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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/15/2018 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    I am now the proud owner of a 17-plate Prius PHV in Hypersonic Red. Generally speaking, I don’t like red cars, but for some reason I like this one. I'm sure I will be posting more about it in due course. Here's a nice picture of it: However, the process of getting to the stage where this particular car is sitting on my drive has been nothing less than tortuous. What I was expecting to be a joyful process full of anticipatory excitement turned out to be an arduous and depressing slog, as my wife and I travelled hundreds of miles around the country seeking the 'right' car, only to discover an almost-uniformly awful experience at each Toyota dealership we visited. I should perhaps point out that this is likely to be a long post, written more for my own cathartic benefit than for anyone else's interest, so here’s the tl;dr up front, to save you the effort of reading through the drivel beneath: Uninterested, uninformed dealers making half-hearted attempts to sell cars, often in worryingly-dubious condition, for staggeringly random prices. Anyway, if you do want to read on, here's the unexpurgated version. It's not pretty... To start with, what the juddering hell is the deal with pricing on these cars? It's insane. Brand spanking new Prius Excel PHVs are available through Carwow for £27.5k, so why would anyone pay more than that for a used one with a few thousand miles on it? Yet we found tens for sale, well above that price point. The bizarrely specific numbers like £28,471 suggested some kind of machine-learning algorithm at play. I can only assume this was locked in some kind of infinite rank-ordering comparison loop, as I actually saw individual vehicle prices going up as well as down in the time I was monitoring them. Unsurprisingly, these optimistically-priced specimens are all still for sale now, having spent months on forecourts already. I am utterly baffled at what is happening here. Even more mystifying was the price differential between apparently identical cars. We found cars with the same specs, age and mileage, for sale at up to £5k difference in sticker price. In one case, this difference was between two cars at the same dealership! Granted, the cheaper one was in Dishwasher White but even so, you've got to really hate kitchen appliances to pay five large more for Decuma Grey, right? Price had seemingly no bearing on condition, either. And, on the subject of condition, the state we found some of these cars in was shockingly poor, given that they were all Toyota Approved cars with minimal miles, less than 18 months old. The first one we saw had done fewer than 2,000 miles yet looked like it had done ten times that; it was covered in scratches inside and out, with big chips of paint missing from the front bumper. The driver's door looked like it had repeatedly been opened into a brick wall, and was down to the bare metal along its edge. Yet the conversation that followed went roughly like this: "The car is priced taking its condition into account." "Okay, but if we agree to buy it, will you get your bodyshop to sort the worst bits of the paintwork out before we collect?" "The car is priced taking its condition into account." "That’s a no, then?" "The car is priced taking its condition into account." "And you're not prepared to make any kind of reduction to account for the poor condition, to cover the cost of getting it sorted ourselves?" "The car is priced taking its condition into account." "Right. Bye, then." Then there was the one that turned out to have done over 3,000 miles more than advertised, with a replacement windscreen that had somehow been re-fitted with no seals around it, leaving huge gaps and the plastic scuttle flapping in the breeze, along with two strips of glue residue on the roof from where they'd used the wrong tape to hold it in. "Don't worry, we'll get the workshop to look at the windscreen and get it sorted for you before you pick up the car." "Right. Would that be the same workshop that made such a godforsaken mess of it the first time around?" "Er, yes..." "Er, bye then." And then there was the one that had a big dent in the lower side panel, and which had been run by the dealership boss for 18 months but somehow hadn't been serviced at all in that time. "Don't worry, we'll fix the dent with a bit of filler and we'll service it before you buy it. The manufacturer's warranty will be fine." "You mean the warranty that Toyota specifically state will not be fine, as any items which fail in future as a possible result of lack of servicing will not be covered?" "No, it will be fine. Let me get my service manager to explain why both you and the Toyota website are wrong about this." "No, let me get my coat, and remind me never to assume that Toyota dealers understand their own service intervals and warranty conditions." Still, if some of the cars were poor, the actual experiences and interactions in the showrooms were worse. Here's a flavour of what we endured: Being left waiting for ages whilst the salesman 'found the best price' for my car, only for him to finally come out and offer £1k less than we both knew it was worth. Pro-tip: We all know you can look up a valuation in 30 seconds. If you're going to bid me in the nuts for my car, at least have the common decency not to make me wait for half an hour before you do. Especially not when you're keeping me from my lunch. Being seated directly in front of glass pane windows, squinting into the baking sun, in a showroom that inexplicably didn't have air conditioning, waiting for the salesperson to arrive whilst being forcibly engaged in toe-curlingly banal conversation by a painfully enthusiastic teenager wearing a badge that actually – I kid you not – gave his job title as Host. Pro-tip. Try to ensure you offer a buying experience that doesn't run the risk of contravening the Geneva Convention as a form of cruel and unusual punishment. You may just sell more cars. Being told that the person I'd agreed to meet at the specified time wasn't available, being asked to wait until someone else could see us, then being dealt with by a surly, uncommunicative teenager who had no interest in selling the car and whose knowledge about the product he was supposed to be persuading us to buy was utterly non-existent. He even checked his phone a few times during our conversation. Pro-tip: If you really must employ useless millennials who can't grasp the concept of turning up at an agreed time and place, at least make sure the backup isn't a social media addict from Generation Zombie. Being told that the dealership couldn't provide a valuation for my car at all, unless I first agreed I would definitely buy their car from them and not go elsewhere. Pro-tip. That. Is. Not. How. It. Works. You've just let me walk away, and I will not be coming back. Ever. You can call me all you like the day after. But, just as you discovered, I