We bought a new car this weekend and after 14 years of driving my 1997 Saturn SL1 (which I bought new from Saturn of the Valley on October 22, 1996), I traded in that car as part of the deal. The new car (pictured above) is a 2011 Kia Sorento. The color, I am told by the folks as the dealership, is called “North Korean Green”.
Last week we test drove three different cars and over the course of the week, I contacted the various dealerships to negotiate pricing. As it turns out, Kia was by far the best car for the money. We paid well under invoice for the car and the car included a nice convenience package with stuff like heated seats, tinted windows, a roof rail, a rear-facing camera and backup system, and several other nice little options. The folks at Honda pressed me pretty hard to MAKE A DEAL. What can they do to close the deal, they asked me repeatedly. I told them they were close on price but could they match Kia’s warranty and service:
- 10 years/100,000 miles
- 5 years of free roadside assistance
- Free lifetime oil changes
- Free lifetime tire replacement
No, Honda could not match that but they kept pressing anyway. I finally told them so long and we decided that the Kia was what we wanted.
I went in on Saturday morning and met with Carlos, the salesman who showed us the car last week. He sped me through the process of purchasing the vehicle. I negotiated a good financing rate and after 2 hours at the dealership, I was driving home with the new car and leaving the old Saturn behind.
And can I just say: Buying from Fairfax Kia was a wonderful experience. Our salesman never pressured us. He gave us all of the rebates and discounts up front. He was patient with us while we made our decision and he made the purchase almost effortless. It was very different from my experience with Landmark Honda, where the salesman and managers were aggressive, virtually spamming me with email and who, although asking what they could do to MAKE THE DEAL, never seemed to listen to what I was saying. If there is anyone nearby considering a Kia, go to Fairfax Kia and ask for Carlos. He is outstanding.
And now a brief encomium for the Saturn.
I bought my Saturn brand new in the fall of 1996 after my previous car died suddenly and I never had a single complaint about the car or Saturn’s service. Had Saturn as a company survived, I would most certainly have considered buying another. When I traded the car into the dealer on Saturday, it had 126,300 miles. I never had a major mechanical issue with the car, but I could tell it was getting old and straining. Part of the reason we decided to get a new car now was so that we didn’t end up in a situation where one of our cars died and we had to rush into a decision. Despite how much I like our new car, I will miss my old Saturn. The picture above is how I last saw her, just before leaving the dealership.
But we are happy with our new car and we took it for a 300 mile round-trip drive today. Here’s the family in Staunton, VA with our newest member: