Back in October, I was in a traffic accident as I was heading to work in the morning. It was on a minor highway (speed limit 80km/hr). I was going straight and a big F-150, coming the other way, turn left in front of me. I managed to veer out of the way slightly so that only our driver’s front corners hit. But, because the truck was much bigger than my little Toyota Matrix,  my car was deemed undrivable and was written off.

This was an unwelcome surprise, as we were hoping of keeping the Matrix for another 5-10 years. Instead, we had to purchase a vehicle (we are in a situation that we need two vehicles because of our work situations) within just a few days.

We decided since we were being forced into buying that we’d upgrade a bit and get a newer and bigger model. After some research, we test drove a couple small SUVs. We only tested the Honda CRV and the Ford Escape, because we knew the Toyota RAV-4 would be similar to the former (we were also really interested in the Hyundai Santa Fe, but they were either hard to find or out of our price range).

We both liked the Ford Escape better in terms of drivability and bang for the buck (we could get a much newer model with more options for less $$), and ended up buying a 2013 model with about 60K on it. Meet Eddie:

I drive it everyday, mostly highway driving, and I’ve been quite happy with it. It’s a nice, smooth drive, and I feel safe in it. The back seat is also roomy, which is important as the boys get older.

Some things I’m not keen on are a) the available storage is still not as much as the Matrix (the model we had allowed the front passenger seat to fold flat, so that gave a lot more room!), b) the bluetooth system isn’t super reliable, and c) there are things we’ve been finding after purchase that should have been fixed before we drove it off the lot….

…the first issue was right as we were driving off the lot. The salesperson told us they could only find 1 key fob  and they didn’t know the numerical code for the door. We asked him and the manager about covering the expense of both these things (we felt strongly they should have been included in the price of the car, even though we were buying used). It was going to cost us about $800 for both if we did it through the dealership. They refused to budge 😦 So, we found “a guy” to make us a new key fob for $150, and decided to forget about the door code.

Then, during a routine oil change yesterday,  the mechanic found a few things that had clearly NOT been done since the car was “born”. The air cabin filter was completely covered in black mold, the transmission fluid was black, and the fuel system had never been cleaned. So, now we’ll have to do this service in the near future.

Though I like the Ford Escape as a car so far, our experience with Ford sales and customer service was poor. I understand we need to expect certain things when buying a used car, but there should be a minimum level of service we should all get.

What have your experiences been when buying vehicles (new or used)? 


Comments on: "6 Months After Buying SUV" (2)

  1. My first car was a used one (baby blue ’95 Toyota Corolla; I bought it in 2002 or thereabout, drove it until I had kid No 2 in 2007). I also left the dealership with a feeling that I was bamboozled. For instance, they had us leave with an empty tank, and they held my credit card for a while as several people came to haggle with us; all that after (this is a common trick) I called ahead and asked if they had a stick-shift car I had seen online, they said sure to get me to come there, and of course when I showed up they had already sold that car presumably days ago. The thing is we needed the second car ASAP, so we stayed. The whole experience left me feeling yucky and taken advantage of in a way I couldn’t pinpoint. Does the used car salesperson select for naturally sleazy people or do they all become sleazy as a result of the job? Anyway, I loved the car and drove it for years, but this amorphous feeling of being somehow made a fool of, defrauded even, means I will never buy used again.

    I am sorry about your Ford experience! See if you can leave that dealership a bad review somewhere online; that’s pretty much all that we as customers are able to do (also, never come back to give them money again).


    • Ugh – sucks leaving with such a bad taste in the mouth. I’ll have to see if I can leave a review (even on google at the very least).


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