Overall, reasonable experience but nothing to write home about. The guy who did the test drive with me was very friendly and low key, not pushy at all. He was sort of inexperienced and we spent a lot of time wandering around the lots looking for the right vehicles, but I had time to kill so it was no big deal.
General impression was that staff was very well informed about products, except when it suited their financial purposes. I wanted a civic coupe with safety features (just totaled my 1996 civic) and the EX looked like the best bet (has antilock brake and side air bag options). Vehicle roof was too low (cuz of moon roof) so I decided I wanted an LX or DX. They indicated that side air bags are available in the LX but neglected to mention they were also available on the DX, when in fact you can get the DX with side air bags for a couple thousand $ less. They gave me a price quote on the LX (they didn’t have one in stock) which was well above the blue book rate (I found this later on the internet). But were very thorough and careful in explaining leasing options to me, and spent lots of time on this. They were never pushy, and were always very polite.
That night I looked on the net and realized I could get a DX with what I wanted, and emailed John to ask if they would sell it to me for the blue book rate. He never responded. The next day, I got quotes from San Leandro Honda and El Cerrito Honda’s internet department that were about $1000 below blue book! (I guess Honda is trying to unload its 2004 stock). I emailed John again to see if they would match that price…again no response. My general impression was that they were happy to spend time with me on the product, and were not pushy or intimidating, but once they realized I was going to do my homework and find out what the market cost was, they decided it wasn’t worth the time or effort to continue communicating with me, even an email reply to say they aren’t interested. Or maybe, he just doesn’t check his email, but it seems like the Sales Manager would bother to check his email. I would go there again to shop around if it was convenient (I live near Berkeley), and I think they treat their customers respectfully (that was my experience) but I wouldn’t have any high hopes of a good price or attempt to meet the market price. I think they mostly make profits from customers who can’t be bothered to shop around, even the 15 minutes it takes to check market rates on the internet.