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View Full Version : Wont let me test drive an Abarth? I am a 40 year old family man.



Icenutz
08-26-2012, 10:00 AM
I am 40 years old, good credit, have a family, good job, clean cut, etc. I recently test drove a 500 sport but didn't like the lack of power. When that local dealer finally got a couple Abarths my wife and I stopped by to check one out. Upon talking to the salesman he said they do not do test drives on the Abarths because if they would every 16 year old would be "ripping around in them." I completely understand that. He said unless I am going to buy I can not test drive and that most people buy them without even seeing them. I got a heavy dose of a sales pitch and he even fired on up so I could here the exhaust. I don't want a car for its bling. I am looking into a fun small car to drive just like my high school and college years. I am going to test drive a Mini, new Beetle, Chevy sonic, etc. But I guess what I wont get is a Fiat because I don't know what it is like to drive one.

Any one else have this issue? Can I even consider this acceptable? I guess maybe if anything I should feel good about looking to young and untrustworthy at the youthful age of 40.

Felnus
08-26-2012, 12:30 PM
This is not a FIAT policy. It depends on the studio. My studio had an Abarth when I took my Sport in for service. The service writer asked me if I wanted to test drive it. I said, "hell yeah!" She called a sales rep and had him meet me and we went fora drive. After me driving it very respectfully for a while, the sales rep told me,"When this light turns green, punch it. Drive it like you stole it. You aren't going to hurt it." So I did. What an amazing piece of work. Find a studio that understands that these cars are meant to be driven.

Mike S
08-26-2012, 12:41 PM
Yep, treated even worse. Not even allowed to sit in it much less hear it run.

I'm not going to buy from that dealer and have put purchase plans on hold mostly because of the dealers attitudes. I'm older than you and paying cash. My current 500 keeps me smiling enough to wait for a better version with a few more choices.

SloW8
08-26-2012, 01:35 PM
This has always been a problem when a lower end/average car dealer gets a limited edition model. My buddy went to buy a Shelby GT 500 a few years ago and they wouldn't let him drive it, touch it or sit in it. This is a 45 Y.O. guy who has owned several Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches etc... They were also asking $5k over sticker and told him to go fly a kite when he asked if they would take sticker for the car. We went to another dealer 20 miles away and he got a GT500 for $1,000 under sticker. The Shelby at the original dealer he went to sat on the showroom floor for 6 more months till the updated model came out and they were stuck with it. I don't have a problem when a dealer asks for $ over sticker, they are in business to make money and it is a free market. If they have a hot commodity and can make extra money, God bless em. I also don't have a problem being selective with test drives on a sporty car. It is just when they are down right ignorant in their dealings that it gets goofy and turns into bad business. The bloom on the rose fades quickly as far as limited models is concerned. Usually the first guy on the block people get their cars and then the market catches up. My Fiat dealer said to come drive an Abarth because he was sure I would buy it after feeling the turbo power. I was sure as well and I turned him down on the offer.

luckymoi
08-26-2012, 01:40 PM
I had a similar experience twice with Mini, never bought one; with the CINQUECENTO available I have no need for a Mini.
I drove the Abarth at Fiat of Fremont when the cabrio was being serviced... no issue.
I think most of these studies are still dealers and are clueless, no sales side that is.
Look around, ask around, keep the faith.
The Abarth is the real deal nothing less; you'll be hooked!

Pinecone
08-26-2012, 02:54 PM
Where are you? Plenty of dealers will allow test drives, unless the only cars they have are already sold.

SeaDawg
08-26-2012, 03:09 PM
All dealers were given the opportunity to order an Abarth for use as a DEMO by FIAT early in the year. Unfortunately some, and perhaps most, were overcome by GREED and sold them, leaving themselves with NOTHING.

This month all dealers were given the opportunity to order ONE 500T for use as a DEMO. Undoubtedly some dealers will once again be overcome by GREED and sell it at an inflated price because it is the only one they will have till production ramps up.

In either or both of these cases this is the Studio's problem NOT the customer who wants to buy a vehicle. Those that don't want to provide customer service, in the form of offering a test drive of the vehicle the customer is interested in, should die by the lack of same or at the least be made to wish they were dead. IMNSHO

johniew398
08-26-2012, 03:40 PM
I never test drove an Abarth.

I did ask to drive a regular 500 just to see what they were like inside. I knew I wanted the Abarth before mine was even built, couldn't have test drove one anyway because they didn't have any.

jguerdat
08-26-2012, 05:40 PM
I took a BIG damn chance and bought my Abarth with no test drive, not to mention not even being able to sit in either of the two Abarths available. I did sit in a regular 500 but it was a big leap of faith. Never did it before and it could've been a real disaster but I have no regrets. I should go back ow that they list 3 Abarths as available and see if they have changed policy.

