Once Someone Buys a Car, You Have to Be Nice About It

Doug DeMuro
by Doug DeMuro
once someone buys a car you have to be nice about it

Allow me to set the stage. A friend of mine is looking for compact crossovers, so I recommend to her all the good ones. Mazda CX-5. Ford Escape. New Nissan Rogue. Even the CR-V and the RAV4, if she really can’t find anything she likes. So she goes, and she searches, and she looks, and she comes back days later with a new car. Do you know what she bought?

A Mitsubishi Outlander.

A Mitsubishi. Freakin’. Outlander.

Part of me wanted to scream at her. The other part of me wanted to get in the car, drive it back to the local Mitsubishi dealer, and offer them five grand cash to take it back, knowing that’s probably half of the depreciation it had already endured, simply as a result of the three diamonds on the grille.

But I didn’t do either of those things.

You know what I did? I told her she made an excellent choice, and the Outlander is a wonderful car, and I’m sure she will be very happy with it.

And this brings me to the point of today’s column, which is: once someone has already purchased a car, you can’t really do anything besides be nice about it.

To help explain what I mean, let’s take a step back from my situation and analyze it a little further. At first, this person came to me, a self-described automotive expert in the sense that I have jumper cables in my trunk, asking for an automotive recommendation. “What car should I buy?” she said. And I recommended several options; a few good choices that I think we all could agree are the stars of the compact crossover segment.

Then she went out searching for a new car, armed with my suggestions. And she test drove, and shopped, and looked, and drove, and shopped more, and haggled, and looked more, and drove more. And then she decided to ignore my suggestions and get the Outlander.

This can only mean one thing: she must REALLY like the Outlander.

The fact that she’s driving the Outlander also means that the money’s already spent. She’s already made her choice, she’s signed the papers, the car has been delivered, and there’s no give-backsies. This game of “what car should I get?” is over, and once again the shoppers listened to the salesman over the enthusiast.

And since that the money is spent, and the deal is done, and she’s driving the car, you might as well be nice. Because otherwise you’re just going to piss off your friend. Now that the purchase has happened, you just have to be nice, be courteous, and step back and watch the ownership experience of someone with a brand-new Mitsubishi. You should also limit yourself to one monthly I told you so.

It’s not the same situation if the car shopper is a car enthusiast, of course. In that case, you should make fun of his or her choice, mercilessly, regardless of what he purchased, for the rest of time. He could come home with a Miura, and you’d still want to say something like: What? Couldn’t afford a Lusso?

But for the average person, we as car enthusiasts have a duty to make sure our friends and loved ones purchase the right vehicle. And if they don’t, we as car enthusiasts have a duty to understand when someone’s mind is made up, and to bow out and be polite. Because there’s nothing worse than someone spoiling the purchase of your brand-new Mitsubishi Outlander by bringing up pesky things like J.D. Power scores. And NADA surveys. And reliability rankings. And resale value charts. And customer satisfaction scores. And Consumer Reports reviews.

No, no. You want your friends to feel satisfied, and happy, and enjoy every moment with their new car, until they step into a different new car and say: “Wait, you have a touchscreen infotainment system? Why do I only have pixels?”

Maybe next time they’ll listen to the car expert.

Join the conversation
12 of 138 comments
  • Chamar Chamar on May 18, 2015

    I read countless such threads, reviews and op'eds doing nothing but bashing Mitsubishi Outlander relentlessly. Again and again i searched for objective evidence in these aritcles .... but they had little more to offer than daddy issues. Outlander is a great value proposition and I got myself one, after test driving everything in this class, class above and below. No wonder, i am seeing more and more of these here in Eastern Ontario. The car isn't extra-ordinary in any respect, but has a personality and even more so given how much bashing its gets.

    • See 9 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 18, 2015

      @Corey Lewis Oh he's clearly insane. I like that. Also a proud graduate of the School of the Americas which means he's got his B.A. in terrorism with a minor in torture.

  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on May 20, 2015

    Value only if she keeps it forever. Mitsubishi resale being what it is. If she's a serial trader, that'll be another "How can it only be worth that much?" in the next dealers showroom. I liked the 2nd gen Outlander. I pretty much had the first gen Outlander, except it wasn't tall and AWD and was called the Sportback. But they were nearly identical mechanically. I had good experience with it, so I figured I'd give Mitsubishi another chance. We considered a used 07 Outlander Limited with only 7k miles before buying our Mazda 5. It was nice enough, the V6 was OK but the glaring cheapness and my wife's inability to get comfortable in the seats ended that. We even took it home for a night, but no deal. I like the styling of that 2nd gen. The new one is polarizing and bland at the same time. I'm sure it's an OK vehicle and for folks who don't care about cars and driving, OK is OK. A coworker of mine bought an Avenger. Not even Pentastar powered one, but it was the Blackout version or whatever they called it. He was thrilled, but he was also coming out of a tired 99 Grand Am. I was gracious and complimented him, because he knew I was into cars and he was happy. But I just wanted to say " WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!" A similar line is that my sister bought an 06 Eclipse GT. My brother and I told her to not get the one with 18" wheels, as 18's weren't all that common and expensive. She did and then she needed tires in a year or two, she was shocked at the cost. The car did look better with those 18's though.

  • Dukeisduke I tried watching the live reveal last night, but after 15 minutes of jawing by MT+ personalities (and yes, I like Chris Jacobs and Alex Taylor), I turned it off.
  • Paul MBAs gonna MBA.
  • Zipper69 Clearly beyond German thought processes to simply keep A for IC engine and use "E" for all other so you can have a A6 and a E6.
  • Ianw33 It makes me laugh how many complaints i see here in the comments section. Leave it to "car enthusiasts" to be unhappy with the fact that a mainstream auto manufacturer produced a 1K HP car with a warranty that isn't $250K+. can't we just be happy that something crazy/fun exists like this before its gone, even if its not your cup of tea?
  • YellowDuck This is a completely vulgar vehicle. I understand that that is the point, but still...pretty douchey.