Do you test drive cars just for fun?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Charles J P, May 31, 2002.

  1. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Do you test drive cars when your not in the market, or cant afford that car? I have had a few friends over the years through school and various jobs who do or claim to. Most of them never claimed to trick the sales person into thinking they do want to buy the car. They just go in and drool and then say, "hey, how bout a test drive". Well, I did that for the first time a few weeks ago. I wouldnt say I'm not in the market, because I am, but not until about 6 months out which is probably an eternity to car dealers. But anyway, I was interested in a 2002 1.8T Jetta so I was checking them out at the dealership. I told the guy I wasnt able to make the purchase until October, but gave him my info, and asked for a brochure. I was pretty vague about what I wanted for options, but I'm sure I told him I wanted the 1.8T. Then, out of nowhere, I say, well, how bout a test drive? and he says sure. Only problem is, we get out to the lot and he has grabbed the keys to the most tricked out Jetta on the lot. Maybe it was an accident or maybe he knew it was a just-for-fun drive, but it was a fully loaded GLX with a VR6 engine in it, not the 1.8T and stickered for what you would pay for a nicely equipped BMW 3 series. I didnt say anything because I didnt put 2+2 together about the GLX not even having the 1.8 as an option until after we got off the lot. Now I really want to go back and drive the 1.8. Would you be really annoyed if you were a dealer/salesmen, or is this part of the business. Am I the only one who has done/wants to do this?

    BTW, what do you all think of the new jetta? Its like a luxo civic on steriods for the price of an accord.
     
  2. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I don't test drive vehicles unless I'm interested in and able to purchase it. I have no interest in wasting anybody's time - including my own.
     
  3. Steve Ridges

    Steve Ridges Stunt Coordinator

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    I test drive vehicles all the time. Most of the time, I go during the day when they are not busy. The dealer that treats me right and lets me take a car for a spin will be the one I go to for my purchase when I'm ready.
     
  4. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    No.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I know some people that are like that... but then I don't usually myself, unless I am in the market.

    I do sometimes do that with the two wheeled bicycle variety if I have the time, most often the "parking lot" ride.

    The local Seven dealership has a full suspension custom Ti Duo on display... yum!

    Jay
     
  6. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I don't, it's too much of a pain here. in bigger cities they want you to drive the car, here they don't, I don't understand it.

    when my parents were looking at lexus and bmw's they were frequently given the car for a COUPLE DAYS, pick it up after work, take it home and to work the next day then return it after work. You gotta hand it to them, that's the way to sell a car.

    besides, why get my heart set on a car I can't afford?
     
  7. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    Some people test drive just to obtain gift certificates.

    ~T
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    YES! As often as possible. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I've been looking for another car for a few months also. I drove a Nissan Sentra SE-R Vspec just because they had one there. Needless to say, I though it was crap. Very good handling and steering for a live rear axle/panhard, and the brakes were good, but other than that I could not stand it. The interior is pathetic (especially the garbage plastic shift knob?), the engine did not live up to it's hype. The gear box felt sloppy, undefined and overly (artificially) weighted. The seats were no better than any other economy car, and were neither comfortable or supportive for sporty driving. The seating position is kind of low relative to the dash and window sill, making it more difficult to get a good feel for the road and the adjustable steering wheel would not move to a low enough position for my taste.
    I don't like the Jetta either. Too many reports of electrical problems.
    The RSX-S has everything going for it except the great handling of the previous generation. Some suspension changes would probably make this a decent handling car.
    The WRX is not bad, but I felt it also needed some suspension work, and DEFINITELY needs a brake upgrade. Motor is very good, just needs to get rid of the off boost lag.
    The S4 is just evil. I hated the shifter though. Horrendously sloppy, and a big turn off in an otherwise very good car. Hauls butt like a wild stallion all the way to redline. [​IMG] Just WAY too expensive...
    For the price of an S4, I'll take a BMW 330Ci any day. Great ballance of everything. Good shifter, good gearing, excellent handling, very good interior, good looks. Overall, this one gets my vote (in it's price class)...but I haven't driven the G35 coupe yet...and it supposed to be a little less expensive [​IMG] could be my next car. Will likely be one or the other.
    Next on the list: G35 Coupe & new Z-car, Cooper S, Lancer Evo (when it comes), whatever else suits my fancy and they will let me drive. [​IMG]
    I usually know more about the car than the salesperson, so I don't usually talk to them much. "Just let me drive...I'll tell you what I think when it's over"
    Interestingly enough, they wouldn't let me test drive my last car until I put a deposit down (frequently stolen, rare/limited numbers - 2000 Integra Type R), so I just signed the paperwork and drove it home [​IMG].
     
