Last post on Jan 22, 2013 at 8:12 PM
You are in the Smart Shopper
What is this discussion about?
#1 of 5288 Buying Tips?
Oct 31, 2003 (8:25 pm)
I'm planning on purchasing a Matrix XR. Any buying or negotiating tips that you can share?
#10 of 5288 Matrix Purchase.
Nov 01, 2003 (8:10 am)
I just bought a Vibe yesterday -- twin to the Matrix, as you probably know.
So far, I'm impressed with the car. There is nothing out there that I'm aware of that gives you so much interior space for its outside size. Here are some of the good points, in a general way:
Seating: Car is tall, and the space under the front seats is nicely hollow. I'm 6'1" and can sit comfortably in front, then get out and sit comfortably "behind myself", so to speak. Try THAT in a Protege (which is otherwise a fine car). There is a ton of space with the seats folded, and the folding is easy and painless. Cubbyholes everywhere. Wonderful stick shift -- this car is bound to be a dog with the 4sp auto -- real men drive sticks anyway. Couldn't believe the 205/55 tires. In a "Corolla"??? Good Lord, but sure corners well. 115V outlet, hidden 12V point for cell phone + charger, little things like that are great. Frt pass seat folds flat, so my 4-year old can see out the front. She likes. Glass hatch pops up separately. Pop the big hatch, and you have a dry spot for tailgating. Auto headlights means never use your headlight switch again. 3-spoke steering wheel is really nice.
Here's some not-so-hot stuff:
The speedo: Cleverly marked in 20/40/60/80 increments. For you in metric Canada, that's no big deal, but can you say STUPID???? Who came up with that idea? I'm getting used to it, but how about markers at 25 and 35, where the relevant speed limits are. Dumb dumb dumb dumb and unnecessary. Daytime running lights blind you when you're backing up and there's a big white garage door in front of you. No defeat switch, and leavin parking brake clicked don't help either. grrr.
As far as negotiation etc. etc. don't sweat it. Find a car you like, figure invoice from Edmunds or kbb, add whatever is necessary -- check TMV, for instance, or just offer invoice from the get-go and see what they counter with... the deal is going to get done withing a few hundred bucks either way of invoice + $500 (in the U.S. anyway).
Think about it: You're likely to lose more money by picking the wrong color than by giving the salesperson "$300 too much". Don't trip over dollars to get to the dimes.
Personally, I like to use the web or the after-hours lot walk to find THE car, then stroll in, ask politely for a salesperson, do the test drive, have them write it up, and then put my initial offer on the buyer's order. After that, don't talk much, don't discuss how you got there or what fair profit is, or whatever. If you're not at a reasonable price within 15 minutes, you need a different dealer.
Don't forget to check for incentives on the web, but with Toyota, your salesperson will KNOW what's up and you can only guess. So you need to be a little flexible.
Finally, do the math and consider a base Vibe with he power package. By the time you add incentives (GM Card, maybe?), one may save you $500 over the other. I like the Vibe better, but thte Matrix will likely have better resale.
EDIT: On the 'trix, the ABS is only $300. Get it. Special-order if necessary. In Canada (and MI) it's mandatory.