Back in June, KIA unveiled the 2021 K5 sedan as the Optima’s official replacement, featuring a more dynamic appearance, a fresh new interior and better tech.
Prices start from $23,490 for a base-spec LX variant, while a flashy GT-Line model will set you back upwards of $25,390. So what does this have to do with the entry-level Rio? Well, what would you say if we told you that it’s actually cheaper to lease a K5 than the sub-17k supermini.
According to CarsDirect, the 2020 Rio LX can be leased from $263 for 36 months, with a $2,263 deposit – based on an MSRP of $16,815 and 12,000 miles covered per year. Add upfront cost and payment and you arrive at $326/month before taxes and fees.
Now, if we look at a 2021 K5 LXS, it’s priced at $25,455 and you can lease it for $209 for 36 months with a $2,999 deposit, which comes up to $292/month. That’s $34 less than the Rio, and it doesn’t stop there. Even the better-equipped K5 GT-Line ($26,355) costs $24 less than the Rio LX, coming in at $302/month.
So what gives? Well, based on a dealer bulletin, the K5 qualifies for as much as $1,530 in manufacturer lease cash and interest rates equivalent to about 2.7% APR. The Rio meanwhile has no special incentives as far as leasing is concerned, and there’s also a large difference in residual value between the two.
The K5 boasts a 36-month residual of 62%, while the Rio LX a mere 43%, meaning it’s actually one of the worst cars you can lease – buying it straight up would be a better option.
Cool, I’m getting a K5 then!
Not so fast. While the K5 does make for a better choice than the Rio in this particular scenario, it’s not exactly the cheapest car to lease as far as non-premium midsize sedans are concerned.
A 2020 Hyundai Sonata would set you back just $237/month (over 36 months with $2,799 due at signing), while the 2020 Mazda6 Sport ($268/month), Chevy Malibu LT ($278/month) and Ford Fusion SE 1.5 EcoBoost ($285/month) all qualify as cheaper than the K5 under similar circumstances.