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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, I'd like to say great forum, and thanks to everyone for all the information posted here.

I just want to relate the experience my wife and I had when we went to our local Honda dealer.
We pulled into the lot and started ogleing a EX-L MB, throught the windows of course. After ten or so minutes of drooling on the van, I had to walk into the dealership, where I could clearly see two salespersons sitting, and ask to take a look inside. The response I got shocked me, "When do you plan on buying?" I replyed within 30 days. He left and went to a back room and returned saying "I can let you take a look inside, but unless you're going to buy it today, you can't test drive it. The sales manager doesn't want any miles put on these vans." That rather irritated me, but my wife really wanted to see the inside of the van. So we went out and looked throught the van for 20-25 minutes, then went back inside and chatted with the salesman. He said we could schedule an appointment to come back and drive the van on another day when a different manager was there. Still irked, but wanting to drive the van we made an appointment for 3 days later. Meanwhile, we drove to the Toyota dealership. We were greeted within 5 minutes of pulling onto the lot, drove a Sienna, a Sequoia, and lo and behold a '01 Odyssey, and spent nearly two hours talking to the salesman!! Needless to say, we decided on the Odyssey, without even driving it, no thanks to the local dealer. I made a couple of calls to Dallas (two hour trip, but they WANT to sell me a van) and found a dealership expecting exactly what we want (EX-L RES SS) by the end of the month. I sent a deposit, and told the salesman we would be in Dallas this weekend, he said "Come by and take one of the three demos we have for the day and see what you think." Now that's how to sell a car! In the interim, I have gotton two calls from the salesman at Toyota checking to see what we ended up deciding on, one call from the salesman in Dallas confirming when we would be up there, and have heard NOTHING from the local dealer.
Anyway, thanks for letting me rant for so long on my first post.

Nak
 

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It's too bad that dealers will do that. The Odyssey is a great car but there is no reason that the sales people should treat potential customers like that. When we went out looking they were more than happy to let us test drive the car. I can understand not wanting to putting miles on their stock, however the dealers should at least have one van for customers to test drive. But to not let you even look at the inside is ridiculous. I would never deal with that dealer again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As much as I would love to never give that place my business, they are the only dealer within an hour or so drive. So even though I hate to, their service department (hope that the "service" actually means something in this regard)will probably get my business.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by The Nak:
As much as I would love to never give that place my business, they are the only dealer within an hour or so drive. So even though I hate to, their service department (hope that the "service" actually means something in this regard)will probably get my business. </font>
Hopefully, you won't need any service. My 99 Ody EX has only been to the Service Department for a couple of recall items and for the routine timing belt replacement at 105,000 miles. The van now has 127,000 miles on it, and it still runs almost like new.
 

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The Nak,

Congratulations on your purchase!

I think many people have bought new Odys without taking test drives. Odys are so popular there just aren't enough of them to go around! From a dealer's perspective, they don't need to go to the expense of having demo vehicles because of the waitlists.

We Ody owners are a picky lot, so we don't want our new vehicles to have been used for test drives by others.

When we were shopping, we visited at least six dealerships; only one allowed test drives and that was on a used '01 when we were looking at an '02.

In any event, the popularity of the Ody does not justify rude behavior
by the salespeople!

------------------
Regards,

Maugham
_ ________________________ _

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
Rockport MW351 Brown Boots (for winter) and '00 Brown Laces
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can't argue about not wanting people to test drive, I don't want them in MINE
before I get it. I can understand that on preordered/deposit held Odys, but if you have two sitting on the lot not spoken for, I don't think a test drive could should be out of the question. I just have a hard time spending 30k on something I haven't yet driven, but I am doing it anyway! This forum helped immensly in that decision, as I have been lurking for awhile now, and would like to tell everyone "Thanks" for all their advice given to anyone asking for help in any way. I'm sure I will have many questions after we visit the dealer this weekend, so eveyone please be prepared to give me some great advice
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Nak
 

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I'm sure you will be happy with your new ODY, but bring on the questions. That's what this board if for.
 

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My first drive in an Ody was exiting the lot with paper plates on the vehicle! Reminds me of past (5) purchases of sportbikes...$7-11k each, with only a magazine review to trust...however I have never been disapointed either!

