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Old 03-20-2004, 01:10 PM   #57
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titan

i have the Offroad edition w/ tow package. i liked the automatic rear suspension leveler that model had. brush guards underneath.

having the hensley on the hitch is added tongue weight. i thought the beefed up rear end would handle the additional weight well. we'll see soon enough.

we will be taking our airstream to bluegrass festivals up and down the east coast. Our favorite festivals are on farms where we'll be boon-docking in hay fields. the least bit of rain usually turns these areas into a slippery mud scene. the 4x4 should come in handy there. hopefully we won't have to rely on it :-).

--dave
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Old 03-20-2004, 01:43 PM   #58
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Thumbs up Test Drove the Titan LE

I took a turn in one this morning. I must say I am impressed. I also just finished comparing the Nissan Titan with the Ford F150 crew cab and the Avalanche with one of those so called independent analyzers (thru the Ford site for this one). By the time you add up all the stats and compare the MSRP the Titan starts to take serious notice. I dunno. I am a longtime Chevy imprinted guy who has owned six Chevy trucks over my lifetime and I am wavering.

BTW, I will never own a Ford. Can't help it. Grew up in a lifetime GM family. My dad worked at the Chevrolet Truck Manufacturing Plant in Indianapolis his whole career. I follow Chevy's in Nascar. I suffered with Sam Hornish Jr. last year in the IRL and got sick when Ford Cosworth bailed out Chevy last year.
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Old 03-20-2004, 02:11 PM   #59
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titan

i know what you're saying. GMAC has had my number since '89. Three Blazers and a Chevy Express 2500 later I broke the chain - wasn't easy. when we bought the airstream back in september we thought we already had our tow vehicle in the family - being our van. the tranny started grunting and groaning from day one. and the v8 is still a bit underpowered at 250 horses.

We (wife and I) looked at the Tahoe and Burban and finally decided on the Armada, in spite of rolling the dice on the first model year.

--dave
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Old 03-20-2004, 02:45 PM   #60
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Re: Depreciation...

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Originally posted by 85MH325


I don't mind buying the first or second year of something... a couple of years down the road AFTER the recalls have been fixed!
Roger
No recalls on the Titan yet. I just checked.

I did the MSRP comparison with the Avalanche and to get everything I want for both I would save a whopping $6,000 with the Titan. Of course that doesn't take in all the rebates, incentives, 0% financing and MSRP finagling that Chevy puts you through. They would probably come out the same at the end. It's uncanny the way these companies play with you.
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Old 03-20-2004, 02:53 PM   #61
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Davydd -- Yup, Nissan held price setting clinics before the release and wanted to match value per dollar without the gimmickry of rebates and 0% financing.

Dave -- I will confirm these vehicles have a fine pairing of a strong engine with the gearing choices made on the 5-speed automatic. You'll notice the hop isn't there when you're towing but it will do just fine in that capacity.
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Old 03-20-2004, 04:45 PM   #62
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Hi all,

Long time since I posted but I thought I'd fill you all in on my new purchase. Just picked up my new Nissan Titan Crew Cab last evening. So far it is absolutley perfect. I got the 4x4 LE model in color "Sedona", which looks like a copper color from the paint chips and website pix but which actually turns out to be more of a root beer color. I was so pleased to see the color for the first time and it really looks sharp with the two-tone leather interior. Motor sounds awesome - reminds me of the 345 cid in my old International Scout. Lots of authority and snap.

I decided on the Titan after pulling the Bambi last season with the Xterra. Did okay, but worked those 6 cylinders awfully hard in the mountains here in Colorado. I also have to say that, with the WD hitch and sway control, the Xterra/Bambi combo was absolutley rock solid and never even quivered in the crosswinds of Wyoming or when passsed by the big rigs. I still have the Xterra as my daily driver and am very pleased with it, in general.

First trip with the Titan/Bambi is a ways off while I get the new motor broke in and get throughthe first oil change. I will keep you all posted as to how it does towing and will also post some pics when available.

Happy Camping!
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:45 PM   #63
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I looking forward to hearing the real world test results!
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Old 03-20-2004, 10:04 PM   #64
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Pic

Here's a pic of my new Titan. Rear passenger room in the Crew Cab is incredible, though you do lose 6" of bed length to get it. Bed is 5'6" as opposed to 6' for the King Cab. For those interested, total vehicle prices was $35,650 not including taxes.
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Old 03-21-2004, 07:34 AM   #65
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How do you deal on a Titan?

