Sunday, June 26, 2011
What's that you say? You think I have some extra swagger in my step? Well, I just might. Last week while my mom was here, we spent the weekend out test driving vans. We had it narrowed down to either the Honda Odyssey or the Toyota Sienna, but after driving a few, I decided that I liked the Sienna the best. I'm not sure if this is because I already drive a Toyota (Rav4), so the Sienna just feels familiar, but I definitely liked the interior of the Sienna better.
We didn't want to buy a brand new van, because we didn't want to eat the depreciation of the first few years, so we knew that we wanted to buy used. I have been looking on Craiglist for Siennas for sale by private owners, but found very, very few in our range (55-80k miles). Most individual sellers were selling vans with well over 100k miles, and that's just too much for us. So, we bit the bullet and started looking at dealers. (I just threw up in my mouth a little just thinking about it.)
We found "the van" at Toyota of Apex. It was just the right amount of van - Sienna XLE, both power sliding doors on the side and power rear door, which are a huge help with twins. It also has some other features that I don't care about - an upgraded stereo and alloy wheels. Seriously, it's a VAN. Nobody is going to be checking out my sleek alloy wheels. But, luckily, it didn't have leather or the DVD or navigation, because we really didn't want to pay the extra money for those. We would rather have a removable DVD that we can use for trips, and we already have a Garmin and 2 iPhones, so navigation is really unnecessary.
After MUCH negotiating and walking out of the dealership (right when they slid the buyer's agreement across the table with a $500 "documentation and processing" aka pickpocketing fee)... after a few tears and a few choice words (at least I cried when we got back to our car - I was so angry at how the conversation went that I just lost it)... we got our van at an awesome price. I feel really good about it in the end. We got them to lower the price of the van to compensate for the ridiculous fee (which, after some research, is apparently something that all the dealerships do around here - totally boggles the mind). I think we probably got that van for about as much as we would have paid for it from a private seller in the end.
And here is my new baby - 2005 Toyota Sienna XLE, 74k miles. She looks practically brand new. The previous owner took excellent care of her.
I have now gone from a hot little blue Mazda Miata to a still somewhat cool black Toyota Rav4 to a baby blue Swagger Wagon. My cars just keep getting bigger. What's next? A school bus? I hope not. (Though I would be an OFF THE HOOK awesome school bus driver, wouldn't I? The school kids would love me.)
Thanks to Mom for babysitting while we test drove the vans and for the emotional support after the evening of failed negotiations. Thanks to Jason for helping me test drive all these vans. And thanks to Toyota of Apex for giving us a great van at a great price in the end.