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What are you cross shopping?

samson

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But at the end of the day it will wind up being the Mustang due to price and configuration (V8, stick, convertible)
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I LOVED mine. This was the best color they made besides Mischievous Purple
IMG_7021.jpeg
I agree. FJG with the orange accents just looks great to me.
The mischievous purple is just awesome.
 

BoostRabbitGT

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Sorry to bump this up again, but thinking about it, I've got a few questions about cross-shopping vehicles...

1. Since this is a Mustang enthusiast forum, say you're cross-shopping other vehicles against the Mustang. If you test drive vehicles, how far in advance do you test drive them prior to getting either the Mustang or the cross-shop vehicle? Is it within days, weeks, months, and/or years?

2. What do people typically look for while cross-shopping outside of build quality stuff?
3. How does one cross-shop if they decide to custom order their vehicle as opposed to buying off the dealership lot?

4. How does one approach the salesperson if they want to test drive a vehicle for cross-shopping purposes?

This is all for now. Thank you for your patience with me. Any and all input is highly appreciated!
 


zstanny

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Sorry to bump this up again, but thinking about it, I've got a few questions about cross-shopping vehicles...

1. Since this is a Mustang enthusiast forum, say you're cross-shopping other vehicles against the Mustang. If you test drive vehicles, how far in advance do you test drive them prior to getting either the Mustang or the cross-shop vehicle? Is it within days, weeks, months, and/or years?

2. What do people typically look for while cross-shopping outside of build quality stuff?
3. How does one cross-shop if they decide to custom order their vehicle as opposed to buying off the dealership lot?

4. How does one approach the salesperson if they want to test drive a vehicle for cross-shopping purposes?

This is all for now. Thank you for your patience with me. Any and all input is highly appreciated!
1. Doesn't matter so long as a model change or update won't occur. This can happen if you order something, but unlikely. You could probably weed that out with some research on the forums for the vehicles you're cross-shopping.
2. Will vary with each individual. Usually some balance of performance value vs aesthetics. Car A performs a 8/10, but visually is a 5/10. Car B performs a 6/10 but visually is a 8/10, etc.
3. Still looking at bottom line here. The best you can likely get ordering is a shmidge under MSRP where you could get several thousand off a car that's sat for a while (still talking just new cars here). One thing to consider is if you order, and it's an average 5 month wait time, that's 5 more months of saving/planning.
4. If you're interested enough to drive one, you're not wasting their time, so don't feel bad about that. Comes with the territory.

Good luck.
 

bloominguez

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Sorry to bump this up again, but thinking about it, I've got a few questions about cross-shopping vehicles...

1. Since this is a Mustang enthusiast forum, say you're cross-shopping other vehicles against the Mustang. If you test drive vehicles, how far in advance do you test drive them prior to getting either the Mustang or the cross-shop vehicle? Is it within days, weeks, months, and/or years?

2. What do people typically look for while cross-shopping outside of build quality stuff?
3. How does one cross-shop if they decide to custom order their vehicle as opposed to buying off the dealership lot?

4. How does one approach the salesperson if they want to test drive a vehicle for cross-shopping purposes?

This is all for now. Thank you for your patience with me. Any and all input is highly appreciated!
1. Sometimes years, if you want to know what's happening in the market. Sometimes never; some vehicles are just not available to test drive, period. Example: High end versions of certain cars, sometimes all you can do is drive and/or sit in lower versions to get an idea of ergonomics, then you have to decide whether to buy the high end version based on reviews. I enjoy going to dealerships and checking out cars for its own sake. Just did so Saturday, to try the Integra Type S for example. Might buy, might not. Mainly just looking to try it out. It was a fun drive either way.


2. I look for a couple things. Ergonomics are really important to long term enjoyment of a car, in my opinion. See if the car really fits you. I test drove a Mazda 3 a few years ago, and I was stunned how bad the ergonomics were, like they didn't even consider that humans would be driving it. Nowhere near as bad as any Nissan, obviously, but still. One of the reasons I ended up with a 2-door Bronco is because the ergonomics are better than the 4-door (doors are longer, better suited for tall people who have the seat farther back).

