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Best New Car Lease Deals for November 2021



For compact sports sedans, the song remains the same—to borrow a track from Led Zeppelin. In 1973, that song opened Houses of the Holy, the first Zeppelin release after four self-titled albums that had launched the band from nowhere to rock legend in less than three years. A short time later, the BMW 3-series would follow a similar trajectory. By 1981, it became the first BMW model to break one million sales. Greta Van Fleet may be reviving Zeppelin in the modern era, but numerous car companies have followed in the footsteps of the 3-series. That’s why compact sports sedans are a staple of car-magazine comparison tests.

The current crop of sports sedan commands premium money, but not too much money. The sweet spot for these leases is between $400 and $500 a month, and—excepting two outliers—that’s what we’ve brought here with this list of eight appealing sport sedans. Given the current inventory shortages, we couldn’t find any national lease deals for the Acura TLX, Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS, or Jaguar XF (which is technically mid-size but is priced like a compact). There’s also no Tesla Model 3 lease deal, because Tesla.

You’ll find the same key elements in each of these cars: sharp looks, good handling, willing engines, and the refinement of a car that’s on a higher pay grade than a mainstream mid-size. This formula hasn’t changed in decades nor is it likely to—at least until the inevitable transition to EVs—and we’re good with that.

But first, read our guide to learn if leasing a car is right for you. We’ve covered everything that may get glossed over in the showroom: advertising fees, money factors, residuals, legal implications, and all the other fine print that could cost you thousands more than you’d expect. When comparing similar cars, be aware that a lower monthly price often demands more money up front. As with any national lease special, enter your ZIP code on an automaker’s website to check if these deals apply to your area. Prices may be higher or lower depending on the region. Research is always your friend.


$479 per month/$3999 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

Let’s start with the brand that started it all. It’s true that BMW has expanded the 3’s reach beyond purists like us who prefer our steering and suspension to be masterful extensions of our bodies. In other words, the 3 is softer and more comfortable as a commuter car than it’s ever been, and yet if equipped properly, it can still turn loose like the old days. This rear-wheel-drive 330i has the 255-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four, which is the best in the business. You’ll get the M Sport package, which adds sport seats and a more athletic suspension, plus big-car luxuries such as heated armrests. Leather, a panoramic sunroof, and metallic paint are all included too.


$479 per month/$4429 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

The song certainly remains the same for the 2021 Audi A4, which to most looks like a 2011 A4. We’d like to say that simple design never goes out of style, but among the other cars here, the A4’s styling is just boring. The 201-hp base engine is well behind the others, but this lease is for the A4 45 Premium, which has 261 horsepower. The interior is typical Audi high quality, but again, the appearance is perhaps overly familiar. These days, the best Audi designs are saved for truly special sedans such as the A7 or sleek EVs such as the e-tron GT.

Alfa Romeo

$409 per month/$6102 at signing
42 months/35,000 miles

Alfa knows how to make sedans pretty, and it has figured out how to make the Giulia pretty sweet to drive. This Alfa has one of the best electric steering racks we’ve experienced in a modern car and a chassis that’s perfectly sorted just as it is, no special options needed. This lease is for the rear-wheel-drive Ti with a 280-hp turbo-four, and includes 18-inch wheels, a dual-pane sunroof, navigation, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and oak trim. (Oh, just in case you’re wondering, the racy Giulia Quadrifoglio is more than $900 a month after nearly $8000 at signing.)


$355 per month/$3655 at signing
36 months/22,500 miles

When I took my 1998 S70 for service last month, I hoped the dealer would hand me a swanky S60 as a loaner. Instead, it was a four-year-old V60 with 30,000 miles (to be expected, perhaps, with new cars in such short supply). The front-wheel-drive S60 B5 Momentum that’s on offer here is the spiritual successor to that old S70, with its fabric seats and Volvo’s rotary seat-recline controls. Fortunately, today’s S60 has a pleasant interior even without leather, and the seats are some of the best you’ll find. This base Momentum trim skips Volvo’s Pilot Assist and other higher-tech options but is still fairly well equipped.


$449 per month/$4584 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

Before an all-new C-class debuts next year, Mercedes is offering some deals on the current C, which still feels rich and sophisticated after six model years. Gorgeous wood sweeping across the dash, impressive tech, and a cushy ride do justice to the Mercedes name, and the C offers higher-quality materials and greater refinement than you’ll find in the cheaper A-class. Even so, buyers should try to negotiate since this lease will keep you locked in until 2024, long after the arrival of the newer, hotter C-class. Alternately, one might look at a used C-class; not much has changed since 2015.


