place more stress on the rest of the suspension system, increase the chance of wheel damage if you hit a pothole, are more prone to sudden and near-complete loss of traction if you push them beyond their limits (especially on wet roads), and are more prone to following ruts in the road. They also have a higher risk of blowouts due to wheel damage, but this risk is somewhat offset by better handling in blowout situations.

I raise my eyebrows at all blanket statements about relative fuel economy of high- and low-profile tires because there are too many variables in the real world. But in theory, lower-profile tires should have less rolling resistance due to flexing of the rubber, but may have more rolling resistance due to width if the specs call for a wider tire to maintain load capacity when bigger wheels are used. (I don't know if the Soul's specs do.)

Also, the total weight of tire and wheel affect the unsprung weight, which definitely will affect fuel economy (higher unsprung weight = lower MPG), but not by very much in the real world. Moving from steelies to alloy usually results in small, but measurable MPG improvement. Moving from one size of alloy wheel to another, probably not so much.

My personal preference has always been for smaller wheels / bigger tires. "Wheels small, sidewalls tall." But I learned to drive in New York City, which is a virtual minefield of potholes; and with the exception of my time in the military, I've always lived in the Northeast, where the snow does a nice job of hiding road hazards. Where I live now, the potholes aren't as bad, but the snow is worse; so my winter tires and wheels will always be the highest profile the car allows for. I'm not as picky about the summer configuration; but given a choice, I still prefer the ride of the higher profile to lower ones.

As for leasing, be aware that unless you're buying or leasing another car from the same dealership, the lease-return inspection can be brutal. In all likelihood, nothing will be overlooked. Even the tiniest damage will be noticed and charged to you. I think they recruit guys with OCD to do those inspections. They miss nothing. (If you are buying or leasing a replacement car from the same dealership, however, they tend to be much more forgiving, at least in my experience.)

Thanks for all that info! Curious how you like your base? I'm considering that at this point. Car insurance and payments are less (Difference of $50 monthy) even with the convenience package and automatic. I may in the end go with the wear and tear package to avoid even the possibility of gouging me at lease end, as well as for peace of mind. By lowering my mileage to 10k yearly payments will go down a little more as well.
 

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Generally I do not agree that leasing is the way to go. I will say however if it is for a business then maybe.
Leasing started out for businesses that wanted a new car every one or two years for various reasons. (To look good to the client, no break downs etc etc) It has morphed into a way for people who can not afford the loan to buy it outright to get a new car but in the end you are paying usually quite abit more just as the original businesses did when leasing started. They didn't care for the reasons stated but to the non business purchase rarely is leased so that you can have a new car every year or two it's because you can't afford it.

If you are counting in the write off - I would make sure that is true. If I remember correctly you have keep track of when it is used and what for to prove it is for business. I also do not know if that is in the new tax law.

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/small-business-taxes/business-use-of-vehicles/L6hi0zzzh

https://www.moneyunder30.com/why-you-should-never-lease-a-car
My accountant told me that in most people's cases, the tax savings from leasing a car are minimal, if any. The deductions for personal use of an owned vehicle are generous enough that if the car is a low-maintenance, high-MPG model like a Soul under warranty, most people actually do better owning the vehicle and writing off the miles.

Don't take this as gospel because I'm not an accountant. But my understanding is that on a company-owned vehicle, in most cases private use is taxable as income unless the vehicle is some sort of specialty vehicle that the driver wouldn't normally want to use for personal use, but has to because of on-call requirements. Personal use of a company vehicle then becomes a job requirement, which is not taxable, rather than a benefit, which is taxable.

For example, when I was an on-call computer technician, I had to schlep tools, parts, routers, switches, and so forth around with me because I was on-call 24/7 and might need them at any given time. So using the company vehicle for personal use was a requirement of the job, not a benefit of the job; which meant personal use was not taxable as income. At least that's what the accountant told me, and he's not in jail yet, so I assume it was true.

But I'm not an accountant, and the tax considerations are an individual thing; so OP should consult her tax adviser, not SGOTI, for personalized analysis of her situation before making the decision whether to buy or lease.

In my own current case, the tax benefits favor purchasing if the car is low-maintenance and gets high MPG. In addition, the lease actually came out to a slightly higher monthly payment than a purchase; so buying was a no-brainer for me.

The situation was that it was October and the dealer needed to move the 2016's off the lot -- especially the manual-transmission models, which weren't very popular in Oneonta, NY because it's a college town and a lot of kids don't know how to drive stick (and have no interest in learning). I also had the huge advantage of not wanting or needing a new car. I was perfectly happy with my 2012 Soul. I'd also purchased the 100,000-mile extended warranty with the 2012 because I'd bought it off-lease, so even the legendary Kia warranty wasn't as big a selling point. Long story short, I was in a pretty good bargaining position.

I also needed 15,000 miles a year because of where I live, which would raise the price of a lease (but not a purchase). Finally, I had a pre-approval from USAA Bank at 1.9 percent that could be used at any dealership for any car, so I had some leverage on the financing, as well. That meant that the dealership didn't have to worry about whether they could get me financed. They just had to work out the best deal they could on the purchase or lease price. But it also meant that I could walk out and negotiate a better deal elsewhere if they couldn't produce.