Bob, Dave, Colorado...

When buying a Chevrolet you have to not only know the MSRP but you also have to know the dealer's cost and then figure out what to offer or see if you are getting a good "deal". For instance, when I bought my Trailblazer the sticker said $35,875 and I got it for $31,000 which was about $1200 under so called published dealer cost, but felt my trade in was about $1,500 low compared to the NADA book and other online sources. So I felt I came out about $300 over dealer cost which seem to be what everyone on the Edmund's Trailblazer forum was claiming at the time. It was all to complicated. I remember growing up my Dad loved this ritual.

My wife use to buy Saturns until she got desparate for AWD. Saturn sold the sticker price and went through the current NADA book with you on trade in. It seemed clear cut. The Saturn sticker pricing always seemed great and way low compared to Chevy comparables.

So how does Nissan deal? MSRP pricing seems Saturn like. But since they list it as a MS(uggested)RP there must be some negotiation.
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:27 AM   #66
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titan/armada haggle

the way we negotiated went like this - sticker w/ tax and destination charges was $42k . we looked at what the monthly payments would be with our downpayment figured in. the number came out to like $900/month. we negotiated the monthly down to something that was more manageable for us. at like 6%.

i think that approach saved us $1700 off sticker. market economy/supply demand is at play here. when we bought our armada back in january there were only two dealers in northern nj that had any in stock.

we also think we'll do better on the backend with this vehicle. i've read that zero interest offers actually hurt resale values down the road. i think the armada may hold it value better than suburban or tahoe when it comes time to sell it.

oh yeah, when the dealer caught wind that we were pulling an airstream, sooo many towing questions, the lease option went away from discussion.

if you are considering a lease program, i guess it's best not to mention 31 ft trailers.

--dave
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:39 AM   #67
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Re: titan/armada haggle

Quote:
Originally posted by micsupply
we looked at what the monthly payments would be with our downpayment figured in. the number came out to like $900/month.
--dave
OUCH!!!!

It's a beautiful truck tho! You're going to enjoy it.

Roger
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Old 03-21-2004, 07:58 PM   #68
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Price Haggling

Davydd,

I have not found price haggling with Nissan dealers any different than any other manufacturer.

Price haggling starts the moment you step on the dealer's lot for the first time (notice I said the "first" time). Talk to the first salesman that accosts you, tell him what you are interested in, check it out, test drive it - then tell him (yes, or her) that you are simply in fact-finding mode and that you are comparing like makes/models. Politely takes the business card that is offered and get the he** off the lot before you do something sponatneously stupid. This is the step that, if missed, will cause you to always second guess your purchase. Even if you fall head-over-heels in love with a particular vehicle - leave. Sleep on it and force yourself to actually compare all similar makes and models. I have never had a salesman take my informatiion and have never had one call me at some later time to see if I was still interested, so from my experience, don't expect that to happen. Rather, expect to return to the dealer a few days or even a week or two later. This time, have your research completed and KNOW that this is the make/model that you want. Find or ask for the same salesman that you met with previously and, if he is not available, either return later or stroll the lot while you wait. When you are together, tell him that you have made your decision and you would like to begin the purchase process. In my case (with both the Xterra and the new Titan), I made it clear to the salesman that I have never paid sticker price for a new vehicle and have no intention of starting now. My standard offer is $500.00 over dealer invoice for whatever vehicle/options/accessories I am interested in. Make your offer and make it clearly and be resolute. The salesman will likely tell you that he has to take your offer before his supervisor for approval - fine. But, make it clear once again that this is your offer (whatever it is) and if that is not acceptable then you will visit the other dealers in the area before committing to a purchase. If the offer is accepted - great. If not, thank the salesman for his time and leave. I have never had a salesman let me off the lot when this phase is reached. Remember, the salesman loses too if you leave without buying from him. Make him go to work for the both of you. And, once again, make it clear that you have made your offer and it is not negotiable until you have at least presented it to the other dealers in the area. I can almost guarantee you that you will get the vehicle for your offer price. And, once the offer is accepted, ask to see the dealer invoice for the vehicle so that you can verify what the purchase price will be. Every vehicle on a dealer's lot has a factory invoice which he keeps in a little binder. Ask for a photocopy so that you will have it in black and white.

