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Posted: 8/24/2005 7:56:45 PM EDT
I plan to buy a new car in late September or early October. I will get a 2005 model despite it being "wiser" to get a 2006 - this is mostly for the lower price. I am not too worried about resale value, I just want and need a new car that is fun to drive and a good value.

The Subaru Impreza WRX is what I want to get (I am set on this, please no calls to buy domestic, another make or model, etc. please), without any real frills or options (since they come pretty well loaded anyway). The dealers around here either have stock models or the vehicle comes with a spoiler (option) but this is mostly on the cars that are white which happens to be the color I want as well.

Anyway, I have very good credit, so I plan to get my own financing which will probably yield a better APR. I do have about 9K in school loans but I don't think this will hinder my ability to get a good loan with a decent APR; unless I'm clueless on this point. I'm looking to put 5K down and finance the rest. My driving record is also very clean in case that matters.

After all that, I'm looking for any other information and advice/tips you guys have when it comes to buying a new car and how I can avoid some wannabe snake trying to screw me. Also, what is the ballpark figure I'd be looking at including the car, tax, license, registration, etc. (I live in S. CA)?
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:05:17 PM EDT
I have a '04 WRX Wagon and love it. As for pricing, check out www.edmunds.com I got mine a year ago for a $1 under invoice.

They are not usually out of sight, but I do recommend checking about insurance pricing before you buy. I wanted the wagon for its versitily but also found it to have about 25% cheaper insurance.

My wagon.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:07:00 PM EDT
Are you trading anything in to the dealer?

How many Subaru dealers are in your area?
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:08:03 PM EDT
Well, I own a 2002 WRX. I'll tell you that it's an excellent choice. I bought it used last year, and I do believe I paid a little too much for it. I bought it in Orlando for $20K, but it is in great shape, has a custom exhaust, and custom wheels. No, not ghetto, just conservatively custom.

That being said, I'd probably be able to pull $14,000 out of it in a private party sale if I had to.

The 2006 models lost that sharp look when Subaru redesigned the nose.

Have you considered buying an STi instead. You wouldn't be looking at spending too much more, but you'd certainly be getting more. Just be careful though, you don't want to get a modded STi that some asshole drove the hell out of.

That's my .02, either way you can't go wrong.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:12:39 PM EDT
Neat cars with good resale value
they show up at the dragstrip all the time here and they are not as fast as the magazines claim
hey i had to get dig in somewhere
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:13:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Carb850:
I have a '04 WRX Wagon and love it. As for pricing, check out www.edmunds.com I got mine a year ago for a $1 under invoice.

They are not usually out of sight, but I do recommend checking about insurance pricing before you buy. I wanted the wagon for its versitily but also found it to have about 25% cheaper insurance.

My wagon.



I've just never understood the whole fascination with wagons. I'm not knocking it, but why a wagon? More cargo space combined with less expensive insurance?
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:14:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By www-glock19-com:
Neat cars with good resale value
they show up at the dragstrip all the time here and they are not as fast as the magazines claim
hey i had to get dig in somewhere



I bet to differ. But at the same time I'm not willing to do what you need to do to repeat those numbers. The WRX has a notoriously weak tranny. Those 5K RPM clutch drops are begging for trouble.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:15:04 PM EDT
I was a car salesman for almost three of the longest. bleakest years of my life.

IM me for tips and hints for getting out the door without getting fucked.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:15:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By www-glock19-com:
Neat cars with good resale value
they show up at the dragstrip all the time here and they are not as fast as the magazines claim
hey i had to get dig in somewhere



I'm pretty sure that STis and WRXs are as fast as most magazines claim, such as Road & Track.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:16:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Carb850:

Originally Posted By www-glock19-com:
Neat cars with good resale value
they show up at the dragstrip all the time here and they are not as fast as the magazines claim
hey i had to get dig in somewhere



I bet to differ. But at the same time I'm not willing to do what you need to do to repeat those numbers. The WRX has a notoriously weak tranny. Those 5K RPM clutch drops are begging for trouble.



And that's true. The WRX has the same transmission as the 2.5 RS Impreza.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:17:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAR-10:

Originally Posted By Carb850:
I have a '04 WRX Wagon and love it. As for pricing, check out www.edmunds.com I got mine a year ago for a $1 under invoice.

They are not usually out of sight, but I do recommend checking about insurance pricing before you buy. I wanted the wagon for its versitily but also found it to have about 25% cheaper insurance.

