2017 Subaru Forester XT Happiness
I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy since Thursday but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your help and your patience. You were an immense help in the iterative process of figuring out the exact car with which I was going to be most satisfied. After three days behind the wheel, my initial impression is that we nailed it. I have pictures that I will be sending soon (taken right after a very thorough cleaning). I’m glad that we kept the mileage below the threshold for the expiration of the warranty (a rear tail light assembly needs to be replaced – condensation formed inside it when I washed the car – $280 plus install). Aside from the tail light, a little hay (in the spare tire compartment – I’m assuming for her chickens) and some glitter (I saw it before purchasing the car and it is now gone. Not much at all but a little goes a long way, especially with perforated leather seats – assuming it got there while she was doing grandma duty), everything seems to be very much in order.
I’m really enjoying the 2.0XT Turbo. We ran up to Park City yesterday and there was a lot of room for the dog (add dog hair and nose prints to the list of things I now need to clean) and the performance suspension along with the turbo engine handled the climb with little to no effort. On the list of pleasant surprises (and there have been several), is the SI drive with “Sport” and “Sport#” modes (along with the very long list of extras that are included with the Touring package).
The turbo comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel that let you increase the RPMs and torque before the CVT’s “shift.” This is nice because you can use the engine as a brake on steep descents and you gain a measure of control in challenging conditions like deep snow. The “SI” modes are an entirely different story and I wasn’t even aware they came on this model.
I was familiarizing myself with the controls and on the steering wheel were two buttons (S and S#) that I thought were part of the cruise control but the markings didn’t make any sense.
And a great summary “The turbocharged Forester does a lot. It’s roomy, easy to pilot, and joyfully swift. It combines elements of both a WRX and an off-roader, while still being the sort of car that tackles all the normal commuting, grocery getting, and school bussing for which normal people will use it on a daily basis. In Touring trim, it also offers a decent level of comfort. For such a mainstream family vehicle, the 2017 Forester 2.0XT still has a lot of personality, much of which comes from what’s under the hood.”
I am really enjoying the car and I did not expect it to be as fun to drive as the X1 but in Sport and Sport sharp with the upgraded suspension, it is very close (and I am feeling very spoiled – I’m actually looking forward to driving this car every time I get an excuse).
You’re the best!
Salt Lake City, Utah
Testimonial from Delia Cabe:
—Delia Cabe, Massachusetts resident and author of STORIED BARS OF NEW YORK (Countryman Press, division of W.W. Norton, June 6, 2017)
Senior Affiliated Faculty, Writing, Literature & Publishing, Emerson College
Paul Bottino from Harvard University weighs in on his experience with Car Pal Car Buying Service.
”Thank you so much for your patience and especially your diligence, both done with exceptionally good humor and superhuman grace. Paypal says I managed to pay Car Pal this morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Your lifetime pal,
Paul Bottino, J.D. is the Executive Director, TECH; Lecturer on Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
NB from Car Pal: Paul Bottino was so thrilled with his experience using Car Pal, LLC as his Car Buyer’s Agent, that he authorized us to write a testimonial on his behalf. When we asked him if he would like to read the testimonial before we posted it, he said that it would not be necessary! With that level of trust, we decided to post his very last email to Lindsay Graham, our CEO – since that seems to say it all! Thank you, Paul, for your faith in Car Pal’s car buying services!
Other Happy Car Pal Customers and Clients Write In
“I give Lindsay Graham and Car Pal five stars, two thumbs up, as well as any other accolades one can think of!!”
I’m not sure why I was initially hesitant to engage the services of Car Pal and Lindsay Graham. She was highly recommended by a friend I trust. I guess I thought the salesman at my local BMW dealer had my best interests at heart! Naïve, you say? Well, I had not purchased a car in almost 13 years, and I had blocked the greed and nastiness from my memory. So, the car salesman found a car for me -– a car that was not really what I wanted AND cost $7000 more than I could afford. Luckily, I had just signed the contract with Car Pal the night before I heard from the local dealer, and Lindsay nicely told him that I was not interested in borrowing several thousand dollars over my top price to buy the 2016 car he had found for me (when I had specifically asked for a gently used car -– a new BMW was not in my budget!).
