Buying a car always sucks, but now it sucks harder

The solution to our car problem is to junk it and buy a new (used) car.  We’ve decided to use CarMax because they’re less hassle than other dealerships and that’s worth a lot to us.  They’re open during these trying times (UGH – can’t believe I wrote that unironically), but you can’t just walk onto the lot and pick out cars to test drive.  You can still test drive a car, but you have to pick the one you want online and then make an appointment specifically to see that car.  I get it – they’re short-staffed and they are cleaning the cars before appointments – but you can only see one car per appointment, and it is really hard to schedule appointments.  I called early Friday, and I could only get two appointments for Saturday, at 5pm and at 6pm.  One car each.  They tell me that they’re expecting people to pick out the car they want to buy, test drive it, and then buy it (or not).  But how can you be sure which car you want until you test drive it?  And then, when we got there on Saturday, the salesperson seemed truly annoyed that we wanted to see two cars, even though we had separate appointments for each so how is that any different than seeing two different customers?  Is she trying to tell me that I can only test drive one car a day?

We got there, parked in the designated space, and called the number.  She came out, got our licenses, I emailed our proof of insurance, we had this really confusing conversation about how we’re not supposed to test drive more than one car but she’ll let us get away with it, and then we didn’t see her again for 20 minutes.  Why?  I don’t know.  Car buying sucks.

So she finally called me again and told us we could see the first car.  John went first – if he’s not comfortable in whatever car we pick, there is no point in continuing with it.  It was a Chevy Equinox (2017, I think), and it’s BIG.  John was pretty comfortable, and we both liked it pretty well.  Not enough to buy THAT one, but enough to find one with the features we want and that doesn’t make a weird noise when we brake.

The second car was a Subaru Forester (also 2017), which I was pretty excited about, and guys, I liked it.  John did, too, EXCEPT he had to lower the seat all the way down and slouch quite a bit to be able to not hit his head.  Also, the backseat doesn’t have any more room than the Tuscon did (which is not much).  But it drove SO much better than the Equinox.  So I’m a little bummed, but John hasn’t completely given up on it. He’d like to have a little more time to sit in a Forester and figure out if he could fully adjust the seat to where he’d be comfortable.  We were feeling pretty rushed on Saturday.

And if the Equinox isn’t the right car (although it could have been, if we hadn’t followed it with the Forester, so maybe we need to cut it some slack), and if John doesn’t fit in the Forester, then we’re back to square one, and HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO PICK A CAR IF WE CAN’T TEST DRIVE MORE THAN ONE?

Regular dealerships are so IRRITATING.  But I will probably call the Subaru dealer to find out if they have any used Foresters.  I think the Outback is off the list because it’s supposed to smaller in every dimension.