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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(LONG READ... hahaha)

My wife and I have been wanting a larger family car to haul around the kids, family, friends, etc and I think we're ready to take that plunge. Going into this, we had three cars on our wish list (the costs of new cars is crazy), so we were looking at CPO's.

1. 2016+ Lexus RX 450h F-Sport (I wanted this)
2. 2015+ Tesla Model S P85D (we both wanted this and we live 10 minutes from the Tesla HQ)
3. 2015+ Cadillac Escalade (wife wanted this)

I convinced my wife that the Escalade wasn't practical, terrible gas mileage for the type of driving we do. We went to an independent dealer/business who had the Lexus RX and the Tesla Model S both in his warehouse. Ended up test driving the RX and my wife fell in love with it. After going back and forth with the dealer and reading up on the vehicle history report, we decided to look at our other options. The Tesla was really nice, but it would limit us to city driving (no trips to tahoe, camping, fishing, etc as a family). We agreed if we still wanted a Tesla in 2 years, I'd sell my Lexus ISF and we'd look into one, knowing every car company is developing electric cars now.

Fast forward to a few nights ago, we both agreed that the RX felt a bit small. Gas mileage was a huge bonus, but as far as hauling people and stuff, it limited us. We wanted to find a 7 passenger SUV so the first thing that came to mind was the Ascent. My friend had posted a picture of it when it first showed up to the dealers months back and it kept my interest.

Finally stopped by a Subaru dealer and test drove the 2019 Ascent Touring and I was impressed, considering this is a 4cylinder turbo engine. The only other time I've driven a Subaru was my friends STI, so I knew there was it was going to feel different than what I'm traditionally used to. The car handled ok, ride quality was descent, the interior details felt luxurious for a Subi, and I loved the amount of space. After the test drive, this Ascent checked off a lot of our boxes; descent gas mileage, good styling, awd, 5000 lb tow capacity, and can seat 7 passengers (realistically 6 adults). My wife and I agreed that this might be the next "family" car for us!

Now the shopping for the best pricing beings... wish me luck!
 

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It's a testament to the Ascent that many people are "coming down" from the luxury brands and finding the Ascent "good enough" to compete!

I love mine and I don't have the Touring model, just a plain old premium!

Best of luck!
 
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It could also be a testament to "price creep". New cars are expensive! ...and if you want all the features of the Ascent in a luxury brand, you're going to be charged thousands more for them.

Another pattern could be a person buys a used X5, ML350, Q7, etc and when it's time to replace the car they look to the fancy cars and get sticker shock, so they "step down" to a mainstream model and realize that they are actually pretty nice these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I totally get it. I could care less for all of the bells and whistles. Sure, its nice to have it, but in the end, I just want something reliable. Just get in, drive and enjoy it. My wife will be the driving this thing 80% of the time since she picks up the kids and runs most of the errands. I'll only get to drive it on road trips or whenever she doesn't want to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Search for VIP pricing and see if any dealers near you participate. 2% under invoice would be great.
I did a quick search last night about VIP pricing. From what I gathered, only some dealerships participate in this, there are a couple of programs that you can get your VIP letter from, but what is the best method to go about getting one?

Does VIP pricing give you any other benefits besides the cheaper price (2% under invoice)? I want to ask these dealers, but feels pointless if I don't have a letter to show if they do accept it.
 

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The VIP pricing just gets you the car at the discounted price in the VIP agreement. In my case 2% under invoice. It also got me no haggling or hassles over price. I went with the ASCPA route but since then cheaper alternatives seemed to pop up. Frankly I would use the cheapest with the 2%.

There weren’t any dealers in my area listed in the forum so before I went to the trouble to join ASCPA and get the VIP I called and asked the dealer closest to me. I asked for the internet sales manager because they are usually easier to work with. I have no issues with calling the dealer and making sure they will honor the VIP pricing before I have the paper in hand.

You may want to also do a search on extended warranties if you want one. There is a dealer that will sale them at cost which is less than half the cost of most dealers.

I really researched this forum before buying and got many helpful ideas.
 

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Living in the Bay Area especially the area I’m in Subaru the Brand seems acceptable parked in driveways belonging to 6million dollar homes with Teslas in the garage. Their isn’t any brand snobbery per say.

The Escalade attracts lots of snobbery. The RX is literally invisible you might as well have a grey Camry. LOL

All my Neighbors with “Escalades” drive GMC’s not Escalades ?

Several homes have Teslas and Subarus parked side by side. Lexus oddly is very rare, Mercedes is far more common than Lexus. But Toyota Highlanders and Mini vans out number them all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Living in the Bay Area especially the area I’m in Subaru the Brand seems acceptable parked in driveways belonging to 6million dollar homes with Teslas in the garage. Their isn’t any brand snobbery per say.

The Escalade attracts lots of snobbery. The RX is literally invisible you might as well have a grey Camry. LOL

All my Neighbors with “Escalades” drive GMC’s not Escalades ��

Several homes have Teslas and Subarus parked side by side. Lexus oddly is very rare, Mercedes is far more common than Lexus. But Toyota Highlanders and Mini vans out number them all.
The Bay Area is a melting pot of people and businesses. I think you should just live within your means. To each their own.

