Ever had one of those weird days test driving a car?

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Today I finally got to test drive a BRZ/86, which my kid has been asking about for a while. I wasn't sure how practical it would be, but it wasn't as cramped as I thought it would. Still - it was pretty strange how it all started. My kid has the whole week off school with early spring break and I don't have to work until next week (strange how that works out). At one dealer they didn't really have many because of construction (sales manager said they moved most to storage) and the one they had wasn't available for test drives. So I called up another dealer and asked them, and set up kind of an appointment. Eventually I got passed off to one saleswoman to help take me out. Around the lot they had a bunch of BRZs, including a lot of 2018 models that I was told would go well below MSRP. For whatever reason they haven't been sold and I was told $24k for the base model. Still - I wanted to drive one first. And they had apparently been on the lot so long that they pretty much all had dead batteries. Tried one, then another until they brought out their fix-it guy in the showroom who found where they kept their jump starter. He brought it out, started it, then said go have some fun. The sales lady apparently didn't know how to drive a stick so I had to take it out of the lot. So far so good. I take it into traffic (about a block away from the dealership) where I stop at a light and then promptly stall it since I'm kind of scared of burning the clutch. And since it was just jump started it won't restart. I put the hazard lights on and they promptly stop working after about 10 seconds because the battery is dead. So my only option was for all three of us to get out and wave traffic around it from the sidewalk until help arrives. There's a guy walking down the sidewalk who's kind of amused at all this, but understands when I say it was just jump started at the dealer and I stalled. It was suggested that we put the hood up so that people get the message that something is wrong. Finally the same guy who jump started it before arrives with the jump starter and he takes it back. But without the jump starter and his cell phone which he left in the car that he drove there. He made it back, probably by not taking it easy on the clutch. So it's not much of a test drive, and they figured that there was another BRZ on the lot that doesn't have a dead battery. But they had 3 lined up single file in tight formation and the one at the rear is the one with a good enough battery. Since the sales lady can't drive a stick I have to do it. I looked at the shifter, tried getting it in reverse, and promptly lunge forward 6 inches. I try it again, and another 6 inches. So they asked for help, someone else backs it and I saw that it has that strange lock-out mechanism where the ring on the shifter has to be lifted up before it will go into reverse. I think it's similar to a WRX that I test drove but I never had to put it in reverse. So finally I get to actually drive it where it's more or less uneventful, or at least I didn't stall it again. Took it on city streets, in a residential neighborhood, on the freeway, and back to the dealer. It was a fun ride although the engine isn't anything like my 2004 WRX. The clutch is much lighter (reminds me of my 1995 Integra GS-R) and the pedal feel is softer than my WRX. A bit higher revving and I really had to spank it to get it to go fast. But the cherry on top was what happened in the lot, which I had nothing to do with me. We were waiting to park in the customer lot, where someone who just had a car serviced was waiting. Only a driver in a diagonal space in front is impatient. These are double spaces boxed in by curbs on three sides. So this driver tries to back up, comes close to hitting the car behind in the aisle, and then backs off when I honk. Then she moves forward and jumps the curb. Then she backs up again. She could have waited, but I suppose damaging her suspension was worth trying to save 20 seconds, and possibly bottoming out her car's underside on the curb. The sales lady said they actually had drivers drive over another curb where there's a foot drop to the grass and they've needed to call for a tow truck to lift it out.
 
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Wow...that is one lazy-[censored] dealer that lets his car batteries go dead. It NOT my kind of place shop. I bought my SS Sedan from a HUGE Texas dealer that has dedicated "demos" (as it should be, so that all the NEW cars have under 20 miles on them). In spite of many cars sitting (over a hundred Vettes on the ground) all cars went on the charger regularly.
 

y_p_w

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Originally Posted by ammolab
Wow...that is one lazy-[censored] dealer that lets his car batteries go dead. It NOT my kind of place shop. I bought my SS Sedan from a HUGE Texas dealer that has dedicated "demos" (as it should be, so that all the NEW cars have under 20 miles on them). In spite of many cars sitting (over a hundred Vettes on the ground) all cars went on the charger regularly.
If they knocked $3000 off the MSRP I wouldn't care. Since I experienced that I would probably also ask for them to throw in a new battery. But the sales lady was saying that she realized it wasn't leaving me with a good impression. I don't really which dealer, but at one I did recall someone going out to the lot with a heavy duty wheeled charger and a long extension cord. And yeah I understand the idea of demo models that get retired after a few thousand miles, sold, and the different written off. I was also told that few cars I'm looking at (Civic Type R, WRX STi) that there's no way that one gets to test drive a new one. I guess maybe if they have a used one that they allow one to be test driven.
 
