By on October 29, 2015

WRXMain

The Ford Focus ST and Subaru WRX were the two finalists in my new car search and the Focus ST seemed to be winning out due the extra incentives that were being advertised. I emailed a few Ford dealers in my area to negotiate an ST2 and a few Subaru dealers to see if they were offering any discounts that were not advertised.

The 2015 Focus ST might appear to be the best deal if you go by the advertised prices, but the 2016 WRX ended up being a great deal after talking to a few dealers. I was interested in the ST2 model of the Focus and got quotes of about $24,800 on a 2015 and around $26,700 on a 2016 based on all the discounts for which I qualified.

These quotes put the 2015 about $4,000 below MSRP while the 2016 would be about $2,000 under MSRP. The main sticking point pushing me towards a 2016 was the addition of SYNC3. Although, I mostly listen to podcasts while driving, I saw how much better SYNC3 was when I got to test it recently and figured it would help with resale value later on.

I was interested in a base trim 2016 WRX since I did not want a sunroof, but I was looking to get some other options. I found a few that matched what I was looking for with an MSRP of right around $28,200. I jumped on the Subaru forums to see if there was a friendly dealer that offered competitive pricing and found out that Heuberger Subaru in Colorado was offering pricing below invoice.

I picked a 2016 WRX on their site that matched what I was looking for that had an MSRP of $27,885 and emailed them for a quote. Their internet sales people got back to me very quickly and offered a price of $25,477. Suddenly, the WRX was in the running. I checked with a few auto transport brokers I had used previously and got a quote of $800 to ship a car from Colorado to my driveway, so my total price would be around $26,277 if I bought from them which still put that car about $200 under invoice.

My first stop locally was Flow Subaru in Winston Salem, NC. They had two models on the lot that were similar to what I was looking for and a few more on the way according to their website. I arrived on the lot and checked out the two models they had up front. Surprisingly, not a single salesman was in sight for the first 10 minutes I walked around them. I decided to walk inside and found myself standing at the entry watching a few people talking in their cubicles but no one really turning their head my way. I walked over to the cubicles and asked if I could test drive one of the cars. After playing hot potato with the keys, one salesman finally decided to walk out with me.

FlowSubaru

During the test drive, the salesman was pleasant enough and discussed a few points of the car with me. Once we got back, I gave them keys to my Cadillac so they could appraise it and was instructed by the manager to go back to the salesman’s cubicle while they worked out the pricing. I went back to the cubicle with the salesman and sat for about 25 minutes while the manager worked on the pricing.

A third person finally brought a sheet of paper with the full quote. The offered price was $27,437 which put at about $760 below MSRP and about $1,000 higher than the Heuberger quote even when shipping is accounted. The trade-in amount on the Cadillac was within the range of what I was expecting. I told the lady that handed me the paper that I would take the quote and compare with a couple of other offers before getting back to them. She told me that the sheet with the quote was not to leave the building. The salesman tried to make a save and offered to write down the selling price on his business card. I took the business card and thanked them, but their customer service had already ruined any chances of making a deal.

I went back online and decided that I wanted a blue car so I searched for all the World Rally Blue and Lapis Blue models in a 100 miles radius. I emailed all of the dealers and asked them to compete with the Heuberger quote. Johnson Subaru in Cary, NC responded with a very competitive price. Their model had about $300 more in options but they were willing to match the Heuberger price to the dollar. This put the price of their car even lower than Heuberger as I did not have to account for shipping costs.

I was pleasantly surprised with the communication from the team at Johnson Subaru. Once they saw that I was ready proceed, they transferred me to Vincent, who is one of their salespeople. I told him what I was looking to get for my trade and filled out their credit application so we could look at financing options. Subaru is currently offering a 2.9% interest financing special, but I knew that my credit could get me a better rate at the credit union so I wanted them to shop me around to a few banks and see if they could beat it.

I went ahead and got pre-approval from the credit union, but I would not need it as the dealership was able to get me a rate below 2 percent. I told them to send me the breakdown of all the pricing we had discussed and, since everything looked great, I made a plan to go ahead and purchase the car. I cleaned out the Cadillac, grabbed the title and prepared it for its final journey. Later, I picked up my dad and one of my best friends to join me on the 80 mile trip to Cary.

