And no, it ISN'T the Ford Escape.
We were dickering over price. I'd offered $7,000. They called back a little later and told me they could go to $7,900. A drop of a whole $88. That's practically an insult. I thanked them for their time and said that wouldn't work for me. I got another call about 40 minutes after that and the salesman told me he'd spoken with his boss' boss and they could go to $7,500. I said thanks, and that I would think it over.
I called back at 4:15 and offered $7,250 -- didn't get "my" salesman, who was apparently gone for the day, but his partner. He told me he'd see what he could do and get back to me.
In the meantime, a 2004 Vibe showed up on craigslist at a local dealer. Now I like Vibes, but was a bit wary because the asking price was $8,995, much more than I wanted to spend. I called and made an appointment to test drive it. I took it out -- handled nicely, good speed and pick up, A/C worked well, and it had a sun/moon roof. There's that whole 30+ mpg too. So when I came back, the dealer asked me how I liked it. I told him I liked it, but that the price was just too steep. Now this is a second hand dealer, and he wants to move his inventory. So he asked me what I was looking to spend. I said somewhere around $7,500...so he went and crunched numbers (or played Free Cell) for about 5 minutes and came back with a total of $7,688 (including tax & title). I said thanks, and that I'd think about it. He asked what it would take for me to walk out the door with the car. I said $7,300 total, including tax and title. He went in to talk to his manager, and I went outside to make a phone call.
45 minutes later, I walked out the door with a Vibe. It's got a few cosmetic issues -- like the gas tank door which needed replacing. But they've taken responsibility to do that (in writing) and it's been ordered. I'm also probably going to want to paint it...it looks like someone keyed it (doodle-type) on one of the doors. Doesn't matter anyway, because I'm not enamored of that particular shade of red anyway. But otherwise, LOVE the car.
Side view --
Front view --
I am once again mobile. And when I was on my way to dinner, the OTHER salesman called to tell me that they really couldn't go lower than $7,500 on the Escape. I thanked him for his time and told him that I'd found a dealer who would work with me and I'd bought a car. See, I told the truth yesterday when I said if I like the car, I'd write a check. *oooh! BURN!*