Category Archives: Shopping

Bad Experience at Hyundai Dealership in Maple Ridge


So Sheepie has been wanting and looking for a Jeep Wrangler for an year now. So when he saw a decent offer at the Hyundai Dealership in Maple Ridge for a used one, we decided to go check it out. He was only planning to take a look at it, but he gave in and decided to buy it, lol.

It was a 2014 model, so fairly new with not a whole lot of mileage on it  (14,000 km), though compared to mine which was just short of 3000km after starting to drive my 2014 Yaris in Sept of that year, it seemed a lot to me.

The dealership had coffee and tea – which most places have, but this one had popcorn to indulge in as we waited during the different process! Hee hee~

When we started the financial phase, the sales guy kept talking about the monthly payments and such, never telling us the interest rate. We both asked about it a few times, and never got a number. The financial guy did the same thing. He kept dodging questions and replying with different wording that didn’t really clear up anything. It was not until the end when Sheepie was supposed to sign all the papers, that I noted to him that it was a whopping 7.2%. That meant that to take 7 years to pay it off, there would be over $9,000 of just interest!! Crazy! One could buy a smaller used car for that money!

There were additional costs that were not mentioned until the final papers – admin, delivery (when there isn’t any – it’s already at the lot) $2000 and the taxes that would not have been added if we had bought it from a private owner. There was this tire insurance thing for $600. I asked the financial guy TWICE if this was absolute mandatory/required, and he replied that “It’s done on all of our cars.” That did not answer the question! There was also this life insurance thing another $600. These 2 insurance things were never added when I bought my Yaris from Toyota. These came out to be an additional $8000!!!

Going into the insurance department wasn’t any better, in fact, it was worse. The lady was super grumpy as if it was detention camp. She never smiled once, or talk in a friendly way. Not a person you want to deal with when you are already dealing with insurance – something most of us don’t like nor can wrap their minds around, especially when you’re being bombarded with so much information just from the purchase of the vehicle.

We had arrived at the dealership around 2pm, but we ended up being there till closing at 6pm. Everything throughout was all wishy-washy until bam! The bill with hidden fees finally showed it’s ugly face. As Sheepie excitedly drove out of the dealership, he remembered that the ad on Craigslist had mentioned that it came with a soft top as well. We turned around and went back, just as the sales guy was leaving. “Oh, remember that I told you that there wasn’t the soft top because I had mistaken the bags in the trunk as the soft top…but they weren’t.” Sheepie was devastated. I do recall him saying something on that lines when we were busy cleaning out the old trade in car and putting everything into the wrangler. We were both preoccupied, so the quick notice didn’t register. For me, I didn’t understand what he was talking about at the time. He didn’t explain or take effort to make sure Sheepie understood. Soft tops are anywhere from $800-$2000.

So false advertising! AND, when we got home, I asked Sheepie if he’d received the second pair of keys (yes, it helps to have someone like me to stay focused and checkup…like a mother, lol). He called the sales guy, and they couriered him the keys. The sales guy and financial guy were nice, but I guess that’s what kept me on my toes. We felt like we have been deceived.

Sheepie has since called the sales guy many times only to be rerouted to his voicemail. Sheepie has gotten more impatient and left a message saying he would take further actions if needed. To that, he called back saying the soft top would come soon. It still hasn’t…Terrible! It’s been 7 weeks since buying the Wrangler…and nothing…Sheepie has been super disappointed (and somewhat traumatized) by the car buying experience. He says it’s better in Germany.

But for now with my new Yaris and Sheepie with his fairly new Wrangler, hopefully, we now wont have to buy any more new cars for a very, very long time!

Yaris 2014 Review

idearabbit-carshopping3So in 2014, I bought a new 2014 Yaris! Here is the review for the car so far:

idearabbit-yaris_review2I’m not sure who designed the interior, but someone was not thinking when they designed the audio jack and usb port inside the glove compartment. Every time I have my phone charged, or have my mp3 player plugged in, I have to have the glove compartment open. With stuff inside, I’m always worried that things will fall out during a turn or sudden stop. I wouldn’t be able to use it if a passenger was sitting since the compartment butts out into their legs. The ports are farthest away from the driver seat making it a hassle to literally lean onto the passenger seat and try and look for the plugs in the dark compartment. A huge minus for the modern age.

idearabbit-yaris_review3I now close the compartment when I drive due to things falling out when driving, but it can be a pain having to open the compartment to turn on/off or navigate my mp3 player… I’ve decided to order a longer cable so I can have the cable and device out with the compartment closed. Boo…

Being able to connect bluetooth to your phone is a plus. You can make/receive calls with the buttons, or play music from your phone which can be heard through the nice speaker system (the bass is nice) though I found that sometimes it sounds muffled at times…

idearabbit-yaris_review5I keep thinking that I’ve already scratched my new car, but it’s only where the coating cover comes to a abrupt stop. I’m not sure why. Looks to me like a design flaw.