JohnsonSubaru

We arrived at the dealership about 10 minutes before closing and found the World Rally Blue WRX parked right in front and a smiling Vincent waiting for us. I gave him the keys and title to the Cadillac and went inside to meet the finance guy, Braden, to finish the deal. My cheerful mood came to a screeching halt when I sat down at the desk and Braden pushed all the paperwork to side. He told me in a serious tone that we needed to discuss some changes to the financing.

My first thought was that these guys were playing some type of long con but my fears were quickly alleviated when Braden informed me that my actual interest rate was about a quarter of percent higher than what they estimated earlier in the day, which would cause my monthly payment to be about $3 higher than the earlier estimate. I smiled but he still apologized and offered a discount on maintenance for the difference. I told him that it was not necessary and that we should proceed with the deal.

We were done with the paperwork in short order and I was sitting in my new WRX only 22 minutes after I had arrived at the dealership. Vincent came over to ask if I had any questions and brought over one of their delivery specialists to go over the car and assist me in pairing my phone if I needed it. I told them I was ready to head out and they gave me a few more quick tips before we were on our way.

I happily drove my new WRX from the lot and over to a nearby restaurant so that we could get some dinner. All three of us have experience in the dealer and service world and we discussed how the experience was smooth and easy.

In the end, I got a car that I am very happy with for almost $900 under invoice and am now back in a Subaru for my daily driving duties.

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110 Comments on “A Tale of Two Dealers...”


  • avatar
    Chan

    Congratulations on the cool new car!

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Why call it my WRX? The bank owns it until you make the final payment.

    • 0 avatar
      thatoneguy247

      In car financing the bank is a lien holder, not the owner of the vehicle. So pedantry aside, he says “my” because it’s correct.

      Great choice btw, Bozi. I test drove an WRX last year and loved it.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        In my state if you purchase a car with financing the registration and title will have the individual as the registered owner and the lender will be listed as the legal owner. The title will also be sent to that bank. It also make for great fun when you move to a different state and you want to license it in the new state. Thankfully my state will do a registration only process if you are just the registered owner and not the legal owner. However I’ve always called the vehicles that I’ve financed “mine” as so as it was driven off the lot, even if the paper work says otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        Synchromesh

        Actually Cactuar is correct. From what I gather in most states you won’t get the title to the car until it’s paid off and since OP doesn’t hold the title the car isn’t quite his. Another reason to save then pay all in cash straight up. And the banks can go screw themselves immediately. That’s how I do it most of the time.

    • 0 avatar
      windnsea00

      How old are you? That logic would be the same as telling someone not to say “my home” because they have a mortgage. God forbid you are renting a house or apartment and call it your place.

    • 0 avatar
      Dingleberrypiez_Returns

      Well this certainly wins the a-hole comment of the year.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      By the way, you don’t really “own” your house until you pay off the 30-year mortgage.

      Come on, the dude is financially responsible for the car and he is the primary driver. This kind of ribbing is only appropriate if daddy bought it for him ;)

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Congrats!

    Cary is a beautiful area. we’ve vacationed down there twice in the past few years. So easy to get to Raleigh-Durham and just so much to do and see. Karen loves that farmer’s market!

    Both times we stayed at the hotel (Hilton I think?) behind the Siemens building. Right next to Cary auto Mall in fact… you didn’t get a good offer from Hendricks?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I think its a good choice, enjoy it. But is the most interesting choice?

    • 0 avatar

      Some of the others may have been a bit more interesting but I think that it is the best overall choice for me and I will make it interesting in my own way.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Another point to remind yourself of is it is one of the more fiscally sound choices vs a more interesting one. I can’t think of much else that you wanted that won’t depreciate much, inc something practical such as a Mustang.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I would think that the WRX would have better depreciation, but there won’t be a big money difference between his two finalists.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Between those two new, I would also choose WRX.