Pionieri Tridentina
08-26-2012, 05:49 PM
It happened to me years ago in Europe with a Renault dealer, i was told upfront "you can look but not sit inside". So went across the street and bought an Opel Kadett . My studio in Edmond OK has an Abarth, but I never asked for a test drive.

ahh-bert
08-27-2012, 01:32 AM
I'm a 44 year old woman. Every-mom. Drove up in a nice Mercedes that is my daily driver. They said no test drive for me. I told them ok, I won't be buying it from you. Wouldn't let me sit in the Abarth or the Gucci until I got a bit upset. Sat in the Abarth. Proceed with the sales-pitch. Gets to the point where he tells me how it's going to hold its value and I stopped him mid-spiel. I said, "Wait a minute. Either it's going to hold its value OR you won't let me drive it because you're trying to keep the mileage really low for whoever buys it. You can't have it both ways, so which is it?" They FINALLY relented, I drove it and I did buy from them because they had the one that I wanted and made me a deal. BUT it was so worth it because the car is worth a little hassle.

Funny story: My friend is kind of a short, round, bald guy. Even he would say that he looks "average". Went to drive a Corvette several years ago. Wouldn't unlock it for him, wouldn't let him even sit it it, let alone drive it. Basically shuttled him out the door. A few hours later he drives up to that dealer with a Corvette he bought at another Chevy place across town. The guy comes right out to kiss up when the Corvette rolls in, realizes it's my friend from before and my friend flips him the bird. Not mature, but I'm sure YOU'LL agree it was funny.

Unfortunately, buying a car sometimes seems to require working beyond the negative sale. Please don't blame a fun little car for the crummy attitude of the guy with the keys.

You just need to find a studio who wants to sell this car.

Pinecone
08-27-2012, 09:39 AM
Just crappy salespeople.

I sold motorcycles in college. One day I was sitting in the showroom when this guy walked in. I noticed that no one was in the showroom. So I got up to talk to him. From about 10 feet away, I could smell him, and it was not a good smell.

But a customer is a customer, so I went on like nothing was wrong. He was looking for a 3 wheeler for his daughter (this was a while ago :) ). We did not have any small one in stock, so I told him I only had the bigger ones. I convinced him it would be OK. So I wrote up the order. Figured what the heck, I wrote the order with some serious upcharges on the delivery and prep.

He took a look and pulled out a roll of bills about 4 inches in diameter and started peeling off $100s. He had to dig for some smaller stuff. While this was going one, I saw my colleagues looking through the window and laughing. After they saw the deal, they were not laughing.

What was funny, was when we helped him load it, it was onto his garbage truck, which was a Mercedes truck. Seems he owned teh dump and a fleet of MB trucks.

BTW, the 3 qwheeler was too big for his daughter, so he came back to buy a small one for her. But he enjoyed the big one so much, he was happy with it also. :)

Remember the scene in "Pretty Woman." :D

ahh-bert
08-27-2012, 09:16 PM
...big mistake...BIG Mistake! LMAO!!!

VTEC Mini
08-28-2012, 09:43 AM
I am 40 years old, good credit, have a family, good job, clean cut, etc. I recently test drove a 500 sport but didn't like the lack of power. When that local dealer finally got a couple Abarths my wife and I stopped by to check one out. Upon talking to the salesman he said they do not do test drives on the Abarths because if they would every 16 year old would be "ripping around in them." I completely understand that. He said unless I am going to buy I can not test drive and that most people buy them without even seeing them. I got a heavy dose of a sales pitch and he even fired on up so I could here the exhaust. I don't want a car for its bling. I am looking into a fun small car to drive just like my high school and college years. I am going to test drive a Mini, new Beetle, Chevy sonic, etc. But I guess what I wont get is a Fiat because I don't know what it is like to drive one.

Any one else have this issue? Can I even consider this acceptable? I guess maybe if anything I should feel good about looking to young and untrustworthy at the youthful age of 40.

This salesman is a complete idiot. There are Abarths all over this country sitting on lots waiting for an owner. The Abarth, although still a good seller, has already peaked and came down. Just go to another dealer- this guy is a putz. There is no reason to pay mark up either. You didn't say where you are from, but in my area they have gone from $10K mark ups to now offering discounts off of MSRP in five months if that tells you anything.

Pinecone
08-28-2012, 12:01 PM
$10K markup on a $22K car was not exactly brilliant in the first place. :)

VTEC Mini
08-28-2012, 12:16 PM
$10K markup on a $22K car was not exactly brilliant in the first place. :)

I agree but there are those who chose to pay it. Makes me wonder who is more brillant. ;)

Pinecone
08-28-2012, 03:27 PM
True.

