I needed to get a new car within five days (by the end of 2015) as my 2000 Honda Civic didn't have too much time left on it without major repairs. My quick research indicated that a 2016 Honda Fit LX with CVT automatic transmission would best fit (no pun intended) what I was looking for in the right price range. It offered the best features at the price point for a subcompact car including the best gas mileage. I wanted to finish the process by Dec. 31st. I was departing on Jan. 1st for a 12-day trip. Dealers are often offering their best prices at the end of the year, and the last thing I wanted to do was deal with shopping for a car in late January.
I contacted about a dozen Honda dealers in Northeast Ohio for their best price for a new 2016 Honda Fit LX with automatic transmission - and colors blue, black or silver. I nearly didn't call Apostolakis because I live in Canton, and Apostolakis is a 73-minute drive away. I am so glad that I did call. Apostolakis had three Honda Fits listed in its inventory on its website. Two blue Fits and a red.
I was put in contact with Cory Hancock, Apostolakis' sales and leasing consultant, and he made it clear he was willing to be aggressive on price. We chatted, and I emailed him what I was looking for. Within an hour or so, he emailed me back a price proposal that blew eight other dealers' quotes out of the water. I was skeptical. It seemed too good to be true. Was it including Honda's $835 destination and handling charge? Yes, Cory wrote in a response. Did it include cash incentives that I was not eligible for? No, Cory said. In any case, Cory was great about being patient and dealing with my concerns that there was some kind of catch. When I asked him to confirm the quote with all the included charges in a subsequent email, he graciously did so for my peace of mind.
Other dealers were incredulous. They didn't believe the offer was for real. Most said they couldn't match it. One claimed they could beat the offer but when I told them that Apostolakis' offer included sales tax and all charges, it turned out they couldn't beat it.
Another great thing about Cory was that he was accessible, reachable and responsive. Unlike some of the sales staff at other dealerships who would mysteriously disappear or not call back during one of the most important weeks for a car dealership, Cory always took my numerous calls to answer any questions and concerns. He promptly responded to my emails within a couple hours. There was no pressure. There was no attempt to move me off my timeline. And I was never left hanging.
After I drove the 73 minutes to Cortland, Ohio, on Dec. 31st to finialize the deal, there were no games and no tricks. The price quote was what Cory said it was. I didn't write a bigger check than I expected to write by the time I left. He patiently allowed me to thoroughly inspect the Honda Fit, which was in perfect new condition. Of the two blue Fits, he reserved for me the one with the least mileage, that had never been test driven. He even put a sign on the dash saying it was reserved for me.
Cory patiently demonstrated many of the features of the Fit, going more in depth than I anticipated - the windshield wipers, the power locks, the power mirrors, the cruise control, the entertainment system, climate control and showing me he had spent a decent amount of time studying up on the vehicle. For example, showing me how to adjust the Magic Seats to increase cargo space and showing me how to use the rear view camera (which is an amazing standard Fit feature), which is far more than I got when I test drove the vehicle elsewhere. He didn't pretend to know what he didn't know. We both were stymied by how to attach the seat belt for the middle passenger in the rear but I eventually figured it out. We did a test drive and that went pretty well. The car handled well. The only issue is the driver's seat could do a better job of supporting the lower back, and I've gotten a lumbar support cushion to address that.
Cory spent a good amount of time getting my license plates off my old vehicle and transferring it to my Fit. He also accommodated me when I had to take a half hour break to make an important work call. And I appreciate that he showed some flexibility on the trade-in value of my old car. Things went pretty smoothly. The car didn't come loaded with options that I didn't want (Honda has one of the greatest packages of standard features of any make even for its base models). In terms of time, a lot of it was me taking care of stuff for work and just doubly inspecting the vehicle.
(Because I was still waiting to hear back from dealers by early the morning of Dec. 31st, I wasn't ready to make a commitment before then so they could order the cargo cover I wanted to purchase, and the deadline to do that was 3 p.m. the prior day, I was told).
Cory's manager Ralph Gilpin also took the initiative to introduce himself to me and made it clear that they were aggressively pricing their vehicles to move the dealership up to the next level.
The paperwork was fast and painless. It helped that I had arranged a separate unsecured loan at a great finance rate, so they didn't try to pitch another loan to me. Gary, the finance guy, went over the extended warranty with me. But when it was clear I needed more time to consider it, he didn't give me the hard sell like I'd experienced at another dealership in the past. He didn't try to sell me anything else. He quickly moved on and arranged for me to sign all the documents to transfer the Fit to me and my Civic to them. I loved having the option to pay with my credit card (up to a certain limit) and the rest with a personal check. Pretty hassle free.
A few weeks after my purchase, Cory also went out of his way to send me an email to see how things were going with the car and he also graciously at my request sent me copies of some paperwork that I had signed that were missing from my personal file. The dealership also got me my title in 15 days, well within the 30-day legal requirement so I could get my new license plates.
So far, the car, the blue Honda Fit, has driven great and I'm genuinely excited to drive it each time. It looks like a gem in my employer's parking lot.
The bottom line: The staff was friendly. Knowledgeable. Aggressive on price, at least with me. They kept their word. They were specific. They didn't make vague promises like some other dealers did. They didn't play any games. They didn't subject me to a high-pressure sales pitch to try to get me to buy something I didn't want. They were accessible, reachable and promptly responsive. They didn't waste my time. I needed a new car by the end of 2015, and they did what they had to do to make that happen and at an incredible price. I can't guarantee anyone will have the same positive experience I had nor get as good a deal, but if you're looking for a Honda vehicle, you should give them a solid chance to win your business. I gladly gave Apostolakis the highest ratings in Honda's online customer service survey.
I Recommend This Dealer:
Cory Hancock, Ralph Gilpin, Gary
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