By that evening, Lindsay’s wonderful team had done a national search and found four cars that met my criteria (Deep Sea Blue all-wheel drive BMW X3 with low mileage, light colored interior, rear view camera and heated seats). One of them was the car of my dreams (a 2013 with all of the above plus several features I had secretly hoped for but didn’t think I could afford, with less than 30,000 miles on it) –- and most astoundingly, I had the car in my driveway a mere week later (and it was in a different state 650 miles away)!!
Lindsay Graham DEFINITELY has my best interests at heart and provided almost around the clock support and help to me during the transaction. (I was needy.) In fact, she is continuing to make sure the dealer where I purchased the car continues to provide excellent customer service, even though I’ve had the car for a few days and our Car Pal contract is technically completed. I give Lindsay Graham and Car Pal five stars, two thumbs up, as well as any other accolades one can think of!! My advice to you -– don’t hesitate!! I saved thousands of dollars by hiring Car Pal!! Hire Car Pal immediately when you decide to purchase a vehicle!!! You will love Lindsay’s energy, her integrity, and her dedication to excellent customer service. I am delighted to have a new friend by the name of Lindsay Graham!!!
Lea W., Lafayette, CO
Car Pal Testimonial from Nicole R., Virginia
Once upon a time, many many years ago (well, 2008 to 2012 to be precise) I had a BEAUTIFUL dark tan colored Mercedes GL350 (diesel). It was the most elegant and luxurious SUV in the universe. I was very proud of getting it, because some doctor in West Virginia paid me $3300 via cashier’s check to take over his lease. I ended up buying the car after the lease was up and spending 3 glorious years with it. I loved so many things about it, especially the power tailgate and the body feel of the steering wheel and seats.One day, I discovered a beautiful princess named Lindsay whose superpower was being able to negotiate car deals quickly and with unparalleled ease. I gave her an idea about what I’d like in a new car. She waved her magic wand, gave me directions to a dealership that would execute according to her incantations, and within just a few hours…I had a new Honda that looked and FELT like my old beloved Mercedes 🙂 🙂 🙂 totally unexpectedly. I mean, really… a Honda that feels like a Mercedes?? They have done some serious magic with those CR-Vs over the past couple of years. It’s soooooo smooth.It is GREAT!! Totally worth *all* of the extra money to get the 2016. There is a HUGE difference between the 2015 I drove and the 2016… much tighter steering, controls, and the seats are a huge improvement. Such a great serendipitous event that I test drove the cinnamon color car. I would easily have been happy walking out of there with a $20K loan balance with THAT car!!! And that’s the one I got!
Thank you SOOOOoooooo much for doing all the talking and working things out. This has been the MOST enjoyable car deal I’ve been involved in over the history of history, and all thanks to you. I felt like I had an advocate at all steps, and I was able to tune out the extra stimuli that usually gives me a headache and/or makes me cry.
Mike [Mike Goodman], forgot to give me the 2nd key for the car… but since I had to give them the 2nd key for the trade-in, and it was at home (since I didn’t expect to DRIVE home in this one today) he’s actually driving up here tomorrow so we can trade keys! He is really a good guy and was bending over backwards to make sure that we are all happy. I give him 5 stars [out of 5].
Let me know if you have any questions!! I am going to go to sleep happy as a clam tonight. And now I don’t have to worry about getting new tires (which I would have, if I kept the old Honda through this season)!!
Nicole R. [Faculty, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA] 10/31/2015
Car Pal Testimonial from Jeanne E., North Carolina
I first met Lindsay about five years ago when I was buying a car and she was a dealership’s Internet sales manager. She had been selling cars for quite a while by then and I was really impressed with her knowledge, and also with how helpful she was. So when I needed a new car in April 2015, I was happy to find that she was now working on the buyer’s side of the table and could use her experience and her force-of-nature personality (once you meet her you’ll understand that comment 🙂 to make my car-buying experience SO much easier (a breeze, really).
Although I did lots of research on the web sites of Consumer Reports, Edmund’s, KBB, TrueCar, etc., to find all the ways to negotiate as low a price as possible, she still saved me a lot more than that (for example, I wanted a hard-to-get car color, which would have made me a sitting duck for getting gouged by a dealership, but Lindsay knew how to keep that from happening). Even after deducting the amount of Car Pal’s fee from the savings she got for me, I still saved significant money.
