Suggestions on pricing a Highlander lease??

I cannot believe how ridiculously complicated it's become to buy a Toyota. First of all, we're on like our six Camry, and we've been
pleased w/Toyota's to date. So we decided to turn in our lease and get a Highlander. It seems almost impossible to determine the dealer's true invoice with the options we want. I know Edmunds and KBB have 'invoice prices' but those aren't the real thing after you factor in manufacturer rebates to dealers. And then, when you talk to the dealers they give you a sob story about not being able to pull together a car w/the options you want because all the features come bundled. Geez. When did dealers become such crybabys about aftermarket options.
I called Toyota and spoke w/someone in 'Customer Loyalty' and although she was perfectly polite, knew next to nothing about Toyota cars. When I asked her about the various base packages and what options they contained, you could hear crickets it was so quiet. Then she directed me to Toyota's Web site to find this information, but of course it's not there so...
We're still trying hard to buy another Toyota and this is the Highlander we're looking at. Does anybody have suggestions for how in the world to actually figure out the cap cost at $500 over dealer's actual cost? That's what we're willing to pay. And although my understanding is that ALG sets the residual, which ought to be 17k or so on this car at 3 yrs., the dealers tell me it's 15k.
Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.
-- Paul
========== Metallic light blue Highlander 2WD 6cyl w/3rd row
- GY - SR - HD
Cap: $26,900 Residual: $17,004
Term: 36 mos.
Miles: 15k/yr.
Down: $0
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You mean, like you know the retailer's price when you go to buy a pair of shoes or a can of tuna?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Leasing has gone out of fashion on low-price cars because so many dealers and finance companies lost so much money when residual values came in less than expected.
Residual values are nothing more than a best guess... and are dependent on local variables as well as other (financial) market factors.
Leasing by definition is complex because there are so many factors... and that you are only paying for the 'use' of the car... and the value of that use can be hard to pin down... a lot of dealers try (successfully) to obfuscate it. There are a number of websites that will help you determine what a good lease will work out to be.
Personally, I don't see the value in leasing an inexpensive car such as a Highlander. On a (high-priced) luxury car it makes sense.
You want to deal with a dealer who has does a lot of leasing and who has experienced F&I department.
I sell Hyundais in the Sacramento, California area (yipes, an evil car salesman) so I can be much help with Toyota (our worthy competitors) but keep calling around to Toyota dealers until you find the one with leasing experience. It a separate world!
A.C. (a nice Jewish boy who sells cars) (Contact me? Put underscores between the words.)
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Here's some real help. Get your finances in order and stop leasing cars.
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