May 2nd, 2009


Car Shopping Round 1

Kitty and I headed over to the Ford dealer to check things out. We made an appointment to chat with a nice lady who helped us out at the auto show, but she couldn't meet with us. She had a co-worker show us around. He was really no-nonsense and spoke the truth. When I inquired about the Escape Hybrid he basically told me that I shouldn't buy one. Since they're much heavier than a Prius, their electric motors are only good to about 25 MPH. Anything above that would use the gas engine. That's definitely not my driving pattern. I briefly checked out a Flex, but it's too much of a station wagon. Definitely nothing I could reasonably take off road. I then looked at a non-hybrid Escape and took one for a test drive. It wasn't bad, but I didn't feel any excitement. It would probably meet my needs, but that's about it. As we were leaving he asked if I would be interested in another Explorer. *shrugs* I WAS looking for something a little more fuel efficient, but I might consider it. He then showed me an '08 Eddie Baur edition that they REALLY wanted off the lot. $6000 under invoice?!? Oh man. I'll definitely have to think about that one.

Car Shopping Round 2

Today we checked out the Nissan dealership. It so happened that a friend of one of Kitty's friends worked at the local dealer. We showed up in the late afternoon, but he was busy with another client. Another person helped us instead.

Let's just say that I was underwhelmed again even 10 years later. You see, I checked out this dealership in 1999 when the Xterra first came out. All they had on the lot were 2-wheel drives. Nope. I wanted a 4WD. I took a test drive, but there was no way I was going to buy a 2WD. They kept trying to hard-sell a vehicle I didn't want. I just picked up and left.

Pretty much the same thing happened today. I asked for a 4WD Xterra, and they had 3 in stock. They were all pretty much the base model in colors I would not want to own. I told him that I wanted the top of the line trim package. They didn't have that. I went for a test drive, but once again I was under-whelmed. He kept trying to sell me something I didn't want. It was time to leave. I can understand that during these hard economic times you don't want to have a large inventory on hand, but Jesus H Christ, at least have some variability on the lot to offer people some choice! Having 3 of the same vehicle doesn't make much sense. When I inquired about their off-road trim, he said those were very rare. Well, why the hell would you offer it if you can't provide examples?!? He told me he could order pretty much anything I wanted. Ummmm. OK. Do you realize that it still doesn't guarantee that I would be interested in such a vehicle?!? But...but...if you ordered it, why wouldn't you want it? EXACTLY! I want to test drive it to make SURE that it was the perfect vehicle for me. Get that through your friggin skulls! This is a BUYERS market! You had better include a reach-around in this deal if you want my business!

Next, I'm back to the Ford dealer on Monday to see the bottom line on that Explorer. If I can come away with a killer deal, I will have a new ride!