Also look at the controls. Good example is the Acura MDX. Lots of controls on the steering wheel, but no "skip forward/back" buttons. This would drive me *crazy* since I listen to a lot of podcasts and it is really nice to be able to skip forward through commercials. Acura knows they screwed that up, they fixed it on the Integra's steering wheel.

Finally, I look to see if the car is satisfying to drive and will bring me joy (however you want to define it). I used to want super reliable, relatively cheap and efficient, and somewhat fun. My old Integra did all that (and still does, 28 years later, knock on wood). Now I emphasize fun more, simply because I'm older and have more money--just a different phase of life. My 5BW puts a smile on my face literally every time I drive it. I think the Mustang would be similar (almost bought a Mach 1 a few years ago, currently convincing a friend to get the Dark Horse, because he's a Ford guy).


3. You drive what you can, get as close to the vehicle you can. Figure out what online or magazine reviews you like and trust, and take their opinions on what you can't get your hands on. You might even ask for opinions from an online forum (gasp!). :)


4. You just say, "I'm interested in___[name the car]___. I'd like to see how it drives." If they ask why, just say that you're starting to look at new cars, getting ready to buy or thinking about buying. They don't need to know how long you've been looking or what you're cross shopping, although it doesn't hurt to say. Whether you're close to buying or not, a good salesman wants a shot to convince you.
 

BoostRabbitGT

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Late reply, but thank you for your help. I'm going to try and execute this advice at a Lexus dealership later this morning, possibly a BMW and Mercedes dealership as well if time allows and I'm feeling confident enough to do so.

By the way, are there specific car brands that WON'T let you test drive vehicles? (I'd imagine "exotics" such as Aston Martin or Lamborghini would be much more stingy about who they allow, if anyone, to sample their lineups.)
 

MustangMac67

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Late reply, but thank you for your help. I'm going to try and execute this advice at a Lexus dealership later this morning, possibly a BMW and Mercedes dealership as well if time allows and I'm feeling confident enough to do so.

By the way, are there specific car brands that WON'T let you test drive vehicles? (I'd imagine "exotics" such as Aston Martin or Lamborghini would be much more stingy about who they allow, if anyone, to sample their lineups.)
*Cough* Ferrari
 

bloominguez

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Late reply, but thank you for your help. I'm going to try and execute this advice at a Lexus dealership later this morning, possibly a BMW and Mercedes dealership as well if time allows and I'm feeling confident enough to do so.

By the way, are there specific car brands that WON'T let you test drive vehicles? (I'd imagine "exotics" such as Aston Martin or Lamborghini would be much more stingy about who they allow, if anyone, to sample their lineups.)
You don't know until you try. It's FUN to try. Go for it. Don't go when the dealership is super busy. Go in, sit in a few cars, take your time. Say, "This one feels good, I'd like to see how it drives." You say "execute this advice" like it's hard. It's not. Worst that happens is they say no. It's their job to try to move cars. If they have time, they want to take a shot at a sale. If it's slow you just shoot the breeze with a salesman for a little while, eventually go for a ride.

When I was in grad school in the 90s, just a ratty looking kid, if I was bored on the weekend I'd go test drive cars on a Saturday morning. Drove some BMWs, Acuras (Integra, in particular), Honda Prelude, Ford Probe GT (yes, seriously). Had fun testing out new-fangled things like anti-lock brakes. Salesmen probably didn't like it too much when I hit the brakes HARD to see how they worked, but hey, gotta try it out right? Just ask nicely, it will be fine.

