Leasing a car involves many steps, but one of the more infuriating ones can be balancing out how much of a down payment you should drop versus how much you want to pay every month. One of the biggest draws of a lease is that they usually offer a lower payment than buying a car outright, and you can drop that even further by putting money down at the start — but you’d be far better off investing that chunk of change instead, and besides, doesn’t spending $2,000 or more at once feel like it somewhat defeats the purpose of trying to save money on a car?
Luckily, right now, Honda is offering one hell of a sweetheart lease deal on one of its best cars where you don’t need to sweat that decision at all. This May, you can snap up the delightful Honda Civic Hatchback Sport for a lease of $260 per month — and $0 down. In fact, you don’t have to even make a payment for the first month.
The Sport variant of the Civic Hatchback is, in our expert estimation, the sweet spot in the lineup. It comes with the more powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four, an eight-speaker, 180-watt stereo with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, truly keyless entry (the kind where you can leave the key fob in your pocket all the time), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and of course, cool-looking 18-inch wheels and dual central exhaust pipes.
It’s also one of just three Civic Hatchbacks you can still buy with a six-speed manual transmission (the other two being the more expensive Sport Touring and Civic Type R). The lease deal on Honda’s website says it applies to Sports equipped with the CVT automatic, but it’s at the very least worth asking your Honda dealership if they’d honor it on a six-speed Sport, as the manual makes it one of the most involving drives for the price. (If you can find one, that is; Cars.com lists just 81 manual examples on sale across America, versus more than 1,500 automatics.) Still, the CVT is no penalty; it’s one of the better examples of the breed, and it does offer paddle shifters for faux manual shifting.
The lease deal gives qualified
buyers lessees 12,000 miles per year in their Civics for 36 months before they have to return the car to Honda. (If you go over, you’ll have to pay $0.15 per mile, which isn’t so bad.) If you’re truly in love with the car at that point and don’t want to give it back, you can buy it from Honda in May 2023 for $15,255.10.
As CarsDirect found, Honda is also offering similar, unadvertised deals on the LX and EX versions of the Civic Hatchback for $250 and $270 a month, respectively. Of those two, the EX presents a compelling alternative, especially if you’re not interested in even trying to find a manual gearbox; that extra $10 a month means you also score a power driver’s seat, satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, heated seats and side-view mirrors, and other handy accoutrements.