            But I like to be fiscally irresponsible therefore it would be X350 for me… or some kind of customized RWD Volvo… or some other sick thing from the 90s.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I had an ST on an extremely short term lease. I wish I could have kept it. It’s probably better that I have the C-Max instead, as I just cracked 50K miles in less than 37 months.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’d have to look at ST, but Focus in general is not a new car buy without heavy incentive because it will drop too much. Better as CPO. You can’t buy a used WRX because of 1. what people do to them and 2. Subbie resale.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I wouldn’t recommend buying a GTI or WRX (and in some cases a Focus ST or Civic Si) used unless you can get a super clear picture of the car and previous owner. I sold my last GTI for well over Blue Book because it was a sub 50K mile example that was daily driven in Arizona by my wife. It also had no modifications and all service was performed by the VW dealer or me. The services I performed were also listed with supply receipts. I put it up on VWVortex and it was gone in a week.

          • 0 avatar

            I looked at one used 2015 WRX locally which had around 12k miles and was optioned in a similar manner as the one I ended up buying and it was listed for $1200 less than what I paid for the new one. The dealer also informed me that it had an aftermarket Blow-off Valve and Intake when I inquired which cemented my decision to buy new.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yeah…..new is the way to go. Who knows how that intake was done and what other modifications were removed.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This is probably why things like the Honda SI posted yesterday are considered to be so valuable. Certain models just get customized to hell by owners and they end up making them worse than stock.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            They make them worse, wound the cars, then remove all the stuff when they trade it in, then some poor unsuspecting person buys the time bomb.

            My cousin has done that with his last three GTIs. He even stanced one. Just to be safe, I feel like no one should buy a used GTI that is white. It could be his.

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            Forget about how the car looks…I’d be more worried about the previous owner beating the hell out of the car, riding the clutch on hills and/or at stoplights, and especially with the WRX, 5k RPM clutch drops. ;)

            Personally, I’d never buy a performance car used.

  • avatar
    Joss

    What a pain in the neck.. Why should everybody have to go through this? All for one big pat on the back.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Most of this was done from a keyboard. I suppose the most efficient and convenient way is to walk into the first dealership you come across and just pay them what they want.

      I appreciate the methodology and patience in Bozi’s process. Seems to have paid off.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Nice! First track day is when?

    • 0 avatar

      First order of business is to get used to the car and break it in. After that, I plan to find some good instruction and take it to the track

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        Well since you’re in NC, you’re probably less than 3 hours from VIR. I come down from DC area (more like 5) and I definitely say it’s worth the trip. Carolina motorsports park is even closer, and fun too from what I’ve heard talking to people at the VIR events I’ve attended.

        • 0 avatar

          I am about an hour away from VIR and two and a half hours away from Carolina Motorsports Park. I have worked on a few cars for guys that race and do track instruction so I will be looking to them soon. VIR has their $25 charity laps coming up so I might ride up there since it’s a cheap way to get a look at the track.

  • avatar
    ajla

    In FL you always have to get OTD price quotes because dealer fees here range from $0 to $2000 and they’ll often “forget” about the $600 mudflaps and $250 pinstripes on a “normal” quote.

    • 0 avatar

      I see some of that around here and I made sure to ask for a full breakdown of the price showing the out the door price along with the terms of the deal so I had something that I could print that showed proof of what was promised.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      In San Diego, I’ve looked at cars that were experiencing an average level of demand that had over 10% in dealer shenanigans displayed on their ADM window stickers. When the salesmen approach, I ask them if that’s what they’re getting for cars that aren’t in short supply. “That’s where we like to start the conversation.” Great. I want the car for free, or at least a straight trade for my old car. Oh, so you do know what ridiculous means?

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I was looking at A couple Hyundai Genesis this week and ran the truecar numbers. i can get what I’m looking for around $33k before tax based on TC. The same optioned model at our biggest local volume dealer? $50k dealer posted price for a V6, RWD, one trim above base model dealer posted price. It’s almost like they don’t want to sell the car.

      It almost makes TrueCar a god-send, at least in terms of negotiating power on new cars. If you find the car you want, bring up the same options on TrueCar and tell them to beat it or you walk basically. Note: the only reason to do this would be finding a color you want, because otherwise, wouldn’t you just use it?

