And the winner is…

31 Jan

{everyone who knows me on FB this is totally un-suspenseful…}

So we have a winner on the car over the weekend and tonight I get to pick it up and drive it home {a car without rattles?? GET.OUT.OF.TOWN.}

and just in time for a big doozy of a storm too.

We almost didn’t go out as they were saying snow in our area but I woke up really early {well for me on a weekend} and was PUMPED to find us a car.  I am the planner of the family and although the hubs absolutely hands down knows more about cars and finds the process wayyyy more exciting then I do…I am totally the planner of where we would go, what order, and the logistics of finding a car.  I love planning so I was all over this part!!

Here are a couple things that I learned with going out trying to find a car…

#1 Having technology is key.  My iphone was so awesome being able to look up blue book prices on exact cars we were getting, looking up dealers in the area, and of course addresses.  This can all be done prior to leaving the house for the most part and I did have a map planned out of the day but it was still great to use my Iphone as a resource.

#2 Know your shitzznat! Know what you want, what you don’t because man will they try to sell you a boat when you are looking for a car! They tried to show us really late models 2005/2006 when our cut off was 2007, ridiculous amount of miles on cars, etc.  We just steared clear to the way under our price range flashy yellow signs and knew we would back here looking for another car earlier than we wanted. 

#3 I brought stock numbers on cars I definately wanted to see.  This was uber helpful as I was really really able to pinpoint what we were looking for and they then knew we kinda meant business. Yea we didn’t walk off the street to gaze at cars we wanted to BUY one! Plus once they knew one stock number they were able to show us others in that same price range, same category, same model, etc.

#4 Don’t sit in cars you can’t afford. Don’t test drive cars you can’t afford {or willing to budge on price}.  Don’t even look in the direction of a car that you can’t afford with a salemen near you. My husband sat in a 2011 version of the car we bought and well I had to talk him off the ledge of buying a new car because in his words not mind the car was SAAWWWWEETTTT and totally pimped out. oh boy that was a fun 15 minutes.

#5 It is a long day. Eat before you go, bring snacks and really plan on spending your entire day there.  We did not do this well and man was I feeling it at 2pm where I was getting grouchy, I was starving, and exhausted from the entire process. 

#6 If you are a sappy person you may get emotional about the car process.  For the hubs he got attached to cars, but for me I got attached to my salesperson! The first place we went they were awesome, our person was awesome and I wanted to give him my business. We ended up going with a better model car at another dealership and I struggled in buying the car because I was giving my business to a salesman I didn’t care for as much.  IT WAS SO HARD!!! The hubs helped me off that ledge for a good 30 minutes plus about we aren’t buying the salesman but we are buying the car! HAHA. Who knew?

#7 Plan nothing for after you spend all day car shopping {whether you buy or not}. I had to go to a hockey game and the in laws were coming and I barely mustered up enough strength to talk in complete sentences.  All i wanted to do was curl up on the couch and do nothing. seriously nothing.  I also didn’t want to make a decision for my life after the experience. We had to buy face wash and the hubs asked which kind I wanted and I freaked “i can’t make any more decisions today! you decide!” It is completely draining and make sure you don’t have major plans after the experience. 

#8 Yes you just spent a crap ton of money. So be ready for the buyers remorse.  Mine only lasted about 15 minutes in the car after I signed all the paperwork and I just looked at the hubs blankly and said “did we make the right decision in there…” Probably not what he wanted to hear after we just gave them a lump sum of money–but it didn’t last long.  I know it is safer, more reliable, better for the snow and New England weather and just better for our family all around.  Don’t feel too guilty for too long because you did a ton of research you test drove the cars, compared, shopped around and made a logical decision—go with your decision after you sign the dotted line.

Okay so now you know what I learned  let me recap what we needed in a car {or at least HOPED for…}.  I didn’t state this in the last post but we were looking for a car that was no more than in the teens price wise {$15,000-$19,999}.  Something about going into the 20somethings scared us as we felt we needed some sort of cut off point because honestly we are a sucker for high end luxury cars.  We didn’t want to fall into the trap of well if we are at 21,000 why not do 24,000 for higher end of a SUV or different year. 