Lexus shouldn't be too bad, definitely pay them a visit. I took a GREAT test drive in an IS 500 F Sport a few weeks ago, just to try out the Toyota/Lexus 5.0 liter, 472 hp, naturally aspirated V8. It was FANTASTIC. Unfortunately, it can only be had with a shitty automatic (I'm not just saying that because I prefer a manual, which I do, but because the automatic was bad even by automatic transmission standards--watch any review--fine for a "luxury" car, but not for a "fun" car). Regardless of the transmission, that Toyota/Lexus V8 will be one where people look back and say, "I should have bought one of those while I could have" for sure, before we're forced to submit to nothing but EVs and hybrids. Same as getting a Mustang with the V8 now--don't follow the EV herd, buy the V8 now while you can.

I've never gone to test drive something like a Porsche or Ferrari, just haven't been interested (considering price, etc.). But I may do some Porsche test driving in the near future, if possible. Will do the same as I suggested above. Take my time, shoot the breeze, sit in a few, ask to try one out. Except at a Porsche dealership I'm only going to take a drive if they have a manual available, obviously.

BMW and Mercedes are not that special. They should have some cars to drive. Maybe not the exact one you want, but try out their infotainment systems, controls, etc. Those things may be somewhat consistent across models. If you really want to drive things like a BMW, BMW has a summer driving event that they barnstorm the country with. Look it up, do a short autocross course in one of their cars, have fun.

As for Aston Martin, Lamborghini, etc., I imagine those would be tougher. But you never know, they may have some used cars to test drive. Still worth it.
 

BoostRabbitGT

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You don't know until you try. It's FUN to try. Go for it. Don't go when the dealership is super busy. Go in, sit in a few cars, take your time. Say, "This one feels good, I'd like to see how it drives." You say "execute this advice" like it's hard. It's not. Worst that happens is they say no. It's their job to try to move cars. If they have time, they want to take a shot at a sale. If it's slow you just shoot the breeze with a salesman for a little while, eventually go for a ride.

Lexus shouldn't be too bad, definitely pay them a visit. I took a GREAT test drive in an IS 500 F Sport a few weeks ago, just to try out the Toyota/Lexus 5.0 liter, 472 hp, naturally aspirated V8. It was FANTASTIC. Unfortunately, it can only be had with a shitty automatic (I'm not just saying that because I prefer a manual, which I do, but because the automatic was bad even by automatic transmission standards--watch any review--fine for a "luxury" car, but not for a "fun" car). Regardless of the transmission, that Toyota/Lexus V8 will be one where people look back and say, "I should have bought one of those while I could have" for sure, before we're forced to submit to nothing but EVs and hybrids. Same as getting a Mustang with the V8 now--don't follow the EV herd, buy the V8 now while you can.
I'll be honest, I'm not particularly good with people, especially once they try to go aggressive with the sales stuff. It doesn't help that I'm not that great at articulating what I want to say, I tend to stutter and struggle for the exact wording. (Even writing, even though I enjoy [and think I'm better at writing] more than talking.)

Funny you mention the IS500. I test drove an RC350 and IS350 with that crap automatic. I guess I generally drive cars more like a "luxury" car than a "fun" car if that makes sense. Any ways, I thought both the RC and IS were very nice, if not "WOW I GOTTA HAVE THIS NOW" impressive. Between the two though I liked the RC350 more, although I forgot to set it in Sport/Sport+ mode (whatever makes the steering feel "heavier"/more connected to the road, for context I drive my EcoBoost with the steering on Sport daily). Even then, the RC felt more engaging to drive than the IS, which I felt I almost forgot I was test driving while test driving it.

I'll agree test driving cars IS fun...when the salesperson doesn't go from being polite and informative to condescending/belittling/aggressive when I tell them my timetable for trading in and purchasing a new car is two years from now. I know it's their job to move cars and get a sale (probably didn't help that I was visiting this dealership from out-of-town). But I'd prefer if they were to do that, if they would save that talk for after the test drive. The last thing I need is to feel insulted by the sales person. (For context, where I live, I was able to test drive a used Mach-E GT and a new Subaru Outback thoroughly with ZERO mention of trade-ins, sales, and such.)

