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No Test Drive??

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Bluebonnet, May 28, 2008.

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  1. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet New Member

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    Hello All,

    I am in the market for a new car and am seriously considering a Prius. Here is my problem, there are none available for a test drive in the city where I live. (Austin) I have called all the dealers in town and they have told me that I have to just buy the car without even a test drive. I find that attitude to be very cocky and off-putting. :mad:

    My main concern is interior room, I currently have an X5 and wonder if I would find the Prius too small for my son and myself. Also, I live in a very hilly area with lots of winding roads so I am concerned about handling around corners and uphill acceleration.

    Has anyone else had this experience with Toyota dealers or bought the car without so much as a test drive?

    Thanks in advance for any advice offered!
    Bluebonnet
  2. lfwintx

    lfwintx New Member

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    I live in New Braunfels, so I know what you mean about having trouble finding one to test drive. Red McCombs Toyota in San Antonio (NW side near intersection of 410 and 10) has one for test drives -- it's covered with their logo so it's not for sale, but driving it helped me make up my mind.

    Good luck!
  3. eclipse3g

    eclipse3g New Member

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    If you get on a dealer's list, and get notified one is in, you will be able to test-drive that one before you actually purchase it.
  4. loftishb

    loftishb HughB

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    Just one note - 6 foot + people are too tall for the back seat (my son and I are both over 6 feet and only ride up front - no problem in the front seats). I do recommend you get a test drive. The test drive sold me on the car, but you need to see for yourself. Good luck.
  5. kittykat

    kittykat New Member

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    I started looking in mid-April & ran into that same exact problem. I contacted 3 dealers in Austin, 1 in San Antonio, 1 in San Marcos, & 1 in Brenham. Nobody had any that you could test drive & but some would say as soon as they got one in that wasn't already sold they would let you test drive it. The problem that I was running into even then, which I'm sure is worse now, is that cars were being sold before they were reaching the dealerships. The worst was Charles Maund. They said they would absolutely not let people test drive their prius. I ended up putting a deposit down w/round rock just to hold my spot & after I did that a car became available for test drive in San Marcos. When I test drove it in the San Marcos area it handled pretty well on the little hills in that area & it was fairly curvy too. As far as size, last time I checked Maund had one sitting in their lobby that you could look at so you could at least check that out. Good luck.
  6. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet New Member

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    Thanks so much for y'alls help with this. I need to be in San Antonio next week so I will stop by the McCombs dealership for a test drive. Thanks for the heads up on that!

    The guy at Maund Toyota advised me to rent a Prius to do my test drive. :rolleyes: I know where I won't be buying my new car!
  7. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    This depends on where you carry your height. Some tall people have no trouble, others are doubled up.

    Tom
  8. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    The dealers have no incentive to keep a demo Prius; they sell all they can get. Either rent one or find a happy Prius driver that will take you for a spin.

    Tom
  9. la cucaracha

    la cucaracha New Member

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    I live in west Austin in the hills and the car handles great. I bought one at Champion and test drove it for 3 days. I bought in March and they even discounted the MSRP then. I am getting 45MPG consistently but don't have very much mileage yet. Good luck!
  10. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet New Member

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    3 days, wow! When I called Champion today they didn't have any available for a test drive. I was wondering if I could get below MSRP so you're info is encouraging.

    I am starting to think that I should wait until after the summer driving season to buy. Dealers seem to have the upper hand now. Maybe I will just get an '09.:)
  11. FrankZ

    FrankZ New Member

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    The only way I got a test drive was that I got lucky and happened to visit a dealership that had borrowed one Prius from their rental fleet for the weekend. Otrherwise, no dealerships in my area have a single one on the lot, they are all pre-sold.

    Glad I got the chance because driving it sealed the deal for me. All the misconceptions I had disappeared. I am now waiting for the delivery of my Seaside Pearl Pkg 5. It should arrive a few days before my b-day...Happy birthday to me!
  12. racerbob

    racerbob Member

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    Uphill acceleration will be better than any car you have previously driven. The electric motor adds quite a lot of instant-on torque. Most of us here enjoy gradual acceleration to squeeze every last mile from a gallon of fuel, however. It's good to know that it is there if you need it. I enjoy the roller coaster feel of the cruise control when you are going uphill and it pins you back in the seat to maintain your chosen speed regardless of the grade increase.
  13. pdhenry

    pdhenry It's HEEERE!