$429 per month/$3559 at signing
39 months/32,500 miles

We’re all about the CT5-V Blackwing these days, since that model beat the BMW M5 and Audi RS7 in our recent comparison test. You can’t get a Blackwing for this price, of course, but you can get the same handsome body and a similarly balanced chassis—fundamentals that Cadillac sedans have been nailing for the past decade. This lease is for the standard turbo-four with rear-wheel drive in the base Luxury trim. This engine, unfortunately, isn’t nearly as quick as rivals’ four-cylinders, and the Cadillac’s interior is somewhat wanting.


$409 per month/$3699 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

A better alternative might be the Genesis G70, a freshly redesigned car from a fresh new brand. Everything about this car, from the double-bar headlights to the sprightly chassis and ritzy interior, has been carefully considered to beat the lazy incumbents in this field. This offer is for the entry-level G70 Standard with the base 2.0-liter turbo-four and rear-wheel drive. Your neighbor might not know what Genesis is, but when you can drive a car with this much presence at this price (with service included), the G70 speaks for itself.


$1015 per month/$5999 at signing
36 months/30,000 miles

Okay, this one’s a bonus track. With a twin-turbo V-6 built by Ferrari and leather by Ermenegildo Zegna, the Ghibli is a 424-hp indulgence unlike any of the other cars here. We disliked this entry-level Maserati when it came out in 2014, but in its later years, the Ghibli has aged like the sweet Modenese vinegar. The Maserati’s technology is much improved and feels more worthy of its M3-level price. A Maserati still doesn’t make a whole lot of rational sense, but if you’re going to indulge, might as well do so while the savings are hot.

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Cars and Trucks

Portable Fire Pits to Bring From the Backyard to the Campsite



A fire pit is the essential centerpiece to any campsite. But when you’re traveling to different campgrounds, parks, or festivals, it’s onerous to lug around a heavy metal fire pit. Plus, some look good enough to live in your backyard full-time when you’re not traveling. Whether you need to cook food outdoors or just want a decorative addition to your patio that’s easy to move or pack up, these portable models are your best friends when it comes to building a contained fire.

Check out quick info below on the five best portable fire pits from our testing, then scroll deeper for buying info and full reviews of these models plus other top-performing options.

Types of Fire Pits to Consider

The two main fuel sources for fire pits are propane and wood. Gas-powered pits are easy to connect to a propane tank via a pre-attached hose and turn on and off, so there’s no need to wait for your fire to burn down or find water to douse it out when it’s time for bed. A standard propane tank may weigh 20 pounds, though you won’t have to carry along bundles of firewood. Propane pits also allow you to make a fire during burn bans in certain areas (but you should still check for fire regulations where you plan to use one). These models also generally emit less heat than a large wood-burning fire pit.

Many companies promise that both their wood and propane pits reduce smoke, so you won’t have to constantly move your chair when the breeze changes direction. And if you’re not the type who enjoys smelling like a campfire, that means less of the smoky scent that usually clings to your clothing and hair for days.

Portable fire pits vary quite drastically in design as well. Some look like the traditional permanent kind but are lightweight, while others have folding legs and carrying bags. Options like the UCO Flatpack fold flat for hikers who need to keep their flames off the ground. In addition, some pits have more practical features for cooking food and grilling, such as included grates. The BioLite even allows for charcoal, if that’s your preferred method of grilling. So keep in mind how you plan to use your fire pit when considering the options below.

How We Tested

The first thing we took stock of with these fire pits was how easy they are to assemble and set up. Then we lit fires in them using logs of hickory and oak, gauging access to the center of each for setting and maintaining the fires. Once the flames were going, we walked toward each pit until we could feel noticeable heat, then circled them to see how even the distribution was and how much it was affected by wind. We also looked at them through a Flir infrared camera to see if there were any concerning hot spots on the fire pits’ bodies. Lastly, we let the fires burn down to ash so we could determine how easy clean up was after the blaze. Throughout testing, we took into account things like whether or not the pits were simple to carry and their weight and dimensions.


BioLite FirePit+

Dimensions: 27 in. long, 13 in. wide, 15.8 in. tall | Weight: 19.8 lb | Fuel: Wood, charcoal

We tested BioLite’s original FirePit, and our review below is based off that evaluation. Though that model is no longer on sale, the upgraded FirePit+ at the link above looks to perform much the same, just with a larger battery and an enamel coating on the body for durability.