My wagon.



I've just never understood the whole fascination with wagons. I'm not knocking it, but why a wagon? More cargo space combined with less expensive insurance?



That is exactly it. The sedan does not have seats which lay down flat. I ride bicycles and this posed a big problem. Wagon makes toting my cycles around easy. Carried a few things it in that I could not have in the sedan. Now, if I had a truck already I would have went for the sedan, but this is my only car. The insuruance thing was not the deal maker, but it did go into the equation.

Not to mention, I like the looks of the wagon. I like the Sedan too so having a vehicle labeled 'wagon' was not a problem for me.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:38:41 PM EDT
There are about 10 dealers within a 40 mile radius of me. I won't be trading anything in because I know that dealers usually screw you on a trade in unless you wave a wad of cash in their face and threaten to walk away. I will be selling my '94 Ranger private party, and with all the gardeners around here I can probably get 3K for it (in very good condition).

I wish I could afford the STi but unfortunately I can't. If I can manage to get the payments to about $400 a month I can handle the WRX purchase pretty well without any lost sleep.

I won't be taking it to the drag strip, but once broken in I will be driving it on the winding roads around town just for the fun of it. I did consider the wagon, but I'm in my early mid 20s and I can't see myself in one of those, yet.

Thanks for the responses so far, please keep them coming. samsong, IM sent.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 8:41:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 8:49:57 PM EDT by leelaw]
Have you tried CarFax.com? I was able to get good, no-haggle quotes for a WRX when I was in the market.

ETA: Insurance will be higher with the sedan. The wagon still has the same kick, a slightly wider wheelbase (or was it longer?), and weighs a little less IIRC.

I like the fold-down seats in the wagon and WRX.. wish my STi had it, but alas...
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:11:00 PM EDT
Here's the short, painless way to get a good deal:

Work the dealers against each other.

Get the best deal from the place you think you will NOT buy from, then go to the dealer you would like to buy from, tell them you were almost ready to commit at the last place, but they jerked you around on extras/financing/whatever (lie). Tell them, if they'll beat the other deal you'll buy right now. Also, test drive and look at it seriously at the FIRST dealer. Let him show you the car, features, etc. (that's where they think they're hooking you). When you walk into dealer #2, go straight to the showroom and tell them you're here to buy "X" car, right now. This short circuits alot of BS and their salesmanshit.

This shifts the power from them, to you....and there's no arguing. Either they'll play ball or they won't....and they know if they let you walk, you'll go back to dealer #1, or to another dealer.

It usually only takes about 5 minutes of haggling this way, and don't be afraid to walk and find another dealer. Eventually one will bite and you'll get a great deal.

My $19,500 SER SpecV got sold to me at $16,300, which is a full $1100 under invoice using this approach. I had to hit 3 dealers to get it, but it works.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:15:55 PM EDT
Haven't tried Carfax.com yet, but will look into it.


swingset, your advice makes a lot of sense and I certainly won't be afraid to walk off the lot to go somewhere else, it's not like this is a one of a kind type of car with specific options I'm ordering.

I've heard it's better to go on a weekday evening as they usually have the less experienced people there and might be more willing to cut a deal to go home if you keep them there after closing. Any truth to this?
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:15:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:
Here's the short, painless way to get a good deal:

Work the dealers against each other.

Get the best deal from the place you think you will NOT buy from, then go to the dealer you would like to buy from, tell them you were almost ready to commit at the last place, but they jerked you around on extras/financing/whatever (lie). Tell them, if they'll beat the other deal you'll buy right now. Also, test drive and look at it seriously at the FIRST dealer. Let him show you the car, features, etc. (that's where they think they're hooking you). When you walk into dealer #2, go straight to the showroom and tell them you're here to buy "X" car, right now. This short circuits alot of BS and their salesmanshit.

This shifts the power from them, to you....and there's no arguing. Either they'll play ball or they won't....and they know if they let you walk, you'll go back to dealer #1, or to another dealer.

It usually only takes about 5 minutes of haggling this way, and don't be afraid to walk and find another dealer. Eventually one will bite and you'll get a great deal.

My $19,500 SER SpecV got sold to me at $16,300, which is a full $1100 under invoice using this approach. I had to hit 3 dealers to get it, but it works.



Well hell, that's just basic procurement strategy...

Do people really need to be told? I guess so.

The only problem is that you have to flexible with your requirement. Because perhaps no dealer within a 50 mile radius will have the exact same car, so you've really got to be flexible with the options you want. And you've got to compare apples to apples.

