Saturday, April 14, 2007


We finally got our new RAV4 yesterday--very exciting! Here are some pictures:We went through a freelance broker sort of person, and so they delivered the car right to our house on a trailer.

Here are a couple of pics:

After being bilked into buying unwanted mud flaps, floor mats, and a very lame looking (hopefully it's more functional than it appears) protective rear bumper "appliqué", I was feeling too poor to splurge on the one dealer-installed-option I really wanted--a rear cargo tray/mat to protect the carpeting & foldaway 3rd row seats against the slings and arrows of muddy Newf feet. Fortunately, Costco was selling these lovely $18 industrialish rubber entry mats--the sort of thing you'd encounter upon walking into a supermarket, say. I had to do some (rather inexpert) surgery on it to um, "optimize" it for the space, but I think it's going to work just fine. Check it out:

There are actually 2 "stow-and-go" seats underneath that mat, which means that when we're not hauling Kodos around, we can accommodate 7 people in this beast. Which rocks.

In keeping with family tradition, we have named this vehicle. The name we chose is Plavalaguna, after the blue alien character from Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (scroll down to the Soundtrack section to see a picture of the Diva Plavalaguna herself). We have a bit of an alien streak going I guess--we call our Accord Banichi, after a character in C.J. Cherryh's novel Foreigner.

In the main, I'm pleased with the independent-broker process we went through to get this car. The guy we worked with (Mark Heinemann) had relationships w/dealers in a four-state area, and could sort of reach up the distribution chain to identify and divert the vehicle we wanted. In theory he wasn't a salesman, but in practice he seemed pretty close to one. But no matter--the fact that we were able to do all the wrangling via e-mail was absolutely wonderful. Anybody who's spent 3 hours in an auto dealership trying to hammer out details and/or make credible threats of going elsewhere, while trying to keep their children reasonably entertained knows what I'm saying.

I had ordered the consumer reports invoice report on this vehicle, so I had independent verification of the dealer costs on the various options. I feel like we got a good deal on the vehicle as configured, but the configuration is not exactly as we wanted. The things that were really important to us were the 3rd row seats, the 4wd, and the roof rack. Anything else was pretty much gravy--and not gravy we wanted to pay for. We knew we were going to have to accept the sunroof (which is a plus for me, but L thinks it's just something to leak), the enhanced stereo, and the daytime running lights, just b/c that's the way Toyota manufactures these things. These were all acceptable, but the vehicle Mark found for us also had the aforementioned mudflaps, appliqué, and floor mats, which most certainly were not worth what they charged for them. So I'm 80% happy, but not 100%. But I have yet to be 100% satisfied w/any car purchase, so, c'est la guerre.

1 comment:

Grandma Babe said...

Congrats!!! It's beautiful and we can't wait to ride in it. Love Mom and Dad