The following are independent:
- choosing the car (pick whichever you like);
- buy vs lease; and
- maintaining the car.
Maintenance is normally your responsibility, regardless whether you are the owner or the lessee. In Australia, some places are prepared to include several years of standard servicing when you buy a car. I'd expect the US to be even more open to such haggling.
Leasing a car (at the consumer level in Australia, anyway) is the same as buying it, except you have a loan you need to service. The loan gives you money up front so you can buy the car. Then you need to pay back the loan under whatever conditions you agreed to. Since they have an interest in the car, it would probably be more hassle as you need to make sure you meet servicing schedules. In the event of a problem with the car, you might also have to remember to notify them. It's more hassle, and you're paying for it (well, you're paying for the money up-front; the hassle is thrown in for free).
You could go through even more hassle to get a novated or other lease that goes through a corporate entity to get a tax benefit. The way they spruik this is that you're paying with pre-tax money instead of after-tax money (your taxable income goes down, so your tax should as well; the company uses that money they didn't put into your bank account to buy the car, and the company gets taxed at the company rate, which factors into how much of your salary they don't put into your bank account). The car dealer may also agree to repurchase the vehicle for a fixed sum at the end of an agreed period. But you'd probably have to pay even more attention to your servicing and mileage because them agreeing to buy it back means that they have an interest in the car itself, not just the money to be repaid. You'd not only have the repayments etc to deal with, but now you also need to deal with the corporate entity.
So the way to save hassle is to just buy the car outright and negotiate a deal for servicing.
Try to find a reputable 'we come to you' mechanic. Then you can just call them, hand them the keys and go back to what you were doing. A bit later, they knock on your door and hand you back the keys in return for payment. Failing that, some mechanic shops offer loan vehicles, or offer to drive you to your office/home and back again, when you bring your car in for servicing.
Or to avoid the hassle of servicing and even refueling altogether, there's always public transport. But then you can't pick the make and model, and you'd miss out on the driving. :)