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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Proud new owner of an EBP EX 4WD AT and loving it. Been looking at them seriously for the last couple weeks and had an overnight test drive this weekend before making the deal.

Before I went back to the dealer, I worked out the numbers ahead of time. The only dealer option it had were the side steps (which I was going to buy from H and A and install myself, but no need for that now). I didn't want to haggle with them so I told them $22k OTD (out the door - tax, tag, title, docs, everything). Sticker (including the bogus protection package: fabric protection, undercoat, weather proofing) was $22694 before tax, tag and title. I figured a fair deal for me was about $500 over invoice (you can see how the actual numbers worked out below).

After I offered $22k, they came back with $23,774 (or something close to that). I told them that my offer was $22k OTD and that they were welcome to turn it down, but I would be making the same offer to another dealer the next day. Back he goes to the sales manager. Comes back with $23,200. I stand up and say "I'll let you know what Dealer B says tomorrow." He tries to get me to $22,600 - half way between $22k and $23,200. Again, I told him the price was $22k OTD. He goes back to the sales manager again (why does it have to be this hard). Comes back out - "Congratulations, Mr. Moore".

Is this the best possible deal available in the US? No. I've seen posts here with better prices, some with worse. For our market, I think I did a good deal better than average. They are doing pretty well here in KY - each dealer has a few on the lot, mostly DXs. Like many areas, the first shipment or 2 went for a couple grand over sticker price. Mine was the last EX on this dealer's the lot except for the one in the showroom. Either way, before I went in, I believed the price represented a fair deal for both myself and the dealer and I'm glad I got it at the dealer close to my house (in case my windshield cracks - knock on wood).

Here are the sticker, invoice and what I paid prices (in that order in case the formatting doesn't work right):

Code:
                                    MSRP      Invoice        I paid
2003 EX 4WD AT                     20850       19262         19662
Side Steps                           699         300 (est)     300 (est)
Protection Pkg (dealer fluff)        685           0             0
Destination                          460         460           460
Sub-total (before tax/tag/title)   22694       20022         20422
Doc Fees                             399         399           399
Sales Tax                           1179        1179          1179
Total                              24293       21600         22000
I realize the doc fees are higher than most, but I knew that ahead of time and had factored that in. I basically paid the dealer $400 over invoice + $399 in doc fees (of which about $90 are actual DMV fees for license, tags, registration). So the dealer made about $700 on the deal all said and done, but I did get the side steps at cost.

I hope this helps anyone else who is getting ready to purchase.

And FWIW, I'll be taking my E on a solo 5000 mile road trip in July - starting in KY, headed east and up the coast to maine, and then across the northern united states to oregon and then south to my new home in northern california. I'm going to take about 4 months to make the trip, taking my sweet freakin' time - and camping in my E. As it gets closer I'll post another message and more defined itinerary. If you find yourself living near one of my stops and want to show me your favorite watering hole, I'd me much obliged.

BTW, thanks to everyone who posts on this site - the information had really helped.

jgmoore
 

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I found Frankfort willing to deal, and never really checked Louisville thoroughly, but Florence wouldn't budge. I ended up buying in Ohio, for about the same price, $300 less, but no side steps. Looks like you got the typical deal. Congrats on your E! have fun on your trip. I just took ours on its first post-break-in-period trip
 

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JGMoore -

Congrats on your new Element. It's great to hear that you made a good deal and feel good about your purchase!

Your chart of MSRP v. Invoice v. You Paid was *extremely* helpful. I'm printing that puppy out to incorporate it into my spreadsheet. I gather that from the starting point of your trip that you live now in KY? I'm sure your figure will really help other board members in KY.

And can I just say I *so* envy your 4 month trip coming up? I am a mad travelling Hellcat myself. I love a road trip. I do great thinking and just sort of adjust things in myself when I have my car, my tunes, my dog, and the road ahead of me. I've always wanted to see New England and I haven't seen nearly enough of the Pacific Northwest. Do you have your route planned out? I'd love to hear about your trip, and do be sure to share pictures with us, too! :D

All the best to you.
 

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One of the things I've noticed here in Michigan is that the better deals are at dealerships that are further from the big city. I got the 5-speed EX w/ wheel locks, splash guards, exhaust finisher, and the armest (or order) for 20,873 out the door.

......Meanwhile in the city....

"We can't give prices like that."
"The dealer can't do that. That's not possible."
"No way."
 
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