      Looking at their pricing really turned me off of the idea of lightly used as well given what most dealers I’m seeing are asking for <2yr old models. For $2k more You could have a new one in a lot of situations.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Somehow I’m not surprised – I didn’t find the Ford dealers in western Washington all that interested in selling a FiST earlier this year.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Ford dealerships in the rest of the country need to learn from Ford dealerships in the Detroit area. I know several dealerships that will order whatever you want or find it for you at another store. I don’t know why it’s so hard.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        I’ve dealt with plenty of Ford dealers in the Detroit area that were sub par. When the current fusion came out they thought it was now made of gold. If you don’t qualify for a or z plan they don’t seem very interested. Each time I’ve been to a Subaru dealer, they start by offering me the advertised price. At Ford dealers they laugh it off. I’ve had them tell me the pope can’t get the price in the ad. Apparently that’s their joke price.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Pat Milliken Ford in Redford is the Ford dealership I typically recommed. I’ve seen them do plenty of deals close to A-plan pricing for the general public (I used to be involved in indirect auto finance for a large lender). They will also order almost anything you want without a deposit. If it’s something weird like a 1.0T Fiesta with zero options, expect to put down some cash when you order.

          On the other hand, in college, I lived across the hall from the son of the guy that owns a Ford dealership in Wayne and a Lincoln dealership in Dearborn. They do good body work, but I would never buy a car from them.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Those Focus ST prices aren’t great. I was looking at a couple of those cars last year, and the prices I was getting were about $5,000 off MSRP with the Z-plan and rebates combined. I didn’t like the car though, and those Recaros were the worst part. My advice would have been to find a friend associated with Ford for the discount, but I hope you’re happy with the WRX.

  • avatar
    z9

    For the Focus, did you investigate the Ford X Plan, which is a kind of employee friends and family discount? I think there are some online clubs you can join to get an X Plan code or whatever it’s called. Of course, for some people, joining, say, a Mustang owner’s group in order to get access to better pricing might be the equivalent of becoming a member of the Catholic church to get a discount on school tuition.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Thanx for this Bozi ;

    I worked for Dealers 40 years ago and they were sleazy then to the point of me not buying a new vehicle even with employee discount .

    I’m keen to hear how you like this car and how it holds up .

    My Son has a WRX Wagon he’s modified and raced , it’s pretty reliable .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar

      I also own a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT which has been modified extensively and is now a project car. I learned all about the EJ25 motor on that car and hope to do the same with this FA motor. The Legacy has become a permanent project car and no longer boasts a Subaru powertrain but it played a small factor in choosing this new car.

      I have already noticed some similarities on the WRX including the fact that the front brake calipers are the same part number as the stock ones on my Legacy.

      I have worked for dealers and even ran my own used car lot and the industry is changing for the better and some dealers get it. The dealer that got my sale gets it but some of the other ones I spoke with or visited still try to make it with old tricks.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Stupid question , O.K. ? .

        Does Subaru still make plain vanilla cars with non breaking engines like the ones that made the company in America 40 years ago ? .

        The WRX is nice and all but timing belts every 80,000 miles or the engine explodes and the car gets junked is not my idea of good dollar value .

        TIA ,

        -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          They have chains now.

        • 0 avatar

          The EJ series motors had some head gasket issues in the late 90s and early 2000s but those were resolved in most of the post 2002 cars. The timing belt does have to be changed at the prescribed interval but i liked to run Gates Racing belts on anything that I modified past factory specs.

          I am just learning about the FA motor but it does have a timing chain so timing belts are no longer on the maintenance list. The main item from a reliability point that I am interested in is how the direct injection, PCV, and CCV systems affect deposits on the valves and will be monitoring it.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Can you give us (well, me anyway) a story about the 05LGT some day?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Wait, what? No longer has a Subaru powertrain? Even with the massive aftermarket for the EJ255? Need to know more.

        • 0 avatar

          The story of car starts with its rescue from a salvage auction: http://www.hoonable.com/legacy-gt-from-totaled-to-torquey-part-1/

          I modified it and bastardized it and eventually ended up running a large turbo and built motor.

          After I popped my last motor running at the drag strip I decided my next build would be something different so I ripped everything out and sold it off.

          I decided to put an LS motor into it and the story of how I sourced the motor is here: http://www.hoonable.com/500hp-free/

          The car currently has the motor I built above, a CTS-V 6-speed, and a Q45 rear differential. It’s a bit of an extended project and once my garage is complete I hope to finish up the wiring and few odds and ends and get it on the road.