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Originally Posted by y_p_w
I looked at the shifter, tried getting it in reverse, and promptly lunge forward 6 inches. I try it again, and another 6 inches. So they asked for help, someone else backs it and I saw that it has that strange lock-out mechanism where the ring on the shifter has to be lifted up before it will go into reverse.
Not that strange at all. I drove a Chyrsler before that was a stick and it had the same thing, you had to lift up the ring to stick it in reverse.
 
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The dead battery thing is common with the little car lots around here. We were jumped a lot when fj cruiser shopping last year. My worst test drive was a crown Vic a friend was looking at. The front ujoint failed as we were merging onto the freeway. Since it was still connected to the rear axle it was flailing around,eventually came through the floor between the front seats.
 
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Originally Posted by y_p_w
So finally I get to actually drive it where it's more or less uneventful, or at least I didn't stall it again. Took it on city streets, in a residential neighborhood, on the freeway, and back to the dealer. It was a fun ride although the engine isn't anything like my 2004 WRX. The clutch is much lighter (reminds me of my 1995 Integra GS-R) and the pedal feel is softer than my WRX. A bit higher revving and I really had to spank it to get it to go fast.
The BRZ/86 doesn't make much sense until you get to a nice winding road with no one in front of you. Then it makes more sense than almost any other car on the road.
 

y_p_w

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Originally Posted by Wolf359
Originally Posted by y_p_w
I looked at the shifter, tried getting it in reverse, and promptly lunge forward 6 inches. I try it again, and another 6 inches. So they asked for help, someone else backs it and I saw that it has that strange lock-out mechanism where the ring on the shifter has to be lifted up before it will go into reverse.
Not that strange at all. I drove a Chyrsler before that was a stick and it had the same thing, you had to lift up the ring to stick it in reverse.
I never saw one used before today. Basically the only manual transmission vehicle I've driven in the past 15 years is my car with 5-R on the same leg with a standard lockout requiring going all the way left before it will go into reverse. I mentioned I didn't need to back up that new WRX I test drove. I also test drove a used Civic Si, which doesn't have a ring, and where R goes all the way right and down past 5-6. I did back it up into a parking space, but it was almost like my 5 speed. I see Ford shows how to use it, although it's kind of spooky showing the car doing it by itself.
 
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those are all sitting dead because of the suv craze/cheap gas & lack of manual transmission users. (no one in stop&go traffic craves those)
 
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Test drove a Chrysler in Georgia and got rear ended trying to turn in lot. Cop asked if I had insurance so I told him I was on a test drive so he handcuffed me for no insurance. Judge said my insurance from previous car could be used but I didn't have previous car for over 6 months as I used taxi as well as rides as I saved up. Lot wanted me to pay for totaled car and I laughed at this. I won't test drive now without contacting insurance company.
 
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Originally Posted by tiger862
Test drove a Chrysler in Georgia and got rear ended trying to turn in lot. Cop asked if I had insurance so I told him I was on a test drive so he handcuffed me for no insurance. Judge said my insurance from previous car could be used but I didn't have previous car for over 6 months as I used taxi as well as rides as I saved up. Lot wanted me to pay for totaled car and I laughed at this. I won't test drive now without contacting insurance company.
Georgia isn't a no-fault state though, the only way they can come after you is if YOU personally damage the vehicle, since you were rear ended that should be solely on the guy who hit you.
 
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Originally Posted by tiger862
Test drove a Chrysler in Georgia and got rear ended trying to turn in lot. Cop asked if I had insurance so I told him I was on a test drive so he handcuffed me for no insurance. Judge said my insurance from previous car could be used but I didn't have previous car for over 6 months as I used taxi as well as rides as I saved up. Lot wanted me to pay for totaled car and I laughed at this. I won't test drive now without contacting insurance company.
You test drove a car with no plates? If it had plates, it should have been registered and insured. If it was a private party, I would have asked if it was still registered/insured before going on a test drive. Otherwise you're basically driving a car with no registration/insurance. If it's a car dealer, the dealer plates should have insurance.
 

y_p_w

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Originally Posted by d00df00d
The BRZ/86 doesn't make much sense until you get to a nice winding road with no one in front of you. Then it makes more sense than almost any other car on the road.
Well - I'm not sure exactly how well I would have felt that with touring tires. I mean - Michelin Primacy HP? I get that they were designed specifically for the BRZ but I thought this was still a touring tire. The 86 TRD we saw yesterday had a set of Pilot Sport 4. The air box also said it had a reusable/washable TRD filter, which I suppose is a K&N clone.
 
