Dealer dance covers all the bases

‘I’m not a car guy,’ baseball fan admits, but lands great deal by doing homework

Matthew Ives knows how Dice-K of the Boston Red Sox throws a gyro ball, but don’t ask him to explain the difference between a turbo intercooler and an air conditioning condenser.

As a baseball fanatic, self-employed communications consultant and single dad of two, Ives never found the time to read a Chilton’s auto repair manual from cover to cover – which makes him no different from 99.8 per cent of the buying public.

“Shamefully, I suppose I’m just not a car guy,” he shrugs.

Until recently, Ives, 44, invested about as much time and forethought into buying a car as most people spend shopping for toothpaste.

“I bought my first car, a 1985 Honda CRX, second-hand from my boss’s boyfriend because I had just started a job and it was contingent on me having one,” Ives recalls wolfenstein for free.

Having never driven a manual-transmission car, Ives took matters into his own hand and rented a five-speed Ford Fiesta on his first business trip, learning to manipulate a stick and clutch on the chaotic streets of Lisbon, Portugal.

His first new car was a Honda Civic coupe, which he purchased one afternoon after having done zero homework.

“It was a miserable car and I purchased it without any knowledge of the process. Looking back, I know I was completely ripped off. I paid what the dealer wanted me to pay.”

After that experience, he bought a 1998 Chrysler Sebring convertible from his friend’s father over the phone. A dealer’s demonstrator, it was delivered to his home and – despite Ives’ chronic disinterest in car shopping – turned out to be his best purchase to date download digital ikea family map.

But he vowed the next time would be different.

With the recent completion of his Haliburton cottage, Ives realized he needed a four-wheel-drive sport utility if he wanted to use the property year-round.

“I had to bite the bullet and get an SUV, instead of stressing out about how I was going to get to this place I had spent so much money on.”

With two kids and a small dog, a five-seater initially made sense. Until he gave it some more thought and began to see advantages in something bigger.

“When you’re shopping in the $30,000 to $40,000 range, you have options available to you,” he says. “Making the trip with a friend and her kids all in one car was really appealing to me.”

All he knew about SUVs was that he liked the Nissan Murano his pal drove download dumbo. If he hadn’t resisted his old habit, he probably would have walked into a showroom and bought one unconditionally.

Instead, Ives and his 15-year-old son Satchel attended the Canadian International AutoShow in February to kick all the tires under one roof.

“It was an overwhelming experience,” he recalls. What was supposed to have been a time-saving trip left him reeling from sensory overload. There were too many choices.

Fortunately, at least two models stuck in his head, if only because they sounded similar: the Saturn Outlook and Mitsubishi Outlander.

He started his search in earnest, visiting dealers and requesting test drives.

The first stop was a Mitsubishi dealer. Out on the road, the Outlander quickly lost some of its shine vlc player vollversion kostenlos downloaden. Bristling with high-tech features, such as keyless ignition and paddle shifters, it left Ives feeling cold.

“The technology was not relative to me,” he remembers. He also disliked the tiny jump seats that unfolded behind the rear bench.

Ives stopped at a Hyundai dealer to check out the all-new Santa Fe – and was pleasantly surprised. It drove very smoothly and offered the interior space of a true seven-passenger with useable rear-most seats.

He then walked into the Nissan dealer next door. He did a double take at the Murano’s window sticker: $41,098 for the basic AWD model, whereas the other well-equipped models he had priced were in the $35,000 range anno 1404 profil herunterladen fehlgeschlagen.

“I couldn’t come up with one good reason why I needed a Murano, other than it looked great. It was too expensive.” After a quick glance at the competitively priced X-Trail, Ives hit the trail himself.

The Saturn Outlook, GM’s new eight-passenger SUV, was big and bold and filled with comfort features that would not look out of place in a minivan – fitting, since the model is rumoured to replace GM’s front-drive vans.

“Driving it felt very sedate, non-responsive. There was nothing wrong with it, but I had a problem with the no-haggle price policy. It’s a shame, because this was the vehicle that impressed me the most at the AutoShow.”

Immediately after driving the Saturn, Ives dropped into a Mazda dealer to sample the CX-7 and CX-9. The contrast was stark.