My "shopping list" now looks like this:

THE GOAL: 2025/2026 Mustang GT [Premium] (301A at minimum, 401A at most)

The contenders if the GT falls through:
1. Subaru Legacy Touring XT or Outback Touring XT (I feel this will be the sleeper choice. Even if isn't intended/built for spirited driving, if my test drive of the Outback was anything to go by, I really enjoyed the sound and performance of the turbo boxer-4, along with how comfortable and practical it is. Above all, AWD.)

2. Lexus RC300 F-Sport AWD (I liked the performance and natural-aspiration style of acceleration of the RC350 and feel like I won't be losing that much going with 260HP versus 311HP. Sounds nice as it looks too, in my opinion.)
 

bloominguez

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I'll be honest, I'm not particularly good with people, especially once they try to go aggressive with the sales stuff. It doesn't help that I'm not that great at articulating what I want to say, I tend to stutter and struggle for the exact wording. (Even writing, even though I enjoy [and think I'm better at writing] more than talking.)

Funny you mention the IS500. I test drove an RC350 and IS350 with that crap automatic. I guess I generally drive cars more like a "luxury" car than a "fun" car if that makes sense. Any ways, I thought both the RC and IS were very nice, if not "WOW I GOTTA HAVE THIS NOW" impressive. Between the two though I liked the RC350 more, although I forgot to set it in Sport/Sport+ mode (whatever makes the steering feel "heavier"/more connected to the road, for context I drive my EcoBoost with the steering on Sport daily). Even then, the RC felt more engaging to drive than the IS, which I felt I almost forgot I was test driving while test driving it.

I'll agree test driving cars IS fun...when the salesperson doesn't go from being polite and informative to condescending/belittling/aggressive when I tell them my timetable for trading in and purchasing a new car is two years from now. I know it's their job to move cars and get a sale (probably didn't help that I was visiting this dealership from out-of-town). But I'd prefer if they were to do that, if they would save that talk for after the test drive. The last thing I need is to feel insulted by the sales person. (For context, where I live, I was able to test drive a used Mach-E GT and a new Subaru Outback thoroughly with ZERO mention of trade-ins, sales, and such.)

My "shopping list" now looks like this:

THE GOAL: 2025/2026 Mustang GT [Premium] (301A at minimum, 401A at most)

The contenders if the GT falls through:
1. Subaru Legacy Touring XT or Outback Touring XT (I feel this will be the sleeper choice. Even if isn't intended/built for spirited driving, if my test drive of the Outback was anything to go by, I really enjoyed the sound and performance of the turbo boxer-4, along with how comfortable and practical it is. Above all, AWD.)

2. Lexus RC300 F-Sport AWD (I liked the performance and natural-aspiration style of acceleration of the RC350 and feel like I won't be losing that much going with 260HP versus 311HP. Sounds nice as it looks too, in my opinion.)

I suppose it's like anything else in life, the more you do it the more comfortable it will be. FWIW, now that inventory is a lot more scarce I've found salesmen to be a lot less pushy. At the moment they are comfortable letting people come to them, they are not nearly as aggressive (as a whole)--they simply don't have to be.

Yeah, Lexus builds cars that deliver a nice luxury experience (the ventilated seats were great, for instance--important here in Atlanta). To be clear, their automatic may be great for that type of experience. But it does *not* pair well with that fantastic V8 they have, it does not get the most out of that engine, it mutes the experience too much.

I wouldn't tell them a timetable like that (2 years). Just say you're looking for the right car, and you're not in a rush. Any time you give too much detail they tend to fixate on that.

