This weekend Gabriele leased a new Infiniti FX37. Two years ago we purchased a 2011 Toyota Highlander, and it was a good vehicle with loads of room and zero issues. But Gabriele wanted something sportier, and was willing to give up interior space for a more engaging ride.
Just like two years ago, the aim was to upgrade the ride with no increase in expenditure. The Highlander was in great shape, and we were looking for a price well above our loan payout amount. We actually started our search for a low miles used Infiniti. But the staff at Passport Infiniti in Alexandria worked hard to show how we could get a brand new FX37 for the same monthly payment as the Highlander.
There are pros and cons to leasing. Gabriele used to drive a 2005 FX35 and missed the driving experience. In three years, or 39 months to be precise, she’ll probably be ready for another vehicle. So leasing made sense for us.
Never having leased before, I jumped into some online education. There was a detailed discussion thread talking about Infiniti leases on Edmunds.com that was extremely helpful. We started out in a strong position since we knew we’d get more for the Highlander than we owed. But all the numbers can easily get confusing, especially things like the best buy rate/money factor, residual value and capitalized cost reduction.
As regular readers know I’m a proponent of private party sales, so I put the Highlander up on Craigslist. The ad received some interest, and given time I know I could have done better than the number we got from Passport. That said, they did increase their initial offer almost $1,500 to close the deal. They also threw in a tow hitch installation at no charge, so we can use a platform cargo carrier on trips.
This was important to us since we were sacrificing so much interior space moving from the Highlander to the FX37. The process took entirely too long, and we spent a lot of time sitting around while we negotiated and for numbers to be explained and/or modified. Some of the information I was given over the phone wasn’t accurate, which was the reason they had to increase their offer for the Highlander. But the deal got done.
Did we get a great deal? I don’t know, but I think we got a good one. We would have been in a stronger position this spring, with an even lower loan payout number and more time to private party the car. But the FX37 is a high quality vehicle, we retained the same monthly payment and my wife is thrilled to have it. That’s worth an awful lot right there.
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