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2002 Silver EX
1996 VW Gti
1999 Pit Bull/Catahoula Leopard dogs
 

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I am sure you will be happy with your Ody. We are trading our '99 EX in for a 2002 EX NAVI. We decided on the new one without a test drive, because no Ody was available. Last Saturday when we walked into the dealer to firm up the deal there was one standing in front of the showroom and the salesman immediately offered a test drive. Before I was not really excited getting a new Ody in April. The big decision was the color, because we wanted a new face in the garage. Now I can't wait! The '02 pulls away very strongly and feels tighter and quieter. Overall a nice improvement to an already great minivan. Our new lease is $100 lower than before including a good $3000 more in options. Love how well the '99 stood up in value with an expected 36,000 miles in April.
 

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I have visited two Honda dealerships in the Northern Viginia area and neither had an 02 to drive. I drove an 01 at the second dealership, where the salesman was cordial but admitted to charging for an "appearance" package and wanting a $1,000 deposit to get on a waiting list. Really, folks, are supposedly intelligent people going to spend $25K without driving one? And paying hundreds of dollars for paint stripes and mud flaps questions one's sanity IMO. A third dealer which I called told me that they required buyers to pay for $800 "worth" of dealer installed options including wheel locks (for steel wheels??). Really folks, just be patient; in a few more months there will be more supply from Alabama. Remember when Accords were selling above MSRP or are you to young to remember............
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rgrossman:
...Really, folks, are supposedly intelligent people going to spend $25K without driving one? And paying hundreds of dollars for paint stripes and mud flaps questions one's sanity IMO. A third dealer which I called told me that they required buyers to pay for $800 "worth" of dealer installed options including wheel locks (for steel wheels??). Really folks, just be patient; in a few more months there will be more supply from Alabama. Remember when Accords were selling above MSRP or are you to young to remember............</font>
IMHO, we're not going to see much of a change in the demand/supply situation for '02 Odys, regardless of the Alabama plant. The Canadian plant is scheduled to cut their Ody production as they build the new Honda Pilot (60-70,000 in the first year starting April, 2002). There hasn't been much increase in the 10-15 day supply of Odys.

The Alabama plant has been online four months, more than enough time for Honda to shake out the bugs.

The slight pricing softness we saw in January I attribute to the soft economy and typical seasonal slowdown, not an increased supply from the new plant. The economy hasn't recovered yet, obviously, but I believe that it isn't going to get any worse.

The first time many people drive an Ody is the day they take delivery on theirs.

We walked away from dealers who required forced options, particularly the empty ones like "Midwest Protection Package."

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Regards,

Maugham
_ ________________________ _

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
Rockport MW351 Brown Boots (for winter) and '00 Brown Laces<font color="#dedfdf">

[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 02-16-2002).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just got home from the dealer in Dallas. Still no test drive! He had three Odys earlier in the week, but we watched as the last one drive off the lot as we arrived. I felt a lot better than I did when I left the local dealer though. We were treated extremely well, and they didn't mind my two kids tearing up every car in the showroom
. It was still a very worthwhile trip. We firmed up the pricing and options, which we got some good deals on. We also found out our Ody was built between 2/10 and 2/14 in the Canada plant. Expected delivery of 2/28, we cant wait!!

Nak
 

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I have never test driven my 2 Odysseys before I picked them up. Not with the 99' EX-L, nor the current 02' EXL-Nav. The reason was because we believe in Honda's vehicle, we had a 89' Accord before and loved it.
Before we decided on the 99' Ody, my wife just sat in the driver seat and immediately felt at home with it, she said it felt just like the old Acoord we had and I then put down the deposit for it, just as simple as that. And of course for the 02' Ody, we do not need to test drive it anymore.
 

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Dealers who charge over MSRP and will not allow test drives will not get my business. One dealer I visited said I couldn't get a white Ody because the sales manager doesn't like to order them after one sat on his lot for 12 days. In a few months I expect the supply situation will change with a new plant coming online. A few months wait will also give the new workers a chance to work out the bugs that are inevitable in starting up a new plant.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rgrossman:
...In a few months I expect the supply situation will change with a new plant coming online. A few months wait will also give the new workers a chance to work out the bugs that are inevitable in starting up a new plant. </font>
IMHO, we are not going to see a major improvement in the supply of Odys.

