I came home and told him I was most interested in the CR-V. What I liked:
- easy fold-away rear seats.
- rear seats are movable. Kid in car seat could be pulled close but an adult with long legs could move back. The rear seats also slightly recline.
- Two-level cargo area with a removable shelf.
- Car didn't feel tippy.
- Decent gas mileage for an SUV (23/30).
- Lots of great storage solutions.
- Steering wheel controls for sound system.
- Reliability of Hondas in general.
Across the bay, I found a dealer that's part of Auto Nation. Their online prices were definitely under the listed Kelly Blue Book value. When arrived at the dealership the stickers on the cars were significantly more than the prices in my little notebook. The dealer explained that they do internet pricing, but they'd be happy to honor what I'd written down. In the end the $3500 price difference is the amount they can bargain, so we weren't able to crank the price any lower. Knowing it was already under KBB, neither of us felt bad about that. As Auto Nation says of themselves, "Our associates are here to help you, not sell you. At AutoNation, we’ll guide your through a buying process that is honest, transparent and easy to understand." That really was our experience. Plus, they sell certified pre-owned. That means they check 120 things on the car and anything with less than 50% wear left in it gets replaced, so new tires, timing belt, etc.
Anyway, they had a 2007 EX-L on the lot with 43,000 miles. Online that looked like "The One", but when we got there, we discovered that it was GOLD. I couldn't even get Jrex to get in it to test drive it! I tried to tell him it was the perfect car for Dallas: lots of bling! but he was not persuaded. There was another 2007 EX-L with 74,500 miles. After we drove a lower grade 2009, we talked about the high-mileage car and realized that we didn't mind (plus it meant the car cost $3000 less). A quick test drive and we were sold!
We drove off with our (my) new baby (ours also has roof racks and runner boards):
I feel like such a device slut since it's too easy to think of these things as "My precious": my Kindle, my DroidX, my work laptop and now the car. Time to get me out of Silicon Valley!
In any case, I'm excited to really try her out in March when my climbing partners and I are scooting down to Joshua Tree from Friday morning to Sunday night. Seven hours of fun each way!