While I don’t have a dog in this hunt, I think that the linked Edmunds article is a poor comparison at best.
First off, It is highly doubtful that some one would re-lease a three year old car. Just doesn’t happen. And if it did, I suspect that the lease price would be much cheaper than the $385 quoted. (lease rates are based on the difference of the value of the car at the beginning of the lease minus the value at the end of the lease, plus interest of the amount financed divided by the number of months of the lease. Since the largest deprecation of the car occurs the day you drive it off the lot, a re-lease should cost a lot less.)
Lastly, the comparison does not take into account that the consumer still has $3000 in their pocket, and is paying $300 a month less than the person buying a new car. If the consumer does not have a spare 3K and an extra 3 yards a month but desires / needs a new car, leasing makes a lot of sense.
As a friend of mine who works for a financing arm of a car maker says, “Does it make sense to buy a depreciating asset?” I don’t know, that is for each consumer to decide.
Look at it this way. Buying a new car and leasing a new car are the exact mirror images of each other. When you buy a new car, you make a large down payment and then make a stream of payments on the amount financed. At the end you owe nothing.
With leasing on the other hand, you make no large down payment* and you make a stream of payments, and at the end you owe a large payment if you wish to keep the car.**
*Some fees, and if a car dealer is trying to get to a sexy price point ($199/month) there may be a cap cost reduction.
**From a dollar and cents point of view this is a very dumb way to go