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Here's why one in four Canadians chose to lease and not buy a new ride in 2014 - monthly payment. As in a miniscule monthly payment, at times with little or no money down.

And by "little," Deals of the Week is talking a sub-$200 per month payment. How low is that? The average monthly payment on a new car in December was $570, while the average lease payment was $510, according to J.D. Power and Associates' real-time Power Information Network (PIN) data.

So a $200 per month new car comes in at just a bit more than a third of the monthly payment on a new purchase - or the what it costs for a so-so watch. Dirt cheap. Yet a $200 car in Canada is no stripper.

Something along the lines of a Kia Forte LX sedan comes standard with a 145-horsepower, four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, along with six air bags, a split-folding back seat, AM/FM stereo with CD and four speakers, radio steering wheel control, power windows and door locks, two power outlets and power side mirrors.

You can actually buy – not lease - a perfectly well-loaded commuter car for a payment as low as $143 a month (see below for details). Yes, that's a term of seven years or 84 months. Cut the term to five years, the payment still lands on $200 a month.

Need a hatchback? Ford's Fiesta S can be had for a purchase payment as low as $147 over 60 months at a 0.99 per cent rate. But the best deal is to buy this Fiesta over 60 months, taking advantage of zero per cent financing. And you'll want to finance your Fiesta purchase, rather than lease or pay cash.

If you pony up the full amount out of your own pocket, Ford of Canada DOES NOT have a factory spiff in play. However, those who take the financing route - at a zero per cent rate -- are eligible for a $2,500 factory incentive. In all cases, Ford wants $3,200 down. Go the lease route ($1,650 down) and you'll get a $199 monthly payment on zero per cent financing for 48 months. But no factory money is in play.

For the record, the Fiesta S comes with a 120-hp four-banger, five-speed manual, AM/FM/MP3-compatible player, seven air bags, 60-40 folding bench, air conditioning, and power door locks. Again, not a cheapo stripper.

Nissan has a $9,998 Micra and it is a pretty bare-bones model. But you can get a nicely done Micra hatchback listing for $13,298 with a monthly payment as low as $151 – 2.9 per cent financing for 84 months, with $4,400 down. Shorten the term to 60 months, the rate drops to 1.9 per cent and the payment rises to $200. Lease? With $700 down and at a 2.49 per cent rate for 48 months, the payment comes in at $199 a month.

Finally, Fiat. The 500 Pop is on offer with a $2,000 factory incentive. Combine that with a $2,000 dealer incentive and 3.99 per cent financing for 84 months, the payment comes in at $149. Shorten the term to 60 months, the payment hits the magic $200 number. Again, the 500 Pop has a long list of the features.

The $200-a-month-or-less new car is possible, and it's one reason why a record 1.85 million Canadians bought a new car or light track in 2014.

Deals of the Week consulted with www.unhaggle.com, Car Help Canada, www.carcostcanada.com, and other sources on these offers. As usual, pricing information here is subject to change and dealer discounts vary, so consult your dealer for all the final details, including expiry dates for all offers.

Kia

2015 Kia Forte Sedan Manual LX

  • MSRP: $15,995
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,620
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $500
  • Factory discount: $1,500 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $15,615
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $17,644.95
  • A $143/month payment is possible when factory incentives are combined with a $4,950 down payment and zero per cent financing for 84 months. With 60-month financing and the same down payment, the monthly charge rises to $200. With a $500 factory spiff and an $1,850 down payment, the monthly payment comes in at $189.
Ford

2015 Ford Fiesta Hatchback S

  • MSRP: $14,999
  • Freight, dealer prep, fees and air conditioning tax: $1,700
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $400
  • Taxable subtotal: $16,299
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $18,417.87
  • A Fiesta buyer would be nuts to pay cash. Ford of Canada is not offering any factory money on a cash purchase. But with a cash purchase, the manufacturer incentive is $2,500 and it can be combined with zero per cent financing for 48 or 60 months. A $3,200 down payment is required, however. A zero per cent lease rate for 48 months brings in a $199/month payment, but Ford Canada is not offering any factory money on this deal -- and a $1,650 is required.
Nissan

2015 Nissan Micra Hatchback Automatic S

  • MSRP: $13,298
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,535
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $300
  • Taxable subtotal: $14,533
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $16,422.29
  • Nissan Canada can squeeze the monthly payment on a purchase to as low as $151/month with a 2.9 per cent rate, a $4,400 down payment and the term stretching out over 84 months. With the same money down and a 1.9 per cent rate for a 60-month term, the monthly payment comes in at exactly $200.
Fiat

2015 FIAT 500 Pop

  • MSRP: $15,995
  • Freight, PDI, AC tax: $1,830
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $400
  • Factory discount: $2,000 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $15,425
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $17,430.25
  • A $151/month payment is possible by combining the factory and dealer incentives with a 3.99 per cent finance rate over 84 months, with a $5,800 down payment. Reduce the term to 60 months and with all other factors the same, the monthly payment comes in at exactly $200.
Pricing information source:

and

. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Where noted, "dealer discounts" are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis. Unhaggle Savings are actual discounts received by Unhaggle customers.

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