My Review Of San Francisco Toyota Scion:
If there can be such thing as a "great experience" buying a car, than this was as close to it as I will probably see in my lifetime.
After researching cars online and at other dealerships, my husband and I decided on a Toyota Highlander. At our first Toyota dealership (see my Putnam Toyota review), we were not able to come to an agreement. So, home we went to look for the exact car that we couldn't get and try to locate it.
I did a search for Toyota dealerships in the greater Bay Area. There are many! Most had instant chat, which is great. I chatted with 4 of them and nobody had the color and options that we were looking for. At 3:30pm, New Year's Eve, I was giving it one last shot with San Francisco Toyota. I "chatted" with Nicole and told her exactly what I was looking for and wanted to buy something today (sales tax was going up 1/2% on Jan. 1, 2013). She asked for my email or phone number so the sales manager could talk to me regarding specifics.
Michael La phoned me from SF Toyota and immediately I was at ease. He asked about my previous experience at other dealerships and how he hoped he could help me. He stated that while he didn't have the exact color interior I was looking for, the price may change my mind. Well, he was right! My husband and I decided to go ahead and drive into the City (at 4pm on NYE) to look at the car and see if we could "settle" on a different color interior. When we got to the dealership, Michael told me the car was on it's way from the other showroom on Geary and could we wait about 10 minutes. About 15 minutes passed and he came over and explained that they were having trouble locating the car and most likely had been sold during our drive up from San Mateo. While disappointed, we just figured it wasn't meant to be (especially because the interior color was not our first choice).
During the wait time for the Highlander, Michael had our car appraised for a trade in. While it wasn't exactly what we hoped for, it was way more realistic than what the other dealership had offered. When the Highlander didn't show up, he felt so bad about us driving up there, he upped the trade-in and began his search for another Highlander.
Success! Michael was able to find us a car (albeit in South Lake Tahoe) with all the options AND the preferred color interior. So, at 5:30pm on New Year's Eve, we started the paperwork for the new car. At this point, the dealership was empty. Even though I felt horrible about doing paperwork so late, everyone made us feel at ease. We finished with everything a little after 7pm.
In all, we dealt with 3 people at SF Toyota. Michael La, Sammy Lee and Phil (sorry, don't know last name) the finance manager. They were all excellent! So personable, knowledgable and most of all, helpful!
The one downside to the dealership is that there is no play area/kids room. We had to bring our 3 year old with us and that made it difficult to complete the process.
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