But how many people walked out and are lost sales.

One sale at $10K markup, versus X lost sales, where X could be a fairly large number.

deathshead
08-28-2012, 07:38 PM
My Dealer played it smart and were not douche rockets.
They ordered a $22k Base white Abarth with zero options.

They took it to all the car shows and events on the weekends.

They let me give it all it had, even getting aggressive enough with a shift to bang the (motor) mounts, Whoops!. I was encouraged to get on it. :)

and ya know what? Ordering that car and letting it go off the lot for people to see and enjoy probably made them ALOT more sales. I was one of them.


that and ordering my 2013 for me with only a $25.00 Deposit :) I'm Dealing with a young go-getter sales kid, who I cannot detect any dishonesty from.

He made an EASY SALE on me.



These Dealers who are being dicks are now stuck with 12' stock when 13's are shipping in like 5 days. Jokes on them. HA-HA

Danncas
08-29-2012, 09:12 AM
someSale perosnal are just so full of Bull. find another dealer buy it drive back to the idiot and make sure he or she see's it. Then make sure that you let them know that you will service it there.

Zack Hurst
11-15-2012, 12:50 PM
We've got 3 Abarths in transit to our dealership. I would LOVE to take someone on a test drive! (provided they aren't sold already that is...)

FITITO
11-15-2012, 04:26 PM
This happens all the time all over the place. When I was 31 my old 300E got totaled by a Jeep Grand Cherokee. So I was looking at another Audi since the nice S4 model had come out. I went to the dealer, who knew me in Boulder. My family had bought 4 Audis from them in the past 20 years. I actually drove there in an old Audi that we bought there! They had a new S4 that I was seriously contemplating, they said no test drives!

I left, drove to Westminster to look at the new Mercedes E classes. They let me drive the AMG and the CDI. I left with a car to test overnight. I came back and bought a new E320 4-Matic, cash. I still have the car, love it. When I came back for service later, in a tuxedo because of some event I had to go to, the Mercedes dealer laughed and was quite glad that he treated me well when I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

The Mercedes Benz dealer in Westminster Colorado is probably the best car dealership I have EVER dealt with. They know how to treat people well! The Audi Dealer in Boulder... well not so nice. Oh, I even forgot that the Carrera 4 I have was also bought there in Boulder, but they have since lost the Porsche side of their business!

PERHAPS... they are saying no to all (which is not a good idea) so that they can't get accused of age discrimination when they don't let a 16 y/o drive the Abarth. I did not even ask to drive the Abarth, I figured that I was buying a Fiat to just put around town (even though it is a totally OK highway car too). I did not need another Sports car, the Abarth, that is still a tiny bit slower than my other cars (but quicker than my Benz).

So I have my 500 Sport (which is not that sporty) and I have been averaging 41 MPGs for the last 3,400 miles!!! I saved about $300 in fuel already!

Steve

cerebrix
11-16-2012, 02:03 PM
That's crazy. While I can't say too many good things about the studio I bought my abarth from. They did give me a 2 hour test drive by myself without asking for it

Triepke
11-16-2012, 04:49 PM
I am 40 years old, good credit, have a family, good job, clean cut, etc. I recently test drove a 500 sport but didn't like the lack of power. When that local dealer finally got a couple Abarths my wife and I stopped by to check one out. Upon talking to the salesman he said they do not do test drives on the Abarths because if they would every 16 year old would be "ripping around in them." I completely understand that. He said unless I am going to buy I can not test drive and that most people buy them without even seeing them. I got a heavy dose of a sales pitch and he even fired on up so I could here the exhaust. I don't want a car for its bling. I am looking into a fun small car to drive just like my high school and college years. I am going to test drive a Mini, new Beetle, Chevy sonic, etc. But I guess what I wont get is a Fiat because I don't know what it is like to drive one.

Any one else have this issue? Can I even consider this acceptable? I guess maybe if anything I should feel good about looking to young and untrustworthy at the youthful age of 40.

I would tell them to go fly a kite. I went to 3 fiat Dealers and they were essentially pushing me into the drivers seat of the Abarth and was told to "let her rip" That guy sure will be loosing a lot of sales..

