Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Selling the Pilot

So I had a guy who was really interested in buying the Pilot.  He came by twice, took the car out for 2 test drives, seemed really into it, was going to schedule a garage check up and I never heard from him since Sunday before last....

There was no complaint about the price or he didn't note anything he didn't like, in fact he seemed to really love the vehicle.  I have no idea what happened.....

In any event, I am good with not selling the pilot now that winter is here in full effect.  I am heading to Florida in March and now have a new fun thing to do in the sunny south.... visit car dealerships to see how they operate!  Can you imagine the fun a hard to get along with car buyer can have down there?  You never know I might find a few good deals as well.  While my better half is in the outlet mall saving money hand over fist I will be driving a hard bargain at florida car dealerships..... wow I am loving the idea already.

Maybe the guy who was interested in the pilot started reading the blog and wondering if I might mention him.... that would be weird.

Oh, also last week I went to Mazda to check out  a Mazda 6 which I will post about later this week, some decent material there.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2007 Infiniti M35 X

I was browsing Kijiji when I saw a beautiful 2007 Infiniti M35 X for sale at what seemed like a bargain price of $17,500 with 75,000 km, just do a search it is probably still up.  If you go to the Infiniti site you will see these are about $60,000 vehicles new.  I did some checking around the autos.ca site and everyone had a lot of praise for the vehicle but they were wary due to the price being so low.  I contacted the seller and arranged to go see the vehicle.  It looked nice and they took me for a quick spin, everything seemed to work fine, I told them I would come back on the weekend to take it for a test drive and they were fine with it.

They said they bought it 9 months ago from Hickman's used but now needed an SUV because they just had a baby.  They said it had no accidents and they had clear title to the car.  In any event this seemed like a SUPER deal, full leather, sunroof, 280 hp V6, beautiful sound system, navigation, keyless push button start and very roomy.  I did notice that the speedometer was in miles and not km's so it was a US car.  That is not uncommon with some luxury cars since they are not sold here in Newfoundland but it did catch my attention.

As I did some more research this seemed like an unbelievable deal and I had arranged to have another look.  Over the weekend I decided to buy a car proof report off the internet because I was convinced that if it came back clean I would probably buy the car.  Well here is a copy of the report:


The vehicle was destroyed in New York, dragged across the border as a piece of junk, patched back together in Quebec and shipped to NL to be sold to a sucker at Hickmans.  I feel for the couple selling the vehicle I really think they didn't know what they had bought.  I shared a copy of the report with them and they were not happy.  If I was them I would pay a visit to Hickmans and if no satisfaction then a letter to the evening telegram would be in order.  I wonder how much of this goes on????

So I am out $50, but not $17,500 and once again am reassured that.... if something seems to good to be true it probably is!  I think I will just stick to something new after all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interest in the Honda Pilot!

I had my first solid interest in the Pilot today, of course the guy loved it but wants to get an inspection done first, which I know will go fine.   Now if I just had some idea what type of car to get as a replacement.

Lets see:

2007 BMW 525XI - 27,500 - really nice car but I just worry about if something goes wrong it will cost me a fortune to get it fixed.

2012 Suzuki Kizashi - Again really nice car, AWD...... 32,500 for trim with leather and sunroof but no lease option.

2011 Buick Regal - 27,000 after discounts of $7,225... lease only $400 a month

I think those are my top 3 options at the moment.  The best thing about all 3 is that hardly anyone else drives one.  I think  if the suzuki was just a little cheaper it would win out no problem, but its not.  And if I buy the used BMW I will have to pay 6% interest which adds about $80 to the monthly payment... ouch.  That's $5000 extra car you are paying for.

 I haven't test driven the new sonata yet though which I might tomorrow or Friday.  They have 0% interest for up to 7 years or something crazy like that.  I just worry that the styling will get old fast, and it doesn't come in AWD but neither does the regal.

Decisions decisions.....

Monday, January 9, 2012

Suzuki Kizashi - Yes you read right....

I was browsing the new US news car reviews http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/Affordable-Midsize-Cars/ and noticed the Suzuki Kizashi at #4, tied with the Sonata and above the Camry, Accord and my nemesis Kia Optima (due to the dealership, not the car, see previous post).

I didn't realize the Kizashi was an AWD, in fact for 2012 AWD is standard on all trims whereas it was an option in 2011.  If you read the US news review although it says it is for the 2012 model, it is actually the 2011 model. I know this because it talks about optional AWD and blue tooth, both of which are standard on 2012's.  So affordable AWD ...... that means you now have 2 options if you want affordable AWD sedans, this or the Subaru Legacy.  I am not really a fan of the Legacy styling myself so I haven't checked them out yet.

If you go to the somewhat low tech Suzuki site you will find it antiquated and also missing the 2012 Kizashi.  How can dealerships hope to sell vehicles that are not even existing on the website???  They have some good deals advertised on the remaining 2011's.... but there are none available.

