Saturday, June 13, 2015

Behind Door Number Four...

A week ago I wrote about the decision my wife and I had to make regarding a new car to replace my 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. It had been a great car since I bought it new three years ago but it had become impractical as of late with the arrival of our son. So, once again, we began looking for a new car with the criteria being an all-wheel drive SUV priced under $25,000 with reasonable insurance rates, leg/head room (front and back), with a few other basics found in most cars these days. Additionally, we were hoping to find something with Bluetooth, remote start, cruise control, a full sized spare tire, roof rack, regular outlet, and side molding. This initial wish list led us to the Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot.

I was able to drive all the cars a couple of times and spent some time at a couple of dealerships with my wife last weekend. Having driven them all I was leaning slightly more toward the Jeep models but didn’t have a really strong feeling either way. Thankfully, my wife was able to help me narrow down the options and almost immediately eliminated the Equinox upon inspection. She had her reasons and I wasn’t going to argue with them. So that left us with the two Jeep models.

The only real difference between the two is the body style. All the other features match up nearly identically with the only difference that I could see being that the Compass had a rear view camera. Being that this was not one of the features I was focusing on it didn’t really help with my decision. By the end of the long day we were able to sit down and make an initial decision on what was available (ordering was not possible as manufacturers have already switched over to 2016 production). We left the dealer on Saturday having put down a $500 deposit on a Jeep Patriot High Altitude Edition.

Throughout the week I spent some time going back and forth with the dealership, securing financing through USAA, and looking around to make sure I got the best price with the options that I wanted on the car. It never hurts to double check. As the end of the week neared I had finalized everything and was eager to pick up the car and dig through the mountain of paperwork. By Friday morning I was able to drive to work in my new 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

That’s right, over the course of the week I had looked around and compared the pricing of a few models. I also had the dealer check the stock on hand to see what was available. I had previously ruled out the Cherokee (especially the Trailhawk) because of the higher base price but looking at what needed and didn’t need to be added, the difference was much smaller than initially thought. It was actually a very similar situation to when I got the Malibu.

In the end, when we originally put the deposit down, I had to make a few compromises with the Patriot so when I came across the Trailhawk with nearly everything on it that we were looking for (everything else can be purchased/added later at a nominal cost) I had to talk to my wife about the slight increase in price (still staying close to our budget). Once she saw how much more we could get for our money we agreed to make the switch. Driving around today, I know that we made the right decision.