After driving a used Toyota Avalon for the last few years, I finally figured out what vehicle I wanted to buy and made the move on Sunday at Infiniti of Tyson's Corner. I am now a proud owner of an Infiniti FX35 (shown below). This article will summarize some of the online resources I used to purchase my new vehicle.
Unfortunately, I could not buy a vehicle with cash so first, I locked down financing for the vehicle. I have used credit unions for this before and found they often offer the best rates. However, I decided to try something new and gave Lending Tree a try by filling out a loan application and submitting it online. Within 20 minutes, I had 4 different auto financing offers. I looked into Lending Club to see if they could beat the rate and it did not appear to be the case so I went with the best Lending Tree offer.
I started my research a few months ago but with my financing now locked down I had to decide on the vehicle or in this case vehicles I was going to look at. I examined a number of different vehicles online using a combination of Cars.com, Edmunds, Cars Direct, AOL Autos, CarMax and Kelley Blue Book.
Finding A Vehicle
I used Cars.com by far the majority of the time to find vehicles to visit in person. To ensure I covered all my bases I also used Cars Direct (the service Mike Arrington praised), AutoTrader.com and Craigslist. Through these site I was able to narrow my list to only a few vehicles based on my own personal criteria.
Here are few of the notable vehicle test drives from the many vehicles I looked at:
Toyota FJ Cruiser TRD - With a black body and roof this is a true 4x4 vehicle tuned for off road use, thus it is missing some of the basic luxury features (i.e. sunroof, leather, etc). I like the car most notably because of the name (my name is also FJ) but thought it was rather expensive for what you are getting. My biggest concern with the FJ Cruiser was its very poor rear visibility. This vehicle would be fun to rent for a few days but I don't think I would like to own one.
Lexus RX 330 - This vehicle is loaded with features. I liked it. It was very comfortable but it drove very soft. This is a very safe and reliable vehicle filled with technology options. It was my second choice.
Infiniti FX35 - This car was fun to drive and can really move. It offers a super 5 star safety rating, 20 inch wheels, dual exhaust, the towing package and loads of other features. I liked the Infiniti FX35 the best and decided to make an offer.
I was honest with my pricing expectation with the team at Infiniti of Tyson's Corner. We met each other halfway and agreed on a great price. After agreeing on a price it is important to check the vehicle VIN on NICB to determine if the vehicle you are looking to buy was damaged in a hurricane or other disaster. The dealership should show you the CARFAX details but if they do not it is worth the small expense and the piece of mind to get the report on your own.
Buying The Vehicle
This is the easy part, especially if you are paying for the vehicle with cash or outside financing.
The team at Infiniti of Tyson's Corner was good to work with. They offered me food, drinks and even tried to find me better financing. I would definitely recommend my friends in the DC area to go see see Andrew, Bill, Leigh and the rest of the Infiniti of Tyson's Corner team. They worked together to make buying a my new Infiniti FX35 a breeze.