Leasing is very popular among luxury car shoppers. It lets them skip the steep depreciation curve, the monthly payments are more affordable and they can drive a new car every few years.
Because luxury cars are costlier, automakers are more likely to offer lease deals than financing options, according to Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis for Edmunds.com. "Luxury buyers are more inclined to want something new in a shorter time horizon," says Caldwell, "and they have the disposable income to do so."
To add some color to this picture, we've compiled a list of the most leased cars that retail for over $50,000, based on Edmunds.com transaction data for 2015. In order to qualify, a car needed to have at least a 60 percent lease rate, which is more than double the industry average. We wanted to keep this list focused, so we left out SUVs. If you want to see less expensive vehicles, take a look at the "12 Most Leased Cars for Under $50,000."
Notably, although a number of these cars have similar names (the BMW 6 Series and 6 Series Gran Coupe, for example), the cars themselves differ enough to be listed separately.
Keeping track of current lease specials can be difficult, but luckily, we have tools to help you. One focuses on very affordable leases, while our Incentives and Rebates page will show you attractive lease options and other current incentive and rebate offers.
1. 2016 BMW M5
73.3 percent lease rate. Whereas its predecessors were dedicated performance sedans, the BMW M5 is more of a luxury super sedan. It's still one of the fastest four-doors in the world, but creature comforts take greater priority this time around. Starting MSRP: $94,100.
69.2 percent lease rate. Despite its name, the 2016 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is a midsize luxury sport sedan with a measure of style that you won't find in the mechanically related 5 Series. It's pricey relative to its main rivals, but otherwise fully competitive. Starting MSRP: $79,500.
67.3 percent lease rate. If you're looking for an elite sport sedan with sleek styling, the 2016 BMW M6 Gran Coupe is one of the best in the business, but its price may give you pause. Starting MSRP: $117,200.
64.8 percent lease rate. In the last year before a full redesign, the 2016 BMW 5 Series remains a smart choice for a midsize luxury sedan. But some rival sedans are fresher and offer greater driver engagement. Starting MSRP: $50,200.
67.7 percent lease rate. The 2016 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is an odd mix of midsize and full-size luxury sedans, crossover SUVs and hatchbacks. There is much to like, but also much to scratch your head about. Starting MSRP: $60,900.
64.5 percent lease rate. The 2016 BMW 6 Series coupe and convertible stand tall among luxury two-doors thanks to features galore, a beautifully trimmed cabin and stellar powertrains. Starting MSRP: $77,300.
63.6 percent lease rate. The fully redesigned 2016 BMW 7 Series aims to get its groove back with standard long-wheelbase dimensions, a raft of new technologies and proven powertrains. Starting MSRP: $81,300.
61 percent lease rate. Although it's one of the older sedans in its class, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class continues to epitomize the modern midsize luxury car with its sophisticated technology, elegant furnishings and wide selection of engines and features. Starting MSRP: $52,560.