This blog is a way for me to share hard learned lessons about money with those who are just starting out on their own. I hope it's a way for you to avoid making the mistakes I made, and to benefit from my experiences

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Car Buying Experience #3

Started looking for my 2nd car model I was interested in. It was the Ford Five Hundred. Dropped by the Ford Dealership not really expecting to think highly of it, but they had a fantastic sale of $6,000 below MSRP. They were getting rid of those models as they are being discontinued.

They had 1 car on the lot that looked great! Black with shale leather, oodles of features, really big and really classy looking interior and exterior. I got really excited and told the wife we're taking a test drive. What a dissapointment. The thing was seriously underpowered, seemed like it was having trouble finding the right gear, and basically drove like an underpowered oil tanker. Not very smooth or satisfying at all.

The dealer than put on the high pressure, putting the screws to me to try and sign, but they made one fatal mistake. While running my credit to see if I'd qualify, they left me alone for 10 minutes. I sat down and started making a pros and cons list for the Impala vs. the Five Hundred. The Impala only had 2 pros and 1 con. The Five Hundred had abotu 7 Pros, but also 7 cons. In the end, I just didn't like how it drove, but in every other respect it was superior to the Impala.

When I gave them my final no, the sales manager said he understood and basically said "What was Ford thinking putting that small engine in that big car?"

He then insisted I drive a used Lincoln LS. I did. It drove much nicer, but it was dark and we were tired and I just wasn't prepared to make an offer on a car I knew nothing about. He dropped $5,000 off the sticker to encourage me to sign. Again, very high pressure. The deal was that day only, being the last day of the month. In my mind, there was too much pressure. There was no reason I had to do it right then and there, so I left.

After I got home I checked edmunds. The car's value was indeed what the dealer said, about $28k. However, it was listed on the dealer's internet site for $23k. Basically, he was giving me his advertised price. Plus I had no way to verify the quality of the car at the time. No mechanic's inspection. No title history. Plus the wife wasn'tt hat happy with it. Too little room in the back seat.

While in there showroom, I noticed the Ford Fusion was bigger than I tought it was, so I expressed interest. As we were leaving that asked if I wanted to drive it, but we were tired, it was late, and I was done with high pressure tactics.

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