Posts from ‘Shopping’
With a 15-year-old daughter having just completed driver’s education, I find myself in the unenviable position of shopping for a second car. That car, by the way, will spend most of its time in the service of the aforementioned daughter.
I was a terrible car salesman. Part of my problem in plying said trade was my disdain for confrontation. In the early Nineties, when I was peddling the metal, the new-car buying process was still very much an “us versus them” proposition. Giving a shopper a decent deal within 20 minutes of beginning negotiations was not only unacceptable in the eyes of my managers–it was grounds for dismissal. Salespeople were expected to wear customers down, and “leave no money on the table.” It was a brutal business, and one I wasn’t cut out for.
Cars are expensive. If you own a car, or cars, you don’t need me to remind you how much you’re shelling out monthly for your wheels. For those not in the know, the average transaction price of a new car is now about $32,000.
I am not a man without vices. My daily caffeine regimen taps the Appel-family coffers for close to $100 a month. Not a huge amount of money by contemporary standards, but not a dismissible sum either.
I mention this having recently burrowed deep into the murky past, recalling a particular high-school personal-finance class lecture dealing with opportunity cost. The core message was simple enough: Money spent on one thing cannot be spent on something else.
The diet is going well, thanks for asking. But even when I hit my goal (weighing what I did when I got married), I still won’t be a slender man.
I am 6’ 1”, and at the moment weigh more than 350 pounds. The plan is for there to be at least 100 pounds less of me by this time next year. Wish me luck. Still, even at my target mass, I will be a big guy, which, I believe, qualifies me to speak on behalf of big guys everywhere.
Selling cars is a cutthroat business. New-car dealers work hard to eke every penny out of each sale. Most shoppers know the routine and for that reason dread the prospect of negotiating the price of their next new vehicle.
According to a 2012 survey conducted by carfinance.com, 64 percent of recent new-car buyers described negotiating the price of their new car as the worst part of the purchase process. This really shouldn’t be surprising.
As luck would have it, the Consumer Guide test fleet contains both a 2013 Hyundai Azera and a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited this week. The former is Hyundai’s entry into the “near luxury” large-car segment; it competes against the Chevrolet Impala, Kia Cadenza, and Toyota Avalon. The latter is the ritziest trim level of Hyundai’s mainstream midsize car. We thought it would be enlightening to examine these stablemates side-by-side to see exactly what the Azera delivers over the Sonata.