What was worth even more to me, though, was the fact that I didn’t have to visit a bunch of dealerships, talk with a bunch of salespeople, be given the usual lines of BS that you get when buying a car, and so on. I hate that crap! Lindsay handled ALL of those interactions on my behalf, quickly and correctly. She also set up a great test drive for me — all I had to do was walk into the dealership, take the test drive, and walk back out the door, with no salesperson hanging off my leg like a rat terrier on a mailman’s ankle. Other than the test drive, I just got to sit back at home and interact with only Lindsay, and she handled everyone and everything else, including making sure all the paperwork was done right.
She’s also tireless about tracking down answers to questions, and never, ever made me feel that my questions were dumb or unnecessary. Even though I’m a bit (OK, a lot) OCD about needing facts and figures, not only did she get all of my answers, she did it very cheerfully (same as she does everything else) and she kept encouraging me to ask her MORE questions. She even responded to questions *after* the sale was done, when a lot of other people in her line of work might have disappeared because they had already been paid and had finished the job they’d been hired to do.
The whole process didn’t take long at all. The next thing I knew, the exact Toyota Camry Hybrid I wanted, at a great price, was delivered to my house at no charge! It had the all the options I’d asked for, and no extra options that I *didn’t* want (which many dealerships twist your arm to take when you buy from what’s already on their lot). Working with Lindsay was like shooting fishy car salespeople in a barrel. 🙂 She is truly dedicated to giving her clients the best car-buying experiences possible. As long as she’s still at Car Pal, my husband and I will be coming back for every car we buy.
Jeanne E., North Carolina
Amy Blanton, Chicago, Illinois Car Pal Testimonial
Ok, this is a good friend of mine, so that’s my disclaimer. However, even if she wasn’t my friend, I would be bragging about her and recommending her like crazy.Buying a car SUCKS. Walking into the dealership is like committing harakiri. The minute those guys make eye contact with you… it’s all over. It is enough to make me shake with both fear and rage. I did this yesterday. I literally ran out and called Lindsay.If you avoid getting a new or just new-to-you car because you hate the process… seriously, call her. It’s worth the fee. I wouldn’t have been positive about this, ’cause I am cheap….but i have experienced it first hand. She will even negotiate your trade… I’m so not kidding. It’s worth the fee not to have that conversation with “the manager” that always comes over to explain exactly how they are going to take advantage of you.This is not a commercial… I am not being paid to advertise, I promise!
Amy Blanton, Chicago, IL
Mark Paterson, Houston, TX Car Pal Testimonial
When I came to Car Pal Car Buying Service, I’d already spent two months researching which car I wanted and how much I should need to pay. The problem was that the car I wanted, a Hyundai Azera, is not that common, and I couldn’t find anything I liked nearby within a couple of thousand dollars of the “true market value.” This left me looking at potentially driving hundreds of miles to check out vehicles on the off-chance they might pan out, or paying to have a vehicle transferred, with still no guarantee of quality.
In either case, there’s an issue of trust. When a vehicle is described as “perfect condition,” or “like new,” is it really? In my research, I found (via CarFax reports I had to pay for myself) dealers happy to sell cars that were wrecked, and even one offering a lemon, all without any notification to the buyer. The last thing I wanted to do was spend hours haggling with a professionally-trained extortion team for a car that might not be any good in the first place. The only option seemed to be to pay a premium.
It was quite by accident that I discovered Car Pal, and Lindsay, the car buyer’s agent, looking up negotiating tips one night. It appeared to be just what I was looking for — someone with experience to cut through the BS and bargain on my behalf; the potential price benefits of the negotiation model combined with a “no hassle, sign and done” approach. I’d already paid one of the big, overpriced, no-haggle conglomerates to transfer a car from Florida, since at least they gave a (very short) warranty on what they sold, and I’d had a good experience with them in the past. The car was not too badly overpriced, and with Car Pal’s guarantee of results, I felt I could fall back to the transfer car if Lindsay could not find me a better deal.
The fall-back strategy was unnecessary. Within a week, I saw the value for my trade-in go up $1000, then $2000, then $3000, and finally $3500 above the original offer, and Lindsay’s experience was paying off in other ways, too. We almost settled on a car in San Antonio, which is about a three-hour drive for me, but I’d told Lindsay initially that I was willing to go that far. Through persistent questioning, Lindsay got the dealer to admit that there was “a small area” of peeling paint. She then had them make a video, and it was obvious that the paint was peeling along the whole length of a roof rail. Finally, the kicker. Lindsay had worked me out a deal on a car $4000 below KBB, but the dealer would only do it if I could get there the same day, since “someone else was interested.” On the way to the dealership, Lindsay found out that the salesperson we were working with had quit that afternoon, and despite the car being promised to us, they were looking at selling the car to someone else. You really, really, really cannot trust a dealership to do what it says. Without Lindsay making sure that every detail was agreed, documented and ready, I would have driven four hours to pick up the car only to find it sold. As it was, I did buy the car, and I’m very pleased with it.
