Saturday, September 19, 2009

Subaru Impreza WRX STi Test Drive - Disappointing to say the least

I drove a 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti today but it wasn't the greatest drive I have ever taken. Probably one of the worst test drives I had ever taken part in. Due in fact to the attitude of the salesman at the local dealership here. The whole goal of a test drive is to sell you on the car and experience. I neither felt anything except for the distinct impression that this guy didn't give a shit about anything but his golf game. And that I had began taking up his precious time. I looked around - there were NO other customers in the dealership.

And the sad fact is I had visited the same dealership where I picked up my previous Subaru. When I asked to drive the car, I was asked "Are you sure? This is a very expensive and fast car" followed by "We don't let these cars on the road for everyone. We like to keep the kilometers low." The most insulting part of this conversation was when he said "We can go out for a test drive, but I'll be driving". 

At this point I said "If you're driving I'm leaving. There's no point in me staying around here". I guess he sensed I was going to walk. The best quote I heard was "When people buy the STi, they like to have zero kilometers on the car". I managed to get a test drive and guess what? The car had over 600 kilometers on it. When we were about to leave the parking lot, he asked me "Can you drive a stick shift?"

I calmly answered "I've had my car for almost 3 years now. It's a stick shift. What do you think?"

The car was boomy and the seats were hard. The shifter was placed very high - too high for my liking. Performance wise, the car was very nice to drive but lacked a sense of urgency compared to the 2007 STi I had driven a few years ago. Back then I remember hearing a rumbling or growl even through 3rd to 4th. I drove the car very gingerly and I was treated the test drive like I was driving my mother's old car. ie. Gentle and slow. During my drive back a pedestrian was crossing and I had motioned towards the car's AV display; at which point he said "You better watch that pedestrian". Really?? The one ten car lengths ahead of me? Infuriating.

And as we wound our way back to the dealership it became clearly apparent to me that this guy was a total asshole who lacked any kind of interpersonal skills. When I offered to shake his hand he DECLINED. He stated it's FLU season and he doesn't want to risk getting sick. I was completely in shock. Customer service 101 dictates that hand shakes are generally a rule of thumb when working with customers and generating good will. Instead he came across as a pompous fool; blathering about the high insurance rate of the STi (he compared it to a Dodge Viper). If I was a salesman, I wouldn't ever mention the high cost of car insurance to a customer - EVER. Especially when it's a car you're trying to sell him on it. 

Good job folks, I'll never return to this dealership and I will never buy another Subaru.

Key points on Test drive:

* Incredibly fast
* Great rear visibility
* Hard seats
* Loud drivetrain and exhaust
* Excellent braking
* Quiet when not pushed hard
* Excellent rear leg room
* Hatchback may not be for everyone
* Jackass salesman


kirm said...

Dude, you're lucky you got to test drive one! About 4-5 years ago in my neck of the woods you couldn't test drive one of those unless you signed an agreement saying you were going to buy it if the test drive was satisfactory. That's how it went with many cars I was interested in through my entire life, including the Contour SVT. What a joke! It's a Ford, not a Ferrari!!!!!

Stoneman said...

I've had Mercedes-Benz back a 100K truck off a ramp for me to drive it...and then the sales guy threw me the keys and said "come back whenever you want". Same thing for BMW when I took the X5 out...

Hell I even had a salesman with me with I drove the Cayman S - but he never said HE would drive.

And I'm not 17 I'm almost 40. :)