That’s actually our favorite way to car shop. Neither the Knight nor I like pushy salespeople, so around here, the best way to shop unmolested is on Sundays or any other time the dealerships are closed. (No offense to any sales people or their kin…)
We spent a lot of time over the weekend peering into windows and driving through lots. Interestingly, there’s not much we agree upon, and to refresh memories, yes the Knight has a big stake in this purchase, because he’ll drive it as much as I do, since it will be our road trip mobile as well.
THAT was my “Are you kidding me!?” moment. The Knight seriously thought perhaps I would at least give it a test drive. Hello? It’s too low to the ground for starters, it’s too narrow, and it lacks cargo room, much less the ADDITIONAL cargo room I thought WE were seeking. Now, the color’s great, but clearly the man got carried away with his the idea that we’d prefer better fuel economy in the next ride.
2010 Chevy Equinox
THIS was seriously considered, despite its narrow size and the slight loss in cargo space (as compared to the Beastie.) The seats are comfortable and that greatly improved MPG is hard to resist, but I just don’t think we can do narrower and a loss of cargo.
I was VERY impressed with the Hyundai Veracruz, but with a touch of irony, there were none available to test drive in my area. The local dealership has two 2008 demos, but one was on the showroom floor and the other was in the shop, having just been surrendered from its life as a demonstrator. The salesman was also way too coy when I tried to get a better idea of just HOW much they were willing to deal since it was a demonstrator and lacked a couple of features we really wanted, but could probably live without, if our palms were properly greased. (He’s lucky the Knight wasn’t along at that point; the Knight doesn’t do well with smart answers and slick salesmanship.) There ends the Veracruz’s chance of coming to live at Haddon Woods.
The Subaru Tribeca remains high on my list, but the Knight wouldn’t even get out at look at it, so I’m not sure what that means.
I truly had a few minutes hours of car lust, after we parked next to an Infiniti FX45 at dinner. It eliminated itself via my trusty Blackberry’s happy search while we tromped through Home Depot, the Knight shopping and me whispering longingly about the beautiful java-colored leather interior I’d spied. I didn’t really care that its fuel mileage is worse than that of most of the Knight’s big ol’ trucks, nor did I care that it wouldn’t even hold all of the loot from a big run to the grocery store. Luckily, the Knight is immune to my whims and held firm.
Sunday evening, we also checked out several other vehicles and went home thinking that perhaps we should just suck it up and look at a newer version of Beastie. That’s still definitely an option, but *I* still want more cargo room, and the newer models only add very small bit of cargo room and about one MPG of improved fuel economy.
Still with me? Let me backtrack and note I eliminated the VW Touareg on sight. It was my favorite in photos, but in person, we didn’t hit it off, and we can’t afford the TDI (diesel) option to provide even decent fuel mileage. The Knight ditched the Honda Pilot as too wide, since I keep insisting we don’t need another full sized vehicle.
Two more hurdles, and this car update will be done.
We wanted to check out the Mazda crossovers, but they didn’t have a CX-9 in stock, and the CX-7 is way too small. I’m still not sure this is off the table, but as with many of these manufacturers, the features we want require a fully-loaded vehicle, which often includes features we don’t need or want. Used is ALWAYS an option; I like letting someone else take the depreciation hit when they drive off the lot.
While there, we also saw a used Acura MDX, which interestingly enough, is the vehicle that lead us to the lot where we ended up buying Beastie. I need to wrap up this post and call and see which model it is, and whether or not it has the features we want. Of course, I’m also going to ask about the CX-9…
Interestingly, the Knight has decided the Ford Edge offers no extra room with extra exterior width. I can’t decide whether I like the nose on it or not, so I think the current list looks like this (in no particular order):
- Subaru Tribeca, whether the Knight likes it or not. (Of course, if he’d just SAY he doesn’t like it, that would end it, but silence means I can still consider it, right?)
- Another Lexus, most likely a used 330.
- Acura MDX
- Mazda CX-9
I don’t like that there are no American companies on there (or does Mazda count?), but I haven’t checked to see where these vehicles are assembled. It won’t be a deal-maker or breaker, but I do feel a bit guilty.
As always, I appreciate your comments and input. I do have to note that the VW/Audi salesman was willing to check with his manager when I joked about the strange, recessed bottom cushion in the center of their Q7’s back seat, to see if I could test drive with the dogs. (Now YOU and I know that’s out of my price range, but still… Brownie points for not just laughing at me when I gasped over the design.)
I also have to point out that I expect this vehicle to last close to 10 years, so once you schlep through this painful process with me, hopefully we won’t do it again ANY time soon!