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21 November 2009 @ 07:43 pm
I'm sure you're all tired of this by now...  

I called a couple of the places on PCH, and none of them had any Priuss or Matrixs. The Toyota place said they had some used Priuss on their website though, so i took the bus down there.

I wandered around the lot looking at the cars for awhile, and blew off the first two sales people who tried to talk to me. I found five different used Priuss. A silver 2009 for $25.6k, two 2008s, one white and one blue, and a red 2007, all for $20k, and a black 2006 for $23.6k.

After i was done looking i went around to the entrance and asked about used cars and was handed off to one of the salesmen (who confirmed that they indeed didn't have any used Matrixs.) He couldn't say why the 2007 was the same price as the 2008s, and he had no clue why the 2006 was so expensive other than the fact that it was the only one that had carpool access stickers. If they really think that carpool stickers alone, which will only be good for another year, are worth about $3500 they're crazy.

I did get to test drive one of them though. All in all it seems like a decent car. The parts i didn't like are:

The rear window sucks. It's barely big enough even without the stupid bar going across the middle.
The decision to have the air controlled by a touchscreen software interface boggles me. In my Rav4 i was able do pretty much everything by feel without taking my eyes off the road. How is one supposed to do that with an interface where you can't feel anything?
And as an extension to that, the basic Prius package does not have an audio-in jack for the stereo. Given that the regular stereo interfaces with the software UI, will that increase the price of getting another stereo involved? (Even just to the extent of them disconnecting the old one, without even considering if it would be possible or desirable to hook up the new one in the same way.)
I really don't like the extreme sloping windshield. For some reason i feel like i ought to be able and touch the windshield of my car, which clearly isn't possible in the Prius.

Aside from the stupidly tiny rear window i didn't notice any particular blind spots. The side windows seemed to provide pretty good coverage of everywhere the side mirrors didn't.

Anyways, i didn't try negotiating very much after the test drive. I did ask him to try and explain why they were prices so high above Kelley Blue Book, and the best he could come up with was the fact that they were certified used vehicles. I really don't know how much certification is actually worth since i haven't really done any research on it, and since i'm not currently planning on getting a certified used car i decided not to bother with the bargaining.

I walked about a mile and a half down PCH to check out three other non-name brand used car dealerships. Unfortunately none of them had any Priuss or Matrixes.

So i caught the bus home, stopped by subway for dinner, and am now doing a little more research while watching TV.
Ambermaggiedacatt on November 22nd, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
Where are you looking to actually find the cars?
DonAithnendonaithnen on November 22nd, 2009 05:52 am (UTC)
Which websites or which dealerships?

I've mostly been using Edmunds.Autotrader.com, with a little bit of CarFax.com.

The actual dealers i'm thinking of at least looking at are Order Your Cars.com, Global Motor Group, Hi Auto Sales, Corona Motors, and the Auto Gallery.
Cj: CJ and Big Birdporfinn on November 22nd, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)
I'm not sure of this, but it seems in California the price is just higher. A pretty nice Honda salesman explained that it is not uncommon for southern California to get the models that come with considerably more options, and thus jacking up the price. When I had explained that I wanted to test drive a Honda Fit with a manual transmission, he wished me good luck finding one in So Cal.

Have you looked at Carmax's website at all? It's a good place to compare the difference in price between different years and amount of mileage.
DonAithnendonaithnen on November 22nd, 2009 05:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, prices are definitely higher here, but Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds both base the estimated price on the zip code you're shopping in.

I haven't heard of CarMax before, i'll check it out :)
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on November 22nd, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)
I recommended CarMax to you two weeks ago :P Right here, in fact, and you said you'd check them out. Two weeks ago.

Edited at 2009-11-22 03:03 pm (UTC)
DonAithnendonaithnen on November 22nd, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Oh! That explains why the website looked so familiar! :)

I did check them out, and found the same thing i found last night when i checked them out again, they don't seem to have anywhere near the same selection as Autotrader and i couldn't find anything else worth adding to the list.

I haven't actually been able to find the bit that lets you do price comparisons though.
DonAithnendonaithnen on November 22nd, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
Huh, now this is amusing. I did the check on CarMax last night, and didn't find anything. Then i started researching on Autotrader this morning to see if any new cars have gotten listed. There is in fact at least one new one at a moderately reasonable price, listed as being from... CarMax :)
Steuardsteuard on November 22nd, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Rear window: agreed.

Climate control stuff: You may or may not have noticed that in addition to the touchscreen controls, some of the most common options can be adjusted via buttons on the steering wheel. You can turn the AC on and off, change the target temperature, and turn recirculate on and off all without taking your hands off the wheel. For me, that's usually enough. Kim prefers to turn off the auto control and set the fan manually, so she does use the touch screen, but that's gotten to be second nature for her at this point.

I have no idea about the stereo. I have some impression that they've separated it out into a more traditional stereo control for the newly redesigned model of Prius, so perhaps that's been a complaint about the earlier generations.

Carpool stickers: It's pricing like that that makes me half-wish that we'd had the time and opportunity to sell our Prius and buy a new one before leaving California, just to collect the irrational sticker premium.