Yep, people that leased big SUVs in the late 2000 lucked out a lot. Their cars were "worthless" in 2009 if they had bought it instead and had to sell. Bring car to dealer and leave it was a nice benefit of the lease then. One of the things that can get people that lease is the fact that you negotiate with multiple entities. With financing, you typically negotiate with the dealer on the price of the car and get available financing terms(you may have that already from your bank if you are smart). With leasing, price is dealer, residual and "interest" is leasing company. The leasing company may be or may not be the finance arm of the brand in question, but it's still a separate entity. And that residual is the main thing that dictates the cost of the lease. It's also harder to shop around. Things are a lot less transparent especially if you are new to it.