I’ve been getting neck pain from driving in this car. The head rests are not adjustable, and for me, it’s bend in an awkward way that doesn’t suit my neck. It’s great that the seat can move front/back/up/down, so not allowing the neck to be adjusted is another huge minus.

idearabbit-yaris_review4The shift stick seems a little flimsy compared to my bulkier ’97 Corolla. It feels like it’s going to break if I put too much force on it. Also, the way it’s lit is really hard to see in dark conditions. The Corolla was way better. It also had a lock button that you had to push in order to move from one transition to another which was a nice safety feature.

idearabbit-yaris_review6Having a back wiper is great. With the Corolla, since it had a trunk, it had no wipers, and it was really hard to see at times, especially at night. I have no idea why they don’t make all cars with them. Is it that difficult to add? Anyways, it’s nice, but having intermittent speed choices would be nice. Also, the way it’s design makes it so that it only cleans like 60% of the back windshield. I have seen other compact cars have better wipers.

The big thing with the Yaris as it’s advertised is the amount you’ll save on gas. I was informed that it did an average of 6 -7 litres/km, but so far, mine is around 9.5L/km which is supposedly the same as my old ’97 4 door sudan Corolla. I haven’t really seen a huge difference in the number of trips to the gas stations, but perhaps its still too early to tell. I have noticed that my bills were always around the $45, and now it’s about $33. So less, but it could be the drop in gas prices. I haven’t really calculated everything to see if I’m actually saving due to fuel consumption efficiency and not gas prices.

The interior is surprisingly quite roomy. A friend and coworker were both impressed with the amount of space inside the compact car. The black interior is nice, though it does seem ‘cheap’ with certain things and does show dust and small dirt very easily. The extra cup holders and compartments for your little knick-knacks are a plus.
idearabbit-yaris_reviewI’m not a huge fan of having the clock in my dashboard – and it’s so small. I liked it in the Corolla where it was where the radio was. It was large enough and easy to see. Also, in the Corolla, the clock was on it’s own, not crammed with outside temperature readings and other readings. Also, other passengers could see it too. With it in the dashboard, only I can, and because it’s surround by other information, it’s not so evident – though I guess you do get accustomed to it. Depending on the handwheel position, it can cover the clock, making it even more unsuitable for its location.
However, I’m glad that they got rid of the stupid idea of having the previous models have the dahsboard in the middle between the driver and the passenger! If that was the case for 2014, I definitely would not have purchased the Yaris.

The dark grey is trendy, and eliminates the hassle of trying to keep it looking clean and spotless. The chromes are a nice accent. Although I do not usually have the back seats occupied, it’s nice to have 4 doors instead of 2. It’s nice to be able to put luggage at the back seat without having to fold down the front seats. Also, I like the look of 4 rather than 2.

Acceleration is a bit sluggish, but I drive to and back from work where traffic jams are frequent, so not much acceleration power is needed.

The new Yaris comes with a 3 year Road Assistance which literally replaces the BCAA. However, if you’re in a situation where they can’t reach you, there is a jack underneath the driver’s seat. (which I didn’t know until going to Toyota New Westminster’s Workshop – lol)

The radio has jumped to a completely different station while driving twice during the 3 months. I inquired about it at the workshop and the service manager told me that maybe I didn’t press the button for each station until it beeped. This was also something I didn’t know. Doesn’t one expect to go to the station once you’ve pressed on the button? I tried it yesterday upon learning this, and you have to at least press for 4 seconds before it gets selected. Who knew? But they said that if it only happened twice, then that’s likely not the cause of problem…he told me just wait and see…Since then, I haven’t had that problem, so hopefully, it was just a user error.

But overall, I’ve been happy with the purchase. Some pros and cons.

Read my previous post on my decision on getting rid of my old Corolla ’97 for a new 2014 Yaris.
Read my previous post on Toyota New Westminster’s Workshop after purchasing the new 2014 Yaris.

