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I went out browsing for cars for my Folks with my Dad today...


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Let me tell you - they are difficult!!!! They don't want a wagon (like the Outback/Forester), they don't want bad gas mileage, they aren't fond of the Avalon (Dad felt like it was too low :rolleyes: ), they really want a built-in Navigation system, they don't want to spend for navigation, they want a high ride height, they like the Mercury Montego and the Mariner, my Dad really liked the Mountianeer but was scared away by 15 mpg (Thank God), He seemed less than thrilled by the Outback sedan - but they only had 2 a black one with extremely dark tints which was all scratched on the fender and a very dirty silver one which was on a hill and looked low because of it. My Mom seen a red Outback sedan back in August and liked it - I hope they go for that or look into more. Since they liked the Mariner - I suggested they look at the Escape Hybrid (33 mpg city).

 

I really don't know what to suggest - they are being really difficult and finding fault with everything.

 

- Mike

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Parents will be parents. It's all about change and timidity. Things are really changing (automotively for the better) and parents sometimes don't have time to pick up on all the nuances and changes that have taken place. Not sure how old your parents are Mike but this could be part of it.

 

If it's frustrating you, why don't you suggest a sit-down session to talk through what they're looking for (minimum needs, price, accessories/features). You've already picked up some of this as you've visited the various dealer locations. You could put together a pre-list (those things you've picked up from listening to them at the dealers).

 

Start with the basics. Do they want:

 

1) Sedan, Wagon, Coupe, Cross-over vanagon, etc.?

2) RWD, FWD, AWD, PT 4WD?

3) 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 cylinders?

4) a 3, 4, 5, 6 speed, Autoshift/Manumatic shifting?

5) Maintenance included with the purchase and BTB warranty for 36, 42, 58, 60 months?

6) Black, White, Gray, Blue, Red, Green, etc. color?

7) 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 passenger capacity?

8) $20-25K, $25-30K, $30-35K, $35-50K price range

 

What do they want for amenities:

 

1) Nav

2) AM, AM/FM, AM/FM/CASSETTE, AM/FM/CD w/changer? Premium audio?

3) Leather or cloth interior?

4) Heated seats?

5) Automatic or manual climate control ?

6) Moisture detecting wipers?

7) Auto-off headlights?

8) Sunroof/moonroof?

9) Tinted windows

10) and the list goes on...

 

Find some time, when you can sit down at the table and discuss these things. The idea is to get them to talk about what they're looking for in an open dialogue. You pose the question, wait for their answer. Take your time. Build a check list of must haves and nice to haves. Rank the nice to haves so you can compare.

 

You're goal is to just facilitate the assessment stage then put together some comparable cars for them to choose from and provide some background data from edmunds.com and other sites so they know what they're getting into cost wise.

 

Once they choose what they want to look at, then take them to see the cars. Keep your comparision list handy so they can see where they stand on their basic and ammenity agreements.

 

Talk through your strategy for your time at the dealership so you don't end up sitting through an attempted close the sale session with the dealership. There's time for that when you figure out what you want.

 

I trust that they are grateful that you're taking the time to help them find a car.

 

Not sure this was what you were looking for so just deep six if it's not.

 

SBT

- Pro amore Dei et patriam et populum -
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The new Ford 500 is supposed to have all that. The Mercury version looks much better. They have a weak v6 but should be decent gas mileage with the CVT. They sit higher than most sedans and offer AWD and nav and lots of space.

 

Magazine reviews have been very favorable so it may be worth a test drive. Loaded they're about $29-30k.

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The new Ford 500 is supposed to have all that. The Mercury version looks much better. They have a weak v6 but should be decent gas mileage with the CVT. They sit higher than most sedans and offer AWD and nav and lots of space.

 

Magazine reviews have been very favorable so it may be worth a test drive. Loaded they're about $29-30k.

 

Agree, the Five Hundred may suit their needs. I saw it a few days ago at the Chicago Auto Show. Didn't check it out too closely as I only had mild interst becuse it's new but I did think it looked better in person that in the pictures I've seen.

 

I also thought the Charger looked better in person too. I'm sure you could sell them on it. You know, a sedate, mature person's Dodge 4 door. And the Hemi option would strictly be for "safety" purposes, like having to merging in with all those dang hot rod youngins.

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Pretty much all the Highlander Hybrids are spoken for, at the dealership I work for we have a pretty long waiting list. All of the units we are getting the first model year are sold, I don't know about other places though. At least in the Midwest if you don't allready know you are getting one, you are not going to get one.
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I hear you on your frustrations! I just helped my parents buy a car too. Just be patient- it is going to be their car, after all. Keep giving suggestions and try to get an idea of what they want. What they want will probably change as they look at more cars. (My parents went from a Porsche to a BMW to a Lexus! Talk about a big change!) There's probably not a perfect car for them (or if there is it will be very expensive!) so explain to them they need to make compromises.

 

Good Luck!!! I'm sure they'll buy something- it might not be what you'd buy, but as long as they like it, great!

 

tom

tom :)

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I love car shopping with my parents... My dad has great car taste. We went sportscar shopping and checked out everything! Maserati, NSX, Porsche Turbo, Viper etc. Lots of fun! (I'm only 23 so most dealers won't take me seriously by myself on these cars) Now we are car shopping for my mom... M35x, RL, new GS... maybe a Mercedes CLS. Should be fun!
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