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We had been talking to a couple of dealers around Portland, OR after rejecting three or four that were completely fixated on those goofy $1500 to $2500 dealer markups with the undercoating assorted worthless mandatory options. At the same time, when the EX's are sitting on the lot for only hours or at most a day or two before sale, you cannot expect swingin' deals on the price.

We ended up getting the deal we wanted from a small dealer in McMiinneville, which is 30 miles west of Portland in Oregon's wine country. They just happened to have had a single EX in stock and it just happened to be the exact color/option package we wanted. It didn't hurt that the salesman just flipped us the keys after a brief conversation, saying we looked honest and to take it for a spin as long as we wanted (around here, they usually ride along and are often required to drive the car off the lot themselves). We came back in a half hour and made the deal at MSRP and a trade-in on our previous vehicle that was $750 better than our objective. We also got 2.9% financing instead of paying the balance in cash.

I think that in the near future the Toyota Xb will offer Element shoppers an excellent negotiating initiative. It will be interesting to how the pricing will work out after the Toyota mahcines are fully rolled out.

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