True story: When I was much younger a salesman once asked me what I was thinking about paying, what kind of payment I could manage. Well, being an engineer, I had already put together a spreadsheet and run the numbers, assuming some money down, a certain interest rate, a certain price for the car, etc. He FIXATED on that like you wouldn't believe. He went and did the "I need to talk to my manager" routine, came back and said, great, we can do that! Presented a bunch of complicated numbers that obfuscated the details but ultimately resulted in a payment very close to what I had calculated. But it looked fishy and I said so. We went back and forth for a long time, like half an hour. He was assuming a higher price and/or a higher interest rate, but stretching the payments out longer, maybe 48 months instead of 36 (this was long before 6 & 7 year loans). Ultimately he said, in an exasperated way, "What do you want from me, I met your payment number!" I replied, "I'm sorry, I need to know the price of the car." I told him what I had assumed. He said no way, he can't do that! Another 15-20 minutes later, back and forth with the manager, we got damn close to the number I had assumed (which was aggressive but realistic), and I would have gotten all the way there if I had wanted to. But at that point I said I'm not sure I'm comfortable buying from you, and left. :)

Now I just say, "We can work on the numbers once I decide on a car, thanks." Also never say you're going to pay cash or you won't get the best deal, because they get kickbacks on financing--lots of information online about this.

Anyway, all of the above is exactly what you don't like--super pushy salesman, trying to manipulate a much younger person (I was 22 at the time, I think). But I kind of dig it, learning how they do business.

Yes, I've helped many friends negotiate and buy cars--to the point where the salesmen sometimes start talking to ME, as if I'm buying the car. One time a salesman was doing this excessively. I indicated that my friends (a couple) were buying the car. He kept talking primarily to me. So as he was talking to me, looking me in the eyes, I just turned my back to him and walked away, mid-sentence. Not trying to be rude, just emphasizing that I'm not the end customer, and he had ignored that fact for too long.

Point is: You don't have to take shit from a dealer--or anyone else in your life who exceeds certain boundaries. If you're not comfortable, say so and leave. Or just leave.


Continuing from your post...
I've never let being "out of town" stop me from visiting a car dealer. I might be a little less likely to ask for a test drive, but if they're not busy, why not?

Also, it gets easier as you get older, they tend to take you more seriously. They assume you have more money.


Good luck and have fun! If you have multiple dealers for the same brand where you live, don't be afraid to look at the same car at another dealer for that brand if one dealer is too aggressive.

As for your cars, your choices are too conservative for my tastes. Nothing wrong with that, just different preferences, perhaps different stages in life, different needs. I drove the same car for a long time, loved it, lived vicariously through friends. No longer, I'm fully in "buy mode" now.

Having said that I'd get a Mustang with a manual if I were you. Or the Lexus. If I bought a Subaru I'd get the BRZ all day long (kids are grown, don't need practicality), really enjoyed the previous generation (girlfriend had one, I drove it a lot) and I know I'd love the new version ..... which reminds me I should go test one of those, too. :)
 

BoostRabbitGT

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Good luck and have fun! If you have multiple dealers for the same brand where you live, don't be afraid to look at the same car at another dealer for that brand if one dealer is too aggressive.

As for your cars, your choices are too conservative for my tastes. Nothing wrong with that, just different preferences, perhaps different stages in life, different needs. I drove the same car for a long time, loved it, lived vicariously through friends. No longer, I'm fully in "buy mode" now.

Having said that I'd get a Mustang with a manual if I were you. Or the Lexus. If I bought a Subaru I'd get the BRZ all day long (kids are grown, don't need practicality), really enjoyed the previous generation (girlfriend had one, I drove it a lot) and I know I'd love the new version ..... which reminds me I should go test one of those, too. :)
Thank you very much for your advice. That "looking for a car, not in a rush" line is something I'll start using going forward 😊. (Man, I've learned a lot today!)
 
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I've optioned a 1LT Corvette Stingray to right around $68K -- about the same price as a Premium Dark Horse with Recaros. This is going to be a tough decision.

The DH has more in the way of standard safety features given that the Stingray is only a 1LT, but the Corvette has much better build quality, etc. So much give and take in each choice.
 

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