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09 January 2008 @ 04:43 pm
I am NOT getting a honda  
First, I want to say that all this car consideration is making me LOVE my current car even more. Maybe I should be looking for a used version of mine with an automatic.

Second, this story is from the last dealership I visited. The first two were prompt, friendly, and helpful, not pushy. I had to ask for cards, and they let me look and ask and they answered.

So here's why I'm not buying a Honda, or at least not from Cambridge Honda. I walk in. I have two questions, the first is answerd promptly, the second is "what is the highway range of the fit?" Ok, a little non-standard. the Door greater sends me off to a salesman, that's fine. So the sales man gives me the mpg. nono, not that, how far it goes on one tank of gas. "but it had very good gas milage" "yes, but I've been told it will only go ~350 miles on a tank." (which is about 100 miles less than any other car on my list.) "well let me get a brochoure" "here's the mpg" I point to the tank size, "yes, but here it says 10.8 gallon tank, times 33 mpg highway. Yup the number is right. thank you." "well what other cars are you considering?" I think ok, sure, why not, "the mazda 3, the prius, I don't know, my list keeps getting short and shorter" "well the fit has better gas milage..." "look, I drive to pittsburgh, it's a 10 hour drive." "you're not going to be near a gas station?" "Well right now I can do it in one stop, I don't want to stop more than that. it's a long drive as is and if I'm in a traffic jam I could run out of gas" "if I could sell you a bigger tank, would you buy a fit?" "yes!" "I can't." There is a lot more arguing about how there are gas stations everywhere, a request for my name (which I give) and a phone number or email address which I don't (this actually happened a bit earlier, but I'm not quite sure of the sequence of things. "Well, since I'm here, why don't I sit in one." "you wait here, I'll go get a key."

He comes back with ANOTHER sales man, and this is where it gets interesting. We go around again on the "it has better gas milage than the mazda 3, what other cars are you considering, is it really that bad to stop more often, are long trips the ONLY thing you'll be doing." Then this guy tries to tell me that I should carry a 2 gallon plastic tank of gas in my trunk when I go to Pittsburgh that, "you're letting such a small thing prevent you from buying a great car." I start to sputter a bit, "you're honestly trying to tell me this is a solution. It's dangerous..." "We're in danger every day..." "and it smells and is inconvenient. I was going to sit in one, but I'm just leaving now" and I walked out.

EDIT: Oh I forgot the "but have you driven it yet" part of the first discussion, like some how me driving it would change my mind about how far it goes.
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blkblk on January 9th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
Wow, what annoying sales tactics. I'm still in love with the Fit, although I haven't visited one yet. (the mazda 3 is also my second choice, with the vibe also being a nice one that i've driven)

I'm hoping some better hybrid options come out in the next couple years.
The Water Seeker: 2carsplymouth on January 9th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
Then this guy tries to tell me that I should carry a 2 gallon plastic tank of gas in my trunk when I go to Pittsburgh

Dude, is he frikking insane? Nevermind the safety issue - that just plain does not solve your problem. 'Cause that gas ain't getting from the plastic tank to the main tank by magic... so, funny, you STILL have to stop. What an ass.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 9th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
Man, I wish I'd thought of that there.

It was SO not a solution I wasn't even thinking about it that hard.
(Anonymous) on January 9th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
I suppose they intended the spare container as a backup, to make it so that you could safely go farther into the main supply and come in on fumes if you knew you wouldn't be stranded by a traffic jam or miscalculation.
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on January 9th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
*grin* Good for you for walking out.

That's one lesson I learned when buying a car: at every moment, you should feel totally free to just walk out. Doesn't matter what's going on; you could have half a dozen pages of paperwork filled out with only 1 more to go, and if they say something that you think is bogus, off you go. They have trash cans; they can throw out the papers for you.

They say "wait here while I get someone" and take too long? Off you go.
You get a sense you're being jerked around? Off you go.
Guy is just a sleazebag? Off you go. :)
katybeth on January 9th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
If the dealership gives you crap, walk out. Good for you for doing so. If there is another Honda dealership in the area, don't necessarily rule them out based on this one though.
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on January 9th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
i believe jadia has the mazda and has been happy with it. my housemate veek has a fit, and likes it. if you want people who own them to ask questions of...
(Anonymous) on January 9th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
The Fit didn't fit
And don't discount the possibility of sexism. It would be interesting to send in a tall man to ask the same questions and see if they are just as confused. Though they might have discussed the subject after you left and determined a better way to reply to the issue.

- Bink (I didn't feel like finding my user ID)
katybeth on January 9th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
Re: The Fit didn't fit
binkbink, but you still have to find your password. :)
Binkbinkbink on January 9th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
Re: The Fit didn't fit
Hah! It turns out that my computer knows.
Thank you.
- b
Nurghringrose on January 9th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
We've been quite happy with the last two Hondas we got.

