Originally Posted by in stitches
i was talking to a fellow SFer the other day who worked as a used car salesman for a time. he did not have good things to say at all about it.
Honestly, there's a little part of me that feels bad for them. I mean, what a shitty job. Not only does the work itself suck - customer service, tons of pressure, horrible hours, etc. - but you're in one of a handful of "professions" that is universally reviled. I know they exist, but I can't think of any job offhand that is met with the same level of uniform contempt as car salesman.
Of course, it is a really little part that feels bad, given they are some of worst people in the world. But, still, imagine going to that job six or seven days a week.
Originally Posted by HRoi
My point is, if you go to a Nissan dealership and say you are interested in the Sentra, you'll get less of this bullshit than if you went in and asked for something that has xx fuel economy, is yellow, and has a manual transmission (or whatever you are looking for). I realize that any idiot can probably understand the parameters you are laying out, but these are car salesmen you are talking about. My apologies if I am misunderstanding your situation
Originally Posted by otc
I mean...do you have a list of models? I can't imagine there are more than one or two models per manufacturer that fit your parameters.
In that case, can't you just walk into a VW dealer and say, "Hi, I'd like a golf or a jetta..." and then walk into the Honda dealer across the street and say "Hey, what can you do for me on a Civic or a Fit". If neither of those places work, hit up Nissan and say "Show me your Sentras and Versas". If you know the exact couple of models you are interested in, then the salesman has nothing else to show you ("You don't have it? Thanks anyway")
FWIW, I've rented a recent Versa and was pleasantly surprised. Its cheaper than any of those other models I listed, drove well, and was incredibly spacious. The only problem is that the 2 base models of the sedan don't have 60/40 folding rear seats. I rented it to go to a bike race, so this meant I had to take the wheels off (otherwise it would have just fit with the 60% seat folded down)...but when I slid the front seats forward, there was a HUGE amount of space in the back to sit around/change clothes/hang out (it was a very rainy race weekend).
I've always thought econoboxes worked better in hatchback form though...and the base model versa hatchback has the folding seats (although I don't know how much else changes from the sedan, maybe it is too small). I'm always amazed at how much stuff my mom has hauled in her VW golfs over the years...fold down one or both of the seats and you have room for tons of dirt/woodchips/gardening stuff as well as everything a family of 3 might need on a 2-week vacation (including a windsurfer and a bicycle).
I see what you guys are saying, but the problem is that we really don't have a specific model in mind. We're not focused on that. With few exceptions, I'm not picky about any of it. It's the features of the car that matter. I guess I just figure these guys have one job, and that's to find me a car. "Econobox with four doors for around $xx,xxx" should be enough information for them to know whether or not they have something workable, but perhaps I'm giving them too much credit.
For what it's worth, I have tried to provide some guidance on models we like, so there have been some grounds for comparison. I haven't been pushing too hard with that, mostly because this is a class of cars about which I know very little and don't want to rule something out out of ignorance, but maybe I need to be more assertive with models we've seen that could work.
The Versa really is a decent little car. It's actually one of the few I cite as possibilities when we go out looking. I've driven one a couple of times, and, like otc, I was pleasantly surprised. That type of thing is pretty much exactly what we hope to find - inexpensive, great gas mileage, and reliable enough to not cost much on maintenance for the couple/few years we'll own it.