March 10, 2008

505 words 3 mins read

Car Shopping – Day 2 – Done

Well, I had grand plans to go car shopping again today. I was planning to go test drive a Ford Focus, Acura TSX, Toyota Prius and then the Honda Civic Hybrid (again). Well, it didn’t work out quite as I planned. I started out at the Toyota dealership, and that’s basically as far as I got. Long story short, I test drove, and ended up with a new Prius. So let me give a quick run down of my time at the dealership and then my impressions from the drive.

First, the dealership. I went to Dublin Toyota, and I actually started at the used car lot. They had four ‘07 Prius’s present, all with low millage, which surprised me. I drove one, and while it was fine, it (as well as the other used ones) didn’t have a Nav system or Bluetooth — and I really wanted Bluetooth. So we wandered over to the new vehicles lot and found just what I wanted. I spent A LOT of time haggling with these guys. I didn’t plan to buy a vehicle that day, I wanted to take a few days (cool down, basically). They tried their damnedest to get me to buy a car right then — which in the end they did. I managed to get them to go from me paying $2,500+ extra for them to take my lease off my hands, to only paying about $500. Also I went from a 6.9% finance rate to a 4.99% rate, partially because I had already been pre-approved for a 5.39% on Capital One. All in all, I’m pleased. I would have liked the process better if they hadn’t pushed so damn hard. I don’t mind haggling but I do mind spending 10 minutes explaining and re-explaining my desire for my own personal cool down period.

Ok, to the car itself. I got a 2008 Toyota Prius in Silver with option package #5. Which basically means I have all the niceties except for leather. It has smart keys, Bluetooth, an upgraded sound system, and Navigation (among other things). It drives well. Much like the Toyota Camry I drove yesterday it is rather quieter in terms of road noise. The chairs are also comfortable. It’s got enough power in the engine to satiate my desires. No, it doesn’t drive like a sport car, but it does drive like a smooth sedan. I noticed that the Prius has a bit more kick that the Civic Hybrid — especially off the line. This is due to the fact that the Civic does not use electric only for low speeds. That is where electrics really shine too. I also tested the top speed (a little), I got it up to 95 no problem — will easily exceed 100 mph (would have tested farther, but my mother was turning pale at 90).

I’ve got a few words on the electronics (namely the navigation system) but I’ll save those for another day — until I get more familiar with the system.