We have serviced our 1999 BMW 328i at Murray Motors since 2003 with satisfaction, and so it was natural to contact their sales department when we thought we might like to buy a new 2011 BMW 535iX. We love the 328i, we're keeping it; we just wanted to add a larger car to the garage for those long trips. We were able to set up a test drive on short notice to meet our schedule, because we live out of town, and that went well. The only person we dealt with at Murray Motors was Jeff Von Felt.
The salesman was friendly enough when we met him to look at the car, and always very professional in his demeanor. However, he started selling, before he started listening. I wanted a sports sedan, like the 1995 BMW 525i I had earlier, but he immediately started out by telling us that the new 5 series was just a smaller version of the 7 series, all luxury. He never described much of its sports driving nature. I spent a lot of time researching the car via the BMW website, other car mag and website reviews, and consumer reviews. I knew a lot about the car before I decided to test drive it. But, he never figured that out; he assumed that I was an uninformed buyer. We did not seem to connect well from the beginning. He is not the most technical saleman I have dealt with. He never could describe the transmission and its operation clearly that we could understand it, and failed to answer my questions about the temperature gauge. The 5 series uses an oil temperature gauge, not the more common water temperature gauge. He reminded us that we never have to raise the hood for anything, whereas I am a car guy and want to do the checks, etc. He never figured that out either. When we questioned him about the run-flat tires and lack of a spare, he went into selling mode again and told us that the tires do not compromise either handling or safety. However, reviews of consumer experience to date with the BMW tires is quite speckled with comments about handling issues, and both tire failure and rim damage. He never referred us to any research to review on those tires, but only said that they are the "tires of the future." Ah, but not the tires of today?
During the test drive of more than 1/2 hour, I quickly decided that the 535iX was not the car that I hoped it would be, but that's not Jeff's fault. Our time with Jeff was constructive, however. It told me that this was not the guy I wanted to buy a car from. The test drive also told me that the BMW 535iX was not the car wanted to own and drive.
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