Sunday, April 22, 2012

In which we drove a new car for a couple of days

Kate and I have two vehicles: a 94 Taurus (Lenny) and a 2003 F150 (Clifford). I don't generally drive much, so there isn't really much reason for us to have two. And these particular cars get about 15 miles per gallon, which is costing us a pretty penny in gas. So, Kate and I looked at new cars for a while. Deep down we knew we couldn't afford a real new car and would have to get a new-to-us car, but it was still fun to pretend for a few weeks that we would be getting a new car.

We went to a few car dealerships and talked about new cars. The first, since we have two Fords, was the local Ford dealership. They were kind of dismissive and unhelpful. Must have been a busy day or something, because the salesman didn't even offer to have us sit down. He just stood there and answered a couple questions and acted bored.

Next we went to a Chevy dealership. We talked to a really nice saleswoman named Trish (I think...). Trish was excited to sell us a Sonic, which is a new model that's only existed for a year or so (it's a much-improved version of the Aveo, if anyone wants to know). We test drove it for a few minutes, and it was really nice. Smooth drive, good get-up-and-go, etc. When we came back to the dealership, we talked about money and all that for a few minutes, but it was close to closing time and Trish could sense that we weren't really sold and were about to slip through her fingers.

Trish threw us for a loop when she asked us if we wanted to continue the test drive till the next day. We could drive it all day and have it back the next evening. I explained that it would be hard for us to make it out the next day since I would be at work till late. Rather than let us walk away, she offered us 3 whole days driving a brand new car. I think she was pretty convinced that if we drove it for a bit we would fall in love with it. I was pretty sure that I wouldn't fall in love with anything that took 15% of my paycheck for the next 6 years. We agreed to give it a try because, hey, it sounded fun. We left Clifford there as collateral and drove off in a new car.

And there's Kate in "our" new Chevy Sonic. It was a fun car that we enjoyed driving for a couple days, but in the end, we just couldn't make ourselves want it enough to go into the kind of debt that it would require. So we took it back and Trish was very sad.

We got the keys to Clifford back, and they tried to pull him around for us to go home in, but the battery was dead. They jumped us, and assured us that they hadn't done anything wrong, so it was probably just a freak accident that our battery died. Not the case, but I think that'll come up in my next post.

On the way home we stopped by a Nissan dealer to talk about the Versa.  At least, I think it was a Nissan dealer.  It would have made more sense if it was just a front for some illegal business, or maybe another car company trying to put people off of buying Nissan.  The guy explained to us that there were all sorts of hidden fees, so even though it looked like a good deal on TV, the Versa is kind of a crappy deal.  We didn't get to test drive anything there and the guy never even asked my name (which is kind of a basic sales mistake, I think).

We also tried out a Fiat Pop a few days later.  Again, we knew deep down that we couldn't afford it, but it was fun to pretend.  And I've got to say, the Pop was super-fun.   I was surprised.  It is pretty cheap for what you get, it was fun to drive, and the gas mileage was fantastic.  I also liked the way they do business at Fiat: no commissioned sales people, and no haggling.  The price is the price.

I kind of felt ashamed to enjoy the Fiat so much because, I mean, come on.  It's a Fiat.  But nonetheless, if we were to buy a new car, it would probably be the Fiat Pop.


Sam said...

Man you must live in michigan. Ever hear of Honda? The most reliable car on the plant for 30 years running?

David said...

See the post that I haven't written yet where Kate and I buy a Honda Fit. I promise, it's coming.

Bradwich said...

I wrecked my Corolla a few weeks ago and have to go through this same process soon (maybe after board study). Not looking forward to it.

I'm a Mormon.