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 bye bye Toaster! 
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
I took a nap. The rest of the story is on the way!


Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:07 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Max wrote:
Isnt a Forte kind of small? Im not familiar with them but isnt the purpose of getting rid of the toaster to get something that rides better on a long trip?


I'll go ahead and answer this question. Yes, it is smaller than the Optima or Fusion, but really not by that much. It's hard to tell how well a car will feel after you've gone for a few hours when you only get to test drive 15-20 minutes. So I really tried to focus on that aspect the 2nd time I drove it, as I had an inkling that Omni was not keen on the Optima or Fusion and was narrowing his list to the Forte. My gut feeling said that while the Optima or Fusion may be _better_ than the Forte for long hauls, the Forte would be a marked improvement over the Toaster.



So while I advocated for either the Mazda 3 or the Fusion over the Forte, at the end of the day, I gave Omni the final vote. And it was for the Forte.

We immediately decided on a pretty narrow search, too. We wanted a red exterior, EX model, with _just_ the 17" wheel and "UVO" eServices package. You can also get the premium package that includes leather seats, but after driving leather several times in this heat, we felt like we'd prefer cloth. So we didn't want the premium package. Nor did we want the technology package, even being the geeks we are, because we didn't see any tremendous value in that package. Plus it seemed, based on our inventory search, that you could get the 17" wheel package somewhat easily without the premium, you couldn't really get the technology package without it.

I put together a list of 7 Kia dealerships that were within reasonable driving distance. I began by using the Kia website last Tuesday to send a request for a quote to the 5 dealers that we did not test drive at. The two that we did, I sent an email to the salesperson who helped us at each respective dealer.

And here's where I quickly found that these dealerships aren't really equipped to deal with remote buyers. Perhaps I did it all wrong, but I followed several articles that I've read about this process.

Leonard, at the Macon dealership, was very good about responding and later that day emailed me a quote with a lackluster price below MSRP, but at least we had something from him. I received nothing from the Perry salesperson at first. The internet sales manager, Juawn, at Nalley in Lithonia GA was VERY quick to call me after receiving my request. He said he would be emailing a quote in the next hour and he followed up as promised, immediately offering over $2500 off MSRP and NO destination fee to acquire the vehicle (they didn't have a red EX w/ 17" wheels in stock).

One dealership in Valdosta told me via a phone call that I could not get a red EX with 17" wheels without the premium package as well. Even though I had both Leonard and Juawn already giving me quotes on such a build. I received automated email responses from Columbus and Buford, at first. In the afternoon, Columbus called and we went over the details of what I wanted, said she'd email me a quote. Late Tuesday, I received a text message from the 7th dealership, in Morrow, with a question to confirm I was looking for a red EX with 17" wheels, and I replied, got nothing back.

So at the end of Tuesday, I had two quotes, one dealership crossed off (Valdosta), and four pending.

Wednesday morning, I made follow-up emails and calls to the 4 pending. I spoke with the same lady at Columbus, reiterated I wanted to buy, and asked her to email that quote. I still hadn't heard from Perry, so I sent a web request in, mentioning the salesperson I had been talking to, and she sent me an email after that with a subject of "Did you receive my last message?" indicated she had responded, but I never saw it. They pretty much said they didn't have a red Forte EX with 17" wheels, but could I come look at all they had, and I said, no, if you don't want to get it, thanks very much. I also got on the phone with a guy at Buford and he said he'd email me a quote ASAP. But that never materialized. The Morrow salesperson finally replied to my text, and similar to my exchanged with Perry, didn't want to try and get the vehicle I wanted. Only wanted to sell me my choice of anything on their lot at invoice plus $500 rebate. A tempting offer, yet still not as good as what Nalley offered for exactly what I want.

At the end of Wednesday, I still only had two quotes, three dealerships crossed off my list, and two pending.

Thursday morning, I ask Leonard to match Nalley's offer. Leonard indicates that won't be possible, they'll have to charge the $800 destination fee on top of the sales price. I get another email from Columbus, asking me to come test drive a Forte today! I reply back and tell them that I've told them two times exactly what I want to _buy_ not test drive, and I expect a quote by noon. I got a response back to that: "OK thanks let me know what I can do for you" WTF? I get nothing from Buford.

Come Thursday, later in the day, it's decision time....


Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:40 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
I am not altogether pleased with my quest for the best deal.

I had hoped to conduct the majority of my search via email. Email makes it quite clear in communicating a) what I want and b) what the dealer will charge. You get on the phone with someone and they either get confused or are stupid and tell you that what you want doesn't exist. coughcough Valdosta.

Plus, I'm trying to work in a computer lab environment. Email is quiet. Email doesn't disrupt everything. Phone calls require me to step out and then be on the phone for however long to communicate EXACTLY WHAT I PUT MY ORIGINAL QUOTE REQUEST ONLINE!

