Friday, October 29, 2010

The car shopping Auto Maxima!

I was looking through the KSL ads and I found a Subaru Baja that was within our price range. SWEET! J has a co-worker that recently bought a Subaru Baja and he pointed one out to me when we were driving to the gym recently. Pretty much they're a truck that's a car, that's a truck.

Subaru only made Bajas from 2003-2006, and I'm not sure why, because they're pretty much amazing. They're a car, with a shortened truck bed on back. And then you can put the tailgate down, and there's a new tailgate that you swing over to extend it all into a small truck bed. And there's a spot where you can open the space between the passenger seats in back and the truck bed, in case you wanted to put longer things that don't fit the mini truck bed.

There are two types of Bajas--the regular, and the turbo. The turbo Bajas have more horsepower than most of the trucks we were looking at. And I don't know what else is different, I guess.

So we found this 2005 Subaru Baja turbo online that was listed for $11,900. AMAZING! And it had an automatic transmission, and of course all Subarus have AWD. Plus, this particular vehicle had a leather interior, 6 CD player*, a moon-roof, and I forget what else. Clean title, and 68? thousand miles on it. On Kelly Blue Book it seemed to be worth about $15,000.

We decided to go check it out on Monday, during J's lunch hour.

When we got to the dealership, Auto Maxima, we were surprised that they seemed to only have four cars for sale. It was a little place that also did detailing and repairs. We walked into the office, and it was kind of weird. There was a big open waiting room, with a couple red couches facing each other, and a table with enough magazines to keep someone reading for a year.

Nobody was there.

One wall had a window on it, like they have at medical offices, and we could see that nobody was in the office on the other side. We crept down the hall, past the restrooms, and into a mostly empty break-room. I felt like we were intruders back by their microwave and stuff. J knocked on the Employees Only door, and nobody answered, so he opened it. A guy came to meet us.

"They no in office?" he asked.

"No, nobody's out here."

"Ohhhhhhh, they just leave." He walked with us out to the front, and then out the front door. "You call them." He went back inside.

J called the phone number on the sign, and they were at the bank. They said they would be back in 5 minutes. The worker came back out to us, and gave us their business card. J told the guy they were coming back, and he said ok, and he went back to work.

J and I decided to go take a look at the car some more. It looked perfect.

A lady pulled up in a black Subaru SUV. It was Milla. "You need the keys?" she asked.

"We were hoping to test drive your Subaru Baja," J explained.

She had us follow her inside, back past the break room, and around into the office. She set her purse down, fumbled with some things, and set her tea on the desk. She chattered about something. "Where are you from," I asked her, because she had a pretty accent.

"Russia," she said.

"Ah. Cool."

"We saw the tag on the Subaru said $13,500," J began, "But we found this car on KSL and it was listed there for $11,900..."

"Yes, it's just that we have to sell it as soon as possible because sales tax is due," Milla** disclosed. She fumbled with some more things, and found the key to the Subaru, and set it out on her desk. As she reached for something else, she spilled her tea all over her keyboard and desk. She turned her keyboard over, and tried to get the tea out of it, and I went down the hall to grab paper towels. J and I helped her clean up the spilled tea.

I think Milla made a copy of J's driver license, and she had him sign something saying that our insurance would be responsible for any damage if we were in an accident. (Does it even do that? We weren't sure.) "Your insurance usually covers it," Milla explained. "It's just that our insurance requires us to have people sign these, otherwise they won't cover the cars."

As Milla was filling out the form, J asked, "And we saw that the Subaru is covered by a warranty..."

"Yes, it's this one." She handed J a brochure that listed several different levels of insurance, and she pointed to the top one, out of like 7.

"So it's only these things?" J began reading drive train parts, and Milla was surprised.

"Well, yes. That's all you need, isn't it? Because if you have a problem with something else, you were in an accident, and your insurance covers that."

"Huh, I guess so."

"How long will you be gone?"

"Ohhh, 20 minutes?" (It was 12:20pm)

"I'll put 1:15 as the return time," she said.

We chuckled. "It won't be that long," I assured her.

She went outside, and unlocked the car, and handed me the key. We got in, and headed out, and I loved it.

"This car is perfect," I told J.

It really was perfect. It hugged the road so closely, and it had so much power! There were no churning sounds or ticking sounds, or anything. It maneuvered very well. "But what about that sound?" J listened. "There's air coming in somewhere." He was right. There was a faint whistle.

Eh, who cares. "Wouldn't that bother you?" "Nahhh." ... "Well, we should at least see how much it would cost to have it fixed." "Why?" "It would bother me if I were driving it." "Well, if you have music on, you wouldn't even hear it." "There's some truth to that."

I drove around for a little bit, and took it on the freeway. The Baja was a champ. "This is the perfect car for me, J." I loved the Baja! "Think about it. It has AWD like I want, and it can do all of the truck things, too. It would be perfect for bringing boxes from CA when we go, or moving a dishwasher, or picking up things from HD. Plus it has enough power to pull the trailer..."

We traded places, and J began driving. He SPED and STOPPED. "This does have a lot of power." Test driving cars with J is enough to make you car sick. He drove around, and got on the freeway too. "So is this it? Would you want this?"


"Ok. We'll see what they're willing to do about the price."

"Ughhh, it's already low, though."

We realized it was past 12:50 (!) and took the car back. When we went back inside, Gustavo** was also there.


"We really enjoyed driving it," J handed the key back to Milla. "It does whistle on the front passenger side..."

"Ah. It's the windshield. We had it replaced. Don't worry! It's still under warranty. They will fix it," Gustavo told us.


The rest of the conversation was kind of awkward. J offered $9000, plus the Elantra as a trade in. (Oh, yeah, we had talked to Milla about that before we test drove, and she said they do take trade-ins.)

"I don't know what to say," Milla responded. "This is a very good car, already at a very low price."

Milla and Gustavo paused.

Gustavo asked how much we thought the Elantra was worth, and after J strategically*** avoided the question, I told them we were planning to sell it on KSL for $1200. It has a few dents in it. Gustavo said he would give us $1,000 for it.

"So that's a difference of $1,900," (Between the asking price of $11,900 and J's offer of $9,000 plus the Elantra.) Gustavo concluded. "Did you expect us to make up the difference?" He seemed almost disgusted.

"Well," J explained, "We were really looking at 2WD pick up trucks. So this car has some extra things like leather that we just don't care all that much about, and aren't really worth all that much to us."

"This will be much easier to re-sell than a 2WD truck," Milla said. "You may not care, but you will be unable to sell a 2WD truck in Utah. You'll have to take it out of state."

"We're looking for one, though," J said, "So some people buy them."

"This is a very good vehicle. Some Subarus with smaller engine cannot make it up a hill, but this one can!"

"Yes, it is very powerful."

"It is already very low price," Milla said.

"So your final offer is $10,900 plus the trade in," J asked.

"Yes," Gustavo said.

"All right. Well, thanks," J said. And we left.

And I was very frustrated, because I hate test-driving trucks. And I'm tired of J wanting to get a 2WD truck when everyone keeps telling us it's a bad idea. I was so sad.

We found the perfect car--a girl truck! And J wanted it to be cheaper than was even fair...

[To Be Continued]

*Although, really, do people still use CDs?
** Names NOT changed, to protect the innocent [future buyers].
*** Awkwardly


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