Why does buying a car have to suck so much? Sure, I enjoyed the test drives with Kyle, but that fun quickly turns to anesthesia-free gum surgery as soon as they start flapping dollars and nonsense. I should note here that car shopping on 90-something, high humidity days is not recommended, but in my case, it’s the reason for shopping.
Yesterday’s itinerary began with a stop at Sunnyside Acura in Nashua, NH. We were there to test drive my original target, a 2006 Acura TSX with Navigation. Plan B was immediately invoked as the Dealerships Controller had the car for the weekend. First we drove a 2006 TL, but it had an unbalanced tire vibration and left a shaky first impression. Next was a 2004 TSX and it was sweet. For a four cylinder, I couldn’t sense much less giddy-up than the 6-Cyl TL. We also spun a newly-designed 2009 TSX, but the new clown face grill design was as much a turnoff as the depreciation hit I’d take. Sunnyside also had an Infinity G35x and a BMW 3-something, but crappy gas mileage and questionable German reliability respectively had ruled them out at the keyboard.
Contrary to planetary norms, the further North we traveled, the hotter the wind blew. Cold bottles of Ira Lexus water greeted us in Manchester, and the black 2006 AWD IS250 we tested looked amazing as the heat rippled off the pavement. The IS250 is a hot car, and the Lexus badge just as appealing, but it’s about $5K more than the comparably equipped TSX, so the value equation favors Acura. Also, I think I’ll look a lot sillier driving 60 in the right lane in a hot Lexus than I will in a very warm TSX, and the Acura will slightly better gas mileage for my light footed efforts. Still, if some Lexus Sales Manager were to make me a Corleone-esque offer, I’d take it.
As Kyle and I discussed auto impressions over wheat linguine and marinara at the Manchester Olive Garden, I began wondering what I could get a new 2008 TSX for now that the 2009’s have washed ashore. Second shift research was about to begin…
To make this long story short, I researched Dealer invoice, holdbacks and incentives and discovered Acura is tossing dealers $1,500 to lose the 08’s. Armed with this information we drove to Herb Connolly Acura in Framingham, where their website listed 9 2008’s. When I arrived, they were down to 5, none in a color that excited me. The Sales dude said he could get a black/black (Hey, I just saw “The Dark Knight) ’08 from another dealer if we could agree on price. I gave him my low-ball offer and of course, he took it to his manager who came back with a price $1359 above my offer. I walked and took Kyle to a late lunch. I ran a few numbers and determined if we split the difference, I could get the car I wanted for about $4000 below MSRP.
When I returned, my rep was gone, so I dealt directly with the Sales Manager. He said the price was firm, and showed me some book indicating “invoice” was $2K higher than my research indicated, and added, “I don’t know what you did. Maybe you read it wrong.” Yeah, wrong. Mr. Anal checks and double checks. My numbers were right. Goodbye Herb Chambers Acura.