Today Tee and Apollo took me to the Mile of Cars in National City. Our plans were to check out the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and a Hyundai Mom mentioned to me in chat just before I left. First we visited a Toyota dealer. My ex, the Prius was there, so I stuffed Tee in it so he could see why we broke up. He looked very uncomfortable, as if I had just introduced him to a stranger at a party and walked away. Even when Apollo got inside to try to explain the cool features to him, he still looked upset. After some grumbling, they both got out and we made a mad dash to the Camry section.
Romeo, yes that was his name, joined us and let Apollo and I test drive a V6. It was nice! Every bit as wonderful as I remembered on my first drive several days before, even though the original was with a 4 cylinder. We did notice some handling problems when going around corners, but not bad. As we walked away, Romeo got a little rude because I wasn't ready to talk about buying it right then (he had Apollo park the car in the "sold" parking slot). We asked for a brochure or something with additional information about the car and when he refused, we walked away. He followed us and tried to discuss money with me and when I asked about other colors they might have (as a way to deflect his questions), he said, "Let's go back inside and talk numbers. When we get that taken care of, we'll talk about colors." This was when I said, "I guess we won't be talking numbers then." We walked away but he quickly followed and chattered with us all the way across the lot to our car.
Romeo, Romeo, whyfort art thou so rude?
Next we visited a Hyundai dealership. The first car we saw was the Sonata Mom was talking about. I have to admit, it's a nice looking car! Tee and Apollo got excited, while I stood back a ways. I mean, this car was NOT on my research list. I didn't know anything about it. I let the salesman, Art, talk to them while I stood back and watched his body language. The guys were like little children, looking at a new toy. They even popped the hood to take a gander inside! (men!)
Eventually, we decided to take it for a drive. This time, all three of us drove it! Honestly, I loved it. It was actually better than the Camry and definitely roomier. OOH and it had a lot of pep. Apollo drove it like a mad man, making both Tee and I cling to each other in the back seat. It was as if Grandma was driving; I thought I was going to get carsick. :) Other bonuses were all the amenities! This car had all the extra's, including a sun/moonroof, simulated woodgrain trim, extra airbags, mp3 compatible stereo, electric seat and more! The Camry with the same package would be approximately $3k more.
Tee, pictured here with Apollo and the car we test drove, was so excited about this car he said that even though he didn't like sedan's he would buy this car. In fact, if he hadn't of purchased his '05 V6 Mustang in December, he would get this car. Art, our salesman, told me he would be willing to sell me a car $100 above the invoice price and would get in touch with me this week when more cars came in.
We left the Mile of Cars excitedly talking about the Sonata, forgetting the Accord and Altima.
At home, I did some research online. Edmunds.com of course has a great review about the car, including First Drive: 2006 Hyundai Sonata Korean Camry Delivers and Comparison Test: Hyundai Sonata Takes on the Accord and Camry. Both are great articles - I'm so glad Mom mentioned this car!
There may be a gratuitous visit to Nissan and Honda tomorrow to check out the last two contestants, but I doubt they're even in the game at this point.