Thursday, November 3, 2011

Acura TL AWD Test Drive

I heard back from the Volvo guy but he said “he didn’t think there was much he could do on price”, which I interpret as he can do something on price.  Anyway I was back on
Topsail Road
today for a visit to Acura.  Acura’s are basically upscale Honda’s; they are made by Honda and use Honda Financing etc.  The bottom two model levels are like really nice Civics and Accords but I was interested in the TL-AWD, which has 305 hp, and is not like a civic or accord.  The first thing strikes you about the local Acura Dealership is what a crappy dealership they have.  Seriously it is leftover from 1985, cramped, dark, two cars barely squeezed into the showroom.  This tells me there are deals to be had, these guys have to be hungry.  They have a surprisingly nice variety of vehicles for such a horrible dealership set up.  So anyway the sales guy was one of the nicest yet, older gentleman but very easy to talk to, no flash and dash, no shiny forehead, no fake smile, just a nice guy.

Anyway he was more than happy to get me in for a test drive and I accommodated as usual.  I love driving nice cars, so free drives of new nice cars are right up my alley.  Anyway I got into a TL-AWD with Technology Package which includes navigation and upscale stereo for an extra $3,500 (not for me).  It was black, which I like, and it had this super nice umber leather interior, I’d call it dark brown.  Whatever color it was, it was very nice and the seats were very comfortable.  So the interior was well laid out, the controls were kind of complicated but not overly.  Center console had a little storage and a couple of hidden cup holders.  Overall I really liked it but for some reason there are no folding rear seats which you think would be automatic.  There is a small pass through in back but it has a smallish truck so cargo space is very limited.

Anyway who cares about boring stuff like storage space, off I went and this machine could move.  There was a slight delay before the engine kick in but it’s only very slight.  The only vehicle I didn’t get this hesitation in was the Volvo, it had instant response.  Anyway this vehicle drives really smooth and of course it’s quick.  Handles really good and the seats really hold you in well.  I would say it was on par with the Volvo and acceleration was better than the bmw 328 but not the 335.  It is prices closer to the 328, the 335 BMW is about $5,000 more expensive so dollar for dollar, the Acura is a good value.  So I wrapped up my test drive and headed back to talk dollars and cents.

Acura has a 25 year anniversary thing on where they have 0.25% financing for 25 month leases with 25 months free maintenance.  The lease payment works out to around $800 for the 25 month deal which is not bad for such a short term lease.  The 48 month lease was $692, but here are a couple of irritating things I found at Acura.  They charge $299 for some strange rim insurance that the sales guy could hardly explain and $199 for nitrogen in the tires….. what is all that about, gimme some free regular air please, and $100 for admin fees.  I think they were actually charging $399 for admin with that hokey rim insurance but they just call it something different.  So I guess that means I have to get winter tires on rims because I wouldn’t want to let the $200 air out of my tires.  That’s $400 at least I have to get back from them.  They have a 3.9% four year lease rate or $3,000 off with 5.9% lease rate, the $3,000 off route works out to about $15 less a month or $750 in total. 

So $692 is my starting point for the base TL-AWD on a four year lease.  Salesguy indicated they will do a bit better when it comes to deal time, I’d be expecting them to come down to $650.  I am not sure how it works if I showed up with cash from the sale of my beautiful Pilot to put down on a lease but I will send an email and see how it all works.  If I can get the $3,000 off plus extra off and not have to pay the 5.9% rate it might be worth it.

Anyway I liked the Acura, I like the look of the Volvo a bit more but it is a bit more costly and they don’t have the free maintenance thing going.  The BMW is still right there though………

No comments:

Post a Comment