So if you read my previous blog entry, you are aware of a recent situation we had regarding our Dodge Durango having more electrical problems. As an update to that post, the salesman that called me after the service was completed (to sell me a new car) has never called me back regarding my request to find an Aspen. A week or so ago, Linda decided to head out to the car lots and see what we could find. This turned out to be a very interesting event. First off, we went to some lots in Peoria and came to the conclusion that most of these dealerships had very little on their lots and what they did have were either vans or crap looking boxes on wheels. Now it was a quest so we took off to Morton to check out their lots. Same situation on the Dodge lot, little inventory or was so ugly they were not even worth getting out of the vehicle to look at and definitely nothing in the SUV category. We then headed over to the Ford lot. They actually had a couple of Explorers on the backside of the lot so we stopped and got out to take a look. In a first for this trip, a salesman came out to help us who promptly told us they did not have any new Explorers left due to being wiped out by the Cash for Clunkers program. Does this seem odd to you? Apparently everyone was turning in their clunkers for gas guzzling SUVs which seems contrary to the supposed intent of that program. When we asked when more would be arriving we were told possibly in 6-8 weeks while he handed us his business card and walked away. So here we sit wanting to purchase a vehicle and a) there are no vehicles to actually buy and b) the salesman doesn’t even seem interested enough to ask us our name so he can contact us when they do arrive. We are no longer surprised why this industry is in the toilet. Unwilling to give up, we headed to Pekin to check out the Dodge dealer there. As we entered the now common empty lot, we spied a Dodge Aspen (the Durango replacement) and what seemed to good to be true it had a reduced sign on it. Jumping out of the car we quickly located a salesman to inquire about the vehicle. Turns out, it was a 2 wheel V6. I can’t imagine that this configuration appealed to anyone in the market for this type of vehicle. We also learned that the Aspen was not being made anymore and Chrysler decided to completely exit the SUV market. This was the final straw and we decided it was time to check out the imports.
A mile or so down the street, there was a Toyota dealer and as it turns out, I actually knew the owner of that dealership (we met at my neighbor’s redneck Wednesday events which consists of everyone bringing over their firearms for target practice – our constitutional right to bear arms and don’t ever try to legislate it away). Sure enough, this lot had a number of vehicles on it and a couple of Sequoias that were right up our alley. A helpful salesman came out, we got all our questions answered, took a test drive, negotiated a price (helps if you know the right people) and signed on the bottom line. We are now the proud owners of a new Toyota SUV and very happy with the decision. Oh, and before we get the flood of comments trying to criminalize large vehicles, we live in the country in the Midwest (I chuckle every time I pass a stuck Prius in the snow), raise agility dogs that require traveling to competition and still looking for verifiable FACTS on the Global Warming myth (especially ones that justify the record lows we are currently experiencing).
I thought I would give a quick comparison of Toyota experiences with our previous Durango (hit the jump to see)