Tips, Tricks & Trends

Shopping for a 2021 Honda Ridgeline? Buy it, Don’t Lease it

The mid-size truck segment is burgeoning with many different options to choose from, but if you need something simple, then the Honda Ridgeline is a great choice. Revised for the 2021 model year, the Honda Ridgeline presents a bolder look, excellent on and off-road capabilities, and value packaging that makes it easy for buyers to pick the right one.

However, if you are planning to pull the trigger on a new Honda Ridgeline, then you might want to buy it as opposed to leasing it.

Buying a 2021 Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline currently comes in four different trim levels: Sport, RTL, RTL-E, and Black Edition. According to Ari Janessian, from Boston Automotive Consulting, there are currently 1,695 Ridgeline Sports on dealer lots right now as compared to the 200 (or so) available units for the three higher trim levels.

That being said, if you’re in the market for a 2021 Ridgeline, then your best bet would be to purchase a Sport trim level, preferably one that is available at the dealership that you’re shopping at.

When it comes to purchasing a 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport, Janessians’s financing breakdown looks like this:

Honda Ridgeline Sport AWD

MSRP: $37,665
Target selling price: $35,190
Rebate: $0
APR: 1.9% (60 months)
Final price: $35,190
Monthly Payment: $625/month plus tax

To explain these numbers, the MSRP for the 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport (with the destination charge) has an MSRP of $37,665. However, Janessian says that you should aim for a selling price of $35,190 after your negotiations.

Unfortunately, Honda is not currently offering any rebates on the 2021 Ridgeline yet, but you could qualify for a special interest rate of 1.9% for up to 60 months. With a final price of $35,190, your monthly payment would break down to $625 a month, plus tax.

2021 Ridgeline Sport with HPD Package parked in the mountains
2021 Ridgeline Sport with HPD Package. | Honda

RELATED: Does the 2020 Honda Ridgeline Deserve More Respect?

Leasing a 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport

On the flip side, if you were lease that same vehicle, then your breakdown would look like this:

Honda Ridgeline Sport AWD

MSRP: $37,665
Target selling price: $35,190
Rebate: $0
Residual: 68%
Money Factor: 0.00180
Due at signing: $1,720
Monthly Payment: $398/month plus tax

To go over these numbers, the MSRP and the target selling price are the same as above, since there aren’t any rebates to take advantage of yet. The current standard money factor is 0.00180, which is equivalent to a 4.32% APR. And the amount due at signing would be your inception fees (first month’s payment, tax, title, and registration), which would equate to about $1,720 due at signing.

After it’s all said and done, if you calculate this lease structure with a 6.25% tax rate, then you’ll get a monthly payment of $398 per month plus tax, according to Janessian’s math.

RELATED: The Most Popular Honda Ridgeline Complaints

Why is it better to buy it, instead of leasing?

If you happen to be a price shopper and insist on getting the lowest monthly payment possible, then the lease option probably looks like a better deal. However, since there aren’t currently any rebates available and the money factor is a little on the high side, you’re better off purchasing the Ridgeline for a little more instead, if you were to pull the trigger now.

Also, you can always put more money down on the finance deal in order to lower the monthly payment and get closer to what that lease payment option is. Then, when it’s all said and done, you’ll actually own the Ridgeline instead of having to turn it back in, trade it, or buy it outright, which would inevitably cost you even more money.