You’d have trouble finding a more feature-rich portable fire pit than BioLite’s. That battery pack you see on the end powers a four-speed fan, which pumps air through 51 jets, helping quicken the burn and cut down on smoke. (And it pops easily off the fire pit’s body, so don’t worry about lugging the whole thing into your house and plopping it down near an outlet when it needs a boost.) Plus, it has a USB output so you can charge your devices off of it—during our testing, it provided a full dose of juice to our dying infrared camera in a little over an hour.

Just be judicious when using the fan. We found that, when adding medium-size logs to the fire, it was better to leave it on one of the lower settings, otherwise the blasting air would whip the flame around and make it more difficult for the new log to catch. The fan also emits a constant high whine—a minor annoyance but one worth mentioning. All the perforations in the FirePit’s body had us concerned the flame would be susceptible to blowing out in the wind. But even on a blustery day, the fire didn’t suffer. After the flames wind down, the inner removable grate and the ash drain help with cleanup.

Watch the Biolite FirePit in action:


UCO Flatpack

Dimensions: 13.5 in. long, 11 in. tall (when packed) | Weight: 3.2 lb | Fuel: Wood, charcoal

In its handsome canvas carrying case, the Flatpack could pass for a laptop. It’s that slim when packed down. Though it was by far the smallest of the full fire pits we tested, the Flatpack is sturdy with the legs deployed. Keep in mind that, because the stainless-steel body is so thin, it can support only ten pounds of wood or charcoal. This also means that the fire demands frequent attention if you light it with small wood since you can’t heap large logs on it. And the load sits fairly high off the ground for the pit’s size, so best to keep it on flat, even surfaces.

The included grill grate makes a nice platform for cooking up hot dogs or burgers at the camp site (or a local park that allows it if you’re an urban apartment dweller with limited storage). We found during testing that the Flatpack produced a surprising amount of smoke in spite of the small fire. But it does have one trait that none of the other fire pits here can claim: It’s dishwasher safe.


Winnerwell Large Flatfold Fire Pit

Dimensions: 16.5 in. wide, 16.5 in. long, 8.9 in. tall | Weight: 9.1 lb | Fuel: Wood, charcoal

We were captivated when we first saw the minimalist design of Winnerwell’s Flatfold, and it didn’t disappoint when we got hands on it. With no locks or latches, the two-piece fire pit seemed unstable, or even rickety, at first. But flipping the two parts open and nesting the bowl in the stand took under a minute—and they fit together very securely. We also tested an accessory table that raises the fire pit off the ground, protecting whatever surface it’s sitting on—that means no dead spots in the grass or burnt spots on the deck. The accessory table folds flat as well, and both pieces of the fire pit nest nicely in the top of it, making for convenient storage and transport.

We used small oak logs to burn a modest-size fire in the Flatfold, with foot-long logs fitting nicely within its 16.5 x 16.5-inch rim. (When we tried to use regular firewood, we had to cut it down to fit.) Sitting around the fire pit, we felt heat radiated best with wood loaded just above the rim and flames reaching up to about two feet. While it’s available in sizes from small to extra-large, the version we tested was size large, which is good for providing heat for groups of four or five people.

Like with some of the other portable fire pits, there’s an accessory grate that turns the Flatfold into a grill. Also, like others, we noted that we only needed a small amount of hot coals in the bottom of the fire pit to provide enough heat to cook over. So the fire either needed to burn way down or we needed to start with just some charcoal in the bottom. The simplicity, versatility, and ease of storage make the Winnerwell Flatfold a great option for car or RV camping as well as use in the backyard.


Wolf and Grizzly Campfire Trio

Dimensions: 11 in. long, 11.25 in. wide, 3.7 in. tall | Weight: 4.4 lb | Fuel: Wood, charcoal

It might be a bit limiting, referring to the Campfire Trio as a fire pit. It includes three parts, naturally: a Fire Safe, a Grill, and a Fire Set. What’s more, the Campfire Trio breaks down into two small cases, capable of fitting in a backpack—conducive to hikes into remote locations.

Fire Safe really says it all; it’s a safe way to contain a fire when camping. We set up the Fire Safe itself in under two minutes. It’s incredibly simple. The grill took only slightly longer. The Fire Set is for getting a blaze going without matches, and it includes two metal bars that, when rubbed together, produce sparks. We were impressed with both the quantity of sparks and how long they lingered. With a little practice, and the right materials, it was relatively easy to get a fire started. Though the Fire Safe footprint is only 11 square inches, limiting how big of a fire we could create and therefore how much heat we could get off it. Huddling up close, we could warm our hands, while sitting back we could warm our feet.

