Going Topless: Third Time’s the Charm… Right?


To catch up on the Going Topless series, check out the full archive of stories here. 

After some less than stellar results with private sellers and dealerships, Amy Tokic gives a CPO Eos a second look at a Volkswagen Dealership. With this be the third strike?

After taking the 2012 Eos out for a spin and seeing the final price tag, I realized that, right now, owning brand new just isn’t in the cards. My saleswoman at the Volkswagen dealership, Stacy, was on the hunt for a used Eos. They had one in stock, but it was a 2007 and had about 70,000 miles already clocked on it. No dice. I wasn’t sure I would hear from Stacy again. After all, we are closing in on winter and it seems that the demand for the Eos is quite low. There isn’t much stock out there.

So when Stacy finally called a few weeks later with a line on a Certified Pre Owned (CPO) Eos, I was surprised. And this one sounded amazing – a 2008 Eos, well-equipped, with only 27,000 miles and a Candy White exterior. It came with all the trimmings – leather interior, wind screen, satellite radio, dual climate control and heated seats. The price: $22,990. Not bad. I needed to take a closer look at this one.

When I went into the dealership, Stacy said they had just got it in the day before. They hadn’t even bought it yet. And they weren’t going to buy it if I didn’t want it. I had 24 hours to decide … and the clock was ticking (*cue dramatic music).

I went into the dealership bright and early, excited to see if the used Eos matched up to the new one. And if she hadn’t told me it was a 2008, I wouldn’t have been able to tell it apart from the 2012 model. When I asked, I learned that there were a few subtle differences, but from where I was standing, I couldn’t pick out them out.

I found that the 2008 Eos handled smoothly, taking on corners like a boss. And since it was sunny, I got to take the top down – although, we did have to crank the heat up a few notches. I got to take it out on the city roads and the highway. Again, no surprises. Just like the new model, the 2008 boasted smooth acceleration, responsive handling and superior stopping power.

Like I mentioned before, it came fully loaded. That’s something I couldn’t even begin to imagine adding on to a new car. Some of the fancier gadgets include park distancecControl, rain sensing wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli 235/40R18 tires, satellite radio (there’s a channel dedicated to Pearl Jam – so awesome), an alarm system with vehicle immobilizer, eight speakers… oh, and did I mention heated seats? It was hard not to like this ride.

When we got back to the dealership, Stacy pointed out a scratch in the bumper, but said that if I bought it, they would fix it up as good as new. As well, they had yet to complete their 112-point inspection. Again, if any problems were detected, they would be fixed as well.

We sat down to talk about some of the important details. She printed out a Car Fax and I was pleased to see that this car had not been involved in any accidents. It was really tempting – but was I ready to make the plunge? After all the research I put into finding the right Eos, was there something better waiting for me or was this as good as it was going to get? Used car buying is a gamble… but was I ready to call and put my cards out on the table?

Things learned:

Read the fine print. I was surprised that the warranty wasn’t included in the CPO. In this case, the CPO just included a 112-point inspection. And even though the VW website goes into detail about the extended warranty, I didn’t realize that it didn’t come automatically. Different automakers offer different CPO standards, so make sure you know exactly what you are getting with your purchase.

Think fast. Even though I only had 24 hours to make up my mind, I was confident enough to make a decision at the end of the day. I had done plenty of research and I knew my stuff. Sometimes, you need to make a decision fast, but it shouldn’t be pressured. I told them that I needed to sleep on the decision and they respected that. In fact, they held on to it while I made my decision. If a dealership uses excessive pressure tactics, be weary.

Weigh all your options – I had to decide if I was going to see a car of this caliber and cost coming my way in the next few months (or ever). Playing the waiting game is a gamble – will a better car come along?

Up Next:

Is the suspense killing you?