The Try Before You Buy

At some point in life, you will be faced with this task of buying a new car.  It can be a very exciting experience browsing through all of the options and trims available at your favorite dealership.  However, the researching, number crunching, and lot rummaging can be tiring and slightly discouraging at times.  Regardless of the experience that you have, the feeling of leaving the lot with a new toy is one that is incomparable.  There is one step in the car buying process that is critical to make sure that you are making the best vehicle purchase.  This step, my friends, is the TEST DRIVE!

In recent years, dealerships have noticed a decline of customers test driving vehicles.  These customers believe their extensive internet researching and dealership visits are enough and test drives are a waste of time.  This is NOT TRUE AT ALL!  Actually, that is exactly why the test drive is VERY important.  It will lay to rest all of your reservations on how your favorite set of wheels performs on the road and helps to solidify your decision of purchasing the vehicle or not.

Now, before you go jumping into the car of your choice for a test drive.  There are a few basic tips that will make the process run much smoother and eliminate confusion and miscommunication.

Remember:

  • Have all of your registration information with you (license and proof of insurance).  Besides the fact that it should always be with you while operating a vehicle, dealerships will require a license before they turn you loose with their merchandise.
  • ALWAYS examine the vehicle before the test drive.  Inspect the exterior and interior for any damage or marks and alert your salesperson.  No need to get accused of something you didn’t do and change the air of an otherwise delightful visit.
  • Wherever you go, it goes.  If you drive a lot on the highway and street, make sure that you test drive on the highway and street.  Give ‘er some gas and test the acceleration.  Get comfortable from the most accurate ride.
  • Finally, PAY ATTENTION!  Know what is important to you in a new vehicle and make sure that this car meets and/or exceeds those requirements.  Also, test the functionality of interior features (A/C, radio, seat adjustments).  This could possibly be the car you buy, you should KNOW that you’ll enjoy it.

Depending on the dealership, their test driving protocol can vary.  Some may be required to ride with you or leave items other than your ID for “collateral”. Whatever the case, you should never deprive yourself of this essential process when considering a new car purchase.  This is a huge responsibility and investment, make sure that you are thoroughly satisfied with it.

 

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What’s In A Buick: 2013 Encore

The 2013 Buick Encore has arrived!

Despite mentioning a hiatus in our last post, the “What’s In a Buick” campaign returns!

This week, a brand new crop of Encores rolled into our dealership and have been the topic of discussion and has taken center stage on our showroom!

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So, what is all the hoopla about the Encore?  As mentioned in the WIAB: Enclave post, the 2013 Encore is the first compact-sized SUV/crossover vehicle to be introduced into the Buick family.  In comparison to the mid-sized Enclave, the Encore packs just as much luxury and quality into its smaller frame and has a significantly lower price tag.  Other stand out features are:

  • ECOTEC® Turbo 1.4L 4-cyclinder engine offering a average fuel economy of 28 MPG.  All-wheel drive options are also available.
  • Impressive technology options including front and rear parking assist, Bluetooth connectivity and Buick’s Intellilink system.
  • Stylish contemporary exterior design with chrome accents and standard 18”aluminum wheels (with chrome options available).

Take a 6-second tour of the 2013 Buick Enore below:

For more information on the Buick Encore or other Buick products, please visit the Lou Fusz Buick GMC website.  For comments and suggestions, follow us on Twitter @FuszBuickGMC.

Well…I can say that for now, this is the last post for the “What’s In a Buick” mini-campaign.  But never fret, we will still be here to give your weekly update on Buick and GMC as well as other automotive news and tips.

What’s In a Buick: 2013 LaCrosse

Ready to find out What’s in A Buick this week?

Let’s get right to it.  This week, we will be looking at the 2013 Buick LaCrosse.  The LaCrosse is Buick’s answer to the customer seeking a mid-sized family vehicle without the bulkiness of an SUV or cross-over.  Introduced in 2008 to replace the Buick Lucerne, the LaCrosse has become Buick’s main flagship sedan.  Our salesman Steve Vansickle was chosen this week to express what about the LaCrosse makes it one of his favorite go-t0 cars at the dealership.

