Buying a New Car

Edmunds.com has posted a series of articles by an investigative reporter who got two different jobs as a car salesman on the sly.

The upshot is: they’re more afraid of us rejecting them than we should be of them pressuring us, because then they get bawled out by their sales managers, who turn out to be the truly “evil” puppeteers of the whole, painful process. The pressure they apply only works because we let it work… immediate gratification, not enough education about the car and its price(s), etc.

[complete non-sequitir]

Personally, I’ve used Edmunds.com for years to research new and used cars before actually hitting the pavement to brave the treacherous road to suitable transportation. I bought the ’98 Eclipse regardless of Edmunds’ recommendations, and the site weighed heavily in my assessment of multiple vehicles before buying the current sled. Back in 2001, I invented an algorithm that took into account the things I found important (multiply pros, divide by cons):

({[(horsepower / curb weight) x 100] x average estimated miles per gallon} / montly payment) x 10 = CarScore. The 100 and 10 multipliers were employed to bring the results up to a manageable number.

After that, I looked at the individual statistics for each category (horsepower, MPG, etc.) and ranked them 1st, 2nd, 3rd as applicable when compared to the other cars in the running. Then, 1st place got 3 points, 2nd place got 2, and 3rd got one; that provided the PointsTotal for that vehicle, if any. This was only done to mitigate the “raw” CarScore, and provide a different, but relative, perspective. Here’s how it all turned out (vehicle :: Car Score :: PointsTotal, since tables render funky, and I’m too lazy to fix the CSS tonight):

2001 BMW 325ci :: 1.94 :: 3
2001 Honda Accord V-6 :: 2.45 :: 3
2001 Toyota Celica GTS :: 3.58 :: 13
2001 Dodge Stratus R/T :: 2.95 :: 8
2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT :: 2.87 :: 6
2001 VW Jetta GLX :: 2.34 :: 0
2001 Volvo S40 1.9T :: 2.70 :: 4
1999 Acura 3.0 CL :: 3.32 :: 9

By this method, I should have purchased a new Celica GTS. But, a new car takes that hit when you sign on the dotted line. Ultimately, the used Acura was a close second, had already depreciated, and was about $100 less per month. I had a winner.

I love that car. Oh, yeah, Edmunds.com, too.

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One thought on “Buying a New Car

  1. Idle hands make work for the devil – next thing you will be doing is reprogramming your phone. You need to monitor your geek level!

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