And da winnah for Aunty’s SUV is……
This is the first time that Aunty took so much time and effort in finding her perfect next vehicle. Usually, it is a one stop deal for a car that catches Aunty’s fancy, and then surprising Uncle and kids with it in the driveway.
This time Aunty wanted a compact SUV that had a power lift gate, looked good, smelled good, drove well, and was quiet. Also, it had to have a lane change assist feature that would audibly beep if a car was in the blind spot in the right lane. Keyless entry and start, as well as a good backup camera were also on the list. And, the price had to be affordable (see Aunty’s older post on making money work for you).
New blog pal Gigi of gigihawaii.wordpress.com asked why an SUV rather than a compact or sub-compact car. Aunty’s latest few cars were all SUVs, and driving a little higher than other vehicles on the road was something that Aunty was used to.
Each and every compact SUV that Aunty visited or tried out had excellent points, but none of them had everything that Aunty wanted. It came down to three final choices. The awesome foot waving power lift gating Ford Escape, the head turning super cute technology laden Honda HRV, and the super quiet Mazda CX-5 underdog with bells and whistles.
Aunty went back to see cute Leo Kim at Cutter Mazda for her third (!) visit. Earlier, Mazda super salesman Wayne Hurst had given Aunty an earful about CVT transmissions (Honda), had a few choice words about Fords, and then had Aunty check out how easy and smooth the tail gate on the Mazda was. It was indeed very smooth, almost luxuriously smooth, and much easier than her current Subaru Crosstrek.
Leo ran circles around the lot and put Aunty in the drivers seat in 5 different CXs before Aunty finally decided – BAM! – she wanted the red 2016.5 Mazda Touring CX-5 with a cream cloth interior even if it did not have a power lift gate. Aunty would be leasing for 3 years.
It didn’t have a power lift gate, so wasn’t perfect, but maybe in 3 years (when the lease ends) there will be the absolute perfect car for Aunty. Actually, the Mazda CX-3 would have been the one if Aunty were 40 years younger because it had the most luxurious smell good, feel good, look good interior with a very sporty feel and drive. It is lower in price and size from the the CX-5 but has all the bells and whistles and is a real head turner. The only drawback was the very small cargo space with the seats up.
Aunty met up with managers Matt Wong, Chico Ramos, and finance manager Jess Hong to close the deal. It was quite surprising how easy it was to negotiate with the Mazda team – after the first sticker shock price sheet came in, to reaching a number that Aunty felt very comfortable with, and signing page after page with Jess in his warm (the rest of the building was freezing cold) office. Meanwhile, cute salesman Leo is practically jumping up and down with happiness for Aunty’s new toy.
Aunty drove off (actually it was just around the block) to take possession of her good smelling, good looking, quiet, powerful, keyless entry and start safe car with audible lane change assist and fantastic back up camera. An added bonus was an audible cross traffic alert that could sense cars coming while reversing out of driveways and parking spots. And, it was a gorgeous shade of screaming red that makes Aunty flaunt and want to laugh out loud, “Moooohahahahaha!”
Aunty can’t wait to drive it around town, back it out of driveways with confidence, and glide in peace and comfort. If you do see Aunty flashing around town in her bright red Mazda CX-5, give a shaka and a wave.
The quest is over, Aunty is happy, Moooohahahahaha!
Aunty’s update after 6 months:
Ho boy. Aunty is not as happy with this vehicle because of a few things. First off is the rather inconvenient center console “button” that controls the dashboard screen and functions. The junkest part of it is that it takes several steps to put a playing CD in “pause”, and when the car is started up again, the default is to play automatically. This causes problems when Aunty has passengers and has a gory part of a Stephen King CD going on.
Next is that it isn’t a very quiet car on the road. Maybe that is Aunty’s fault for expecting quiet in a non luxury car. Actually, it is Aunty’s fault.
No power lift gate. Old ladies deserve power lift gates. And you know what happened? The next year (2017), power lift gates became available on the higher end options. NObody told that to Aunty – who would have waited a few short months because that is a very desirable feature so Aunty doesn’t have to do gymnastics while balancing a heavy box or bag and opening the back gate.
Aunty’s bad. Sigh. To break a lease could be quite expensive but Aunty is seriously thinking about it. A friend just showed off her BMW X-1, her lease is less than the Mazda’s, maintenance is FREE, and it has a great foot opening power lift gate with a gorgeous interior. Aunty used to be adamant about not getting a BMW so that prevented her from checking the X-1 out. Ah well, life is full of lessons and surprises. Having a quest of finding a just right car will be an ongoing adventure for Aunty.