No problems with the car when pulled off the lot. Great so far.
I just purchased a 2007 model with the Option #2 package and a Toyota brand 6 CD Changer. In package #3 I believe you get the 6 CD changer with an upgraded stereo and speaker system, but not in this option. The dealer added CD Changer was $595. Because the color (red) was difficult to find in my area, I went ahead and bought the car for $23,600. I really love it. The car is quite roomier than I thought it would be.
Some things that I've noticed thus far about the car are as follows:
1) The number of drink holders are cool. More than 4 is pretty good for a car of this size.
2) Going up hill (steep gradients of 12%) was handled well by the car. The battery was drained by one notch after taking a hill that was about 1/4 of a mile.
3) The rear view that is blocked by the middle rear middle brake light takes some getting used to. Although my view of the rear appears to be quite functional, I'm a bit tense right now in getting used to not having a clear rear view.
4) There are a lot of pockets to store things around the interior of this car. It's amazing.
5) I didn't realize that it would be so important to monitor the oil in this car. The manual states that one quart of 5W-30 is used up by normal use every 600 miles. As each tank will get you 425-475 miles, every gas re-fill really does require a check of the oil levels. Something I didn't do in other cars that I've owned.
After deciding on the options I wanted, I shopped around via Internet and in person at six of the dealers in my area. I ended up buying at the dealer that had the color of the car that I wanted and not necessarily the cheapest price. So I ended up allowing myself to pay $300 more than I would have liked. I went back and forth on the price with the linch pin guy and refused to buy at the price he wanted me to come up to. I was ready to walk and he knew it. He eventually gave in at a price I told him that I could easily get at a dealer down the street from my home. I had really been down to that dealer that morning and really did get that price I mentioned to the dealer I did buy it from. I'm glad I did that. With that price in hand and a price quote via fax from another dealer in my area, I was able to feel comfortable about that the price of the car I was getting was a good deal, but not an excessive hardship on the dealer.
The Toyota purchase process went well. I came to realize that Toyota does a very good job in defining excellent customer service standards.
My biggest challenge was with the finance stage. Toyota in my area is selling four post-sales products. They are the anti-theft alarm ($1,495), the paint bonding sealant that is re-applied every 6 months ($600), the extended warranties ($2,495) and pre-paid maintenance package ($1,495).
Firstly, I refused the alarm and the prepaid maintenance packages. Although the finance person let the prepaid maintenance package refusal down rather easily, they didn't let the second option of the alarm go without a good fight.
Thirdly, I was offered the paint package at $600 and ended up getting it for $350. I made a mistake with the extended warranty however. They offered a premium Toyota extended warranty (7 year, 100,000 mile zero deductible) for $2,495. My wife just said yes to it before I even had a chance to say wait a sec. No wonder the sales people involved were practically jumping for joy as I walked out the door. I knew that I had been ripped off on the warranty, but I thought... we'll at least I'm getting something for my money.
Anyway, I drove home with the car. I really like it.
I came home tonight and researched the warranty on-line and found that I could actually cancel the warranty within 30 days of purchase (Something they didn't mention in the office and why would they?). I also found out that I could purchase the warranty even a year later. And although, I can't confirm this, several Internet forum comments on other websites have said that one need not buy the extended warranty until the actual one is about to expire. That's because the factory warranty and the extended warranty time frames would overlap. One gentlemen at a Toyota dealer is selling the extended Toyota premium warranty for $990 which is a significant savings. Do an Internet search for "Toyota Premium Warranty Comment".
Moreover, I was surprised to learn that one need not buy the warranty at the same dealer as one bought the car at. Therefore, I could have bought the warranty from another dealer in another state at a drastic discount and not pay sales tax!
I plan on calling tomorrow to cancel the warranty and then clarify when I would need to buy the extended warranty. You see, I'm deeply concerned about the parts breaking down. Even one repair could hit $1,000 easily. It's a foreign car after all. They are all manufactured/assembled in Japan. All 100% of them.
This forum was very helpful and so were the other resources on the Internet. I'm so thankful for finding this thread of comments. I hope my comment is equally helpful.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th June, 2007