We decided on the perfect SUV for me and the fam. I got a 2007 Lexus GX470, white with beige interior, fully loaded with dvd entertainment system, nav, third row, the whole shabang. I know what your thinking with all the news out lately…”Isn’t that the DO NOT BUY car?” No, it’s not…Thank God! It fact, it won J.D. Power for “Most Dependable Midsize Premium Multi Activity Vehicle” “Highest Ranked Midsize Premium MAV in Initial Quality” “Most Appealing Midsize Premium MAV in a Tie” for that particular model and that year!
Bling factor aside, I wanted to make sure my new ride was safe and would last a long time. That was the most important thing to us. Of course, I wanted all the creature features since we were planning on “driving it until the wheels fell off”, but within a reasonable financial boundary. We had two other potential buys (Honda Pilot and the Mercedes GL450 SUV) but they just didn’t come close to the Lexus.
1.Financing: Lexus was offering 1.9% financing for 36 months. Honda and Mecedes’ rates were in the sixes. 1.9 is an excellent rate for a pre-owned. I love that its only three years. Loans that stretch out past 36 months are a pain. You start resenting the fact that you’re STILL paying for your 3+ year old “new”car. That’s just me though.
2. Warranty: We got a six year warranty on the Lexus…everything from transmission to navigation is covered for six years. Honda only has a three year powertrain warranty and Mercedes (we looked at one on the Carmax lot) only had one year left of manufacturer warranty before we would have to buy an extended one. Since it wasn’t a certified pre-owned Mercedes, the only option was to buy an independent extended warranty, which could be hit or miss.
3. Price: The 2010 Honda pilot was about the same price as the Lexus, but the Lexus is way superior of a product, and I had no problem choosing this one even though it’s older, especially since Honda’s financing rate are such crap. The Mercedes was about 5k more, and if you wanted to add an extended warranty for fear that you would have to shell out lots and lots of dough if something breaks, then that would be another few grand. We all know how expensive it is to fix a Mercedes if something goes bad. AND, since we were buying a Lexus, they offered a second pre-owned car (for Dan) for an incredible price. So incredible in fact, that we were able to pay cash for his ’08 Honda Accord. SAweeeeeeet!
4. Salesman: If someone thinks that the salesman doesn’t make a difference when you’re looking for a car, they’re SO wrong. It totally does. When we were at Honda, the salesman was such a bone head. We told him that we didn’t have a lot of time because we had a sitter at home with the baby, but that didn’t seem to matter at all. It took FOREVA to test drive and look at the vehicle and talk numbers/rates etc. Also, before we got to drive the car he asked for our insurance (we test drove at three previous places, and they didn’t ask) and Dan said “isn’t the driver covered under the dealer’s insurance?” He said no, but then after Dan went to get the insurance card, the sales person copied both that and the license, then he later returned only to say that the insurance was not in fact needed for the test drive. Geesh… So, basically…the guy was full of bologna. The Carmax guy who was showing us the Mercedes was really nice. We would’ve totally bought a car from him if it was the right one. The Lexus salesperson was SUPER nice too. His name was Warren, and I almost wanted to call him Warren G by the time it was all said and done, that’s how cool he is. He showed me everything about the car, and thoroughly answered all of our questions, and gave us a great price on the two cars. You can’t beat that.
We decided to buy two pre-owned cars this time. This was in an effort to prevent the mass depreciation that you get when you buy a brand new car. Our last two cars were leases, and we realized later on that it was probably not the best financial decision. SO… we saved money, put a considerable amount down on the Lexus, and paid for the Honda outright. Dan has purchased over 25 cars (this is NOT an exaggeration), but this is the very first title that Dan has ever owned. Yay! See what good influence I am? This however, hasn’t affected his credit one bit. In fact, he has the highest credit score I’ve ever seen. Yesterday when they ran his credit, his score was 824! Yowzers!