          I went with the LS motor as I had just completed and LS swap into a buddy’s Miata and we found it to perform quite well. I’ll try to share more about the Legacy once the project gets back under way.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I just don’t understand how the management of car dealerships can be so bad. They have a fortune tied up in the physical plant and the inventory, yet totally disinterested sales help. I have, over the years, gone to buy cars with my wife with me. She has little patience for the process and wants to buy and get out. I have had to drag sales people away from their water coolers and from their co-workers, to show us a car. Do middle class couples sticking their heads into mini-vans appear to be “Looky Lous”?
    Its really a self fulfilling prophecy to them..indifferent attitude leads to no sale. If you don’t buy, the sales staff says that you didn’t “look” like a buyer so why should they bother to help you.
    I think that the auto shows and internet pricing has been more time effective for me that visiting my local dealerships. However, I’ll reward past good service by making that dealership my first stop when looking for a new ride.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      The walk in, get ignored thing drives me nuts, especially when a dealership isn’t obviously busy. Like a restaurant, it’s the kind of business where nothing happens until the employees interface with a potential customer. Sometimes it’s not even clear if there’s someone who is a receptionist/host. As bad as overly pushy staff is, this is a thousand times worse.

    • 0 avatar
      fdoyon

      Most dealerships in the province of Quebec are exactly like that. I can’t believe how disrespectful dealers are to people who are looking to spend thousands of dollars on a vehicle. I’m a 32-year-old professional and I still don’t get taken seriously at car dealerships.

      On a side note, can anybody explain to me why american dealers will negociate financing terms based on your credit score and whatnot, whereas in Quebec, you get the same awful rate (3.9% or more) whether you’re some unemployed deadbeat or a heart surgeon ?

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      My theory is that enough people get their feelings hurt by being ignored and then “prove” they were important people by spending more than they otherwise would. I can’t imagine it working on anyone, but I can’t come up with a better explanation that makes it a rational behavior either.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I always make an appointment when I am interested in looking at a car or cars. Shows that you are really interested. But I won’t talk numbers face to face, that is what e-mail is for. Makes the process effortless.

      I’m kind of the opposite of many people when it comes to being approached by sales people. It irritates the crap out of me. Leave me alone to browse, I will find you if I need you. Or make an appointment.

      • 0 avatar
        sproc

        I hate being stalked by salespeople, too. But there’s a happy middle. A simple: “Welcome to [dealership], please feel free to look around and if you need assistance please just let me know and we’ll have someone ready to help you.” goes a long way.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          That’s like my first new car buy. Mouse of a salesman at Honda dealer WON’T leave me alone as I’m just trying to look. Finally did get a test drive, and he ultimately got a two-fer by selling me my 1994 Civic and leasing my Dad’s 2nd Accord, but it was irritating.

          To this day, if I want to browse inventory, I drive through the lot, staying in the car, since I’ve been put-upon IMMEDIATELY after opening the door! ::Shudders!::

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    Well executed purchase.This article has tons of useful info on how to buy a new car. Thanks for that.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    More articles from Bozi, please.

    Clear, concise reportage without grandstanding forays into tawdriness or labored snark.

    Congrats on scoring a car you’ll really enjoy. And damn, that’s a gorgeous blue.

  • avatar
    Boff

    Nice job on a cool car and a great deal. I have to wonder WTF “invoice” even means any more, tho…

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    I’m glad the dealer’s finance “error” was tiny and that they were willing to make up for it with free service.

    We have a Focus SE with the 5 speed manual. FWD is fine with only 160 hp. I think 270 would make it squirrelly at full throttle in lower gears. Since the WRX is all wheel drive, you won’t have that problem. Of course, you could have gotten a Focus RS, with 350 hp and all wheel drive, for a mere $14,000 extra.

  • avatar
    April S

    I’m sorta doing the same thing now. Deciding between a Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic or a leftover 2015 Honda Civic. It’s weird how the Sonic and the Civic are coming in at the same discount price.

  • avatar
    EAF

    Does the FA20 have the same oil consumption problems as the FB20 & FB25?

    I was at a Mitsubishi vs Subaru shootout in NJ’s Englishtown Raceway last weekend. I was impressed with some of the faster Subaru’s. A couple of years ago the Subie’s were seriously outgunned, this time around they held their own.

    Goodluck to you and your new ride!