“The Buick LaCrosse offers the best ride that I’ve ever experienced in a car,” he states.  “It handles very smoothly and easily and is really a pleasure to drive.”  This smooth ride could be contributed to a host of different things.  Most likely, it is due to LaCrosse’s StabiliTrak features.  StabiliTrak technology is a control system which monitors the road and steering input to help achieve a ride that is both safe and relaxed.  These are definitely features that compliments it’s sleek and appealing exterior.  The LaCrosse also features e-Assist technology in the engine, which generously boosts fuel economy upwards of 36 MPG on the highway.

2013 LaCrosse

Taking a step inside the car, Steve talks about the interior room.  “The size inside is great.  It’s very roomy; very comfortable to ride in.”  He goes on to say “The room in the backseat of the car is really nice.  There’s tons of legroom.”  After taking a seat in the backseat, I was VERY impressed with the comfort.  As with all Buick cars, the LaCrosse delivers this comfort without compromising the luxury that is sought out in Buick products.

The Buick LaCrosse is a vehicle that is the epitome of great quality and performance.  There is a lot packed into its mid-sized frame that puts it up against the likes of the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Acura TL.  If you’re craving more information on the Buick LaCrosse or other Buick products, please visit the Lou Fusz Buick GMC website.  For comments and suggestions, follow us on Twitter @FuszBuickGMC.

Until the release of the Buick Encore, the “What’s In a Buick” spotlight series will go on a hiatus.  I know…I’m sad, too.  However, make sure you come back every week for the latest in Buick GMC information and tips!

What’s In a Buick: 2013 Regal GS

Well, here we are again for the third installment of our “What’s In a Buick” mini-campaign.  For this post, we’re putting the 2013 Buick Regal GS in the spotlight.  The Regal GS is the first vehicle in the Buick family that delivers luxury and sport for the driver with a need for speed.  As stated in our very first post, the Buick name has long been synonymous with slow, elderly drivers.  However, our featured Fusz salesman Rob Martchink agrees the Regal GS will surely diminish that thought faster than it can go from 0 to 60!

“Where do I begin with this car?  There is so much,” is Robs response when asked why he chose to discuss the Regal GS.  Aside from the initial “car jargon” he started to throw out, I did manage to make out “high performance” “fun” and “excellent fuel economy” as a few of the features he loves.  Rob then adds “I will say the performance on this car is CRAZY.”  The 5-star crash rated Regal boasts a 270-HP high0output Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine with a six speed automatic transmission and a Brembo brake system.  However, the stand-out feature is the responsive Interactive Drive Control System suspension technology with an exclusive GS mode.  When activated, it improves vehicle sensitivity to tire irregularities and wheel balance by lowering the car a little closer to the ground to stiffen suspension.

2013 Regal GS

Whew, did you get all that??

As far as internal features go, Rob complimented the vehicle saying “It’s a sport luxury vehicle and the inside really does a good job of incorporating the two.”  The side seat bolsters are one of his many favorite features.  “They help to secure you in place when you’re driving,” he says.  Also, the exposed leather stitching and stylized lines inside the vehicle make it more sporty and appealing.

To look at the Regal GS, you would be shocked to learn of all of its monstrous power.  This is what helps to separate it from the comparable Accord and Camry makes and helps to position this car alongside more high-end manufacturers as Acura and Infiniti. If you’re craving more information on the Regal GS or other Buick products, please visit the Lou Fusz Buick GMC website.  For comments and suggestions, follow us on Twitter @FuszBuickGMC.

Well, we’ve done it again this week.  With the Regal GS, we’ve shown that turbo speed and sporty luxury are #WhatsinaBuick.  Make sure you come back next week!

What’s In a Buick: 2013 Enclave?

