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cars: fit

By the way, thanks to the kindness and generosity of y2kdragon, I was able to test drive a Honda Fit, his in fact. I can say with confidence that this is a great car. If I had not set my sights for horsepower so high, I would absolutely be considering buying one. As it is, I know that for practicality's sake I have dropped *sigh* the Mustang off the list, but I keep thinking about how awesome it would be to drive. So with that perspective in mind, the Fit was up against a bad attitude.

The comfort level is really nice, and I think tall people will be surprised at how at home they can feel in the Fit. It's a little taller than most small cars and it helps make it feel more roomy and guys like Jack won't have to lean the seat back at a 45 degree angle. The front dash controls (radio, climate) are within easy reach when I am sitting in the driving position. I can see out the back just fine and the blind spots seemed relatively small on my short test drive. The other thing i was really curious about is how all the foldy-seat options worked in practice. They seem pretty miraculous on the brochure, but do they really work? I felt like the "long" setting where the front seat folds back to meet the back seat was not necessarily as clean cut as it looks in the brochure, and would take some muscling around to get right. The "tall" setting is nice to have and a great design idea.

Actually driving it was hard to assess, because I am so used to a manual transmission, and this was an automatic. I think any car suffers when you go from one to the other because it never shifts when you want it to. I did note the shift paddles on the steering wheel (only on the Sport) so I could have downshifted if I wanted to, but I was scared to use them. (The Mazda 3 has a similar pseudo-manual thing on its automatics. Although I plan to buy manual.) So it got up and went a little better than my car, but after driving the Mustang and the Mazda, it wasn't, as I suspected, enough for me. Although in the manual I bet it would be awesome for an economy car. Steering and curves were great. The car handles perfectly.

All in all I can give the Fit two thumbs up, although I think my heart is still set on 160hp. (The Fit is 109hp.) Basically, if the drums can be squeezed into the Mazda, that's what I'm getting. It's just a matter of Jack giving the high sign.

On that note, has anyone ever done one of those negotiation things, where you get a company to negotiate the price for you? USAA my insurance company has that, as does my bank and AAA. But I'm hesitant because I don't know if they actually get the best prices. On the other hand, I LOATHE haggling and negotiation.

And thank you tirani for the spaghetti. It was fantastic. And it was lovely to see you both after so long.

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Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
examorata
Aug. 17th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
I have not used one of those negotiation things, though every time I see the ad for it in AAA World I go, "That would be SO cool." So if you try it, I'm interested in hearing how it goes!

They are all reputable companies, so while they might not get you the absolute lowest price, I wonder if the ease of transacting that way is worth it?

Also it's not like I exactly trust myself to get "the lowest price" anyway.
snidegrrl
Aug. 17th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
I wonder if the ease of transacting that way is worth it

That's what I figure. Plus I get to tell them which car I want and they go find it, color, etc. If I tried to find that specific car locally myself, the dealer would be able to know that I'm not flexible about what I want in the car and use that against me.

And I totally don't trust myself to get the lowest price, really.
(no subject) - examorata - Aug. 17th, 2006 04:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Aug. 17th, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
railwaymadness
Aug. 17th, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC)
I used the USAA one when I got the Echo. I agree that you probably don't get the absolute lowest price but for me it was definitely worth it. Since I didn't have a trade-in there was no haggling at all! Yay! They still did that weird thing where they keep trying to sell you extra stuff you don't want for half an hour but I don't know how to stop them from doing that.
snidegrrl
Aug. 17th, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
Was the actual USAA guy trying to sell you additional stuff you don't want? I kind of want all the additional stuff but I don't want to pay a million dollars for it.
(no subject) - railwaymadness - Aug. 17th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Aug. 17th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - railwaymadness - Aug. 17th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
snidegrrl
Aug. 17th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
I think at this point the various cons associated with the Mustang (particularly its performance in bad weather and the stiffness of the clutch pedal, no room for drums) combined with the more practical questions (cost of gas, insurance, etc) have unified to make the Mustang not the car I have my heart set on. I did go through a bunch of self-questioning about whether, after I bought a Mazda, I would feel depressed every time I saw a Mustang. :) The answer was, I might be a little wistful, but not regretful. However if I bought the Mustang, I'd feel extremely regretful every time it rained and I had several anxiety attacks, or if I ever get to join a band that has a gig and have to move my drum kit.

I would have entertained the Yaris if the hatchback came in a 4 door version. Since it doesn't I haven't even looked at it.

In re: the click for a quote - do they let you narrow it down to the color? Because I flatly refuse to buy one in any but three colors. Which kind of limits my ability to just talk to a dealer, I think?
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Aug. 17th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
dragonballzzz
Aug. 17th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
hehehe...my car has 197 horsepower. I am expecting many more speeding tickets after this vehicle arrives.
snidegrrl
Aug. 17th, 2006 04:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, after you posted that I re-researched the Si. It sounds good to me but I don't like the look of it as much as the Mazda, and the drums won't fit in it... but yeah I will be jealous of your hp.
(no subject) - dragonballzzz - Aug. 17th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Aug. 17th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dragonballzzz - Aug. 17th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Aug. 17th, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
gunther_cub
Aug. 17th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
I'm excited - next year, VW is releasing the Jetta with AWD, so if they also install it in the GTI, that's what I'm getting.
y2kdragon
Aug. 17th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
From what I've seen, I'd have considered that along with the Fit, if it was out. But the need for car outweighed the desire to wait for something that wasn't even announced yet.
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Aug. 17th, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gunther_cub - Aug. 17th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gunther_cub - Aug. 17th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
vwvortexer
Aug. 21st, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
The AWD Jetta, though, is probably only going to be wagon, a la the Subaru Outback. There's definitely no AWD GTI in the works save the R32.
(no subject) - gunther_cub - Aug. 21st, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vwvortexer - Aug. 21st, 2006 02:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gunther_cub - Aug. 21st, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vwvortexer - Aug. 21st, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Aug. 21st, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gunther_cub - Aug. 21st, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
vwvortexer
Aug. 21st, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
OK, here's my advice*:

- With the Mazda3, use the buyers' service. The 3 is insanely popular, both here and overseas, and Mazda dealers sell every 3 that comes through, so there's no room for negotiation. You might be able to negotiate somewhere between invoice and sticker for yourself, but for the time involved, you might as well just go the simpler route.

- Compare the deals offered by the different services. Try your credit union's deal vs. what USAA's service offers vs. a buying service like Cars Direct. The other "services" like Edmunds and AutoTrader really are more just dealership referral services than someone giving you a guarenteed price.

- I'm not sure what you're driving now, but if it's paid off, then sell it, don't trade it. Especially if it's a Ford Aspire (which it sounds like what you're trading)--there's no way in God's green earth that any dealership will even want to touch it, much less take it as a trade. If you're trading an Echo, you probably won't do much better.

*I actually work in the industry on the OEM side, doing PR these days for Lotus and XM Satellite Radio.
gunther_cub
Aug. 21st, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC)
heh, now that I've read that comment, here's a question you seem knowledgeable enough to answer - the head unit in my car has XM (which, I admit, I don't have activated) - if they do end up merging with Sirius (which everyone predicts every few months) do they use the same technology, or will people have to replace equipment?
(no subject) - vwvortexer - Aug. 21st, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
snidegrrl
Aug. 21st, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for these tips. They are in line with what I was thinking but it definitely helps to hear it from someone with a little more knowledge. :)
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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