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After some problems with several salespeople at one dealership, I went to another, met a really good salesman, was offered what I consider a fair deal (about $800 below MSRP), and I put down a deposit. The dealer searched high and low, and was unable to find me an SOP EX 5 Spd. Being as how the only interior colors the wife and I liked was the black/grey scheme, that left black, or SLM. Black was too hearse-like on the outside for our taste, and a SLM EX 5 Spd. was available through dealer trade, so I told them to go for it.

After some difficulties getting the trade arranged (the new car manager handles that stuff at this dealership, and he had to go in for emergency surgery), I was getting between a rock and a hard place. After the wreck that made me have to go get something to replace my truck, I was given a rental car by the insurance company, and the time period they would pay for said rental car was within a few days of being over.

Friday, they said that it was all arranged, and that I could pick up the Element Saturday, at 4:00 PM. The wife and I were out doing a little shopping (I'm not much of a shopper, she's the supreme ruler in that department), and had my birthday dinner (I turned 40 Saturday) with a few friend set up at a Japanese restaurant, to start about 6:30.

We got to the dealership just after 4, signed the paperwork, got the quick tour they are required to give, and drove off with time to spare to make it to dinner.

Along with delivery, the dealership assuaged my stress levels somewhat by managing to secure me a 3.99% APR rate on the loan, which significantly beat the 5.25% APR my own credit union had already pre-approved me for...

We took it out today to drive around some, and we're amazed by how quiet, stable in crosswinds, and peppy it is. It's comfy, too. The only drawback I've seen yet is all the people staring at it in traffic and inadvertently swerving towards me as they do so--that is a bit disconcerting.

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