As you can tell from my last post, I have a new car! Well, almost new. Let me tell the story.
About this time last year, I was car shopping. I had almost signed on an Evo when better judgment told me to go with something cheaper to start. Also, 271 HP is a bit much for someone that had never driven a manual before. I decided to use my grandfathers Ford discount and just pick up a Focus. It had decent looks and handling and the interior was fairly accomodating. I have yet to find nicer seats (not even in the SVT). While I was trying to pick out the Focus I wanted, the sales person I was working with kept mentioning the SVT. When we finally went out to the dealer lot to grab an automatic ZX3 for a test drive, we had to pass over at least five SVTs to find a single ZX3. Obviously the cars were not selling well.
I bought the Camaro about two months ago and I’ve only put about 200 miles on it. I wasn’t getting any better at the manual, so I just stopped trying. I’m always looking at car forums when the SVT was mentioned. I cannot remember the context but someone was praising it on a Subaru forum. A car has to be at least moderately respectable for someone entrenched in another manufacturer’s camp to praise it. Just on a whim, I decided to look up new/used SVTs in the area. The only one I could find was a 2004 model with about 940 miles on it. I figured that had to be a typo for 9,400 so I figured I’d email the dealer. Nope, not a typo. An older gentleman traded in a SVT Lightning for an SVT Focus and then decided it seemed too young for him. He returned it 3 weeks later.
They gave me an overnight test drive and I decided this is what my car should have been all along. Tighter (but not punishing) suspension, better brakes, better looks, better acceleration and an amazing transmission. Going to this car from the Camaro is very eye-opening. The Getrag trans is just a thing of beauty. I think the only better transmission out there for under $35k is in the S2000. The dealership first put the car on the market at $19,995 (or just about what the car cost new) and that didn’t fly. The salesperson also offered me only $7,500 for the ZX3 and an interest rate of 7.49%. Given those numbers, my monthly payment would have been $677.17! The price of the car was talked down to $17,500 then $16,900 and finally $16,500. The trade in on the ZX3 was brought up to $7,750 then $8,000 then $8,500. The APR was brought down to 6.49%. After the trade-in, loan payoff (of the ZX3), license, document fees (yeah WTF), taxes and $1,000 down, I had to finance $17,238.75. With an APR of 6.49%, my monthly payment will only be $528.27.
The more I drive this car, the more I love it. I am not quite used to the 6-speed but I’ve had multiple people tell me I’m much smoother in the SVT than in the Camaro. That is just a put-down in disguise but I’ll take it anyway!