“I remember thinking: `I love this car’,” Ives recalls of the turbocharged CX-7, his face brightening xnotar herunterladen. “I was really surprised by the acceleration.” With its raked windshield and low-profile tires, he found it hard to believe it was an SUV at all.

But the five-seater CX-7 was small, and practicality concerns kicked in: “I felt I was going to regret the purchase eventually.”

Ives drove the larger CX-9 and discovered it was a very different beast that did not replicate the sensations of the smaller one. He moved on.

At a Honda dealer, he felt compelled to challenge the salesperson after being introduced to the refrigerator-styled Element.

“Do you feel comfortable selling that?” he asked, astonished by its homeliness. The Pilot parked next to it fared little better. Ives cheered up when he spotted the new CR-V.

Honda’s four-cylinder sport utility drove like a car and was very pleasant inside and out herunterladen. But it was ultimately too small and didn’t offer third-row seating. Ives went down the street to a Toyota store.

The RAV4 was a handsome unit – but Ives only got to sit in one. The CN Rail strike had crippled shipments of the trucklet and the dealership had no demonstrators. The Toyota offered two jump seats in the far back, but the space seemed awfully cramped.

At a Ford dealership, Ives was left standing in a largely empty and quiet showroom for more than 10 minutes. He then walked around the new Oakville-built Edge crossover, but he noticed there were no third-row seats.

And still no sales reps in sight. So he left.

Ives was pleasantly surprised by the Suzuki XL7, a brand-new model that had just been introduced pixel gun 3d to download. It offered good space inside, the requisite seven seats, nice furnishings and a reasonable price tag.

“It was more than I expected from Suzuki, to be honest,” he says. A spin around the block confirmed his initial impressions: it was a contender.

In fact, after visiting nine manufacturers’ dealerships and considering 10 SUVs, eight of which were newly released (demonstrating just how competitive and profitable the SUV/crossover market is), it had come down to just two vehicles for Ives: the Suzuki XL7 and the Hyundai Santa Fe.

He immediately returned to the Hyundai dealer to test drive the Santa Fe back-to-back with the Suzuki. The Alabama-built Hyundai felt a little tighter, quieter and more luxurious. Quite simply, it left a better impression in his mind.

“My priorities were comfort and practicality. But I had to enjoy driving it, too,” says Ives microsoft open office gratis downloaden. “To be honest, after I saw the Santa Fe the first time, I was comparing everything else I saw to it. I dismissed a lot of the others pretty quickly.”

His quest had ended: he was buying the Hyundai.

Getting the best price would be the final stage. He approached the dealer that had shown him the model, not sure if he would need to move on to another Hyundai store.

But it became obvious that his rep was keen to close the sale.

“He knew a lot about the competition – both the products and the financing deals – and his confidence showed.”

Ives specified the top-of-the-line Santa Fe GLS, which included all the luxuries, except for a navigation system (which he stridently didn’t want) and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, which the dealer would install through a third party.

The list price was $35,995 plus $1,545 freight and PDI, as well as air and gas taxes and “theft protection” at $399. The aftermarket DVD player was another $1,200 how can I my pictures from icloud. It totalled $39,474 plus GST and PST.

Ives was able to whittle the total down to $36,292 plus tax, although he thought it should have been rounded off to $36,000. Still, he was happy with his negotiations.

“I don’t think I would have gotten a better deal if I had spent two days shopping all the Hyundai dealers in the GTA,” he says.

We asked car broker Mark Derry of CarSense to provide his pricing on the same model (with an aftermarket DVD) and he came up with $36,636 – not including his $385 search fee, which would have saved Ives a month of showroom drudgery.

Mohamed Bouchama of Car Help Canada told us the dealer price of the Santa Fe GLS is $33,460.

His all-in club price is $36,955, including the standard $500 transaction markup and $50 club membership fee.

For a guy who claims to know nothing about buying cars, Ives drove a hard bargain.

And, having lived with the deal and the truck for a month, Ives doesn’t have that stomach-churning feeling known as buyer’s remorse.

“When you invest the time to make an informed decision and negotiate a good price, you feel better about your purchase,” he smiles. “I have no regrets.”



May 12, 2007

The Toronto Star