So on my lunch hour I ventured down to the local Suzuki dealership, which really gives the local Acura dealership a run for its money in the crappiest looking dealership in existence category.  At least they are not trying to sell luxury vehicles out of there.  Showroom was small, they had 2 cars in there, one was the Kizashi, a red 2012 sport model.  Car looked nice, nothing fancy or overly stylish but reminiscent of Audi if anything.  A salesguy came over, nice guy, not overly talkative, you could tell he has been selling Suzuki for a good while.

Anyway he showed me the 3 kizashi's they have available, tells me the prices, which they have including freight and pdi so they can sneak in a few hundred bucks over msrp into the base price.  Its easy enough to see they are tacking on about an extra $500 which would need ot be negotiated out.  Stated msrp is $27,995, add on say $1,500 freight and pdi and you have $29,495.  They are charging $29,995 for the base model but at a very reasonable 0.9% finance rate, they don't offer leasing.  Again this shows they are behind the times, every dealership is into offering leases again, even if they are not always the most attractive option.  I like having the option.

So I asked to take one for drive, he put me in the SX which has leather and sunroof for $3,000 more than the base model, which is a reasonable price difference.  Even the base model has a lot of features you don't normally see on entry models such as heated seats, push button start, keyless entry by pushing door handle with key in your pocket, remote memory driver seats, duel zone climate control, rear heat vents and nice 17" tires. 

So as I was leaving I noticed there was 0 gas in the vehicle, the needle was below empty.  SO I went in and got the guy and he put me in the entry level model..... which also had 0 gas.  I am thinking no one has ever driven these before at this point.  So he got in and we went to the gas station, got about $20 in gas and I dropped him back.  Even on the short trip to the gas station I could feel the handling in this vehicle was SOLID.  I am talking close to BMW solid, you feel every inch of turn which I love.  I went on my normal test drive route and I really liked driving this vehicle.  As I said the handling was excellent, next best to the BMW for vehicles I have driven, brakes were solid and overall the vehicle is very well laid out and equipped, and this was the base model.  You have the option of turning the AWD on or off to save a bit on fuel economy (I would never turn it off).  Stated fuel economy is 30mpg city..... which I am very doubtful of but if it even comes close then that is great.

There was one thing I found weird with the vehicle.  Getting up to speed on the highway the engine made a noise I was not at all familiar with.  Instead of the normally gear changes it was more of a constant whirring sound.  I realized after that the engines this year are all CVT which explains it.  Power was good, not great but definitely good, I think 180 hp, and if it gets anywhere near stated fuel economy then this is one really nice engine.

So, it has AWD, lots of standard features, understated but nice looks, handles like a dream and is reasonably priced.  The salesguy was nice, provided me with a detailed print out of the cost (even if there is a small bit of smoke and mirrors with the freight and pdi) and let me know that there was still some room to negotiate. 

But Suzuki......as hard as it is to get over past stereotypes with Kia and Hyundai this one tops even those.  At least the Koreans have nice new dealerships, Suzuki hangs off the side of an ugly repair shop.  But I won't hold that against them of course, I am not buying shares in the dealership I am buying a new vehicle.

The salesguy told me most of their business is repeat suzuki business, everyone keeps coming back.  There must be a reason for that.......

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A proud moment.....

After a couple of months and over forty posts I finally received my first unsolicited comment saying my blog was somewhat helpful.  Finally after 3000 page visits a real comment....... I am so happy.

Thank you commenter!

Kia Optima - You will like this!


So this week I was interested in the Kia Optima.  It is a nice looking car, reasonably priced, comes with a 5 year warranty, well optioned so I figured a trip to my local Kia dealership was in order.  Went back to see a salesguy I had dealt with before, your guy but seemed nice enough and honest, a bit on the slick side but not too bad. 

So I took the Optima out for a test drive, it is a nice car, good power at 200 hp and 181 pound feet.  I like the way the center stack tilts towards the driver and the red backlighting reminiscent of BMW.  It has a more linear design compared to its sonata cousin and comes with fog lights, heated seats, cooled glove box and a few other nice touches even on the base trim LX.  So when I got back from my test drive it was time to talk dollars and cents. 

There was a slight delay because I asked for them to give a value on trading the pilot.... which was a mistake because I should have gotten the car price before I asked for the trade value, should have known better.  So to make things interesting I am going to include the email string of our negotiation process.  To summarize they tried to rip me off and I got pissed...... not a little bit pissed but extremely pissed.  I would not recommend anyone dealing with the local Kia dealership if you value integrity in your deal.  You can start reading from the bottom and work your way up, after my last email I never heard back from them.  Its a shame really, because it was not the salesguy's fault but the management staff at the dealership, it is total crap.  I have shared my thoughts with autos.ca and they all agree I was being ripped off.  I will also be emailing Kia Canada to let them know my thoughts on the matter.... they may or may not care.  I removed the salesguys name because he is not the guilty party here. Start from the bottom up.

I am including 0.9% interest which is your rate, and I am not getting into a debate over how easy it is to calculate a straight forward loan payment, I'm a professional accountant with 15 years experience.
At 10,500 the payment comes to $293 which matches your own website exactly once I factor in the admin fee and couple of other small items you provided. All I am asking for is to let me know where the differences are in your guys calculation and mine, even at 10,500 trade we are apart by $3,600. Maybe I am missing something.