RobertD said:
The VIP pricing just gets you the car at the discounted price in the VIP agreement. In my case 2% under invoice. It also got me no haggling or hassles over price. I went with the ASCPA route but since then cheaper alternatives seemed to pop up. Frankly I would use the cheapest with the 2%.
Where can I find these "cheaper alternatives"? I'm about to fire off an email to the local dealerships to see who accepts the VIP pricing and who's willing to give me the best deal.

EDIT: Just looked at this "master list" and it looks like all of the dealerships in my area DO NOT accept the VIP offer.. BOOOOO
 

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Yeah so our Bay Area dealers you need to be really smart or you get dragged over the coals.

Walnut Creek, Livermore, Berkeley all have some kind of shared ownership connection youll find none of them participate in VIP and basically say pay our price or walk away.

Peninsula dealers are hit and miss.

My last two I bought from the Fairfield Woodard Chevy Dealer before they even had a sign up. Today they are just as bad as Walnut Creek Diablo Subaru.

The best dealer I know of thats liked and very fair many people here buy from them is Auburn Subaru. Its still a “Subaru” dealer its not some built up 3million dollar temple like the Auto Group owned dealers in the Bay Area. I was also going to check out Sonora area given we go that way quite a bit to ski.

I have always paid invoice or less for my cars.
 

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Stevens Creek Subaru can be OK sometimes or just as bad as the others its hit or miss on the buyers experience vs willing to deal.

I have found Lexus and Toyota to be the absolute worst for this in the Bay Area given they are all Large Auto Group owned. To the point the sales staff strait out tell you we don’t negotiate the price your welcome to drive 5 hours out of our “price controlled” region. No joke!

My most recent purchase was a Ford a week of emailing 8 different dealers then calling my local one which was by far the worst of all of them and I told him heres the deal Invoice for x model this color and option I’ll be there in 30 minutes to get it. He said let me call you back. 5 min later he calls says Ok come get it!!! Thats what happens when you have independent dealers in the same region?.

Subaru and Toyota its reaching the point we only have one or two companies that own all the dealers in our region so they set their own rules and prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
UPDATE: Got my VIP Authorization form to the dealer, got the pricing, was told the car is still in transit and wont arrive till late March, I inquired about a tow hitch + install from the dealer... he's quoting me $1100 for that alone. After doing a search, it sounds like he's trying to make some money off of me considering others had to pay only $400-850 for the hitch + install during the time of purchase. Also told me that even if I leave a deposit by tomorrow, I won't be able to secure the 3.49% financing they're currently offering (which ends tomorrow), which doesn't seem right.

I've contacted another dealer who has the car, color, options in their inventory and waiting to hear back if they're willing to beat or price match this other dealer I've been working with. fingers crossed.
 

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UPDATE: Got my VIP Authorization form to the dealer, got the pricing, was told the car is still in transit and wont arrive till late March, I inquired about a tow hitch + install from the dealer... he's quoting me $1100 for that alone. After doing a search, it sounds like he's trying to make some money off of me considering others had to pay only $400-850 for the hitch + install during the time of purchase. Also told me that even if I leave a deposit by tomorrow, I won't be able to secure the 3.49% financing they're currently offering (which ends tomorrow), which doesn't seem right.

I've contacted another dealer who has the car, color, options in their inventory and waiting to hear back if they're willing to beat or price match this other dealer I've been working with. fingers crossed.
Talk to Auburn Subaru they might be more reasonable. Stuff like the hitch is easy to get for near zero cost. $1000+ forget that the dealer is over the top fleecing you on that.
 

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Hit up Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City. Also Putnam. They were the two dealers in the Bay Area that offered me a Premium 7 passenger with PKG #3 at below VIP pricing. The only tricky thing is they like to add "dealer's add-ons". It's b.s. items like edge guards, wheel locks, etc. Try to get your best offer and then ask about add-ons. Decline them.

You should NOT have to pay to get VIP pricing. I didn't, and I got well below VIP pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You are eligible for the financing deal at the time you take delivery of the Ascent. I would guess Subaru will extend the financing in March.
I'm hoping they extend it into March.

What kind of dealer financing options were available during the time of your guys' purchase (question goes for all Ascent owners)?
 

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What kind of dealer financing options were available during the time of your guys' purchase (question goes for all Ascent owners)?
Subaru was at 3.49% while my credit union was at 3.15%, so I started the loan application with the credit union. Visited dealer the following Saturday morning for a second test drive and to talk numbers even though my loan approval was still pending. By the time we got to a deal we were happy with, the credit union had already closed and I couldn't call to expedite the approval. Mentioned the rate I was getting and my dilemma with the approval. They had me wait a bit, but did come back with 2.99% to close the deal. Said they bought down the rate for me, but I'm not sure if that's true or they have leeway to offer better rates when needed.
 

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Subaru was at 3.49% while my credit union was at 3.15%, so I started the loan application with the credit union. Visited dealer the following Saturday morning for a second test drive and to talk numbers even though my loan approval was still pending. By the time we got to a deal we were happy with, the credit union had already closed and I couldn't call to expedite the approval. Mentioned the rate I was getting and my dilemma with the approval. They had me wait a bit, but did come back with 2.99% to close the deal. Said they bought down the rate for me, but I'm not sure if that's true or they have leeway to offer better rates when needed.
Dealers get discounts from local regional banks occasionally if they are looking for auto loans.
 
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