My husband and I purchased a 2021 Hyundai Palisade from Waikem a couple of days ago, and I can honestly say that we were happy with the experience. We did a fair amount of research on dealers and vehicles in the area, and while our first choice would probably have been to go to Ron Marhofer, Waikem had the exact Palisade I really wanted sitting on their lot, so that's where we went. Plus, my parents had purchased several brand-new Kias from Waikem in the past, and they were treated well, so I was optimistic about the experience.
Admittedly, we were really apprehensive about car-buying in general - we're both very young with a toddler and another one on the way, and having never purchased a vehicle on our own before, we really didn't want to be taken advantage of, but I did a lot of research beforehand, and I touched base with my family a few times as we have a lot of friends who work in the car business.
Overall, Christina was really great to work with. She was super friendly and sweet, and as a woman buying a car, it was nice to have a feminine touch. I appreciated that she was honest about the fact that she didn't think we would be able to afford the car right away but promised us that, if we couldn't, she'd do what she could to get us into a lower-trim model. Really, the only reason I'm choosing to give Waikem a 4-star rating as opposed to a 5-star one is that, after the fact, my family was very unhappy with the way the negotiation and some of the paperwork was handled.
The details of my family's complaints were mostly that the dealership tried to take $750 off of the Buick we were trading in just because the brakes had never been replaced, but the car had less than 35,000 miles on it and had undergone routine maintenance at a Buick-certified dealership (which is owned by a family friend), and if anything had been wrong with the brakes, they would have told us. As far as driving went, even at six years old, it still stopped on a dime and drove just fine. We were able to talk them into putting the $750 back on, but my family was really upset that they tried to remove it in the first place. Additionally, they required the physical paper title, which was fine, but we spent half the day running around trying to get our hands on that, and when I told my grandfather, who works at a Ford dealership, he threw a fit and said that that should have been their job to do, not ours, and that they should have at least refilled the gas tank at the end of the day for us. Lastly, they charged us $300 for Hyundai's all-weather mats after assuring us that they were cheaper than the WeatherTech alternatives, which are only $285. My parents felt that those should have been thrown in for free. Personally, I wasn't upset that we had to pay for them - I was just upset that we had to pay so much.
While those things were annoying, they weren't exactly deal-breakers for us. It was a super long day, but at least everyone at the dealership was very nice, and at the end of it, we drove home with the exact car I wanted, and I didn't have to make any compromises. As it was, another couple came in to buy the very same Palisade while we were already test-driving it, so I'm super glad that we went when we did. If we had it to do all over again, I still would have gone to Waikem, even if I would still probably suggest that others try Ron Marhofer first.
EDIT TO ADD:
After filling out an online feedback request, I received a phone call from the sales manager, Josh Tracy, and he informed me that he will be issuing my husband and I a full refund for the weather mats we purchased. He assured us that if he had known that that was something we were interested in, he would have thrown them in for free. I’m not sure that that’s true, but I still really appreciate the gesture and thought that that was a great follow-up, so I’m boosting my rating from 4 stars to 5. We’re happy customers!