"RARE COMBINATION OF HONESTY, QUALITY, THOUGHTFULNESS"
I discovered A-1 Toyota in searching for a trustworthy dealership, after the one that I had dealt with for years (also a family business, like A-1) was purchased by a large corporation. Repeatedly, I was finding that the places that I was taking my car, whether it was the old dealership, the local repair facility, or the tire shop that I went to for an emissions test, were doing poor work or lying to me about what my car needed. On more than one occasion, a shop told me that my brakes or tires were perilously worn, or a rubber part of the undercarriage was torn and could pose a danger in driving. When I asked the guys at the family-owned tire store (Fetzer Tire) that I've used for over 20 years to check the condition out, they said that what I was told was a lie. In one case, a shop did repairs to a noisy exhaust system, for two hundred dollars, but in a month or two, the system was making a racket again.
In 2008, after a drunk driver ran into my car and totaled it, I asked the husband of a friend of mine if he could recommend an honest and competent dealership anywhere in Fairfield, New Haven, or Hartford counties in Connecticut. He’s a former car design professional for Ford and, in more recent years, a sales rep for an auto company. After careful consideration and checking with colleagues, he recommended A-1. I followed his advice and bought a Prius from A-1. In the cab on my way to A-1 to pick up my new car, the cabdriver told me how satisfied the people he'd taken to or picked up from A-1 seemed to have been with the dealership over his years of working in the New Haven area.
In my decade of dealings with A-1, everyone I dealt with there, including the salesman, Fariz ("Dado") Dadic (from whom I've now bought two Priuses), my various service reps, the contracts manager, and the checkout people, have always been friendly, informed, and helpful. It’s a testimony to the quality of the service staff and of the Prius itself that my first (2008) Prius now has over 318,000 miles on it, has never required a battery replacement or major engine repair, and is still running just fine -- so much so that I'm turning it over to my wife now.
Not only have I never had any evidence that A-1 recommended or performed unnecessary work on my car, but at times a service rep has made a suggestion or an offer to me that saved me money -- when they could have recommended something unneeded or more expensive. It’s undoubtedly a sign of the quality of both the dealership’s management and its staff that every one of the four or five A-1 service reps that I’ve had over the years is still at A-1. Because of the friendliness and helpfulness of the people who work there (and because of the clean, bright, excellent facilities, including a little cafeteria and a wired Quiet Room), coming in for sales or service is always a pleasant experience (except, of course, when some expensive, normal maintenance is called for! -- and even then, the guys make it as painless as possible).
With regard to my salesperson, ‘Dado,’ in particular, I understand that many people besides myself over the years have found him to be a person who, from the moment you meet him, conveys good will, honesty, and concern for your interests. When it recently became time for me to buy another car, I went to him, and he was helpful in various ways, making me aware of what cars and what incentives were available, introducing me to the cars' features, capabilities, and the add-on benefits (like Toyota Care free early maintenance, 21 days of free car washed, etc.). My current service rep, Mark Mastracchio, was also extremely helpful, with his knowledge of autos and different Toyota models' strengths, added features, and so on.
When it came time for me to buy a car again, I didn't consider and wouldn't have considered going anywhere other than A-1. The combination of honesty, ability, and helpfulness that you get from its people is increasingly rare among car dealers and repair shops. This is both a review and an expression of thanks.