Buying a car isn’t fun. That was always my thought. Who wants to deal with the stress of haggling tooth and nail for the second largest purchase of your life. That’s likely why I kept my last vehicle for 10 years. When you buy a house, most people go into it armed with an information and the support system in the form of a Realtor. When you buy a car, you research online for 15 hours so that when you step into a dealership you don’t get taken advantage of as much as you would have otherwise. Again, at least that’s what people think.
I was recently looking to buy a new vehicle for my wife to drive, and fit our growing family. Two kids (soon to be three) and two dogs (a rather large Goldendoodle and a lapdog Boston Terrier that needs his own seat). Logically the first step was the same as anyone researching, hit the internet. So we searched and searched some more, specifically for 7-seater vehicles. More room was determined as our number one factor. We greatly considered the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Kia Sorrento and potentially the Acura MDX, but at the end of the day we settled on the new Volkswagen Atlas. The selling features that got us were the no-touch lift gate, heated and cooled seats, and the captain’s chairs for the second row. What we weren’t sure of at the time was what trim level would cover each of these features.
Humans are innately terrible at making up our minds. Buying a vehicle amplifies that. In fact, we made Chris, RJ, Jay and the gang at VW Centre of Saskatoon really work for the sale. I reached out on a Friday in May, asking if I could take an Atlas for a weekend test drive. Graciously the team at Volkswagen Saskatoon obliged and had the unit ready for me to pick-up first thing Saturday morning. The vehicle we took only had a bench seat as the second row, and we realized that’s actually all we needed. It drove smooth and was extremely roomy, enough the kids can’t even kick your seat. But at the same time, it didn’t feel like you’re driving a tank. A really important feature for my wife who didn’t want to have an anxiety attack anytime she had to park, especially in the garage. We finished the test drive that weekend and told the guys we needed time to think it over.
At that point life took over. Next thing you knew it was Father’s Day, then we headed on a trip for Canada Day and we were steamrolling through July. Throughout the process we received regular check-ins from VW Centre of Saskatoon, exclusively through email, my desired mode of contact. They asked how the family was doing, where are heads were at and if they could help us with anything. Never intrusive, never overstepping their bounds. And each time they reached out it reinvigorated our search and prompted us to ask new questions. How much would this feature be to add? I don’t think we actually need the captain’s chairs anymore. And on and on.
That’s when we heard about Volkswagen’s new sporty RLine package, a delayed production addition for the Atlas that really enhanced the look of the vehicle. Adding in fancier 20-inch rims, meaner air intakes for the front bumper and really just making the vehicle appear more in-line with the luxury SUV models. Except with, you know, still having the interior built for the spills, bumps and bruises of a growing family. We were sold. And when we called the dealership, what do you know, they were getting their first shipment of RLine models in that weekend. Oddly enough, the financing side of things was the easiest part. It’s like a choose your own adventure. Do you want extended warranty? You decide, it comes standard with four years coverage. How about tire and rim protection? Yeah, we’ll take that, our Saskatchewan streets aren’t really built for longevity. And that same day we put down our payment, swapped the plates on our trade-in and drove home with the new ride. We were off on a road trip 8:00am the next day and now our only vehicle worry is where do we take it next.
What does this all tell you? Buying a vehicle can be easy. It can be fun. And you don’t have to feel pressured to make a decision until you’re ready. So basically the opposite of everything you fear . The biggest decision you need to make? Make sure you’re buying from the right people, that’s what we found in the FFUN Motor Group and the VW Centre of Saskatoon.