Once they crunched all the numbers, Kia came back with 0.0 financing on the purchase price. They also subsumed the amount owed on the trade-in, which had been at 2.9 percent because I'd purchased the 2012 off-lease as opposed to new. Then the dealership found some obscure discounts, some of which applied only to purchases. Finally, they gave me nearly full-credit on the trade-in's extended warranty if I applied it to the new Soul. That meant that for about $400.00, I could enhance the warranty on the new Soul to 100,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, transferable with the car if I decide to sell or trade it.

The net result was that the monthly payment on the purchase was actually slightly lower than it would have been on a lease, plus the resale value was enhanced by the extended warranty. Like I said, it was a no-brainer.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My accountant told me that in most people's cases, the tax savings from leasing a car are minimal, if any. The deductions for personal use of an owned vehicle are generous enough that if the car is a low-maintenance, high-MPG model like a Soul under warranty, most people actually do better owning the vehicle and writing off the miles.

Don't take this as gospel because I'm not an accountant. But my understanding is that on a company-owned vehicle, in most cases private use is taxable as income unless the vehicle is some sort of specialty vehicle that the driver wouldn't normally want to use for personal use, but has to because of on-call requirements. Personal use of a company vehicle then becomes a job requirement, which is not taxable, rather than a benefit, which is taxable.

For example, when I was an on-call computer technician, I had to schlep tools, parts, routers, switches, and so forth around with me because I was on-call 24/7 and might need them at any given time. So using the company vehicle for personal use was a requirement of the job, not a benefit of the job; which meant personal use was not taxable as income. At least that's what the accountant told me, and he's not in jail yet, so I assume it was true.

But I'm not an accountant, and the tax considerations are an individual thing; so OP should consult her tax adviser, not SGOTI, for personalized analysis of her situation before making the decision whether to buy or lease.

In my own current case, the tax benefits favor purchasing if the car is low-maintenance and gets high MPG. In addition, the lease actually came out to a slightly higher monthly payment than a purchase; so buying was a no-brainer for me.

The situation was that it was October and the dealer needed to move the 2016's off the lot -- especially the manual-transmission models, which weren't very popular in Oneonta, NY because it's a college town and a lot of kids don't know how to drive stick (and have no interest in learning). I also had the huge advantage of not wanting or needing a new car. I was perfectly happy with my 2012 Soul. I'd also purchased the 100,000-mile extended warranty with the 2012 because I'd bought it off-lease, so even the legendary Kia warranty wasn't as big a selling point. Long story short, I was in a pretty good bargaining position.

I also needed 15,000 miles a year because of where I live, which would raise the price of a lease (but not a purchase). Finally, I had a pre-approval from USAA Bank at 1.9 percent that could be used at any dealership for any car, so I had some leverage on the financing, as well. That meant that the dealership didn't have to worry about whether they could get me financed. They just had to work out the best deal they could on the purchase or lease price. But it also meant that I could walk out and negotiate a better deal elsewhere if they couldn't produce.

Once they crunched all the numbers, Kia came back with 0.0 financing on the purchase price. They also subsumed the amount owed on the trade-in, which had been at 2.9 percent because I'd purchased the 2012 off-lease as opposed to new. Then the dealership found some obscure discounts, some of which applied only to purchases. Finally, they gave me nearly full-credit on the trade-in's extended warranty if I applied it to the new Soul. That meant that for about $400.00, I could enhance the warranty on the new Soul to 100,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, transferable with the car if I decide to sell or trade it.

The net result was that the monthly payment on the purchase was actually slightly lower than it would have been on a lease, plus the resale value was enhanced by the extended warranty. Like I said, it was a no-brainer.
More food for thought;) In my case I'm an independent contractor, self employed, currently drive <5k a year, 80% for work, 20% pleasure, personal. (This will change in 16 months) Not a company vehicle in my case. Though my insurance notes that it is for business. Need to talk to my tax guy!
 

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Thanks for all that info! Curious how you like your base? I'm considering that at this point. Car insurance and payments are less (Difference of $50 monthy) even with the convenience package and automatic. I may in the end go with the wear and tear package to avoid even the possibility of gouging me at lease end, as well as for peace of mind. By lowering my mileage to 10k yearly payments will go down a little more as well.
I like the Base. Kia equips base models more generously than most other manufacturers do. I'm not sure what's included with the Base model with the AT, but the MT model comes quite well-equipped.

I may add the lower fog / driving lights at some point. That's about all I'd change. I'd wire them into the low-beam circuit with a relay rather than replacing the stalk, mainly out of laziness and the fact that I really can't think of a reason why I'd want to turn them off once they were installed. I'd just want them to come on with the low beams. A relay tapped into the low-beam circuit is the easiest way to make that happen.

I thought about adding cruise control, but decided against it. There are just too many mountains and hills for cruise control to be viable on a MT where I live. Unless I wasted fuel by leaving the transmission in fourth or fifth gear all the time, it just wouldn't work out. I'd be straining the engine on the uphills and getting speeding tickets on the downhills. So I scrapped that idea.

