… does this mean they have to play soccer now?
A couple of weeks ago, we bought a new car. More precisely, we bought a very slightly used 2008 Toyota Highlander Limited. Now, I am not an easy sell on the car lot. I’m one of those pain in the ass women who come well armed with research from Consumer Reports, Edmunds, KBB, etc., and I know exactly what I will and will not pay for a given car, SUV, what have you. I learned the hard way to never walk onto a car lot without knowing at least as much as your enemy. Yes, it’s a cynical attitude, but years ago, I ended up leasing a brand new car that I didn’t love and couldn’t afford because 1.) I took my father onto the lot with me and 2.) I was completely unarmed. After that experience, I vowed to never again behave like a helpless girl on the lot.
And I haven’t.
The first car I bought (okay, Husband bought — Toddler Life Coach does not pay well in the monetary sense) after that debacle was the much loved Honda. I did all my homework, knew what I would pay and why, and when we stepped onto the car lot, Husband walked BEHIND me and told the salesman that this was MY car and MY sale and to direct all questions and comments to ME. This really threw the salesman because not only was I a woman, but I was also roughly 8 months pregnant. HA! Suck on that! Thrown is sort of an understatement. Freaked out, gobsmacked, dumbstruck, slightly terrified, these are all better descriptors than “thrown”. And yes, I did enjoy every single minute of it. Especially when I told him that he had to replace the two rear tires with the same high quality (and high priced!) touring tires that were on the front or there was no sale. He really wanted to sell that car. He wanted to sell that car bad enough to convince his boss that it was worth it to throw in the $700 worth of tires to make the sale. He was right, of course, since we came back to buy a truck the next year and then this latest vehicle 4 years after that.
So. As you might imagine, when we came onto the lot this last time, our favorite salesman was well aware that 1.) it was MY deal and 2.) he would not be “selling” me anything. The funny thing was, we had decided to go looking at cars on a whim. Yes folks, on a whim. I was completely unarmed. Our salesman didn’t know this, however, so we took a couple of test drives and went home, and THEN I did all my homework. On the one hand, it was nice to not have to worry about being taken for a sucker ride by a salesman or a dealership. On the other, it was really anticlimactic to not even have to haggle for a more than fair deal on a really great vehicle. We ended up getting more than book value for our trade in and a price on the Highlander that beat the book value as well as every dealership within 800 miles by at least $1,000. Not to mention, when I was cleaning out my Accord for the last time, I found two lighters, and a button I had been searching for for 6 months! It was like the universe was saying “Congratulations on the new SUV.”
So just imagine my sadness as I gazed out my front window at my (sort of) brand new ride, all shiny and big, and realized *gasp* that my new SUV was actually a minivan with a nose job.
Those sneaky bastards at Toyota, brilliant. They realized that there was a completely untapped market of moms who were dead set against driving a minivan. And so, the Highlander was born. Oh, there are differences, subtle differences, and it’s classified as an SUV, but if you look at one next to a minivan, you’ll see what I mean. So I’m having some mixed feelings about my new purchase. On the one hand, I really really really really like it. Compared to the Accord, it’s like a hotel room on wheels. I mean, the Boy can’t even reach the back of my seat with his feet while I’m driving! On the other hand, it’s a freakin’ minivan.