This review is from an used car purchase perspective, and I strongly advise you to not purchase an used vehicle from this dealership. Do not be fooled into believing that this is a great dealership based on Subaru purchase reviews, that is how I was taken advantaged of.
We went in two months ago because of an used car we thought was priced well and solely went to the dealership for this particular vehicle. After having a car for 20+ years, it finally went out on us and we wanted something we could pay off quickly and sustain us until we purchase a like-new vehicle down the road.
We were paired with John Nguyen. The vehicle was brought around to the front, and this should've been our first flag. Be warned, the pictures that are posted online deliberately do not showcase the imperfections of the vehicle. The vehicle had a cracked windshield, missing door leather, dents, paint chips, rusting in the door, cracked trunk plastic, etc.
John informed us of the exuberant inspection that is done on every Gilman Suburu used vehicle before it is listed on their site for sale (remember this, it will be important later). This inspection is an added fee to the vehicle of nearly $1,000.
We make it to the financial advisor and go over all financing details. We purchased an extended warranty and asked if we would come back to Gilman Suburu for repairs, he said yes (this detail will also be important). We leave the dealership in our new car.
Two weeks later, I'm informed that my tag and plates have arrived. I leave work and make it there in the evening. I head to the receptionist who asked John to help me with my plates. John, unfortunately, seems frustrated and irritated to assist with this. I do understand wanting to get off at a certain time OR possibly being busy, but as a professional, I've never dealt with my customers as if they're a nuisance. This, will be flag number two.
Two weeks later, the car begins to smoke for no reason out of nowhere. I bring in the vehicle, extremely confused, because a vehicle I've purchased a month ago is already smoking randomly, which is definitely cause for concern. Especially considering this vehicle was only taken to Southwest Louisiana once and a few trips to Katy from the Galleria-area. Other than that, this car was used for commuting from Galleria to Sharpstown, straight shot, during the work week.
I make it to the service check-in area and wait to be assisted. As I am waiting, a service attendant tells me that I should look into getting an alignment and new tires since they're worn and asks me when was the last time I got an alignment. Now, after a nearly $1,000 fee for the mechanics to do this phenomenal inspection, you'd think that something as simple as an alignment would be basic to a dealership selling cars to the general public.
I inform her that I purchased the vehicle from this dealership a month ago. She gets frazzled and proceeds to tell me that driving down a bad road for a month can make a car require an alignment. That didn't make sense to me at all (flag number three). I am no car expert, but according to this employee, if you commute to work, in Houston, you should expect to get an alignment every month because of bad roads. This let's me know that this wasn't done before the car was listed for sale. She was able to tell me this in fifteen minutes of my time being there, so, apparently this issue wasn't noticed during an used car inspection? It gets better.
I'm finally called to approach the desk by Mr. Diaz (if I recall his name correctly). I explain that my vehicle is smoking and I am very concerned. Everything was fine, until he found out I didn't have a Suburu vehicle. He smugly let me know that I was taking my Honda to a Suburu service center. I informed him that I purchased this Honda vehicle from this dealership, and was informed by the financial advisor that I could return the vehicle to this service center for service. He then attempted to get the used car manager on the line, but, he was off but I overheard him say "as-is" in their conversation.
He then informed me that it may take awhile to look at my car because it isn't a Suburu vehicle. Apparently, Suburu has Tony Stark-level technology in their cars, so, the Honda build would take so much longer to figure out since non-luxury car companies such as Toyota Chevy, or Honda, aren't built very similarly. I had a V6 engine, no hybrid, no electric, a good old standard gas vehicle.
All of this to say, I've taken our vehicles to different service centers of the years, and I've never been told by a service person in my life that because the car was different from the specializing dealership, the time working with the car could take longer.
Some time goes by and Mr. Diaz pulls me outside to show me the engine and let's me know there appears to be leakage from a gasket which may be causing the smoke. Now, Mr. Diaz was able to look after five minutes to make this assumption. So, how wasn't this noticed during an used car inspection that tacked almost one grand into my purchase price?
On top of this, they wanted to charge me to look at a car that I brought from them thirty days ago that has begun smoking. He then tries to find Mr. Nguyen for me who was working that day, but couldn't be found during the time I was there to see him. A "coincidence", I suppose.
I was then pulled by another salesman who was trying to sell me a car as I sat at Mr. Nguyen's desk waiting to be helped. He didn't know what I was there for but was helping John by trying to sell me a car. Little did he know, I had already purchased my vehicle and went into the same dismissive state as Mr. Nguyen and Mr. Diaz. I left after becoming frustrated with the whole situation, since I strongly believe that if I am coming back a month later with issues, I should be assisted and not dismissed.
Three weeks later, the car begins not to start, nearly stalling in the middle of the street, and we barely made it home. I refuse to return to this dealership, so I schedule an appointment with Spring Branch Honda. On the day of the appointment, I call Gilman at 9:00 AM on the dot, because I was having issues confirming the details of my extended warranty and wanted to be clear on what to expect as I brought the car to the new dealership to possibly get a new alternator (the issues I was having coincided with a bad alternator).
I was told by the receptionist the financial advisor wasn't in yet but she asked for my name and number and he should be in around thirty minutes later. Do you think I received a call back that day (the answer is no).
I make it to Spring Branch Honda and an hour later, the lead mechanic confirmed it was the alternator and guess what else he confirmed? My gaskets were leaking. He asked how long we had the car and was surprised when we said we purchased the car a month ago, not from a corner used car lot, but Gilman Suburu.
Now, recall the mind-blowing inspection that was supposed to have had taken place before the car is placed for sale at the dealership. Now, remember a month ago, Mr. Diaz was able to tell me after fifteen minutes that my gaskets were leaking. I'm no car expert again, but these things can happen within a month, two months of purchase without showing any signs of issues before our purchase? You'd think an issue like this would be fixed before putting for sale OR informing a potential buyer of the issue. Well, since my car is over 100,000 miles, I'm looking at $2,000+ in repairs to my car.
Spring Branch took care of us in an hour, and let us know to come back soon to see what they can do about to gaskets. I've had more customer service in three hours at Spring Branch Honda than the multiple instances of going back and forth with Gilman Suburu and trying to get assistance.
Moral of the story is: If you're buying a brand-new or certified used Suburu vehicle, you're going to be treated like royalty, I assume from reviews and from the experience I had when employees were under the impression I was a Suburu owner. If you dare step foot in that dealership to purchase an used vehicle, be prepared to be discarded as you walk off the lot with your purchase and pay for what was clearly neglected during the used car inspection.
Now, I had no expectation of the engine being disassembled and rebuilt before sale. Not at all. But, for me to be told an issue after fifteen minutes, AFTER paying nearly one grand for this up and down inspection of the vehicle a month prior, then the issue being confirmed after a diagnostic at another dealership, is despicable and outrageous.
Don't waste your time here, or your money for an used vehicle. If you're dealing with anything that isn't Suburu here, AFTER you purchase the vehicle, of course (they're all bubbles and sunshine before you purchase), you'll be met with an elitest attitude. Believe all of the negative reviews, they're not exaggerating. Also, avoid Mr. Nguyen, as we asked questions, all we were met with was, "I have no idea, you'd have to ask ____________". He definitely won't want to do anything for you after selling you the vehicle.