But yes, in the end, if you compete the buy, you're going to get a better deal.

I bank with USAA, and for some reason they don't even let you negotiate the price on a new car, they do it for you and most of the time they can get it under dealer invoice with some options.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:18:38 PM EDT
The car comes pretty well loaded, and I want no options. The only thing I prefer is the color, white, but if that is not available I can go for gray or silver. In that regard I can definitely be flexible and have more leverage.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:22:19 PM EDT
AG when I bought my BMW, I paid a visit to the autotrader. Most of those ads are from dealers. I picked some close by and made some offers and it was no go. But I found a dealer on the autotrader and called the salesgirl up. I said look I will pay $400 over invoice for the car. And she said when do you want me to pick your ass up at the airport. It was in Chicago. So I flew into Chicago for $80 on Southwest oneway. A dealer shuttle picked me and my GF up. We got the car and drove the city. Had a fun night and drove home the next day.

Most dealers will make a deal on old stock. Use your fax machine and tell them you will X dollars for the car, take it or leave it. You will get some call backs. Address it to the business manager.

Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:24:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By A_G:
The car comes pretty well loaded, and I want no options. The only thing I prefer is the color, white, but if that is not available I can go for gray or silver. In that regard I can definitely be flexible and have more leverage.



No no no, a Lexus comes pretty well loaded. A WRX comes with a Momo steering wheel, a stereo, and an air conditioner. The WRX doesn't even have a digital thermostat or a nav system.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:32:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 9:33:47 PM EDT by swingset]

Originally Posted By CAR-10:

Originally Posted By swingset:
Here's the short, painless way to get a good deal:

Work the dealers against each other.

Get the best deal from the place you think you will NOT buy from, then go to the dealer you would like to buy from, tell them you were almost ready to commit at the last place, but they jerked you around on extras/financing/whatever (lie). Tell them, if they'll beat the other deal you'll buy right now. Also, test drive and look at it seriously at the FIRST dealer. Let him show you the car, features, etc. (that's where they think they're hooking you). When you walk into dealer #2, go straight to the showroom and tell them you're here to buy "X" car, right now. This short circuits alot of BS and their salesmanshit.

This shifts the power from them, to you....and there's no arguing. Either they'll play ball or they won't....and they know if they let you walk, you'll go back to dealer #1, or to another dealer.

It usually only takes about 5 minutes of haggling this way, and don't be afraid to walk and find another dealer. Eventually one will bite and you'll get a great deal.

My $19,500 SER SpecV got sold to me at $16,300, which is a full $1100 under invoice using this approach. I had to hit 3 dealers to get it, but it works.



Well hell, that's just basic procurement strategy...

Do people really need to be told? I guess so.

The only problem is that you have to flexible with your requirement. Because perhaps no dealer within a 50 mile radius will have the exact same car, so you've really got to be flexible with the options you want. And you've got to compare apples to apples.

But yes, in the end, if you compete the buy, you're going to get a better deal.

I bank with USAA, and for some reason they don't even let you negotiate the price on a new car, they do it for you and most of the time they can get it under dealer invoice with some options.



I know the car biz pretty well, my family sold cars for a number of years. You wouldn't believe how many people don't haggle, or even have any sort of strategy buying. They just waltz in and let the salesman rape them.

Playing dealers against each other will beat any deal, ever, by anyone. Even banks and brokers. If a dealer thinks you have a sale pending at another dealer, even if it's near scalping price, he won't let you go unless he's fat in the wallet and doesn't need sales - which means there were never any deals there to be had. Otherwise, he'll sell the car for $10 profit just to keep you off the other guy's lot.

I know this from our business and from buying 20 cars this way....but some people still believe goofball "no haggle" deals or sales or incentives are the only good deal or can't be improved upon. Wrong.

Same with financing, same with options, same with everything.

As for finding apples/apples, that's just something you roll with. If I walked in to a dealer who doesn't have car "X", I say "Can you get me one?". If they balk, then I say, "Ok, what do you have that's damn close"...which can work for you since you're compromising, as far as they think.

