Friday, December 16, 2011

Lexus es 350 - possible purchase

On NL Classifieds this week something caught my eye, check it out here:

This is a 100% loaded Lexus mid sized sedan, if you were to buy a 2011 model with all these options you are looking at $52,000 + tax and whatever else the dealer piles on top (admin fees, warranty etc...).

So I made my way up to Capital pre-owned to check it out, they have a new building so I was also interested to see what it was like.  When I went in I saw three guys sitting at desks all out in the open, they took open concept to the extreme here.  I think it looks horrible but what do I know about the car selling business, no reception area, no anything but the three guys and their desks.  The three guys were regular joe type guys, no slick salespeople here.   They sell mostly used Hyundai vehicles, the same family owns the bwm / hyundai / mitsubushi and subaru dealerships in town.  Thats why they all take up adjacent hunks of land on kenmount road.

One guy approached me and I told him I had been in email contact with one guy already so he pointed that guy out to me.  I had mentioned to guy #1 that I had been looking at vehicles a long time and out of curiosity what did he think I could get on a trade for the pilot.  He asked me what I wanted and against my better judgement I told him $15,000.  He told me that they would only sell the vehicle for that.  Again, I hate to call car salespeople lyres BUT they have 2 2007 Honda CRVS on their lot right now for $17,000 with close to the kms my pilot has.  So what he was telling me was that they would sell a Honda Pilot for less than a Honda CRV....... I am doubtful.

Anyway I went over to see guy #2 and he was all ready with the keys or rather key fob for the Lexus.  Man this vehicle is loaded to the hilt.  Beautiful heated and ventilated leather seats, touch screen navigation, panoramic sunroof, top notch sound system, push button start and on and on.  It does have a wood steering wheel and console but it is nice looking not cheap or ugly at all.  Anyway car guy asked me if I wanted to take it for a run and of course I did.  He came along (I am not sure why some come along and some don't but I prefer when they don't).  Went for a quick run and this thing has plenty of power and is very comfortable.  Not sporty like the BMW but it is like driving on air, you don't feel and bumps and the cabin is absolutely silent.  Very different than the sports sedans but very very nice ride.  And it gets excellent fuel economy to boot with I think 270 HP.

Anyways that was that so I said I liked it and then went back to plan out the litany of questions I would be asking.  I asked for the VIN so I could do a CarProof on it, with no intentions of paying $50 for the car proof and sure enough not only did he give me the VIN but gave me a car proof for the vehicle with a work order for the work they did on the vehicle when they got it in.  I found out that they get the trade ins from BMW which explains the few nice cars mixed in with all the elantras on their lot.  They also have a nice 2007 Acura TL and Volvo XC70. 

The work order showed new brake rotors on front and indication of an oil leak.  I asked about the oil leak and they said it was not a leak but the mechanic over filled the power steering fluid and they mistaked it for a leak.... hmmmmm.  I asked if they were open on the weekend and he said no so I emailed back to see if I could take the vehcile for the weekend (you never know).  He said there is no way the MANAGER would let the vehicle go for more than an hour.  So it appears to have an oil leak and they wont let the vehicle go for more than an hour, at this point my spidey sense is tingling.  Most car places could care less how long you take the car out for if you are a serious buyer. 

Now you might also be wondering why a $52,000 four year old vehicle with only 60,000km now is selling for $20,000.  Aside from standard depreciation, the options depreciate almost to nothing after a few years.  This was a fully optioned Lexus for $20,000, if they had a lesser optioned one it would probably still be around $19,000.  You can really get a great deal on optioned up cars used some times.  The other reason for the good deal I figure is that it looks a LOT like a Toyota Camry.  Of course Toyota makes the Lexus so that makes sense, it has the same underpinnings but the body and interior is higher quality, it has a lot more features and rides much better.  But it doesn't look flashy at all, quite boring actually.

From the work order I could also tell that this vehicle has been on their lot for 3 months now and with winter setting in could be there much longer.  The oil leak thing worries me as well, and they told me I could get up to $13,000 for the pilot on a trade for it..... not enough.  Second last time the sales guy emailed me he said and I quote "

Anyway we will see how it goes, but that was a really nice car and the price was reasonable.... makes me think there is something wrong with it.

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