Then it comes down to whether these dealerships are equipped to handle a buyer who's ready to make a deal. It seemed like they were not accustomed to responding quickly and decisively. Perhaps in-person traffic took priority, even if those in-person visits were not likely to result in a purchase (contrary to my explicitness in stating I WANT TO BUY, GIVE ME YOUR BEST OFFER). Perhaps I was a bit hasty. I knew what I wanted, I wanted to purchase sooner rather than later. I also knew that there are a limited # of red EX's with 17" wheels per the Kia inventory search.

Anyway, Thursday came and I told Juawn that I accepted his offer, and I would be there Saturday afternoon to make the deal.

And then shortly after I got off the phone with him, Leonard emails me and says he's working on that destination fee. I told him thanks but no thanks. I felt like I'd given them a full day to offer me something. Was that not enough?

Then Buford emails me, still with no quote, but says they will get back to me soon with one. I email them and say thanks but no thanks.

Columbus, well, they never did shit.

7 dealers contacted, and only 2 really played ball. Bah! But i was very pleased with Nalley's price. I can't complain about that at all.

The next step: Trade-in value of the Scion. This is the juicy part!


Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:47 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Buying a car can be sooooo frustrating if you dont want what they have on the lot. Also when you know more than tey do and catch them in a lie or just plain laziness.

I was impressed with Kia and the ease of our dealing with them. Guess it all comes down to the dealership and individual salesperson/manager.

BTW, our Kia has the first cloth interior we have had in many years. Always liked cloth over faux leather and I have converted Jody. Very comfy especially in high heat and quality of the material seems very good so far.

Waiting to say "and now you know the rest of the story" Paul Harvey

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Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:52 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Durn!! I forgot about the trade in. Bet they gave you a price without one.

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Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:55 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
BTW Max, the difference in length between the Forte and the Optima is 11". I think that most of that comes out of the rear seat leg room and trunk space.

Ok working on my trade-in story now.


Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:59 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Important thing for ride quality really is the wheelbase and not the length of the car. 110 on Optima as opposed to 106 on the Forte. Doubt you will miss the interior room much.

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Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:11 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Here's the stats on Toaster

2005 Scion XB with 59,000 miles on it. Never missed a maintenance window. Interior was very pristine, no stains or anything like that. Carpeting a bit dirty because Omni never put floor mats in, but we never drove it much (see mileage) and it wasn't worn out in any spots or that bad. The exterior had a few scratches here and there, but nothing major, and no dents. The front and hood had the most blemishes but wasn't anything I think a professional detailer couldn't get to look like new again.

Here's some numbers I ran on trade-in value.

kbb trade-in
GOOD condition
$6,412 ($6,051 - $6,772)

edmunds True Market Value® trade-in
Clean condition
$4,685

NADA guides
Average trade-in $5,525
Clean trade-in $6,200

Well, those numbers looked ok. I gave both Leonard and Juawn the VIN and mileage, and they both came back with figures lower than above. Both said around $5000, pending actual appraisal. So at least I had a feeling that we'd be working around the same baseline with either dealership.

I came up with an idea. I knew neither Omni nor I wanted to hassle with selling on our own. I came up with this plan: We'd see if any dealership locally would buy outright and give us a quote. Then, on our way to Lithonia, which is just east of Atlanta, we'd stop at the Atlanta Carmax which is on the southern side as we drive up. Get their free quote good for 7 days, and then have those 2 quotes in hand when we get to Nalley. If Nalley would do as much as either one, we'd go ahead and just trade-in there, simplifying everything for us.

Did I mention, though, that the Scion was rear-ended back in 2010 and Carfax is reporting that?

The local Toyota dealer is actually very good about purchasing used vehicles outright, so I tried them first. After talking to one of their buyers, he said it wasn't anything they'd put on the lot and it'd go straight to their wholesaler. He called that wholesaler and they said they didn't want it. Ok. Strike one on us.

Omni got on autotrader and found a couple other dealers that would buy, with a estimated price at $5000. This was kind of late into Friday though. I told him that we'd keep that in mind if Carmax or Nalley had really crappy offers. I suspected that the $5000 would quickly de-materialize when they ran the Carfax, too.

Carmax has a pretty easy, straightforward appraisal process. Their shtick is no-haggle pricing both on what they sell and what they buy. They gave us an offer of $4000, and it was pretty much because of the Carfax report. They said it had frame damage. I have no idea if that's right, but we know that the repairs costed over $10,000 and it got a whole new exhaust and back-end because of it. (In hindsight, they should have totaled it then, but oh well. Here we are now.)

We get over to Nalley and everything in terms of their offer on the Forte is in line. The car is there, exactly what we want, and they aren't trying to pull any last-minute tricks on the price. But, their immediate trade-in offer is $3000.

I ask Juawn to give us a few minutes to think about it.

(Inserting pause here to take a break from the PC)


Last edited by thermalnoise on Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:22 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Max wrote:
Important thing for ride quality really is the wheelbase and not the length of the car. 110 on Optima as opposed to 106 on the Forte. Doubt you will miss the interior room much.