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I never heard of that model so I googled it. The car appears to be a Toyota and somewhat like the Subaru's. Good to hear you found one you could drive and try it out. Some of these dealerships are huge and I have to wonder how much the batteries are compromised by sitting so long without a charge.
 
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When I moved to my current city, I needed something better on gas for traveling for work than my Cherokee. I wanted something really cheap and I found a large chain dealer selling a used 2009 Versa (this was in 2011). It didn't have too many miles on it --- can't remember now. Complete base model, without radio, crank windows or AC. Wouldn't have been too pleasant in the summer, but it would have done what I needed. When we left for the test drive I let the sales guy know that it was driving funny and that it had a TPMS light on and he said it wasn't a big deal and I wasn't used to how a car drives. Okay. Then I noticed the gas light was on, but he said we could drive "forever" with the gas light on. The car really started pulling bad on the way back. Then taking off from a stop light, it kept stalling. The sales guy asked if I knew how to drive manual. To which I responded "Well I've been driving it the whole time without issue". We went to cross the street to pull back in the lot and it died completely. Bone dry on gas. Hop out and see that it had a flat front tire. I figured that could be a bargaining chip for lowering the price. Nope, they wanted $12,900 for it. Brand new it was a $9999 car. My next stop after that was two different Nissan dealers. I walked in and let them know I fully intended on paying cash for a base model Nissan versa. One place laughed at me and tried to lease me a Sentra and the other simply told me they couldn't get one.
 
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Originally Posted by y_p_w
Originally Posted by d00df00d
The BRZ/86 doesn't make much sense until you get to a nice winding road with no one in front of you. Then it makes more sense than almost any other car on the road.
Well - I'm not sure exactly how well I would have felt that with touring tires. I mean - Michelin Primacy HP? I get that they were designed specifically for the BRZ but I thought this was still a touring tire.
As I understand, that's actually the tire that comes on the "sport" package available on the Japan-market Prius. So yeah, it's a touring tire. And the car's handling with it is utterly, awe-inspiringly brilliant. The Pilot Sport 4 is a step up for sure. But when the car came out and blew people's minds, earning favorable comparisons to supercars for pure fun factor, it was on the touring tire. So yeah, you'd have felt it. The 86/BRZ changes direction like almost nothing else on the road. Low, light, extremely agile -- but also intuitive, communicative, accessible, forgiving. Compared to the crossovers, SUVs, and econo-sedans most people drive -- and even some "sports cars" -- what it can do and the way it feels are surreal.
 
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Sports car? I would Look at a used BMW Z4 or Z3 . A proper sports car likely got much cheaper. New, I hear the Veloster R-Spec is great, Hyundai GT wagon and the FIAT 124 /MX5. The Subaru needs a 180 HP 2.2L NA motor. the 2.0L is just to much like the over-tuned 1.8 used to be in the early 90's.
 
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Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Sports car? I would Look at a used BMW Z4 or Z3 . A proper sports car likely got much cheaper. New, I hear the Veloster R-Spec is great, Hyundai GT wagon and the FIAT 124 /MX5. The Subaru needs a 180 HP 2.2L NA motor. the 2.0L is just to much like the over-tuned 1.8 used to be in the early 90's.
So you are saying they should reduce the hp by 25?
 
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Yes reduce the "non-existent" 205 HP and fatten the mid-upper midrange. And get the engine tuned snappy. There is just something wrong with the tune on that engine. I don't know if the current architecture would accept a 2.2L. I would thing so as I thought the 2.5 was closely related. HLA utilised in the F series are probably forcing a mild cam ramp. Now I'll go read about that engine (F? series) and see what I just said that was incorrect .... smile
 
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y_p_w

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Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Yes reduce the "non-existent" 205 HP and fatten the mid-upper midrange. And get the engine tuned snappy. There is just something wrong with the tune on that engine. I don't know if the current architecture would accept a 2.2L. I would thing so as I thought the 2.5 was closely related. HLA utilised in the F series are probably forcing a mild cam ramp. Now I'll go read about that engine (F? series) and see what I just said that was incorrect .... smile
They're talking about a 2.4 for the next generation. I heard the turbo version of the FA20 would take a lot of work to fit in the current engine bay. Something about having to reroute the exhaust.
 
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