The Lincoln, Alabama plant HAS been online for four months now and should be working at full capacity. Honda does a great job at getting plants up and running quickly.

Ody production at the Canadian plant is being reduced because they are building the new Pilot SUV there (60-70,000 units in the 12 months starting 4/2002).



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Regards,

Maugham
_ ________________________ _

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
Rockport MW351 Brown Boots (for winter) and '00 Brown Laces
 

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When we went to look at the Ody, we were told that they had just started giving people test drives 2 weeks ago for the first time. Good thing they did, my wife refused to buy one without a test drive because she didn't know if she could handle a vehicle that big.

The last 2 sports cars I bought were test drive free (Honda S2000 and Corvette). But sports cars are different. No one wants a new one with 250 miles on it. Its almost guaranteed that the break in period has been abused. (Imagine someone revving that S2000 up to 9,000 rpm with 50 miles on it! Or dropping the clutch at 3500 on the Vette and spinning the tires till 50 mph before break in
). On anything else, mini van included, I expect to be able to take one for a spin.

Funny, you drive by any Chrysler dealer and they have 20-30 T&C's on the lot. You can get a test drive anytime. And no waiting list. Its just a question of supply and demand.

It says a lot about the Odyssey that so many people are willing to wait a month or more, pay sticker price and never test drive one before they buy!
 

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The fact that people buy any vehicles without test drives shows more about their stupidity than anything else. If you let someone take advantage of you, they will, or as P.T. Barnum once said, there's a sucker born every minute, but I'm not it!
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rgrossman:
The fact that people buy any vehicles without test drives shows more about their stupidity than anything else. If you let someone take advantage of you, they will, or as P.T. Barnum once said, there's a sucker born every minute, but I'm not it!</font>
I'm one of those stupid people you lampoon.

A lot of people buy junkcars even after test driving them. What's so magical about a test drive? Does it give one the illusion that he is making a better decision?

I did a lot of research including talking with owners of various minivans.

When it comes to evaluating a vehicle made by Honda, I wouldn't know what to look for when doing a test drive. I did sit in every seat, looking for the things I know I can evaluate, such as the placement of components, comfort, visibility,quality, etc..

Oh, I did forget to kick the tires
. That would have helped immensely!


------------------
Regards,

Maugham
_ ________________________ _

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
Rockport MW351 Brown Boots (for winter) and '00 Brown Laces<font color="#f7f7f7">

[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 02-22-2002).]
 

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I didn't say a test drive was magical, only that you should be able to drive the vehicle before you buy. It only helps you make a better purchase decision. Sorry you took offense.

If dealers can't offer test drives, we might as well all do our research on the Internet and place orders on-line. That would save lots of real estate since Honda dealers would only need service departments.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rgrossman:
I didn't say a test drive was magical, only that you should be able to drive the vehicle before you buy. It only helps you make a better purchase decision. Sorry you took offense.

If dealers can't offer test drives, we might as well all do our research on the Internet and place orders on-line. That would save lots of real estate since Honda dealers would only need service departments.
</font>
I reacted to the part where you wrote that if someone didn't do a test drive it was out of stupidity
and he is a sucker
.

I used to be a big believer in test drives but having had enough of them now I have to say they don't mean as much to me as talking with lots of people and reading research.

I took a test drive in a Dodge Caravan several years ago. Later, I rented a Caravan for a week on vacation. The test drive gave me almost none of the information I got from that week-long experience. I think that comparison between a test drive of a few minutes and "real life" driving made me realize I just don't know how to evaluate a test drive and that the info gained is relatively meaningless.

I think that for many people, test drives are only a ritual and are not really informative.

Actually, I would have preferred to buy our Ody online, especially if it would have meant NOT having to deal with (several) unscrupulous dealerships
. I buy lots of stuff online.

What specifically does one look for when doing a test drive? I mean, things that one can't find out with a combination of research and sitting in the car?


------------------
Regards,

Maugham
_ _ ____________________ _ _

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L (It's RP, not "RRP") ;)
'85 Prelude
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
Rockport MW351 Brown Boots (for winter) and '00 Brown Laces
 
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