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    If you're aching for a test drive (I was) note that Hertz's "Green collection" includes Priuses, and in this category the cars are model-reservable, meaning you can specifically reserve a Prius. The midweek rates are $70+/day but i was able to get a weekend rate of $32.99/day.

    As a plus I was able to put the Prius through stuff I wouldnt dare on a short or even overnight test drive. I went to Lowe's and bought some 8-foot fence posts, a couple hundred pounds of Quickrete and a few bags of mulch. This satisfied my "haulin' stuff" test.

    I spent under $100 for my weekend test drive, which I think was money well-spent in the long run.
  14. Fraser

    Fraser New Member

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    I can honestly say I have never touched a Prius. But we have one on the way. I'm probably not the sharpest knife in the carnival act, but through information like PC and talking with a couple of owners, I feel sure everything will work out. If not...well, we might find someone who would like to buy it.
  15. greylar

    greylar New Member

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    Good point Fraser. At least for the moment if you don't like it you can sell it for the same price as you bought it (maybe more?) But I can't speak for what it will be like in 2 months when you get yours.

    G
  16. hiremichaelreid

    hiremichaelreid New Member

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    Yeah, I'm starting to wonder if anyone has yet had the idea of getting on a waiting list with plans to "flip" the car. Might be profitable now.

    I bought my last car, 94 Stealth Turbo, in 96 without a test drive. I had read so much about it I was sure I'd be happy and would live with any annoyances or quirks.

    I test drove a Prius a month ago and I'm happy with it. Delivery is tomorrow :bounce:

    Based on my last month of intensive reading, or even the first two weeks, I'm sure I'd still buy a Prius even without a test drive.

    Yes, the handling will clearly be inferior to a 2 ton sports/GT car with wide tires, all wheel drive and steering, but I'm happy with the compromises for low running costs. I'll probably have more fun in the Prius now that I've been bored with 12 years of a Stealth Turbo...

    Anyway, with such long wait times npw, consider putting down a refundable (MUST BE REFUNDABLE IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND!), deposit and take your time getting a test drive or reading about the Prius.
  17. Aunty Den

    Aunty Den New Member

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    I rented one from Hertz for 3 days to see if we would like it before adding our name to the now infamous list. The weekend rates are better than weekday rates too. We currently have a 2007 Camry and were pretty much prepared not to like the Prius and were surprised to find that it has just about the same room as the Camry and handles just as well if not better too and not to mention a much higher mpg. Needless to say we added our name to the list and hope to take delivery in 6-12 weeks.
  18. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Call around and see if you can rent a Prius from a Toyota dealer. Look at toyota.com about their rental car program.

    Even the rental Prius' are thinning out due to demand. I'm booked to rent on next Wednesday. This dealer has 2 rentals available whereas they had 5 Prius' a couple months ago.

    and renting is better than a short test drive for deciding. I can understand why dealers don't want folks just racking up test drive miles unless they are really interested in buying the unit.
  19. la cucaracha

    la cucaracha New Member

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    Considering the current frenzy.. waiting makes sense to me. If Champion doesn't have a test drive Prius, it means they don't have any Prius most likely. They let you drive any car that is for sale, not necessarily a "demo" vehicle. The one I drove and bought had just a few miles on it prior to my driving it a couple hundred miles. Lexus will have a version maybe in 2009.
  20. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet New Member

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    Well, I decided to take the plunge, sort of. I am #51 on the list for a Prius with Package #6. The dealer required a $500 check but he won't cash it until a car is available for delivery that meets my requirements. At any time I can cancel the deal and get the check back with no penalty. The dealer, (Northpark Toyota in Boerne btw) said they would have no problem selling it if I don't want the car after all. Not bad, imo. The salesperson was very nice and willing to take the time to answer my questions. Much more helpful than the Austin dealerships.

    Thanks for letting me know about the "haulin' stuff test" that is exactly the kind of feedback I need. :yo:

    Oh and the dealer said they weren't negotiable on price. I guess I will be paying MSRP for the first time in my life. :eek:
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