won't be answering. Being told that my wife couldn't sit next to me in the front for the test drive as the salesman had to be there in case he needed to 'grab the wheel' when I was driving. Pro-tip: Try to avoid insulting your customer's driving ability before they've even got in the car. Oh, and never let my wife ride behind you when you've just ****** her off. We nearly did crash in the end, because I was too busy laughing at her in the rear view mirror as she made gestures behind your back suggesting your proclivity for indulging in onanistic pleasure. Frankly, you were lucky she didn't garotte you with your spivvy skinny tie. Being told that there was 'no room for negotiation' on the initial cost to change you offered. Pro-tip: There is always room for negotiation. Otherwise *cough* you might end up with your car still on your forecourt, at a *cough* considerably reduced price that is now hilariously less than what I was actually willing to pay you weeks ago. Ha ha ha and, indeed, ha. Being told on the phone that I had to pay a £100 'refundable deposit' in order to make sure the car would be available to view the next day. Pro-tip: Wait, what? I don't even… kthxbye. Even when we actually found a car in decent nick that wasn't horrifically overpriced, defective or abused, it was a struggle to complete the purchase. I think it was the young salesman's first ever experience of dealing with someone who didn't want finance. Or possibly just his first ever experience of selling a car. He was giddy with excitement, which was actually quite endearing at first. We finally agreed a price that I was happy to pay, shook hands on the deal, then he went round the back to get the paperwork. All seemed to be going well. Then he returned, looking very sheepish and informed us that we'd have to pay £1 more than we'd just agreed. He explained that he'd exceeded the amount by which he was 'allowed' to discount the car, so would we mind paying a pound more? After my wife and I realised that he wasn't actually joking, we obviously told him to do one. A gentleman does not renege on a handshake, FFS! However, I did generously agree to sign the paperwork for the higher amount if he gave me a quid from his own pocket there and then. Panicking now, and not having any cash himself, he was out of ideas so I suggested he went round the back for a whip-round. I fully expected him to return with a handful of loose change. However, he eventually came back having apparently got permission to put the lower amount through on the card machine whilst keeping the extra £1 on the paperwork. Seriously, that happened. In all honesty, if we hadn't have closed the deal on that one then we'd probably have just thrown in the towel and bought a brand new one on finance. I have a sneaky suspicion that this may actually have been Toyota's plan all along: overprice your used stock and make the buying-for-cash experience so awful that people give up and finance a new one instead. I’m glad we didn't, as I've ended up with what seems to be a decent example, obtained in the end for a fair price. But next time? I'm not sure I'll have the energy. I might just have to accept that long-term ownership is a dying scene, and give in and join the masses on their 3-year contracts and monthly payments...
  2. 2 points
    In theory, the existing Yaris Hybrid could be configured to have better acceleration by upgrading the software. I would imagine the eco button would be programmed with a third configuration - sports! The use of such would be limited by battery and inverter temperature but would give maximum as long as is 'safe'. I am surprised that there isn't a Toyota 'skunk works' hybrid around somewhere with such software.
  3. 1 point
    That is completely the opposite of what I want and is the way the new 2litre hybrids (Corolla) are going. IMO, higher top speeds are redundant, but high acceleration is the way to go and electric motors do this best. The electric side should be boosted in our cars.
  4. 1 point
    Excellent post and some salutary tales! Our dealer here, has been better than that so far. However, today, we got an early morning wake up call from them! I didn't recognise the voice but he sounded very young and a bit nervous. He then proceeded to explain to us that they had this super duper new piece of software that was able to work out the right time for customers like us to change our car for the best price! Yeah right!! He went on to suggest that we could have the exact same car to the same spec brand new and only need to pay an extra £40 more per month than we are paying now!! [emoji848] So I said to him, "Now let me get this straight? You want me to buy the exact same car that is not actually an upgrade from what we have now and pay more for it?" His response? "Well, you will be getting a brand new car."! Since he hadn't bothered to do his homework properly, I didn't bother to remind him about the main road tax dodging reason why we had changed to our current car when we did last year! [emoji16] Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
  5. 1 point
    Oh yes! That's what I've been waiting for! At last! Dare I say "sports hybrid"? [emoji16] Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
  6. 1 point
    This is good news for people who want to 'upgrade' their suspension to a safe and well designed system. It may also be good news if Toyota are looking to further the Yaris sportiness. I am holding out for a hybrid Yaris that can do 0-30mph in 3 seconds (it does it in 4 at the moment). In my naivety, all they have to do is upgrade the battery, HV cables and the inverters - something that could be available as a retrofit upgrade
  7. 1 point
    Here is a picture of our Toyota supplied Optiwhite bulb. The factory-fit bulb is the last picture. Bulbs from Philips are available from the US with exactly the same markings on their base. If I remember correctly, CVU, as printed on the bulb base, stands for Philips 'Crystal Vision Ultra', which is an upgrade bulb model they sell on the aftermarket.
  8. 1 point
    Presumably one needs to adjust the dimmer for the instrument lighting. From memory - with the sidelights or headlights on, press the dashboard button that toggles the odometer display until a series of dashes is displayed, and then press the button and keep it depressed until the instrument lighting is bright enough for you. Turn the sidelights/headlights off, and that should be it as regards the lighting. Could try disconnecting the battery for a while to see whether that resets the consumption display.
  9. 1 point
    Hi guys, I just want to thank you all for your replies and suggestions. Will talk with my mechanic and hopefully it's something cheap. No noise when the car is in full stop, just when I am driving.
  10. 1 point
    Totally unnecessary as long as a road legal replacement has been fitted correctly. It's a different story, though, with some of the retina searing aftermarket rubbish that people fit.


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