{items in bold is what we got in the SUV we purchased}

So to break it down:

-High Safety ratings (lots of red stars in the book)

-Automatic Car

-AWD OR four wheel drive

-Looking for a mid size SUV

-One with 30-40k miles

-Will not go over 50k on a car no matter the emotional attachment (hehe)

-Big ole’ trunk

-Prefer a 2008 or 2009

-Certified would be fabulous, but don’t think necessary (need to check with the hubs on this point)

-No red color car

-A/V jack preferred but not necessary

So as you can see we got EVERYTHING WE WANTED in a car except for one minor fact…IT IS RED.  Seriously I am not joking the one color I was not too keen on as I had a hot cherry tomato red car for so long and our car is stinkin’ red!! Now let me say it is RED ROCK NOT CHERRY RED and this made a huge difference in me signing on the dotted line.  It is definately way more muted than I imagined a red SUV and it goes really well with the type of car we got and I love the interior colors and so it balanced each other out.  Plus it had so much we wanted and MORE that really I couldn’t let color be the deal breaker. 

AND SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADOOOOO…HERE IS THE CAR WE PICKED…

2008 Grand Cherokee Laredo {X package} -not our car in picture

Are you looking for a car? Here are other SUVs we looked (last one is the SUV we puchased):

2008 Hyndai Sante Fe

  • pros: really low mileage (10,000), high safety ratings, 23 miles per hour for gas, easy ride, not too large, good trunk size, safe, automatic, good on gas, great warranty, great colors we looked at, 1 owner on cars, bff really loves driving hers and finds it very reliable.
  • cons: cream interior, no ipod jack, rattled a bit on the highway, felt more like a car then SUV to us, no cup holders in the back (that I saw), pricey when low mileage, in our price range when we looked at some with 50,000+ miles, fake wood trim inside

-2007 Grand Cherokee Laredo

  • Pros: felt very sturdy, felt very safe in car, ran very smoothly, high safety ratings in our price range, 20 miles per hour on gas, great color, big trunk, heated cloth seats, heat vents in the back seat, sunroof, cupholders in the back, nice color outside, lower mileage (32,000), elderly lady used car very rarely-well taken care of, great interior colors, driver seat was power adjustable
  • Cons: not a certified car, would need to add on a warranty (but still but us in our price range), would be a 3rd party warranty though, first place we went so wanted to shop around before deciding, had cup holders placement of them was “okay”, no A/V jack, –we really liked this car not many cons

2008 Ford Rogue

  • Pros: very cute car–girly for me, loved the style shape of car, loved the color outside, interior was great, co-worker who loves it and finds it very reliable
  • Cons: trunk very very smaill, inside small, realized we didn’t want a compact SUV and more of a mid size car.  didn’t test drive the car because it was smaller on our end. Only checked this one out briefly so can’t give much on it.

2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee {X package}

  • Pros: similar to the 2007 pros-sturdy, reliable, great interior colors, large trunk, ran smoothly, felt safe. 21 miles per hour in gas, heated seats but leather on this car, both driver and passenger car seats were power adjusted, pedals power adjusted, sun roof, remoter starter, steering wheel radio controls, fog lights {i could care less but hubs was impressed}, the ipod jack (YESSS!), certified car.
  • Cons: red rock red, higher end of our budget but at least still in our budget {with adding bumper to bumper warranty), cupholders in same place as on 2007 model, had to add bumper to bumper warranty it just wasn’t included

We loved the Jeep Grand Cherokee SO MUCH after test driving that we focused our search on the Jeep ( parents have a Jeep Liberty and Jeep Wrangler and LOVE them both!) and so we went to a Jeep dealership nearby to compare prices, look at 2008/2009 models and other packages on the Jeep to see which one we loved the most.  Limited was just out of our price range, we loved the Rocky Mountain edition as well which the 2007 had (heated fabric, sun roof, etc), the Laredo was a little basic and once we saw the Rocky Mountain with the heated seats we were kinda sold on getting a Rocky Mountain Edition.  The X package is right in between the Limited and Rocky Mountain edition and we weren’t even looking for a Laredo X and got lucky by having on on the lot! Was in our price range and gave us the luxury we were looking for!

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2 Responses to “And the winner is…”

  1. Nicole January 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    YAY!!! LOVE it!! And you’ll be able to test it out in two days of snow… 😉

  2. theclambroll February 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    yay for new car, can’t wait to see!

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