Good point. In either case, both Forte and Optima felt really solid on the road. I noticed a few spots on the road that would have rattled us in the Scion. Both cars rolled over with minimal bumps. We took the same route in both cars. Leonard said the Forte was basically a mini-Optima and I think that's a fair assessment.


Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:24 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Been looking at the Forte page on the Kia site and the 17" wheels option is there clear as day. Of course being offered and being available are two different things.

Kia does have a lot of nice little touches standard Ive found (like rear seat a/c openings, lots of 12v plugs around the car) and a great warranty in this day and age.

UVO radio is good also. Rear camera should be in the dash like ours. I hated the display in the mirror on the Subaru.

Think you made a good choice.

Black interior with the red?

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Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:37 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Omni and I said if we could get Nalley to even 3800 or more, we'd accept their offer. Going back to Carmax or taking our chances on a local dealer wasn't really what we wanted to do, but we would if Nalley wouldn't budge on the $3000.

Omni felt like we should ask for $4500. I was the designated talker and I felt almost like an ass asking for $4500 after being offered $3000. That's a big leap. Omni wasn't really up for the talking part, due to how his speech has been affected from the brain mass/seizures/surgery. So it was on me. And I did. I asked Juawn to talk to his sales manager -- How close to $4500 can they get.

And they came back with $4000.

:tard:

Now, I am not a haggler. I am guessing I might have pushed for even more at that point, but I told Juawn that would be just fine. Let's do this!


Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:41 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
I hope this link works. It's to my Evernote documenting the date of purchase with some photos. I make notes like this all the time in Evernote to keep track of when things happen.

http://www.evernote.com/shard/s11/sh/c2 ... c94d8289a2

It's got the gray interior, but there's a lot of black. The gray is on the actual middle of the seats, more black along the outside and back of the seats.

I think the car is f'n beautiful, especially now that we have it in our possession. I think I will be more diligent about keeping it pretty than I am with my Escape or with the Scion. The Escape is not meant to be kept pristine, and I never felt much ownership of the Scion. But this one? This one is mine, too. I gotta keep her lookin' good!


Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:44 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Glad it worked out for you. Hope you like it as well as I do ours.

Remember trading the toaster did save you a little on sales tax as opposed to selling it to some one outright.

In Fl that would be worth $240 so you got 4250. :tard:

EDIT: Looked at your pics, very nice looking little car. I really like the Kia grill shape and black finish.

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Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:44 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Given that we purchased in Lithonia, I got to see how it drove on our usual route to/from Atlanta, for the most part. I drove along 285 some, the full length of 675, and then the rest of the way down 75 to home. I was really pleased with it. I put it in the ECO mode and turned on cruise control and it performed very well. Only on some longer, steeper hills near home did it have to kick into lower gear to get over a hill without losing speed. Felt very smooth and comfortable the whole way. I am happy with this purchase, for sure.


Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:48 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Good! I never use the ECO mode on ours, didnt seem to make much difference mileage wise when I tried it and I didnt like the feel. May have to give it another go now that it is broken in a little. Cruise works very well.

BTW our mileage increased at about the 1000 mile mark.

How is the steering feel? Do you have that easy spot in the center that I didnt like? I dont even know it is there now. LOL

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Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:52 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Max wrote:
Glad it worked out for you. Hope you like it as well as I do ours.

Remember trading the toaster did save you a little on sales tax as opposed to selling it to some one outright.

In Fl that would be worth $240 so you got 4250. :tard:

EDIT: Looked at your pics, very nice looking little car. I really like the Kia grill shape and black finish.


Yep, good reminder, considered the tax benefit as well. Which is why, between the hassle factor and the tax, I would have taken less than $4K from Nalley.

Another interesting tidbit. If you look at 2015 Forte offers, there's a 0% for 60 months offer, and a $500 rebate offer. Per the website, they are mutually exclusive, but Nalley didn't hesitate to give me both. Found that odd, but I didn't argue, either!


Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:56 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
0% is like free money, well almost.

Kia is serious and really dealing. Still dont believe the deal they gave us compared to everything else we looked at.

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Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:59 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Max wrote:
Good! I never use the ECO mode on ours, didnt seem to make much difference mileage wise when I tried it and I didnt like the feel. May have to give it another go now that it is broken in a little. Cruise works very well.

BTW our mileage increased at about the 1000 mile mark.

How is the steering feel? Do you have that easy spot in the center that I didnt like? I dont even know it is there now. LOL


I noticed in Eco mode that the transition from 1st to 2nd happens abruptly and with a bit of a jump. I think for city driving, I'll leave it off until we've gotten 1000 miles or so in it. On the highway, though, it was fine.

The Forte has 3 steering modes, Normal, Comfort, and Sport. Normal, of course, feels the best to me. Didn't notice anything like you mention, though.


Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:18 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Congrats to you guys, looks like a great car.


Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:43 pm
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Post Re: bye bye Toaster!
Wait, what just happened?

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Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:48 am
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