  • avatar

    I had a disappointing dealership experience today. I have been looking at a pre-owned Porsche, and I wanted to compare the Lexus RC-F to the Porsche.Two years ago, I bought two new Lexi, an RX350 and a GS350 from the local Lexus dealer. A few months ago, I called the Lexus salesman who sold me the cars and asked to have a test-drive in the RC-F. He said that they were not permitted to offer test-drives in the RC-F. I was seriously interested in purchasing the car, and strongly, but politely, expressed my displeasure. He called a day later, was very apologetic, and said I could have the test-drive any time I liked. I was tired of working with this dealership, and I put the RC-F on the back burner. Fast forward to this morning. I walked into the Lexus store to see if they had RC-F on the lot. There was none outside, so I walked into the showroom, looking for the car. As I walked into the store, my previous salesman, who I did not see when I entered, said hi to me. He was sitting in an armchair and appeared to be doing nothing. I walked around the showroom floor to see what they had there. He never said another word, no, “How can I help you?” no, “Are you looking for anything special today?” not even, “How is your GS running?” I could not believe that he ignored me. There are plenty of Lexus dealers in this area. This guy just lost a customer.

  • avatar
    jmo

    My understanding is they don’t run over to you when you walk in anymore as they had too much negative feedback from customers who resented being pounced on.

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    Congrats on the car. As a WRX owner myself, allow me do a happy dance! I have a ’12 Hatch and even though it’s probably best time to sell it off I’m very reluctant to do so as it is a jack of all trades and a great care to boot. Hope you enjoy yours!

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I am curious as to how you expect someone to live when selling cars on that low of a margin? Price was the only factor? No wonder America has a love/hate relationship with dealers. You get what you deserve.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Nice car.
    Good decision making process.
    I am very looking forward to your review with more pictures.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Come to Vegas if you want bad dealers. This is a population island and they treat you as though they are the only game in town.

    I’m looking for a CPO Prius right now. There are 4 Toyota dealers in Vegas, and they all think their poop doesn’t stink and their CPO cars are worth $2000 over market.

    Fortunately, there are two other small-town Toyota dealers ~150 miles away. They both want my business and have pricing in line with reality. I’m just waiting for them to get the right car for me into stock.

    4-5 hours of driving is a lot better than local dealer hassles.

  • avatar
    vvk

    I don’t get it. What happened to buying a Focus? Is half of this article missing or do kids write like this these days?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’m not sure what you mean. He says that the Focus wasn’t a good deal and left it at that. He’s a lot older than you probably think he is.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        From my reading he got an initial quote on the Focus then went looking at the Subie and when he really decided that is what he wanted he put more effort into getting a good price on that. Chances are he could have found a better deal on the Focus if that is what he really truly wanted. And if that is what he truly wanted he would have payed more for the Focus he wanted over the Subie he didn’t.

        • 0 avatar

          Pretty much spot on. Once I found that the WRX was well within my price range I went for it. The pricing on the Focus may have had just a little more room but in the end the WRX won out.

          • 0 avatar
            vvk

            But WHY did you pick a WRX? To me, it seems incredible that pricing was the primary decision factor for you but even if that is the case, you do not say it in the article. You don’t say “I liked WRX more and the price was good.” Or “I liked Focus ST and WRX about the same but the Subie won in the end because of the price.”

            You say absolutely nothing about your reasons to pick the WRX. You just say something like “oh, the price is lower than I thought, so I went to test drive the WRX.” Did you like the WRX more? Did you think it handled better? Did it seem more/better/tighter/prettier/whatever? Nothing.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “..do kids write like this these days?”

      If only.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    1) Fantastic car, and one of the best colors
    2) MOAR ARTICLES. Seriously – your writing is top notch.

  • avatar
    tnk479

    WRX’s are great fun cars. I bought a 2011 Blue WRX Premium for $27,000 in Fall of 2011 just as the 2011 inventory was winding down. Though I could afford an STI, I decided for every day driving the WRX is more practical. The 265 hp engine was a good match for the cars handling capabilities. The turbo whine was great. The handling and steering feel were a lot of fun. The stick shift was too sloppy – it really needed a slicker shifter. The sound system was garbage. It was ugly as hell. I sold it after three years for a new car but I miss it sometimes. In other words, I am jealous. Have fun with your new WRX!