You are welcome to remove an entire car line from consideration because of one dealership; that's your right. I wouldn't do it, personally. Given what you have said, take the Fit out of consideration simply because it doesn't have the driving range you want. Driving range is not a fixable problem - they can't increase the gas milage, nor can they increase the tank.

And if some other Honda looks likely, well, go to a different dealer.


DW and I ran numbers on Hondas (Civic and Accord) and resale value. For some cars the value graph bends a few years in, indicating that's where you should by it used. Civics and Accords, if I recall correctly, didn't actually have a substantial bend: buying them new was about as good, over the lifetime of the car, as buying them used.
Basically, those models hold their value well.

When you get down to choosing among a few specific cars, come ask how we created that value spreadsheet. You might discover that the best value is a two or three year old car, used, from a reputable dealer who gives it a new warranty.


Also, take the MPG with a really big grain of salt. Those numbers are skewed high because of the specific way MPG is tested (Consumer Reports did an article on it) by things like changing exactly where the car changes gears. Your car with a 450 mile range may actually have a 350 range or worse, depending on how you drive.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 9th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
Yah, I wouldn't discount all of honda if I didn't already have issues with the cars themselves. I wouldn't let one dealer prevent me from buying the "right" car. I do, however, like using the dealer as my mechanic, so my relationship with at least the service people is important to me. The atmosphere of the dealer is important.

I've been trying to use the government mpg site, which has some users that also report "actual" mpg. I realize they're not perfect, but they do kind of give a target indication of where things are.

I think the range issue is why the 350 is so worrisome, actually. I could actually do Pittburgh in two legs of 300 each, but there's so little window for miscalculations, traffic jams, etc. I don't know if I could find a site with real data.
Jadiajadia on January 9th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
I got this weird vibe from them, which I wasn't sure was sexist or not. I went with my boyfriend and the first salesguy constantly talked to him, rather than me, despite the fact that I was the one buying the car (and asking questions and Being In Charge.) The next-sales-guy-up was smoother though.

I liked the vibe I got out of the Honda dealership in Burlington - they seemed quite nice.

Anyway, if you want to check out my mazda 3 in a low-pressure environment let me know. We could use it as an excuse to hang out. ;)
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 9th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
I should definately take you up on your offer.

Chris Murphythe_gadgetman on January 10th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
Several years ago when wneleh and I were shopping for a Honda Odyssey we made a (brief) visit to Cambridge Honda. We found them rather annoying, partially due to the completely gratuitous $3000 they added to the price of the van. Talking to friends after that others also commented on bad experiences there.

We ended up getting the van at Honda Cars of Boston. We've used them regularly for mechanical work, and have been happy with them.
atherealathereal on January 10th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
I just did the car-shopping thing last August. High-pressure salesmen really make the experience awful. Take a friend (I'll go with you if you want); that way you always have somebody to say something when the other is spluttering incoherently from irritation. :o)

Anyways, I have a Mazda3 hatch. I *adore* my car, but I haven't gotten the gas mileage that I was expecting/hoping for. I'm not sure if it's the whole "advertised values are better than reality" or if there is something wrong with my car. I'm almost scared to ask. The tank is also smaller than some other cars out there, so I don't get more than 250-300 miles/tank. Sadness. Other than that, though... I've found my car to be nicely responsive and fun to drive. I've had my share of swerves and it has been ok. It makes good tight turns and fits in many spaces because it isn't that long of a car. (Length of a Corolla, but somehow it feels quite spacious inside).

If you need a buddy to be bad cop at the dealership, I'm more than happy to come along with you. :o)
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 10th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
we won't be buying seriously until may. I was just checking things out solo. Greg will come with me when we're ready to drive.

I find that the low range of your car a bit disturbing. Is that city or highway? I guess I should look for more realworld stuff.

This link supposedly has user inputs on what the 2007 mazda 3 gets as reported by users:http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=mpgData&vehicleID=23184&details=on
In the end, I'll know, but on the way, I wondergorgo on January 10th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
Wow, that sounds wildly annoying. Salespeople who seem incapable of accepting that the product they have doesn't meet your needs really piss me off. One good example was years ago, when 8 of us started looking for a three-family house to buy together with the goal of all living in it, one realtor called us with a selection of two-bedroom one-families ...


Camilla Foxcfox on January 10th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
This was the Honda dealership over by Fresh Pond? They wouldn't treat me like a customer (nobody there would pay attention to me) and I got some sort of weak "ha ha, we don't have those" when I accosted the greeter with a demand to see a standard transmission anything. Woburn Foreign Motors (Toyota) got my business instead.

I think if I had a do-over on the process, I'd have phone screened each dealership more carefully before taking the trouble to visit them.