Before you jump right into this article, make sure you read Journal #1 and Journal #2. Okay, all caught up? Good. So you now know our beef with hybrids and the price gouging going on in that field. Shame on you guys! So are you ready for it (I know, it’s in the title)? We bought a 2007 Mazda3 S 5-speed.
So again, to fill in the people who skipped those links above in the interest of getting to the really exciting reveal, this was to be my husband’s car. I already drive a fairly new car – 2005 Acura RSX Type S. He was driving a 1998 Saturn, which I might add, was bringing home car repair bills that were larger than my monthly purse and shoe budget. And that’s absurd. So out it goes.
After trying out Honda and Toyota and simply not being super happy (although we were pretty ready to buy a regular Civic without any reservations… we just weren’t excited about it), I suggested a Mazda3 to my husband. His response: "What’s that?" <Sigh> Some days… some days. I sent him a link via IM while he was working. About 5 minutes later he IMs me this (no really I saved it): “I WANT A MAZDA3 YAY!” Hold on Tiger. When pushed for a reason… you want to know what he said?
He said, “Because it comes in pretty blue.” People. I can not make this stuff up. The man in my life, the one with the testosterone was telling ME, the one with the XY chromosome, that he wanted a car why? Because it was BLUE. <Smacks head> Okay, admittedly, I bought a blue car and I love the color as well, but that’s not WHY I bought the car. At any rate, I told him he needed to drive it first. So he did. And he still loved it and wanted it in blue. With much prodding I learned his real reason was because it looked more expensive than a Civic and had a lot of fun options and still came in well under $20k. Fair enough.
So now the baton was passed squarely to me. I don’t care what anyone says, I think a lot of women handle the actual buying part of the process. Remember, this is Jason’s car and not mine, but I was left the work of finding it and getting the price we wanted. Although I have to give him credit. He figured out exactly what we should be paying and what APR he wanted, etc. So I was going to wait until after my next Ask Patty business trip to figure this out, but then we went bowling.
While bowling with our friends (Hi Chris! Hi Katie! Hi Mike!), we saw a commercial that said Mazda dealers were offering 0% APR on 2007 models in order to make room for the new ‘08s. Hot dog! That was Friday night. We bought our car the next day. Here’s how and what we did.
I started calling local dealers to find the car with the exact specs we wanted. We knew the Invoice, MSRP, and TMV (what others are paying for the same vehicle). We knew what our payments would be with 5 different variances on trade-in value of the Saturn. We also knew how those payments would change with each incremental increase of APR.
We found the car we wanted at one dealership, and when we showed up, he couldn’t find the car anywhere on the lot. Rule #1 of a successful sale: Must have vehicle for paying customer. He brought out the 5 door version (we only wanted a 4 door) and offered that to us. I just looked at him like he was insane. I said, “This has 5 doors. We want a 4 door.” He said, “Oh sorry, we don’t have one on our lot, but this one is just the same!” We pretended we were hungry and we left. Note to all salespeople: LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.
We drove up the road to the next dealer, Tustin Mazda. I mention their name only because they were absolutely wonderful. I have never had a dealership experience like this one. I would actually describe it as pleasurable? Yes, yes I would. I talked to the General Sales Manager about the car we wanted. He told me he didn’t have it but could get it to me and would give it to me for invoice!! Where did this guy come from?! So we sat down that day and bought the car for invoice at 0% APR for 3 years.
The experience we had with Tustin Mazda was stellar… and they even have a “Zoom Zoom room” for kids and free catered lunch for their customers on Saturdays! Makes sense because you are in there for hours.
Okay, my short journal entry is getting long. But I have to wrap it up with this little nugget: Jason drove the car for less than 24 hours before he said to me “I want my next car to be a Mazda.” This from the guy that didn’t even know what it was a week earlier. If that isn’t an incredible endorsement, I don’t know what is.