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Nice car. Generally speaking, though, I am often surprised that car buyers spend so much time trying to get the absolutely last possible dollar off of a new car then trade in their old car, leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

    Never in my life have I not been able to get at least $1500 to $2000 more for my old car by selling it myself vs what dealers offered as a trade. And these were quick sales on sub-$10k cars. I could have held out for more if I had the desire.

    Of course, I lived in states that didn’t give one the tax advantage from the trade-in, but I have to assume dealers in those states factor that in to their wholesale offers, anyway.

    • 0 avatar

      That is a good point and in most cases I try to sell on my own but in this case the car had a salvage history and needed tires and few other maintenance items to the tune of around $1200 before I would deem it worthy to sell. I put all the numbers on paper and figured that if I made it sell-worthy I might break even or even lose some money so I decided that the trade-in route would work better.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I get it but trade-ins can have other value depending on the person/car.

      First, and most likely it’s a cash flow problem for the original owner. They need to use their old car as a portion of their down payment on the new one, and it needs to happen now, so they’re willing to lose a couple grand on the “now” part.

      Second, it may be a space issue – they have space for x cars, but not enough for x+1 for the time period until the old one sells.

      Third, if they sell prior to buying they still have to hope they get the deal they want as well as deal with transport to/from the dealer. If they end up in a rental for a few days (assuming you’re not buying a volume model), they might eat into that margin between trade and private party.

      Fourth, is the value of the old car. Yes, it’s easy to deal with a vehicle that’s valued at less than $5k because most people shopping privately in that range are cash buyers. However from my experience selling privately, once you’re into value ranges cresting $10k, you’re going to potentially be dealing with potential scammers and fake checks, uncomfortably large amounts of cash, and people who are interested and have financing fall through. It gets nerve wracking and frustrating.

      And lastly, not everyone has the patience or know-how to do a private sale, or the ability to sit on a car for an extended period of time. I bought a car and had to sit on my old one for almost 3 months before it finally sold.

      When you look at all of those factors, there is a definite value to trade-ins, and we’ve priced that value at around $2k.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      If you sell a car to a private buyer with a loosened serpentine belt to hide the rod-knock, a diff full of sawdust, and a subframe JB Welded together, it’s “fraud” and “reckless endangerment”. If you trade the same car in, it’s “as-is” and “part of the game”

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Great well written article about your experience, and great car too.

    How much of the experience do you think was down to using e-mail vs. arriving in person cold at a dealership? I’m thinking the e-mail approach sets you up as “aloof” and the dealer needs to work now or lose you, whereas showing up means they can play their games.

    And how did you manage to get an acceptable trade in value on the Cadillac sight unseen, and with no checking the car when you finally arrived to trade it? or did I miss reading something.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks. I actually had a small amount of internet interaction with the first dealer as I had inquired about available cars on their website and the financing pre-approval I completed with Subaru was forwarded to them since they were my closest dealer.

      They might not have known that I was serious walking in but as soon as they put my info in the computer I saw their CRM pop-up with my earlier interaction and the pre-approval information. This should have pushed them to complete a sale but it appears that they just did not care.

      As far as the trade-in, I looked at online auction values for similar cars and came up with an average price. I decided to ask for $500 more than this value. I emailed the dealer with the VIN and was straightforward with the condition and he was able to meet me within $200 of that price.

  • avatar
    PeterKK

    AWEsome. You’re over in my neck of the woods? I guess 80 mile radius covers a lot of ground. I’m in Clayton SE of Raleigh.

    Car looks super great. I am sure you’ll be happy with it.

    Dealers are so weird. Some of them really don’t seem like they want you to sell you a car. We found that a bunch while shopping for our van. Granted this was all used lots, but man it was weird. I guess all you need to sell cars is cars these days? Do they really sell themselves that well now?

    • 0 avatar

      I am in the Triad but have been through Clayton a few times when going to the auto auction there. The car will be heading west towards Asheville this weekend for a proper break in on NC-226 and neighboring roads.

      There are many dealers that are indifferent and will sell cars just based on geographic location but the guys that pay attention to their customers thrive.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Schweet! I love new cars. That dealership sounds like the best in the universe. Report back on any service experiences.

    I’d have a WRX in my garage if they hadn’t killed the hatchback.

    I keep hoping!

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    “The sheet with the quote is not to leave the building.”

    What, precisely, would they have done to stop you (or I)?

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