Upon entering the dealership, I was greeted by Duarte, a pleasant enough fellow. I told him that I was looking for a CX-5, AWD in Grand Touring trim. Despite giving him the specifics, I was told that I had to sit down with him and answer a tedious questionnaire about what type of vehicles interested me, what features and options were important to me, why I wanted to replace my current car, etc. I know they have a format to follow, but when a customer enters the showroom and informs the salesman of the exact make, model, and trim that he or she desires, they should be allowed to skip this time-consuming step.
I was interested in (and about to test drive) a silver CX-5, when I showed the salesman a rusty dent in the rear hatch at tail light level. This dealership sits on a small piece of real estate and the vehicles are practically parked on top of each other. We moved on to an undamaged vehicle for the test drive. I was happy with its performance and ended up choosing a similarly equipped CX-5 in a different color.
I had the Consumer Reports Guaranteed Savings Certificate, which North Shore Mazda had emailed to me, so there was no need to negotiate the price of the new vehicle. However, they made a couple of shameless, low-ball offers for my trade, requiring Duarte to make several trips to see the man behind the curtain (while ignoring my requests to return my keys to prevent me from leaving the dealership). They finally agreed to give me $2,000 more than their initial offer for my trade. If you have an online certificate from North Shore through Consumer Reports, TRUECar, or AAA, make sure you've researched the value of your trade-in. They will most certainly try to make up the no-hassle price discount by giving you a couple grand less than your car is worth.
The finance rep was friendly and was able to get me a rate comparable to my credit union's rate. However, it was only during the signing of the final paperwork that he informed me that I'd have to take the vehicle without an inspection sticker. North Shore Mazda, despite charging approximately $200 more for Documentation Fees than its competitors, is not equipped to provide inspection stickers, so customers must wait until they receive the registration in the mail and then have the vehicle inspected on their own time and at their own expense. In the meantime, the vehicle can be ticketed if it's parked on the street without a sticker. This is tremendously inconvenient and it's no wonder that they didn't mention it until I was ready to leave the dealership.
Before I pulled away, Duarte grabbed one of the keys to show me one last feature. He then shook my hand and sent me on my way. About five minutes into my 15-mile drive home, I realized that the gas gauge was showing empty and a warning light was illuminated. They delivered the vehicle to me without putting so much as a drop of gas in it.
After I got home, I started searching the vehicle for the second key. Just then, the phone rang. It was Duarte, calling to inform me that he had (inexplicably) put my key in his pocket, as I was leaving.
I had to get back in the car and return to the dealership for the key. He asked me for the receipt for the $52 gas fill up and said he'd try to reimburse me, but all I've received from Duarte is a generic thank you email, requesting that I refer others to him. No apology was offered for my having to make a return trip to get the second key, either.
Considering the rigid and impersonal sales tactics, inflated doc fees, no inspection stickers, and careless delivery practices, I would not recommend this dealership.
One more thing: I recently noticed that my front license plate appeared to be loosely hanging from the front bumper. I removed the license plate and bracket and discovered that Duarte had missed the "dimples" preset in the bumpers, which provides threads for the license plate screws. I had to drill two new holes to secure the plate. Now, I have four holes in my front bumper instead of two. Please don't reward this dealership's sloppy practices with your hard earned dollars.
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