annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I haven't gone shopping for a couple of weeks because my sitter needed the past two Thursdays and Fridays off for personal reasons. So instead of car shopping I spent quantity time with my son, which was awesome.

But I'm back to having Friday afternoons to my own self, so off to the dealerships I went. I'm nearly done with my list of cars. I'm down to the ones I should check out, but can't really muster much excitement for.

I decided to check out Hyundai since it was closest to my house. I walked around the showroom for a bit looking for a model that interested me. I promised Ulrich I would check out the Sonata. I hear only good things about it. When the salesman introduced himself I told him I was there to look at the Sonata, but I was really more interested in a hatchback. He showed me the one hatchback their dealership carried and it was only two doors. Now, the Volvo is also only two doors, but it has some room to it as well. This Hyundai didn't, so it was out. I kept coming back to the Sonata saying, "I said I'd look into it." But the Sonata just doesn't make my skirt fly up, no matter how highly people speak of it. The salesman caught on and said, "Well, how about the Lancer. It's not a hatchback, but it's pretty sporty." He's right; the Lancer is a sharp-looking car. But does it have the substance I'm looking for? Mitsubishi is one of the best car manufacturers in the world (I heard someone say that on Top Gear last night). I was willing to check it out.

The car was certainly roomy enough and it was sporty-looking despite being a sedan. The salesman, Pete, left to grab one to test drive (an orange one since I mentioned I was happy to see they actually had some interesting colors) and I fiddled with the controls of the one in the showroom. Can I just say, I love the interior of this car. It was roomy and comfortable. The center console was extremely clean showing only a navigation system and 3 climate control knobs. I couldn't even find the CD player! I knew it had one. Pete said that you just put your CDs in the player, it scans it and saves everything to a hard drive in the car and you never need to carry CDs around again. I started fiddling with the navigation system and noticed an "open" button. I hit it and the whole thing slowly slid out of the dash then laid down flat and exposed a CD player. I guess it doesn't have to be easily accessible if you only use it to load your music into the car. This car was an automatic transmission with a clutchless manual option (that's not quite the word I'm looking for. It comes with the automatic, but you can use it or not, whatever). I like the clutchless manual. It could come in very handy during our harsh winters. It also had paddle gearshifters. I've only seen those on TV!

The car was somewhat disappointing when it comes to power. It had a moderate amount of torque and it was able to accelerate going uphill. But it didn't have the power of the Cooper S or the Rabbit, which is now my baseline. Still, it was a smooth and comfortable ride and it shouldn't have any problems holding it's own on the freeway.

I enjoyed my experience with this particular dealership. Pete was friendly and steered me towards a car I originally had no intention of considering, but ended up quite liking.

I drove over to a Kia dealership next. The dealership I went to today was the same dealership I bought my Kia from in '99. They stopped selling them about a month after I bought my car, but they picked up the line again about 2 years ago. I was looking forward to checking out Kia. I currently own two and am very pleased with both of them. My original experience with this particular dealership was pleasant so I felt comfortable going there again. I kind of wish I hadn't.

I pulled into the lot and before I'd even parked my car, a toothless salesman named Bob was shouting and waving to me. "Ready to buy a new one?!" I gave him the benefit of the doubt (seriously, the Mazda guy was much funnier looking, but he turned out to be awesome) and joked back, "Yeah! Let's do it!" I wanted to check out 3 cars: The Rio (because I like how it looks), the Spectra (because it's roomier than the Rio), and the Rondo (because both Lisa and my brother Aaron speak so highly of theirs). Bob walked me around the lot and pointed each car out. And that was it. I asked him what the difference was between the Rio and the Rio5 and he said, "equipment." I asked him what equipment and he didn't respond. Finally I said, "Can I get inside them?" He asked me to wait while he went inside to get keys. I heard his name called on the speaker so I wasn't surprised when another man (I can't remember his name; let's call him "Dave") came to me and introduced himself. He let me inside the cars and stood there until I'd fiddled with everything inside them. I said I preferred the Spectra simply for the extra space, but that I also wanted to see the Rondo. He went back inside for another key while I waited by the car I wanted to see. He pulled the car out of it's space so I could get in (they're packed in that lot like sardines). I was impressed with the layout of the vehile and the amount of space in it. I kept expecting the Kias to feel familiar, but they're completely different from either one I currently own. The dash controls were well laid out and easy to understand. The gear shift was in an unusual place, but I liked it. It also had the clutchless manual that many of the other cars I've tested have had. The sound system was decent. The drive was incredibly smooth. The road he took me on was one of those cement highways where the car goes "thump! thump! thump!" every half second, but I didn't feel or hear anything. The ride was pleasant. The power decent. It's only a 4-cylinder, but felt more powerful. I wasn't pleased with the huge blind spot over my left shoulder, but the mirrors were large enough to cut the blind spot out almost completely.

The Rondo comes loaded with options you don't generally see on a car under $20K. Because this particular model was an '08 and I'm a current Kia owner, they would knock $3K off the price of the vehicle bringing the total cost to just over $15K. That's hard to say no to.

But I'm gonna. Let me tell you why. The salesman didn't want to sell it to me. Did he say that? No. But he might as well have. I've been completely upfront and honest with every person I've dealt with while car shopping. I've told them what I'm looking for, what I've looked at, and my timeline to buy. I didn't say anything different to Dave, but the instant I said, "Volvo" the test drive was over. He wouldn't tell me about the car. He wouldn't tell me about incentives. He wouldn't even give me directions back to the dealership. I ended up babbling about the things I liked about the vehicle (which were numerous) until we got back. We walked into the dealership and he handed me some literature. He wouldn't shake my hand when I left.

The difference between the dealerships I went to today were shocking. The first one was so pleasant. I didn't look at what I thought I was going to look at, but I left happy and with a coca-cola in my hand (as well as literature on the Lancer and even finance and lease information). I went to Kia to look at cars I actually wanted to see and the salesmen couldn't even be assed to let me compare them. This experience also stands in sharp contrast to my original dealings with this particular dealership. I bought my Sephia with a cracked taillight which they promised to fix for me. The owner himself called me to let me know the part had come in and to apologize for the wait. Dave left me with this statement, "I hope your experience here was better than some of the others you've had." WTF?


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April 2017

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