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):
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.