Through the whole process, I found Lindsay easy to deal with, sensitive to my inputs, and honest about the chances for success on any given car. I wondered beforehand, with the payment scheme being a flat fee, whether her incentive would be to find something she could push on me as quickly as possible. Working with her, I never got this impression. If she thought a better deal was possible, but not with the current dealership, she said so. I believe that if I had given her more time, she could have found an even better deal than the one I ended up with, but what I got was more than good enough for me, and I was anxious to get the deal done. The service Lindsay provides was well worth the price for me, and I will certainly be returning the next time we need a car.
Mark Paterson, Houston, TX
Nice LinkedIn Testimonial:
I wanted to thank Lindsay Graham for her professionalism, dedicated negotiating skills as she crafted a wonderful auto buying experience for a used Toyota at a delivered price that saved me hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I thought my choices were to spend hours after work driving to Raleigh visiting larger used car lots where I invariably received the “hurry up buy it today” …and, endless haggling over the final out-the-door price.
Luckily I remembered Car Pal LLC after being introduced to Lindsay by a friend last summer. I called Lindsay for price comparison on the specific Toyota I wanted. The dollar number she came back to me with was well below the lowest deal I was “offered” in Raleigh the whole previous week. Lindsay went to bat for me and there was no pressure placed on me at all. None!
Buying new or used cars, I strongly recommend Car Pal LLC to my friends, and neighbors. When asked where I purchased my beautiful 2007 Toyota, I proudly say: I bought this one from CarPal LLC! Don Wollum
Recommendation and Testimonial from Car Buying Service Customer in Seattle, Washington
Interesting to note that the purchase took place in September, 2011, and he promised a review about his Mazda purchase using Car Pal Car Buying Service, and never forgot his promise. This just in tonight, 6/23/12:
I would like to unreservedly recommend Lindsay Graham and Car Pal.
Here’s a short timeline of my experience. Now granted, I researched the car that I wanted and already obtained some internet dealer quotes. But still, this went lightning fast:
9/17/11 (a Saturday): submit info request
9/17/11 email exchange, set up phone call
9/18/11 (a Sunday): phone conversation about model options, etc
9/18/11 forwarded quote, paid deposit
9/19/11 provided details of my trade-in car
9/21/11 drove trade-in car to deal for evaluation
9/22/11 signed the paperwork to buy car.
An incredible experience. I got a great deal, saving a few hundred dollars on my purchase but more importantly getting a really good deal on the trade-in. Lindsay was an excellent communicator, juggling email and phone contact, and kept the process moving quickly and with a great sense of humor.
I saved money and also quite of bit of time (by avoiding visiting various dealerships and negotiating).
This an incredibly better experience than any of my prior car purchases. Do yourself a favor and use her services.
– Misha Bolotski, Seattle, Washington
December 10, 2011 Thank You Email from Rochester, NY to Car Pal Car Buying Services
My wife and I are the buyers in this story. We had a great time working with Car Pal and they really came through for us. We were amazed to actually find a slightly used 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid in the first place, as this was exactly what we wanted. Being able to buy it at the price we wanted was something we never thought would be possible! But Car Pal negotiated our price and also got us a terrific interest rate. Holly at Falkner Hyundai was friendly and helpful. She also got along great with our 5-year-old, who also loves our car! Thanks to Holly at Falkner for an easy and pleasant buying experience and a very special thanks to Car Pal for working so hard to find the perfect car at the perfect price!
August 2, 2011 Thank You Email from Phoenix, Arizona to Car Pal Car Buying Services
Dear Lindsay,Lee and I are most grateful for the work you did in finding us our Toyota Rav 4. You guys were tenacious in locating the vehicle with the options we wanted and for the lowest price!! Amazing!
When you found “the one”, the only thing we had to do was drive the vehicle and sign the papers. All the negotiation over the price was taken care of by you, and the numbers matched precisely what he had quoted you over the phone. Our salesman even commented on how good you were, Lindsay.
Thank you so much. You were an answer to prayer! Our friends are hearing all about you!