This week for our “What’s In a Buick” movement, we shine some light on the brilliant 2013 Buick Enclave.  Although the Enclave falls in the category with other popular midsize SUV’s, Fusz salesman Nick Demaso insists that there is NO comparing the Enclave to other cars in its class.  When asked why he chose to highlight the Enclave, he boasts “Buick is known to be a reliable vehicle and because it is a part of the Buick family, the Enclave is a quality front-runner ”  Since its release in 2007, the Enclave has been the only SUV in the Buick family.  However, 2013 will introduce the Encore, a smaller sized SUV to the line-up. 

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In regards to his favorite attributes of the Enclave, Nick expressed that there were a couple stand-out features .  Almost immediately, Nick began speaking about the attention to detail that is found throughout.  “Externally, the design is very sleek and meticulously crafted.  It’s very easy on the eyes.” Nick says.  Internally, the design and detail is very rich.  Soft leather and chrome and wood-grain accents are just a few details that make the Enclave a very worthy contender to such luxury SUV’s as the Acura MDX or Lexus 470.   Also, Nick highlights the interior space expressing “the space makes the car very appealing and family friendly without compromising its luxury. 

These features are merely a small part of what makes the Enclave an exceptional vehicle for families or the individual that enjoys a finer ride.  For more highlights and information on the Enclave or any other Buick product, visit the Lou Fusz Buick GMC website.  Also, the 2013 Buick Encore will be arriving at our dealership within the next few months.  For comments and suggestions, follow us on Twitter @FuszBuickGMC, include hash tag #WhatsinaBuick.  Once again, tune in next week for a new car and more information highlighting #WhatsinaBuick.

What’s In a Buick?

Since I didn’t get a chance to say this last week…WELCOME TO 2013!!!!

A lot of traditional things happen around the beginning of a new year.  It takes about 2 weeks to finally write the correct year in the date.  People (myself included) are patiently waiting for their W-2’s to get tax returns done.  Most notably, people begin and some commit to New Year’s Resolutions.  I must admit, I am guilty of the first two traditions as I learned a long time ago that making a resolution really doesn’t work for me.

Keeping with the trend of “starting new,” I was thinking of a new fresh idea to kick off the New Year and shine some light on our Buick GMC dealership and its inventory.  So, I am excited to introduce:

What’s In a Buick??

This mini campaign will take one of our outstanding sales staff members and highlight their favorite benefit and/or feature of one of our many Buick automobiles.  I have learned quite a bit about them already!

Our first lucky team member to participate is Vehicle Exchange Manager Albert Koesterer.  With five current Buick models to choose from, Albert almost instantly chose the 2013 Buick Verano.  “The Verano is my first choice because it is an affordable luxury vehicle with a very competitive price point,” Albert says.  The Verano is least expensive automobile of the Buick family and is comparable in size to the Toyota Camry.

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When asked about his favorite attribute of the Verano, Albert chose the Intellilink Infotainment System Albert states “it really stands out and enhances the luxury of the vehicle.”  Available with a navigation option, the Intellilink in-dash 7 inch touchscreen display makes for a seamless operation of music, climate and other entertainment controls.  Voice commands for hands-free interaction with your smartphone makes the Intellilink feature as safe as it is fun.

This is just one of many more highlights to look forward to with the “What’s In a Buick” campaign.  For more information on the Verano or any other Buick product, visit the Lou Fusz Buick GMC website.  For comments and suggestions, follow us on Twitter @FuszBuickGMC, include hash tag #WhatsinaBuick. 

Tune in next week for another post letting you know #whatsinaBuick.

Crew Fusz Goes To Moe’s

Taking a pause from our regular blog posts to bring you a little bit of entertainment.  

You never know what is going to pop off at a lunch break outing with social media manager Erik Schwenke and fellow social media intern Jen Metzler and myself, dubbed “Crew Fusz”.  We had a bright idea to make a commercial for the Auto Awards program exclusive to Lou Fusz. Filmed at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Creve Coeur, yours truly was chosen to lead the video to shine some light on the features and benefits of the program.