The real perk of buying using buyer's leverage is that it cuts the showroom BS off at the knees. No more stupid conversations, no more "let me see what I can do with the numbers" shit. You tell them the deal they have to beat, they say yeah or no. That's it.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:43:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By www-glock19-com:
Neat cars with good resale value
they show up at the dragstrip all the time here and they are not as fast as the magazines claim
hey i had to get dig in somewhere



Ahhh, thats because they are probably not sidestepping the clutch at 5 grand on the tach. Thats the way to get good times out of these cars as they have lots of turbo lag and lack low end torque. Until the turbo kicks in, you basically have a 120 horsepower 2.0 liter engine. I was able to get a 14.3 at 94 mph out of my bone stock 2002 WRX before I sold it. I would'nt launch it like that many times though, unless you like the smell of burnt clutch.

They are great cars by the way. Fun as hell to drive, especially in the snow. You will look forward to winter.

Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:48:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 9:51:24 PM EDT by fike]
I'm probably one off the few people out there that doesn't really like their WRX. Don't get me wrong it's a really good car, BUT it's just not what I expected. They can only be described as merely quick, not in any case fast. Handling is decent, but nothing special (the stock tires suck). Braking is barely above average. Side bolsters on the seats are made for a much larger person than myself (I'm 5-10 170lbs). I slide side-to-side in the seat slaming my ribs on the bolsters.

My WRX (05 with 6000 miles) also has about 5 seperate rattles that the dealer is having a hard time fixing.

Your results may differ.

Edit to add: Since you are in S. Cal like myself, you also have no use for the winter benefits of the car.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:52:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 9:56:36 PM EDT by A_G]

Originally Posted By CAR-10:

Originally Posted By A_G:
The car comes pretty well loaded, and I want no options. The only thing I prefer is the color, white, but if that is not available I can go for gray or silver. In that regard I can definitely be flexible and have more leverage.



No no no, a Lexus comes pretty well loaded. A WRX comes with a Momo steering wheel, a stereo, and an air conditioner. The WRX doesn't even have a digital thermostat or a nav system.




I'm not looking for a luxury car, I want something that I will enjoy driving and a WRX is just the ticket for the kind of driving I like to do. It comes with power everything, CD, AC, and a few other things. I realize most cars come with that stuff now, but you also don't get 4WD, turbo, and fun as hell to drive for under 25K often either.

I will definitely be playing the dealers against each other. Capitalism at its finest.



I'm probably one off the few people out there that doesn't really like their WRX. Don't get me wrong it's a really good car, BUT it's just not what I expected. They can only be described as merely quick, not in any case fast. Handling is decent, but nothing special (the stock tires suck). Braking is barely above average. Side bolsters on the seats are made for a much larger person than myself (I'm 5-10 170lbs). I slide side-to-side in the seat slaming my ribs on the bolsters.

My WRX (05 with 6000 miles) also has about 5 seperate rattles that the dealer is having a hard time fixing.

Your results may differ.

Edit to add: Since you are in S. Cal like myself, you also have no use for the winter benefits of the car.



I plan to change the wheels and tires when I have some extra money, probably after a few months of owning the car. The brakes will be upgraded after that (almost every car under 100K has just barely adequate brakes). The suspension will be upgraded after that. I know it isn't "fast" like a Corvette, but I know it will be damn fun to drive up and down a winding road.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 10:08:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By A_G

I plan to change the wheels and tires when I have some extra money, probably after a few months of owning the car. The brakes will be upgraded after that (almost every car under 100K has just barely adequate brakes). The suspension will be upgraded after that. I know it isn't "fast" like a Corvette, but I know it will be damn fun to drive up and down a winding road.



If you want to spend the money, it will be a hell of alot better car.

But you could just buy a 06 which comes with 17 inch wheels and STI brakes. Not to mention a 2.5 liter vs. the 2.0 in the 05.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 10:40:08 PM EDT
You might check out the current SAAB promos. They were doing the employee discount thing and selling the SAABuru version of the WRX wagon for around $19.5K new.

Keep in mind that you will have to put premium gas in the tank or face damaging the engine from knocks or pings. Haven't heard to many problems yet but putting low octane fuels (less than 92) void much of the factory warrantee. (To the best of my knowledge)

Have fun.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 10:58:10 PM EDT
Sorry, a little off topic of hte Subaru, but still car (rather truck) buying advice sought.

I got a little stupid with my last truck. I owe a little more than it is worth. It is in excellent condition as well. I have found a need for a 3/4 or 1 ton truck to haul my dump trailer with a reasonable load. What would be a recommended tactic to use with a dealer to make a good purchase, probably used for my financial situation. I know and accept I screwed up and will take the lumps, but I don't want those lumps to multiply with my next purchase.

Thanks

Mike
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