I tend to believe there are only three conditions where it might make sense to lease. (1) if you don't put a lot of miles on a vehicle/year, (2) are in a situation that affords you a new ride every three years, and (3) pretty much expect to have a car payment for an extended period in your life, then maybe a lease might work for you. But it's also worth noting that the downpayment required for some of the nicer vehicles can be quite significant.
Ultimately I think most people don't see leasing as a wise investment... not that a car is purchased exclusively for resale value and considered a wise investment to begin with, but most of the time you're throwing money away, because obviously you're getting absolutely nothing in return but the use of the vehicle. Now perhaps if you own a business and you have specific tax advantages that help offset the accrued expenses - I guess there could be that argument. But even then that's not very common with most small businesses.
I've not had a car payment in 15 years, because I tend to drive them until the wheels fall off. And for that reason I'm always looking at vehicles that have a history of good reliability long after the standard warranty expires... 30 years ago you'd be lucky to get 100,000 miles on a domestic vehicle. Although that has likely improved in recent years, I know what to expect with a Toyota or Honda. The last Honda I owned (before gravitating towards Toyota) had 250,000+ miles and was still getting 38 mpg. That car was awesome... the only thing I had to pay out-of-pocket for was usual maintenance. I also had the air conditioning recharged, because obviously once vehicles get 10-12 years old - usually the freon gets low and needs to be serviced. But the electric windows, the wipers, the moonroof, etc. all worked just as well the day I finally sold it as they did the day I bought it new.
I suspect that I'll be buying at least 2-3 more cars over my lifetime, but I've probably owned the last "new" vehicle that I'll ever purchase. It just so happened that while I was living in London for 2 years - I rented my house out here in the states for the entire duration while I was away. I applied that rent money toward a new vehicle back in 2014... a Toyota Rav4. I absolutely love it. Full-time AWD, and I'm averaging roughly 25 mpg. There are certainly more fuel-efficient vehicles out there, but it's kinda hard to find one that is AWD full-time that does that well, unless of course it's a hybrid. And with oil prices having fallen as low as they are at the moment, and fuel prices still far and away much more affordable than they were 5-6 years ago, unless you're someone who wants to make that type of purchase based on the environmental factors - there's really not much of an incentive at the moment to spend the additional money on a hybrid option. That could obviously change at some point and probably will, but 25 mpg isn't exactly causing me to fuel up every other day.
My next purchase, whenever that might be, will be on a used vehicle with moderately low milage, and a reliable history.
Consumer Reports is an excellent source to get the lowdown on both new/used vehicles, which is what I used when I started looking for my most recent purchase a few years ago. The 1-year subscription ended up helping me find the exact vehicle that best suited my needs, and they rate just about everything you can think of. It's unbiased, as the reviews they give are from the hundreds of thousands of customers who've purchased these vehicles and many of these reviewers are mechanics who also provide their own personal ratings.
Word of mouth is great, but a car purchase (new or used) is a big investment and I personally want a thorough overview of what I'm looking at investing in, as far as safety, comfort, performance and reliability. You don't get that much detail from any other source, not for what amounts to a $30-$40 subscription.
Not to mention reviews for everything else under the sun.