We have been looking at buying a new car for over a year now. I wrote in the past about what cars made it to our final list. At the last moment we added an new vehicle to the list, a Honda Pilot.
We really liked this car it had everything we wanted: tow hitch with decent towing capacity, all wheel drive, heated seats and more seating than we would ever need without being a minivan. It was at the extreme of what we wanted to pay for a car though. Our thinking was to trade in both our 2000 New Beetle and our 2004 Honda Element.
We checked out Edmunds.com for what to expect for prices on the Honda Pilot and then went to the Honda Website and requested a quote; that was on Thursday Night. By Sunday I had not heard back from anyone at Honda so I emailed Toyota for a quote for a 2009 FJ-Cruiser just because it was the car that inspired us into looking for a new vehicle in the first place. Monday morning came and still no word from Honda. When I inquired about the Ford Flex, I had a response within hours of asking for a quote from their website. I figured I would get the same from Honda. It didn’t happen. I called Honda and asked what kind of deal they had on 2009 Pilots. While waiting for a return call, I was contacted by Toyota sales in response to my web quote request. Bonus points! Toyota said they had an FJ they could trade for from another dealer that matched my quote. I scheduled to meet with Toyota sales after work.
Honda called back and offered a 100 dollars less than what Edmunds had listed “What other were paying” price. I said I would stop by at lunch and I said I plan to trade in my Honda and my Beetle. Over lunch Honda test drove our cars and gave us a miserable trade in offer. When the sales guy asked what I thought I said it was not what I expected. Then the guy went into a dumb sales pitch, that I likened to death throws for a sale. He said the price he originally offered already included X dollars off for a trade so the trade in quote was really including all that they had offered already; then he pulled out the calculator and typed in the numbers like I couldn’t add, or maybe it was all part of the sales act. After going through the numbers again, on the calculator, he looks up and says so what do you think? I said I would have to talk it over with my wife tonight.
I left Honda pretty depressed, apparently the car I had been taking to them for service all these years was not worth a pittance. It was in great shape except for a some artful scratches on the door by my son and some cracks on the drivers seat, which I always thought were odd. The Beetle was my wife’s favorite car and I knew she was not going to give it up for what Honda thought it was worth.
Things brightened up when we went to Toyota that night. They said they wanted to check the Honda for trade and had a great offer for the FJ cruiser right as we walked in the door. Toyota gave an excellent trade value for our Honda and even smudged some numbers to get us an FJ at Edmunds.com pricing. No calculator in site. He still did the let me talk with the sales manager dance all car sales men do but we did not feel pressured. He said there was exact match, a blue FJ in Milwaukee, and he ask if we would move forward on a purchase if he could get that car for us we said yes.
Honda called the next day to ask what my wife thought I said we decided to by from Toyota, the dude just hung up… Honda in our area has great service but sales, well, not so much.
Toyota was not worry free though. I guess our sales guy pissed off the Milwaukee sales guy because he called back and said the sales manager was on a hunting trip for the week. We grew up in Wisconsin and hunting season is not until fall. He did come back with another FJ that was Yellow and did not have daytime running lights but had everything else we wanted plus carpeting. He stuck to his original price and we said fine go with yellow FJ.
There was confusion about the daytime running lights and he really did not have a good answer but I was able to chat online at the Toyota website and get the info I needed. It was a neat service, to offer online chat. Bonus points to Toyota. Again. The only other thing was that the FJ was driven from Iowa to Illinois instead of transported, so it had 300 miles on it when we finally signed the papers. Since the FJ is to be our recreation vehicle, in the end a couple extra miles at start is no big deal. (crossing fingers)
My wife loves the car though it did take time to get used to the bright yellow on the dash. We are very happy with the it, and most importantly the wife gets to keep her Beetle.
A couple days later some lady from Toyota calls and asks if there is any questions about the operation of our new FJ cruiser. I chuckled, we have three big dials on the dash, a speedometer, a tachometer, a fuel gauge and a battery current meter. Not a whole lot of technology to go wrong or get confused over. Nice and simple. All the high tech stuff other cars offer can be done with our iPhone. Why waste money on it in you car “when there is an app for it” on your phone.
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