Saturday, September 1, 2007

New Mazda CX-9

We finally did it. After about a month and a half of negotiations (probably split evenly between intra-marriage negotiations and negotiations with several dealerships), we bought a Mazda CX-9. For someone who used to buy a new car every 2-3 years, it was a long time between purchases this time (almost exactly 10 years in Ty's old car).

We battled it out on the 7 passenger versus 5 passenger issue. Given that we only have two children (and will only have two children), I saw zero need for driving a school bus 100% of the time. A nice-to-have on occasion? Sure. But, not a need. Ty, OTOH, thought we needed to have a vehicle to haul the children's friends and cousins around in. This was a very interesting thing for us. In almost 20 years together we haven't disagreed on anything as much as this. We liked the same type of house, the same type of furniture, the same colors, etc. Timing has been an issue before (like when do we need new furniture). Deciding to have children was one where we had several discussions. But, on this car thing, whoo!

Ty tried to convince me that this should be her decision (and solely her decision) since she is going to drive it most of the time. I disagreed since we're both paying for it (and the 7 passengers are more expensive to acquire and to operate) and since it barely fits in the garage and caused us to do some major rearranging. I don't like the idea of people who don't need them driving over-sized gas hogs. If you need a truck or a 7 passenger vehicle, fine. But, just driving one because you can just irks me. I find them a prime example of American waste and rugged independence. Just because you can afford to waste a resource (gasoline and clean air) doesn't mean you should).

I finally had to come to grips with the fact that what we need versus what we want is subjective. When I got the new iMac, did I need it? I say yes because I was ready to shoot the old one. But, the reality is the old one still produced documents, uploaded my pictures and did all the functions required of it. When I bought the larger TV versus the smaller one, did I need those extra inches? Well, in my mind, yes. But, honestly, no. I could not, in fairness, force Ty to prove the need to have a school bus. She wanted it and that had to be good enough.

We considered the Hyundai Veracruz (a very nice vehicle and one that came in almost in a tie with the CX-9 in my opinion). At the last minute, we drove a Hyundai Santa Fe with the optional third row. Ty hated it. Since the price was less than $1,000 (with the options we wanted) different from the Veracrauz, we eliminated it. The Veracruz's advantages were a back-up warning system, overall length of 9" shorter (with the same interior passenger room) and the 5 year warranty. The advantages of the Mazda were a nicer interior and the fact we had owned two before and loved them. The thing that pushed the Mazda over the top was the zero percent financing deal for three years. The price came out to be just a little more than the Veracruz (once we had made our best deals on both). The financing actually made the Mazda cheaper. So, done deal.

We did the negotiations almost solely via the Internet. That is a story in itself. As a former sales guy I am amazed at the level of incompetence by most people in sales. One guy took a couple of days off in the middle of our negotiations. He's the guy we bought our Mazda from 10 years ago and we really wanted to give him the business. But, after sending me an email saying he would do crazy things to get our business, he disappeared for three full business days (and a weekend). During that time, we got a great deal from the other Mazda dealer in town and closed the deal. I have several other stories of incompetence. But, they're not worth telling. Costco let us down. They advertise this auto-buying program. But, they didn't have a single Mazda or Hyundai dealer in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana.

Here's a picture of the new car. (Do you call these things cars?). Here we are giving the old car up. Trading In the Old Car

The CX-9 Comes Home

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