The filming experience was great and getting a 10% discount for showing our AutoAwards cards was AWESOME!

Visit the Lou Fusz AutoAwards website for more details and a full list of participating restaurants and businesses and their discounts.

What do you think of AutoAwards?

Bring On 2013!

Wow…take some time and reflect back on 2012.  Can’t believe that it will be over in FOUR DAYS!  Personally, this was an AWESOME year!  So many different life events happened and I couldn’t be happier about it and am definitely looking forward to 2013.  
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With that being said, this will be the last post of 2012, which touches on a subject matter that is VERY important and personal to me.

In three days, one of the biggest nights of celebrating of the year will be underway.  For the sake of ringing in the new year, there are many planning events and doing some traveling for New Year’s Eve.  With the celebration of NYE comes the increase of alcohol consumption of party goers.  After the ball has dropped and confetti has been thrown, partiers hit the road and head to their next destination on one of the most dangerous holidays for drivers.

The purpose of this post is not to scare or terrify with statistics on how many accidents and fatalities are seen from drunk drivers on NYE, even though the statistics say that 54% of all New Year’s Day accident fatalities are due to drunk driving.  This is simply a post to advise EVERYONE hitting the road on NYE to be aware on the road and DO NOT DRIVE IF YOU HAVE BEEN DRINKING!  No matter how far or close you are driving, the risk is NOT worth the possibility of causing harm to yourself or others by operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Whether you plan to party or not on NYE, here are a few tips for safety and accident prevention:

  • Of course, if you plan on drinking, DO NOT DRIVE!  If you are out with a group of people, appoint a designated driver.
  • KNOW YOUR LIMIT!  Having a few drinks at a party isn’t bad, but know the limit of what you can drink so that you do not go overboard.
  • Do some research on alternative ways of getting home from the party spot.  There are usually cabs or other transportation services available that will escort you home so you won’t have to drive intoxicated.  If not available, see if someone can come get you or just stay where you are until you sober up.
  • If you are hosting, make it your responsibility to ensure no one who is impaired gets on the road!  If you notice there may be a few people who drove and are impaired, offer to drive them, provide transportation for them or even TAKE THEIR KEYS!
  • Be aware of cars that are driving dangerously on the road.  If you spot a car that appears to be being driven by an impaired driver, make sure you drive BEHIND them at all times and alert authorities immediately.

This is just little information about how to make this New Year’s Eve one that is FUN and SAFE.  

2013 is right around the corner and I am excited to see what it has to offer and I would like to see everyone from 2012 in 2013!

I wish everyone a VERY happy holiday and I’LL SEE YA NEXT YEAR!

Winter Safety

GRAB YOUR HATS, SCARVES AND GLOVES!!!  OLD MAN WINTER IS HERE!!    


Today marks the official start of winter and we’ve already gotten a taste of what’s to come.  Winds at a high and temps got pretty low.  It was possibly the first time this year that it actually felt like winter.  However, weather in St. Louis can be VERY unpredictable (as we know) and the little bit of snow we’ve gotten so far COULD be all we see.  In either case, ensuring that your vehicle is weatherproof for the winter diminishes any worry no matter the weather conditions.  Here is a list of 6 important tips (in no particular order) to combat your car and yourself against the winter elements:

6. Tire Check – Making sure that all of your tires have the proper tread depth is essential, especially for areas that anticipate lots of snow and ice.  Any tires on your vehicle that appear worn unevenly or completely should be replaced.  Also, ensure tire pressure is accurate and tires are properly balanced.

5. Full Tank – Ensuring that you have a full gas tank is a great winter proofing tip.  You can never be too certain that a trip in your car is going to be “simple” or “quick”, especially in harsh weather conditions.  Delays due to weather can happen and making sure your vehicle is fully fueled eliminates the inconveniences of running out of gas.

