We have a few months left on our Saab lease and a list about 12 long of cars we might be interested in getting when the lease runs out. Today was a gorgeous day in the East Bay so we decided to head out to Walnut Creek to check out a few dealerships, see what the 2010 model years looked like, test drive those that looked good, and get an idea of what we're going to have to spend.
Our first stop was Cole European to see if they had any used Land Rover Discoverys in stock. They didn't and apparently hardly ever do. Moving on ...
Our next stop was the Subaru dealership where we looked at the new Forester. We test drove the old body style when we were car shopping last time and didn't love the way it looked or the way it drove. When the redesigned it I kept seeing them on the road and saying, "what car is that?" So clearly they did something right. We took it out for a spin and it was ... okay. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either.
Our third stop of the day was the Volvo dealership to look at the XC60 and XC90. Twilight fans may recognize the XC60 as the car Edward drives in the beginning of the movie but I can't understand why - (1) it's not cute and (2) it's not nice. Our experience at the dealership was weird. The salesmen wouldn't stop talking to us, but he also didn't seem to want to let us test drive anything. After awhile of hearing him disparage Twilight, Desperate Housewives, Ford, Toyota and Honda we left hot and sweaty. After having sat in an XC90 for about 40 minutes, Alan didn't love the way it looked so we probably won't even go back for a test drive.
Alan's dad has been telling me for months that I'd love the GLK so after Volvo we went to Mercedes Benz where we walked straight over to the GLK and started looking around. A man came up to us, asked where we'd heard about the car and when we said Alan's dad used to sell them it turns out that they worked at Merecedes of Oakland together about four years ago. Straight away we got a test drive. Oh my goodness, driving love. It was so smooth and quiet and just felt like a great car. It also felt quite cozy and small. We talked a little about what sort of deals they had going and basically the car we'd want wouldn't be in stock until the end of our lease anyhow, so he tried to convince us to order one today that would be ready when our lease ends. He printed out the specs on it and basically we'd be looking at a lot of money down and payments the same as our Saab each month. We knew going in the Mercedes and the BMWs would be the most spendy, but they're also the most pretty (and let's be honest - I'm not looking for high performance in my vehicle; I'm looking for a nice, smooth drive and whether or not my car looks good).
Since Alan's dad was at work down the street at Toyota we also decided to stop in to check out the new Highlanders. We used to drive a Highlander when we first moved into this house but it was the old body style and we didn't really look at it when we were getting the Saab lease. They didn't have the exact version we'd want available on the lot (4x4, leather, fully pimped) but they had the sport version that did have the leather seats so at least we could get a feel of that). It was driving love. Within seconds it felt like the right size, the ride height was perfect and everything about the vehicle just made sense. Unfortunately, when we got back to the dealership Alan's dad priced out the model we'd want and it's MORE than the GLK. Um, what? The problem with Toyota is that they are designed to meet every single budget so the base models are cheap(ish) but then any time you want anything nice added on they get you with a couple of grand for each item. By the time we were done, we were getting their fully loaded version, but we were also paying for it and mentally I would have a really hard time paying that much for a Toyota since it's decidedly NOT a luxury vehicle. But oh it was nice and sadly, exactly everything we need/want in a vehicle.
Thankfully we still have a couple of months left on our Saab lease so we have plenty of time to go see every car we'd be interested in, but right now the GLK and the Highlander are leading the pack. Oh the decisions.