Lee and Pam Stern
Sent from my iPad
Lindsay Graham with the great Bill Chameides (click photo above for more details about this client of significance!) Photo taken May 2011 – in front of his new certified pre-owned Camry Hybrid. NB., Lindsay is rarely present at vehicle pick up… major exception here since Dr. Chameides is a celebrity and the location of pick up happened to be within an hour drive of Car Pal’s headquarters.
More Customer Testimonials
“I am absolutely thrilled with the car and their efforts.” (5/29/11)
Exceptional was my experience in working with Car Pal to purchase a used car! They amazed me at their quick responses and informative suggestions and communications. We began looking for a used Honda Fit, but found them to be overpriced during this period of high fuel prices. They steered me to consider a car I would really enjoy having, and we turned to a used Lexus SC430 hardtop/convertible. We quickly found one at a favorable price, and we both talked to the seller. A previous owner lived in another city, and they obtained all of the vehicle’s Lexus service records and forwarded them to me. They helped negotiate a further $500 price reduction, guided me to a reputable car inspection company who conducted a thorough inspection prior to purchase, and stayed closely in contact with me as I traveled over 300 miles to drive and purchase the car. Total time from first call to purchase was about two weeks which is likely unusually quick. I am absolutely thrilled with the car and their efforts! Best of all, my wife is also pleased!
— Syd Spain, Ph.D. Oxford, MS
“Finally, car dealership experiences in which I did not feel like fresh meat thrown to the lions!” (4/2/2011)
I’m happy to report that Lindsay Graham and Frank Anderson took the pain out of the experience. Having worked with Lindsay Graham before, I was thrilled to discover that she decided to put her wealth of knowledge and experience to help consumers with their car search. They helped me think through whether I wanted to purchase a new car, a used (pre-owned) car, or lease. They dealt directly with local dealerships on my behalf and arranged appointments for me to test drive a few of the cars I was considering. When I arrived at these appointments I was thrilled (again!) to find that the dread in the pit of my stomach dissipated and the identified top performing sales person had been instructed to help me without pushing, pressure, or unrelenting phone calls. Finally, car dealership experiences in which I did not feel like fresh meat thrown to the lions!
Ultimately, after talking through the pros and cons of buying versus leasing, I decided to lease a car. Frank’s technical information and critical eye were valuable contributions and the information he and Lindsay shared about evaluating the quality of a pre-owned car was so helpful. Lindsay worked her magic by mobilizing her professional connections and fabulous people skills to my financial and emotional benefit. She arranged for the dealership to deliver the car to my home at my convenience.
Working with Frank and Lindsay was a delight. I would recommend them to anyone I know and would use them again in a minute –- although I hope I don’t have to!
— Andrea Blickman, Durham, NC
“What I wanted, and what [Car Pal] did, was to be given the opportunity to make a good decision, with useful information and the sense of confidence that the deal and the process would be fine” (02/24/11)
Browsing a showroom is a terrible experience, since the browser is preyed upon pretty quickly by desperate hunters and gatherers. Even when I might actually want to buy a car, I find the showroom experience to be discouraging, not just because I don’t want to be “sold to,” but because I know it would lead to lots of indecision and questioning: How badly will I be taken by this person? Why am I even talking to him? Where is the door? And that is without the inevitable meeting with The Manager, often a knucklehead in charge of other knuckleheads.
The experience I had buying with Lindsay and Frank this week had none of that vulnerability or feeling that I was dealing with desperadoes. I expressed interest. Lindsay responded. I hesitated. Lindsay made a move to sell me a car (“We would like to bring a car over for you to drive.”) and that was all it took. I appreciate what salespeople do; most do not do it well, or feed the doubts of the buyer. The pleasure of this deal is that Lindsay and Frank know what selling is and make it a mutual experience.
What I wanted, and what Car Pal did, was to given the opportunity to make a good decision, with useful information and the sense of confidence that the deal and the process would be fine. More big items should be sold this way.
Then, when I got to the dealership to pay and pick up the car (Subaru, very nice, pleasant salesperson in fact), I was reminded of what a barren patch of land most car dealerships are, and how deadening it must be to be in a a car showroom all day.
The automobile is a vital theme of American life, a force of economy and recent history, and an element in our own sense of feeling comfortable and independent. Why don’t car dealers appreciate this and use it to make us smarter and feel better when we buy?
— David Carr, Ph.D. Chapel Hill, NC