Long story short, I have no regrets.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I like the Base. Kia equips base models more generously than most other manufacturers do. I'm not sure what's included with the Base model with the AT, but the MT model comes quite well-equipped.

I may add the lower fog / driving lights at some point. That's about all I'd change. I'd wire them into the low-beam circuit with a relay rather than replacing the stalk, mainly out of laziness and the fact that I really can't think of a reason why I'd want to turn them off once they were installed. I'd just want them to come on with the low beams. A relay tapped into the low-beam circuit is the easiest way to make that happen.

I thought about adding cruise control, but decided against it. There are just too many mountains and hills for cruise control to be viable on a MT where I live. Unless I wasted fuel by leaving the transmission in fourth or fifth gear all the time, it just wouldn't work out. I'd be straining the engine on the uphills and getting speeding tickets on the downhills. So I scrapped that idea.

Long story short, I have no regrets.

Thanks for your sharing. sounds like the base is working for you for the most part. Due to some financial realities, I've decided I'll likely go with the Base not the plus model. The only problem I had when I test drove it as a rental, is going up a steep incline, it didn't feel smoothe and I struggled a bit. Going down hill was fine, it handled well. I will be getting an automatic and the only time I use cruise control is on a long stretch of highway.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My accountant told me that in most people's cases, the tax savings from leasing a car are minimal, if any. The deductions for personal use of an owned vehicle are generous enough that if the car is a low-maintenance, high-MPG model like a Soul under warranty, most people actually do better owning the vehicle and writing off the miles.

Don't take this as gospel because I'm not an accountant. But my understanding is that on a company-owned vehicle, in most cases private use is taxable as income unless the vehicle is some sort of specialty vehicle that the driver wouldn't normally want to use for personal use, but has to because of on-call requirements. Personal use of a company vehicle then becomes a job requirement, which is not taxable, rather than a benefit, which is taxable.

For example, when I was an on-call computer technician, I had to schlep tools, parts, routers, switches, and so forth around with me because I was on-call 24/7 and might need them at any given time. So using the company vehicle for personal use was a requirement of the job, not a benefit of the job; which meant personal use was not taxable as income. At least that's what the accountant told me, and he's not in jail yet, so I assume it was true.

But I'm not an accountant, and the tax considerations are an individual thing; so OP should consult her tax adviser, not SGOTI, for personalized analysis of her situation before making the decision whether to buy or lease.

In my own current case, the tax benefits favor purchasing if the car is low-maintenance and gets high MPG. In addition, the lease actually came out to a slightly higher monthly payment than a purchase; so buying was a no-brainer for me.

The situation was that it was October and the dealer needed to move the 2016's off the lot -- especially the manual-transmission models, which weren't very popular in Oneonta, NY because it's a college town and a lot of kids don't know how to drive stick (and have no interest in learning). I also had the huge advantage of not wanting or needing a new car. I was perfectly happy with my 2012 Soul. I'd also purchased the 100,000-mile extended warranty with the 2012 because I'd bought it off-lease, so even the legendary Kia warranty wasn't as big a selling point. Long story short, I was in a pretty good bargaining position.

I also needed 15,000 miles a year because of where I live, which would raise the price of a lease (but not a purchase). Finally, I had a pre-approval from USAA Bank at 1.9 percent that could be used at any dealership for any car, so I had some leverage on the financing, as well. That meant that the dealership didn't have to worry about whether they could get me financed. They just had to work out the best deal they could on the purchase or lease price. But it also meant that I could walk out and negotiate a better deal elsewhere if they couldn't produce.

Once they crunched all the numbers, Kia came back with 0.0 financing on the purchase price. They also subsumed the amount owed on the trade-in, which had been at 2.9 percent because I'd purchased the 2012 off-lease as opposed to new. Then the dealership found some obscure discounts, some of which applied only to purchases. Finally, they gave me nearly full-credit on the trade-in's extended warranty if I applied it to the new Soul. That meant that for about $400.00, I could enhance the warranty on the new Soul to 100,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, transferable with the car if I decide to sell or trade it.

The net result was that the monthly payment on the purchase was actually slightly lower than it would have been on a lease, plus the resale value was enhanced by the extended warranty. Like I said, it was a no-brainer.
I spoke to my tax guy and I can choose either mileage or expenses (lease payment) whichever is greater. So if I use my car for business 70% of the time (self employed) and my car payment is $315 a month, I can write off $220 a month plus oil changes and the like. Which makes leasing more feasible.
 

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I've decided I'll likely go with the Base not the plus model. The only problem I had when I test drove it as a rental, is going up a steep incline, it didn't feel smoothe and I struggled a bit. Going down hill was fine, it handled well. I will be getting an automatic and the only time I use cruise control is on a long stretch of highway.
I can't speak to that car (I've got a 2015), but the base with AT is nicely equipped (cruise and center armrest/storage bin). Since each year a few features seem to trickle downhill to the lower models, I suspect later years have even more. We don't have all that much hills in MN, but try the car on hills with ECO turned off, that does make some difference in performance (and IMHO a very small difference in MPG).

Good luck!
 
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