  9. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    I never do, but I don't see you test driving the odd car as a complete waste of the salesperson's time. It's like any buyer/seller situation: it's about developing relationships. If you hit it off with the salesperson, you might go to them when you ARE in the market.

    My brother, for instance, is a major car enthusiast (he has every Car & Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend, etc. since the mid 80s). He occasionally test drives cars. I asked him once if the salespeople ever got pissed, but he said that at every dealership, there's at least one person who is also a huge enthusiast, and actually enjoys taking some time out to spend with a fellow enthusiast, for a test drive or whatever.

    Surely an HT enthusiast can understand that.
     
  10. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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  11. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I've been keeping a close eye on the Jetta forum at vwvortex and haven't seen much mention of electrical problems for the current ones. When I curbed it and needed a tow the driver mentioned he rarely hauls VWs. While they have some issues, lots of rattles which take time to track down and fix properly, cheap window regulators, and some others, they're a fairly reliable car. I work with 5 owners/relatives of owners of '00 through '02 VWs, all GTIs and Jettas (which are virtually the same) and none have had significant problems. A friend of a friend got a lemon, but he got a replacement.

    Sorry, I just don't like seeing my baby slammed on, I'm very protective of her.

    As for the test drive, only if I'm in the market. Since you intend to buy something in the not to distant future, then I think its ok. I looked for a year and half before buying my Jetta, and test drove numerous cars I thought I'd like. But I didn't go test driving stuff I wasn't considering as I don't think its right to waste the dealers time and run up the miles on a new car.
     
  12. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  13. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Keith, what engine do you have? As you can see from my original post, I finally got the balls up to ask for a test drive, and I ended up driving one without the options I was even considering. Thats probably the biggest reason I'm itching to go back for another test drive.
     
  14. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I've got a GLX. I wanted everything, and I like normally aspirated engines. I'd definitely reccommend you go back for a drive of the 1.8t. I've been in my friends GTI 337 with the 180hp 1.8t, I can tell you its got lots of power, but I haven't driven it myself so I'm not exactly sure how well it runs. You have to decide for yourself if turbo lag is a problem, so go ahead and drive it now, because if you don't like it you need to look elsewhere, and it'd suck to get all excited about the car then find out when you're ready to buy that you don't like the engine.
     
  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  17. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  18. AviTevet

    AviTevet Stunt Coordinator

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    What about the RSX-S? Faster than the Jetta, handles better, has a decently nice interior (probably not as nice as the Jetta), gets 33 mpg highway... seems to be the perfect car for you. Or just go used... plenty of nice BMWs, Audis, and Acuras out there.
     
  19. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Well, I really dont want to go used, and I need four doors so even though I like Acura's, no RSX. I was originally wanting to get a Jetta wagon, but I dont see how VW justifies a $600 premium over the sedan on what has to be a less popular model.

    Back on the test drive theme, I went and drove a 4cyl Subaru Outback today. More like a Passat wagon in size and handling than the Jetta. It was very nice. Doors shut like they were snuggling into place, dash looked like high quality materials and it was pretty quite at the speed we drove (didnt take it out on the interstate as it was a lunch hour test drive). It rode nice for its size and purpose (ie not a sports car) and accellerated at least as well as my fiance's 4cyl Accord which is acceptable in the price range. I would rather have a slower, less sporty but well built car than a cheaply built rocket at the same price point. Overall, I was pretty impressed.

    Anyone have any advice about leasing with the intent to purchase? This is my next logical step as my lease payments would be cheaper and the buyout woulnt come until after my fiances car is paid off.
     
  20. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    IMO, too many hidden costs in a lease, insurance considerations that offset the benefits (with my insurance anyway, require a much higher coverage). If you intend to buy, I would just buy up front.

     

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