Goodbye Corolla ’97, Hello Yaris 2014

Buying a New Car

So my old 1997 Corolla from Toyota failed the AirCare test. It’s the final year of AirCarein BC, but with some problems (like stalling while driving) this year and the windshield being quite scratched making it a hazard to drive in rain,  I finally decided that it was time to get a new car. Of course, I could continue to drive the car after the AirCare is gone. But although I wouldn’t call myself a ‘tree hugger’ or super ‘green’, I do recycle as much as possible and try to reduce my waste (ie. donating items instead of throwing things away, taking reusable bags when shopping, reusing the backside of printed paper, etc).

The diagnostic test to see why it failed AirCare cost me $180 + tax. It was the catalytic converter that had over the years become clogged and needed to be replaced. The car is still safe to drive and it’s not a problem except it’s just exhausting a bit over the acceptable levels of hydrocarbons determined by AirCare. They told me that the Toyota replacement part would cost $970 + labour $200 and so on, totaling well over $1100. For a car I bought for $1000 in 2009 from my parents, this seemed ridiculous.

But buying a car is no easy task. It’s not a shopping decision that if you don’t like it, you can just keep it in the closet as some clothes that you thought looked good in store but not when you came home. It takes a lot of time. I would be able to extend the insurance from ICBC by 3 months to give me some time to do as much research as possible should I not be able to get a new car in time.

Phase one: Deciding what kind of car you want.
Since I don’t have kids and live in the city, I wanted something that was compact, fuel efficient, easy to maintain and affordable. With gas prices always going up, I was definitely looking for a compact car from the beginning. With budget in mind, I started looking at used cars. I found prices that were really likeable, but there was a downfall – most of them were 2001-2004, meaning not much newer than my ’97, and the odometers were in the 200,000km which was way more than my 130,000km on my Corolla. Most used the same amount of gas so there weren’t going to be any savings from gas usage and not very friendly to the environment either. I was stuck in this stage for a while since the price was so attractive. However, thinking of the future of the vehicle and how it would likely cost more just to maintain it and repair as it gets even older (as I found out with the Corolla), I moved myself into getting a car that was 2 years or newer.

Phase 2: Used or New?
As I started to look at newer (but still used) vehicles, I saw that the prices weren’t that much cheaper than a brand new one. I figured that if I was going to pay that much already, why not add $2000 or so to get a new one instead. It would eliminate the possibility of the used car having through accidents or problems that the dealer may not be honest about. You would be starting at 0 mileage and super clean. The price was still a bit of a deterrent, but when I saw that many were offering 0-0.9% interest and allowing up to 84 months to pay it off, it didn’t seem too big of a monetary issue that I could handle. I figured that I paying $200-$300 per month was doable. So I finally decided that buying a new car was the way to go.

Phase 3: Narrowing down your options
After much research online and talking to people, I narrowed down my options to a Prius C, Yaris, Kia Rio and Honda Fit. There are pros and cons of each which you can read about, but the only way to find out if they’re really fit for you is to go see the actual cars and test drive them. It’s a good idea to go to different dealers even for the same vehicle as each dealer may have different pricing and incentives, not to mention service by the actual staff.

Phase 4: Haggle
I started by emailing local dealers for the Yaris 2014. Let me tell you that none of them would give a straight out price. They wanted me to come in to test drive (even after I had already done that at a local dealer), and still come in, or talk over the phone. I tried, but since the margin for the dealerships on small compact cars is so minimal, all I could get was $150-$200 off. Though I know a friend who haggled and got close to $5000 off of her BMW…but then BMW are more expensive in the first place. I didn’t want to deal with trying to sell the Corolla on my own. Although I frequently resell my old stuff on Craigslist and such, I only had 2.5 months left before my insurance ran out. Also, I was going to be away in Europe for a month, cutting down the time even more. I traded in the Corolla instead.

Phase 5: Final Decision!
After you’ve tried them all out, went to different dealers and continue to look for reviews and videos online, it’s time to make the final decision into which one you want to get. Mine came sort of abruptly. I was pretty sure of getting the Yaris, and started to ask for a white colour. When I found out that there weren’t any whites left in the Lower Mainland, I started to panic. When I went to see a dealer, he also mentioned that the reds were also all sold out. My second colour choice was dark grey, and there was only 1 left. I knew for sure that I didn’t want the ugly 2015 model. So I decided right there (after another test drive, lol) to buy.

Farewell Corolla
Awww…I’m not really into cars, and don’t really get attached to them, yet it was still a little sad to see the car go after it had been with me since I was a teenager. It had been a really good car.



Check back for my review on my Yaris 2014!