After narrowing my new car search to 3 different models by 3 different manufacturers, I set out on a Sunday morning to fact-find, starting at the Hyundai dealer near my home. They were closed, so rather than abandon the plan, I drove to Vernon to Key Hyundai. The goal was to look at the model I was interested in, gather information, and move on. (In fact, Subaru is right across the street and they were also on my short list.) Since we all know that you can't trust car salespeople (am I right?) I was armed with questions only... lots of them, but Elie was more than up to the challenge of answering them, patiently, professionally, knowledgeably, and with seemingly no intent to "convince" me to buy. He explained things about leasing that I didn't even know to ask, having never leased before, and all the while he was completely straightforward. You may see where this is going; I never even went right across the street because the car I was interested in was very affordable, cuter than I thought it would be, and I felt very comfortable with the process, the dealership and, especially, the man. Elie! The icing on the cake? I had visited at least 6 dealers a few months ago about leasing a car with a manual transmission, and they all told me it can't happen, won't happen, doesn't exist. But when Elie searched his dealer's area for a car that was more in line with what I hoped for than what they had on the lot, he found a jazzy, silver 6-speed, which they were happy to transfer up to Vernon for me. Of course that sealed the deal. Thanks, Key Hyundai, and thanks Elie Valdes. I love my new car!
P.S. A special thanks to Francis too for being so incredibly accommodating when I came back to test drive the car and Elie was unavailable due to illness. I'm not sure he benefitted from the sale, but you'd never know it by the white glove treatment he gave me.