Now, as far as trade-ins, financing options, etc... that is truly a unique case with every buyer. In my experience, though (and I have purchased at least one new car every year for the past eight years for both business and personal use) the less you confuse the matter the quicker the deal gets done. If possible, no trade-ins - you will usually get more for your vehicle selling it privately anyway. Plus, this is one less way for the dealer to try to "make up" some of the money your haggle from the new vehicle purchase price. With financing, good credit and conventional terms ($5,000 down and 60-month or less financing) will get things wrapped up quickly.

Just my 2 cents and by the way, this applies whether you are buying a new vehicle off the lot or ordering one to your specifications.
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:52 PM   #69
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Re: Price Haggling

Quote:
Originally posted by COLORADO_CAMPER
Now, as far as trade-ins, financing options, etc... that is truly a unique case with every buyer. In my experience, though (and I have purchased at least one new car every year for the past eight years for both business and personal use) the less you confuse the matter the quicker the deal gets done.
Well written CC!

Buying a car (or RV) has three separate phases, if you have a trade in. The first is negotiating the price of the car, as described by ColoradoCamper. The second is negotiating what you'll accept for your trade. The third is negotiating financing. Treat them separately, and never allow them to be confused or negotiated at the same time. Know what your trade in is worth and demand top dollar for it's condition. Lastly, have your financing lined up before you set foot in the dealership. Know what the best rate you can get through your bank or credit union. Then, you can name your rate for the F&I guy and tell him what he has to beat to earn your business.

It's a dealership's business to get as much of your money as possible. It's your job to get as much car as possible while retaining as much of your cash as possible. Somewhere there's a middle ground where you can meet. Just make certain that it's YOUR call, not theirs.

Roger
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Old 03-21-2004, 09:06 PM   #70
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Re: Price Haggling [half tons]

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Originally posted by COLORADO_CAMPER
Davydd,

I have not found price haggling with Nissan dealers any different than any other manufacturer.

Price haggling starts the moment you step on the dealer's lot for the first time (notice I said the "first" time). Talk to the first salesman that accosts you, tell him what you are interested in, check it out, test drive it - then tell him (yes, or her) that you are simply in fact-finding mode and that you are comparing like makes/models. Politely takes the business card that is offered and get the he** off the lot before you do something sponatneously stupid.
I did that exact step yesterday. Then I started all the research. Edmund's seems to be a good source and confirmed how I felt about Chevy pricing. Edmund's also didn't indicate buyers were getting anything off MSRP at this time. Maybe that's because the Titan is new. Dealers are actually tacking on an additional $5,000 over MSRP for Chevy SSRs right now.

I went back to the Minneapolis Auto Show today this time with wife in tow. We walked back and forth between the Titan and the Avalanche about four times. They were at opposite ends of the show. The Avalanche interior and seating is very familiar to us since we previously owned a 1999 Silverado. It felt good. We judged the front seats the best. On the debit side not much has changed in five years and it is starting to show.

Between walks we checked out Dodge Rams, Ford F-150s and Toyota Tundras. Forget Tundra. It is smaller than all the others and is not a serious tow vehicle. Dismissed. Dodge Ram was not inspiring on the interior. I'm not a tall guy and the Dodge presents a true challenge to board for me without a step addition. The others I can do with or without a step. Dismissed Dodge. Ford F-150 FX4 appears to be the whole package and was Motortrend truck of the year. It is greatly improved over the bloated whale look of the past. It was OK but there seems to be some niceties missing from it that both Chevy and Nissan have despite the fact that Ford has umpteentillion options. It comes closest in spec to the Nissan Titan. Dismissed Ford simply because I gag on them from a lifetime of being anti-Ford.

And finally the Titan. There seems to be a synergy about it and the designers really did do their homework. I liked everything about it except for the idiosycracies of the typical Nissan exterior design trim touches especially the front grille. The overall shape and lines are OK. From a design sensitivity standpoint I don't like either the Ford or the Nissan badge emblem and much prefer the bowtie and Ram. Maybe it is something you have to get used to. Spec wise it was a tad better than Ford in HP, torque and inches. The Titan engine will give the 5.7L Dodge Hemi a challenge.

The interior of the Titan LE gets my nod. It has space galore and seats that fold upright. The front passenger seat back folds down to create a work surface. The cup holders are ample and right. The gear shift is sporty. There are 10 speakers and the radio sound is great. It has a jack to plug in an MP3 player to use through the sound system. The brake controller is pre-wired under the dash. The overall design is more advanced and aesthetically pleasing to me than the other three. Fit and finish is excellent and way better than the Chevy.

Now I have to hold off the urges. Play it cool. Be cool.
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