Once we let the fire burn down to embers, we put the grill over the Fire Safe and cooked some burgers. We were able to easily adjust the grill height to get the food in the right heat zone over the coals, producing delicious results. While the Campfire Trio doesn’t make a great fire pit, it’s a fine piece of camping gear that will pack easily, safely contain a fire, and work as a grill.


Solo Stove Bonfire + Stand

Dimensions: 19.5 in. diameter, 14 in. tall | Weight: 20 lb | Fuel: Wood

Solo Stove’s Bonfire shares the sleek design of the Yukon we previously tested, except it’s about 30 percent smaller. When we unboxed the Bonfire, it became immediately clear how much more portable that small size is. This test model included a carrying case with a drawstring closure at the top, which we loved. The case is essentially a big bag with handles, so aside from making the fire pit easier to transport, it also ensured we didn’t risk a trail of ash falling in our car, house, or anywhere we stored it.

We’ve come to appreciate Solo Stove’s smokeless fire pit technology. It’s not marketing hyperbole, and it works. The fire pit is a double-walled, stainless-steel cylinder, with holes ringing the base on the outside and around the top on the inside. As heat from the fire rises, it pulls air through the inside holes, drawing in air from the bottom outside holes, which helps cut down on smoke and speed up the burn. During testing, the Bonfire positively tore through logs. With the constant air supply flowing to the fire, it burned hot and fast, leaving very little ash clean up afterward.

We could clearly see the advantage of this type of burn: no smoke, true to Solo’s claim. However, it’s fair to note that we went through logs relatively quicker than we would with an open fire. And, while there wasn’t smoke, we did have some occasional eye irritation when the breeze shifted the direction of the heat.

Speaking of the heat, the Bonfire projects it—a lot of it—in an even circle, but mostly from the rim and up. If we had the fire roaring, with flames extending two feet out the top, the heat radiated more evenly but didn’t really reach our feet on a cool day. The rest of our bodies were perfectly toasty, though. About that heat: It can be intense, so we used welding gloves while tending the fire and adding logs. If you want a smokeless fire pit that lives up to the hype, looks great, and fits in at home or on an occasional weekend of car camping, then the Bonfire is a solid option.

While grilling wasn’t a requirement for this test, we did try out the Bonfire Grill Accessory Bundle with some burgers and hot dogs. This kit consists of a cast-iron grate and an elevated stand that sits in the top rim of the Bonfire. The Bonfire produces so much heat that we had to let it burn down to just coals in the very bottom in order cook on it. Once we had the heat figured out, the Grill Accessory Bundle turned the stove into a very competent grill.

More: 10 Smokeless Fire Pits, from Portable to Patio Staple


Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up

Dimensions: 24 in. long, 24 in. wide, 15 in. tall | Weight: 7.5 lb | Fuel: Wood

When packed down, the Pop-Up is about the size of a folded camp chair. But bust it out and you’ve got a platform for creating a nice big blaze. The four-square-foot, stainless-steel mesh surface can hold up to 125 pounds of logs (according to Fireside Outdoor), and the 3.5-inch-high walls struck a nice balance of protecting the fire from the wind while not stifling the wide field of heat. Plus, that mesh promoted airflow, cutting down on smoke. Given that the top is completely open, too, tending to the fire and adding more logs was simple.

Not so simple: setting the thing up. The legs folded out easily enough, but then we had to rig up the heat shield on the bottom with the Velcro straps, drop the four walls individually onto the stanchions, then slide the mesh on. That’s a lot of parts to keep track of, but the Pop-Up’s great if you want to post up by a roaring campfire for a few hours (or grill up a mess of food on the optional tri-fold grate).


Primus Kamoto OpenFire Large

Dimensions: 18.5 in. long, 25.6 in. tall | Weight: 15.4 lb | Fuel: Wood, charcoal

Leave it to the Swedes to design a fire pit with a modern, minimalist look. With that comes easy setup, too; all we had to do was lift the ends up so that they formed the stable X shape, set the free leg side in the grooves, drop in the stainless-steel platform and side wind shields, and get to work lighting the fire. Speaking of the wind shields, they provided good protection from gusts but were thin enough that they didn’t impede the spread of the heat. The large ash tray makes for simple cleanup, but the wide base is best set on a flat patch of ground free of debris, lest it wobble, potentially kicking up sparks.

Our biggest hang-up, though, was how sharp the edges of the stainless steel were: As we were prepping the Kamoto, we sliced a finger open on one of the triangular cutouts. So be careful during setup. Flesh wounds aside, this fire pit won us over for the aforementioned ease of use and the ample grill space when you throw on the included grate.