Subject: RE: 2011 optima
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 12:50:26 -0330

Well your not including an interest rate for one and its not as easy to calculate a payment like that, we use a finance program on a computer.
Use 10500 see what number you get for a montly payment there

Sales and Leasing Consultant

From: Subject: RE: 2011 optima
Just look at my figures and let me know where I am off track though, or where the differences are. I can't for the life of me figure out how you guys can get to 353 a month.

I agree $6,000 is a lot of money which is why I need to know how you are coming up with it. I am only applying the $500 advertised rebate and putting in $12,500 for the trade.


From: Subject: RE: 2011 optima
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 12:34:40 -0330
Brendan ,
You want 100 off a month for 60 months, that’s $6000
We definitely cannot get there.

Sales and Leasing Consultant

From: Sent: Friday, January 06, 2012 11:28 AM
To:Subject: RE: 2011 optima
Can you guys get here, the trade comes off before tax right?
2011 Optima LX
Less Rebate
Admin Fee
AC Tax
Tire tax
Financed before tax
Tax (13%)
Total Financed
No payments 90 Days

From: Subject: RE: 2011 optima
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 10:43:44 -0330
I wrote the book for that course haha
You want 15 , we think its worth 10500, what if we could do better? Could you me meet half way? Could we make a deal then?
Currently we only have the lx with out the sunroof. I could try and make some things happen if you wanted to put down a $500 deposit
Let me know what you think

Sales and Leasing Consultant

From: Sent: Friday, January 06, 2012 9:30 AM
Subject: RE: 2011 optima
They must have sent you to advanced car salesman 101...... ha.

I am still going to try and sell the pilot for a couple of weeks though, I am starting to get some interest now, even if I can get 15-16 for it I will be happy enough I think then I can use the cash to pay off some other stuff.

You have any LX models with the panaramic sunroof, those look pretty cool?

From: Subject: RE: 2011 optima
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 09:42:05 -0330
Ive seen cars that wouldn’t pass inspection due to rust after only 5 years, they were in the salt water air flat out but it happens. It is a trade incentive aswell when you sell the vehicle but we can tailor this exactly how you want it. So no Under coat, your payment will drop a few dollars or you can have $500 check back at the payment I just quoted you.
What color do you want and when do you want to pick it up?
Braden Bradley
Sales and Leasing Consultant
709-726-4542 Tel
709-726-4159 Fax

Sent: Friday, January 06, 2012 8:48 AM
To: Subject: RE: 2011 optima

I have to ask, can I decline the rust protection? Seriously, there is 0% chance of a new car rusting in 5 years.

From: Subject: RE: 2011 optima
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 09:11:34 -0330
Brendan ,
The price of the vehicle is $25950 including the freight and Pdi.
Other applicable fees include admin fee 299, rust protection 499, air conditioning tax 100 , tire tax 15, lic/reg/plates 140
Tax is 13%
Total finance price is 20,691.31
We have Black., metal bronze, white, satin metal, santorini blue, platinum graphite and spicy red.
The monthly payment is $353 monthly
And yes you can have no payments for 90 days aswell!
Let me know what you think,

Sales and Leasing Consultant

From: Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 9:02 PM
To: Subject: RE: 2011 optima
Last question..... maybe

On the website it looks like the Optima has no payments for 90 days.... you guys offering that?


ubject: RE: 2011 optima
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2012 17:46:02 -0330
We want your business, what can we make a deal at? If I can get you a bit more for you Honda could you over come that separation anxiety?

Sales and Leasing Consultant

Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 4:52 PM
Subject: RE: 2011 optima
It went to my junk mail, sorry about that. Yeah I can't part with it for $10,500, I will keep trying to sell for the remainder of this month. If I do sell then I will get back to you.

Thanks again.

From: bradenbradley@penneykia.com
To: bren_0990@hotmail.com
Subject: FW: 2011 optima
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2012 16:57:39 -0330
Hey, sorry you must not have received it!
I have it attached to this email.

Sales and Leasing Consultant

Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 3:23 PM
Subject: 2011 optima
Hey Brendan,
Your payments on that optima would be 163 bi weekly tax in on the road over 60 months. That would be at 0.9 % financing and include the trade of your pilot .
We can give you $10,500 for your Honda, that’s as good as 11900 on a private sale due to the tax break.
I know you’d like a bit more for your vehicle but the market really has swayed, the pilot is not a big seller or very sought after, people are after something with better gas consumption.
You’ve been looking for a vehicle for quite some time, and everyone who has appraised your vehicle has come in pretty close to that number so that does show that’s really all the money for that vehicle.
If you like our Optima and payments lets make a deal, you could be 6 months trying to sell that pilot which will make it depreciate more. Or I can get you into a new vehicle for the weekend and take that pilot off your hands.
Let me know your thoughts,

Sales and Leasing Consultant
709-726-4542 Tel
709-726-4159 Fax