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I had read numerous reviews on Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander and various others : Subaru, Audi, Infiniti and Mazda. After making my minds on Pilot and Highlander and its options, I sent quote request through Edmunds and Costco. I got very competitive quotes from both Honda and Toyota dealerships in San Jose area. Finally settled on 2011 Pilot and went to the nearby dealership to trade it in.The Highlander was my 2nd choice, knowing that trading my 99 Land Rover could be a heart breaking experience (no values nor demands). Equipped with Edmunds info on MSRP, TMV and Costco and quotes from several dealership, I drove my trade in to Honda. After I showed them my target price, they lost interest and told me that they cannot give me the deal that I wanted (trade in value for my LR at $3K and ballpark figure on the new Honda). I thanked them and drove next door to Capitol Toyota. SALES EXPERIENCE In the process of reviewing and choosing the car, the sales person at Capitol Toyota (Quoc) was great. He took the time to show me the color combination that my wife was interested in. We test drove the cars and was shown all details, features and benefits. He gave us a ball park figure and they were all reasonable. I called him after I left the Honda dealership, and was told that the HL with the color that I wanted was not available - they were all sold out, but he promised that I'll get it the next day. So he processed the trade in, and all the necessary paperwork. The next day the car arrived from another dealership, my wife came to inspect the color for the final time and we signed all the paperwork. We process the bill of sale, called in the insurance while he took care of other paperwork and we were done in less than an hour. FINANCING MANAGER After that, we went to see the financing manager. He was extremely helpful and friendly. He offered additional maintenance service; Toyota offers 2 years free maintenance, with 45K optional. He explained the cost benefits and we took it. He also offered the extended warranty from 3yrs/36000 to 8 years/75000. He helped us getting the right financing and rebate. Given my wife excellent credit score, we were able to get those APR and rebate combination. It was an EXCELLENT deal. I have bought multiple cars in the past 15 years, and I must say that the buying experience at Capitol Toyota has been the best: - Sales Rep is knowledgeable and knows his cars. He showed us all the features and the color combination that my wife wanted - The financing manager helped us getting the excellent blend of APR and rebate, as well as options/add-ons for the cars. No pressure at all, all were presented honestly. If I were to rate my car buying experience from 1 to 5, I would rate them 6! I think we got a great deal on the car because: 1. I did my homework by reading Edmunds reviews on various cars that I was interested in. I narrowed down the selection (from the car model, exterior color/interior color combination, trim level). I followed up by test driving the cars to narrow down my selection. I also went to the specific car websites to get additional details. 2. Went back to Edmunds to get pricing breakdown ( MSRP, TMV, Costco). Edmunds sent request to those local dealerships; the pricing that I got from Edmunds are better than Costco, in my opinion. 3. Get your credit report done if you can. Having a good credit score helps you get a better financing rate. Shop around for car loan. If you need more details on this or have specific questions, send me email : [violative content deleted]
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