13th May 2019, 11:14

The only problem with choosing a Toyota, is that the dealerships don't treat you like a "grown up". They have been stuck in a time warp until recently it seems. The sales people still "come with you" on a test drive, like they don't trust you or something with an overpriced $13,000 on the lot priced car they took as a trade in, and paid $5000 or something. Most people in Auckland own houses $1m-$3 million nowadays, so what's the big deal about a $5000 car? So you can't truly evaluate the car properly by taking it on a long test drive. I got fed up with these sorts of cars (and dealerships) so I tried going to premium European dealers. I test drove $20,-$30k Volkswagen Passats, Golfs, and Jaguars. The difference couldn't be more marked. At first I thought they were a bit snobby and not very attentive, but when they just handed me the keys and said "don't bring it back till you're really happy you've given it a good test drive", I knew these guys were on my wavelength. They deal with millions of dollars worth of stock. They appear "not interested" or "snobby" because, yeah, you guessed it, they deal with people who might buy a brand new $100k plus car so what's the big deal about a $20,-$30K car they paid $15,000 for as trade? They couldn't be more down to earth and friendly. Going back to Toyota, it looks they've changed their marketing now and are running ads where you can take the cars for long periods of time!!! Gee!!

13th May 2019, 21:39

The smartest and easiest solution is to rent any brand new car with no mileage limits for a week. You are out looking anyway. Plenty of solo time that way behind the wheel. It sounds like this would put zero dent in your finances. In fact I rent 3 or 4 new ones and end up buying what I enjoy. I also hit a big city car show. Then rent the latest candidates over a month or so. Take on a weekend trip with family and luggage. And get their true feedback. This model is really a very easy to find rental. I just rented a new Audi and didn’t care for the firm leather seats or the shifter complexity. I might have overlooked that on a round the corner test drive. I'm just out the rental cost, that’s it. Well worth it. Often there are luxury car weekend upgrades. Plus it’s really fun. Good luck and try more than one brand or model. I’ve been happily surprised. Good luck!