4carbcorvair
11-16-2012, 09:37 PM
Our studio/ salesman were spectacular. I could have test drove every fiat on the lot. Even offered to let me take the abarth out. I declined because I know I would want it... Lol. I test drive an auto and manual sport. Wifey chose the manual, a week ago yesterday. She smiles every time she gets in. I've driven it only twice since we got it. Our salesman is actually from Italy too. :)

hownowcb
11-16-2012, 10:02 PM
Some dealers (OK, Studios) "get it", and some absolutely do not. My Studio's people discovered early on, that I already knew 99% of what I needed to make a decision. What I needed was some seat time to seal the deal. Thankfully, my Studio was fabulous. Even after I'd inked a deal with them in June, they let me "test drive" their Abarths throughout the entire summer, since my ordered car wouldn't be delivered until...last weekend! I honestly believe they wanted me to remain happy during the long months until my own car was delivered. I can't actually say I've ever had an automobile dealership thing like this ever happen before. If all Fiat Studios conducted business the way mine has, Fiat will do well in the U.S. this time. For crying out loud -- they had a box of home-baked cookies delivered to my home two days after I took delivery of the car!

Generally speaking, since I'm such an incompetent negotiator, I hate the entire car buying experience. But if every Fiat Studio conducted business the way Fiat of Brooklyn Park does, there'd be Fiat 500s swarming the country.

I think I've put 500 miles on my own actual Abarth in the week I've had it. But I'd bet I put closer to 1,000 miles on my Studio's Abarth demonstrators between the time I ordered and the time mine was delivered. If you don't have a dealer like mine, find another one, or call mine. It appears to me that they know what sells these things.

johniew398
11-16-2012, 11:44 PM
My dealer didn't have one and I took over some one else's order. I drove a stock 500 just to get the feel of the car; but, knew I wanted the Abarth.

And I'm not a novice at buying sports cars, having owned several Vettes, a ZR1 and besides the Abarth still own a 600HP Viper ACR.

deathshead
11-17-2012, 12:57 AM
My sales guy was AWESOME. We took out a strippy Abarth they had as a demo, he had zero problems with my rev limiter/clutch kick shifts. :)

He did his job perfectly. And it's that kind of attitude that made me come back the following weekend and order my 2013.
He also ordered my car with just a check for $25.00

Oh ya, and gave me no questions asked book price for my srt4 in trade. And locked in the price as I continued to drive it daily for the 3 month wait.

tryphon
11-19-2012, 08:15 AM
Depends on the dealer. While I was waiting for my car at the local FIAT studio, a young German man and his girlfriend came in. He runs the German Abarth blog and was in FLorida on vacation. He asked to see the US-Spec. Abarth and the dealer, well knowing that he was a tourist and would never buy the car from him, let him go on a test drive, with him at the wheel. He really enjoyed driving the US Abarth (which, as everyone knows, has the same power output as the European Abarth EsseEsse).

Dwaynek
11-19-2012, 09:33 AM
I was recently in Vienna went into an Abarth dealership would have loved to drive the 595 with paddle shifts. Unfortunately they treated me as a tourist who was grabbing all their brochures, which I was!

Zack Hurst
11-19-2012, 01:33 PM
I was recently in Vienna went into an Abarth dealership would have loved to drive the 595 with paddle shifts. Unfortunately they treated me as a tourist who was grabbing all their brochures, which I was!

Come on down to Richmond and I'd be happy to let you go for a drive when we have them! :)

Mike S
11-19-2012, 01:53 PM
Depends on the dealer. While I was waiting for my car at the local FIAT studio, a young German man and his girlfriend came in. He runs the German Abarth blog and was in FLorida on vacation. He asked to see the US-Spec. Abarth and the dealer, well knowing that he was a tourist and would never buy the car from him, let him go on a test drive, with him at the wheel. He really enjoyed driving the US Abarth (which, as everyone knows, has the same power output as the European Abarth EsseEsse).

Which dealer was that?

Arrigo would not let anybody test drive the Abarth when it came in because they wanted to sell it over sticker. I couldn't even sit in it!
I took delivery of the first 500 (PE) in South Florida from them. They don't even advertise. I decided to put off the purchase of an Abarth and and another 500 because of them and will buy elsewhere. They really took away the excitement.

Deefourtay
11-19-2012, 02:57 PM
I believe that it's unacceptable.. Even my local Scion/Toyota dealer have dedicated "test" models for everybody to use.. Their FR-S test model has higher mileage due to the fact that they let people try it as a demo unit. I never got turned down for a test drive ever, except when I went to Ford to test the new Focus ST.. They told me I cannot because that's their only model, but they called me for I test drive when they received more in.

PEET
11-20-2012, 12:10 PM
My test drive experience was positive. On one visit, a salesman offered to let me test drive an Abarth, and mentioned how he wouldn't extend that offer to all comers (Also said something about painting a fence, but I digress). Still I turned him down because I knew I wasn't ready to buy. On another visit, a different salesperson (a wiser one, it turns out) absolutely insisted I take a test drive. Fired it up, pulled it around, hopped in the passenger seat, left the driver's door open and said "Let's go!" Almost bought it that day. Still craving one!