Fireside Outdoor Trailblazer

Dimensions: 12 in. long, 11 in. tall | Weight: 3.2 lb | Fuel: Wood, charcoal

Like its larger sibling, the Pop-Up above, the Trailblazer has tall walls, which did a good job of protecting the flame from the wind on a gusty day once we got the fire going. Set up is the same as the larger version: a bit more involved than some of the other pits on this list, and with the somewhat tricky task of rigging up the heat shield on the frame. Still, that heat shield did its job. When we placed a hand below it, we couldn’t feel any heat from the fire (though Fireside warns that you need to keep the shield at least four inches beneath the flame so that it doesn’t delaminate). We were concerned with the ease of feeding the fire with the tri-fold grate over the top, but it rests high enough that we could easily slot smaller sticks through the gap to keep the flame going. And there’s little chance you’ll overload the 45-pound weight limit given the available space for a fire.

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Cars and Trucks

How Modified Minivans Keep Those With Disabilities on the Move



Illustration by Gianna MeolaCar and Driver

From the January 2022 issue of Car and Driver.

“It’s wicked important,” says Mark Whitehouse, a retired driving-rehab instructor. “Wicked important.” He’s gotten rather fired up while we’re talking, his mellow Florida-tinged accent turning steadily more Massachusetts over the course of the conversation. “Picture you can’t drive,” he says, “can’t drive to work, to the store, to socialize. You’re stuck. When you drive your car, it feels great, doesn’t it? Feels free.”

Whitehouse believes everyone should have a chance at that feeling, even if vehicles need to be modified or people taught different ways to drive. That’s what driving rehab is: a combination of occupational therapy, doctors’ input, modified vehicles, and specialized training so people who have physical or cognitive disabilities can get behind the wheel.

It’s not a new concept. In the early ’60s, an engineer named Ralph Braun developed a lift system on a Jeep for himself, and other wheelchair users expressed interest. By the ’70s, BraunAbility was modifying Dodge vans for disabled drivers. Today it is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of accessible-vehicle conversions. “Braun is considered the father of adapted-vehicle mobility technology,” says Danny Langfield, CEO of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). “Ralph started it all.”

Modifications have come a long way since Braun’s Jeep. Dodge vans have given way to minivans, which offer expansive floor space and a large door opening. Companies like BraunAbility and Vantage Mobility International (VMI) stay in contact with OEMs so they can quickly bring accessible versions to market. VMI’s most recent triumph is a conversion of an all-wheel-drive Toyota Sienna hybrid. Customers want all-wheel drive, but SUVs are harder to lower and offer less flexible space, so minivans remain the adapted vehicle of choice.

I think minivans are better than SUVs anyhow, but younger drivers aren’t always stoked on van life. “If you’re 20, coming out of college, you might not want to be in a minivan,” says Joan Cramer, an occupational therapist and driver-rehabilitation specialist at the Next Street, a driving school in Connecticut. For folks who just need a little assistance with steering or pedal extension, almost any car can be modified, but for those who need more room, you’re looking at a minivan. Usually even the college kids admit it can be fun when they drive one. “I had one client come in all excited about his van,” Cramer says. “He told me, ‘My boys are making it a pad in the back. Gonna have a couch, a TV, and a stereo.'” Ooh, customcustomized van, a little historical hat tip to the Dodge vans that started this.

I wondered whether modern driver assists are making adapted driving easier. Everyone I talked with said autonomous driving, if it ever matures, will change the game, but in the meantime, technologies they’re excited about include automatic high-beams and electronic hand brakes. “The newer cars are a double-edged sword,” Langfield says. “On one hand, automatic features like rain-sensing wipers and standard backup cameras are a real boon, but on the other, there’s added complexity and cost.”

The financial aspect can be daunting. While a simple modification like a tri-pin steering device—which allows someone with diminished grip ability to use a steering wheel—might cost around $200, a full vehicle conversion could reach six figures. Insurance rarely covers such expenses, but manufacturer rebates and government programs can help. Connecting clients with financial solutions is a goal of the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists, a national organization founded in 1977 whose purpose, shared with NMEDA, is to spread the word that assistance is available, and that a disability doesn’t have to mean the end of driving.

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Ford Recalls 115,000 Bronco Sport, Escape SUVs Over Brake Issue



Some Ford Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs, which share a brake system, are being recalled now because NHTSA has determined that they may not stop in a short enough distance in some circumstances.A total of 114,996 vehicles, mostly 2021 models with a few 2022s, will be recalled starting in early January.Ford said it has not heard of any related accidents or injuries to date.

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