4. Battery Life – You will hear this time and time again that you NEVER want to have a half-hearted battery in your vehicle when winter time comes.  Cold temperatures cause your car battery to work overtime and crank out more energy to power the vehicle.  You don’t want to take a chance of having your battery crap out on you. Your local Lou Fusz dealership offers battery testing, so stop by and make sure your battery survive the cold.

3. Coolant/Heating – While we’ve got the hood up, you also want to check that the antifreeze in your car is topped off.  It is recommended that a system flush is performed every two years and if possible before winter strikes.

*BONUS* – Also, make sure that your heating system is testing and working before winter comes. It’s already cold outside, no need to have cold air slapping you in the face inside your vehicle.

2. Exterior Lighting – Exterior lights on your vehicle should always be functional.  These lights include: headlights, tail lights, brake lighting and turn signal lights and even fog lights if you have them.  This is essential for the safety of you and others on the road so that your car is seen by them and theirs by you if vision is obstructed by rain, sleet and/or snow and ice.

1. The “Just In” Case – It is important to always have an emergency case of essential items on hand at all times during the winter.  No matter how new or advanced the vehicle, you always want to prepare for the worst and have backup items in the event that you or another traveler are stranded or stuck.  Some helpful items to include are: flashlights with extra batteries, jumper cables, blankets, coats/boots and other warm clothing, ice scraper/brush, and food items.  Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have a candle and matches to keep warm in case of power failure in cold weather.

Hopefully, this has served as a good guideline to follow to make sure that you and your car can survive whatever winter has in store.

See anything missing from the list? Leave a comment with your top cold weather tip.

Let’s make this winter and safe one!

Everyone have a VERY Merry Christmas!

Memory Lane: The First Set of Wheels

Today is a day that I like to call “Feel Good Friday”.  It puts me in a good mood so I’m posting some feel good content.  Ready??

Do you remember your first car?

Ahh, wasn’t that a great day?

The day when you finally had wheels of your own and you didn’t have to depend on your parents to cart you around.   You felt a sense of liberation and independence.  And if you had a car before the rest of your friends, you were SUPER COOL!   Be honest, you weren’t really concerned with the responsibility that came with the car (insurance, maintenance etc.), you just knew that you had to wash it every now and then, gas it, round up the posse and GO!

As for my first car, it was the pinnacle of pristine automotive invention.   It was the epitome of luxury on wheels!  I’m talking a silver 1996 Chevrolet Corsica.  The car belonged to my friend’s grandfather and it was in very good condition to have been 8 years old at the time.  When the topic of buying the car came up, he went from grandfather to Godfather, declaring for me to “make him an offer he can’t refuse”…and I did.

The craziest thing about my first car (dubbed “The Bucket”) was that I got it and my license in the same week and I was nineteen at the time.  Yep, NINETEEN and I was just getting my license.  However, that’s another story for another post.  Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that car did and seen A LOT of things.  Through accidents, tickets, taking me back and forth to college, and a little recreational mischief, the bucket was there for it ALL.  Unfortunately, the bucket has gone on to that big tow yard in the sky, but it had a long and semi-healthy 5 years.

I often wonder how things would have been if I had a different car back then.  What if I would have purchased a brand new car or my dream car (which I can’t recall right now)?  Would I have been in some of the situations that I was in with the bucket?  What would I have named it?  Ah, heck…this could go on all night.  Let’s just say that if the car had been newer, I would have definitely taken better care of it.

As of now, my 1999 Chevy Malibu (dubbed “The Bu”) is still kicking.  It may not look the best, but it RUNS!  However, I would not object to a new car, especially a 2013 GMC Terrain or 2013 Buick Regal (just a couple of my personal faves).

So what about you guys?  What are your first car memories?  Are they good?  Are they bad?  Was it a new car or a clunker?  I want to hear ALL about it.  Keep this “Feel Good Friday” going by sounding off and sharing your stories below.

Thanks for another week of reading and liking!

Until next time…I’m OUT!