Back in June, I went through three dealerships looking for an Insight.
Howard Cooper Honda in Ann Arbor, MI had a Civic hybrid on the lot, but no Insight. They said they wouldn't even be getting an Insight in until July. What bugged me is that they weren't willing to talk about financing at all - apparently, their attitude is that the Insights are in enough demand that people will pay cash for them. They also seem to own a VW and a BMW place next door, so seem to aim for a higher income clientele. They might work for the average U of Michigan professor, but I was left with a sour taste in my mouth.
The next day, I tried two more dealerships. One was up near Novi, MI - the name is escaping me. They also had a Civic hybrid on the lot and an Insight on order, but they were friendlier and more willing to work with me once that Insight eventually arrived.
Then I stopped in at Victory Honda in Plymouth, MI. They had a Civic and
a CVT Insight on the lot. It was the last day of the school year for me, so I had time to kill that afternoon, and I test drove both. They were really nice. When I got home, the wife was interested and willing to go back to the dealership with me that evening to check out the cars. (Surprised me that she was so willing, actually, but we had been discussing my getting one of these maybe in the fall, as she was going to need more reliable transportation by then for medical school rotations. Since I put on a lot of miles, she was going to get the still-reliable 80,000 mile five-year old Mercury Tracer whenever it happened.) She test drove both cars that evening, and she left it in my court to decide between the Civic and the Insight. While the Civic might be more practical in some respects, we only have a third person in a vehicle about once a year, and we were going to keep the Tracer, so a four-seater wasn't necessary. The physics geek in me was just enamored with the Insight, and besides, my first car was a two-seater and two-seaters tend to have a little more legroom than four-seaters. (I'm 6'2" with a 37" inseam.) We put down a small deposit to hold the Insight, pending an investigation of insurance. The insurance was reasonable, what with all the discounts from my 16 year good record, so we called the dealership from the insurance office and got the ball rolling on buying it.
Both salespeople I dealt with at Victory were very pleasant and easy to work with. (One was even aware of the tax deduction we've been reading about.
) We negotiated a free CD changer (with two magazines) into the deal to encourage me to buy it that much quicker. (They were out of stock on those, but I was able to bring the car back the following Monday to have it installed.) The service department has also handled things really well so far, and they always wash the car on the way out, which I never got from the Mercury dealership.
Plus, they do late service hours twice a week and have Saturday service hours - the sort of treatment I was used to from a lot of services (medical, banks, etc.) when I lived in Colorado, but just don't find in Michigan. Big plus for me, and even though they're outside of Ann Arbor (where I live), they're just a short drive down the freeway and along my work commute route.
I was also pleased to see another Insight at Victory when I returned for my first oil change in the fall - none of that "We've got one on order coming in six week" nonsense I was getting at other dealerships. They always seem to have a Civic and an Insight on hand.
Cool thing is that the Insight is small enough that they've been wintering it in the hallway between the restrooms and the service department, so everyone has to walk by it sooner or later.
(BTW, Victory Honda used to be Sunshine Honda. I've heard some customers in the service area discussing a real positive difference in the place since the ownership change.)