How much should I pay?

I just read the "How much did you pay?" thread above and it really started me thinking. I just found this newsgroup yesterday and I'm learning a lot
fast.
I need to buy another car and after checking around have pretty much come down to wanting a Hyundai Santa Fe. Up until now, I was thinking of buying a used car and I went to two dealerships yesterday (a Nissan dealer and a Hyundai dealer) and one today (another Hyundai dealership). Both dealers are aware that I will be paying cash for whatever I buy, so there are no issues about financing, credit checks, etc.
At the Nissan dealer I looked at a 2005 Santa Fe with a 2.7L engine with 22,000 miles and was about to buy it. But after negotiating with the dealer we couldn't agree on a price. It was advertised on Vehix.com for $15,995 (in NJ, 08002 zipcode). I started at offering $13,900, then agreed that I would buy it if I could get it for a price in the low 14-thousands, but after the routine hoopla they said they couldn't accept that price. In the end, I would have bought it for $15,000 but they said they didn't know if they could do that, would have to ask someone else, etc. So, I thanked them, shook their hands, and left.
After that, I went to a Hyundai dealership and checked out a 2004 Santa Fe with 59,500 miles, a 3.5L engine, leather seats, etc. The 3.5L engine was much better and I'm glad I didn't buy the 2005 2.7L that I test-drove earlier. We never ended up even talking about a price on the 2004 3.5L because the salesperson and the sales manager both goofed and said it wasn't a 4-wheel drive, and I only want a 4WD. When I got home, the salesperson had already called and said he made a mistake, that it is a 4-wheel drive, and I agreed to go back tomorrow to look at it again.
Now I'm reading posts here that seem like people are able to pay almost $5,000 less than the MSRP for a new 2006 or 2007. So, I may end up switching and buying a new 2006 or 2007 Santa Fe, AWD, 3.5L engine.
I had already signed up for a year of Consumer Reports online that rates cars, etc. (which is partly how I ended up choosing a Hyundai Santa Fe). But, I didn't realize that the $14 price information they sell was anything worthwhile. But -- thank you Eric G. -- I now know it really does provide valuable information. In fact, I'm about to sign up for the $39, 3-month, unlimited online price quote subscription.
Sorry for being so long-winded. Any thoughts or feedback about any of this, the prices for a used 2005 or 2004, the price I should be able to get on a 2006 or 2007 Santa Fe 3.5L, etc. would certainly be appreciated.
P.S. -- Eric G. -- you mentioned that you are in NJ and, like me have to pay the lovely 7% sales tax. I am in Camden County so if by chance you went through a dealership in my area, any thoughts on that would be welcome.
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You're welcome. I'm sure it will help you save much more than the cost of the subscription.

I'm in Camden county a lot, but I live in Mercer, and have no experience in your area with car buying. I can tell you that a friend of mine did very well in Burlington. I don't know the name of that dealer, but it may just be Burlington Hyundai. I have purchased exclusively at Brad Benson Hyundai in South Brunswick (only about 15-20 mins. from me) so far, though I have also shopped at Colonial in Trenton.
Good Luck. Eric
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IMHO, Consumer Reports has never been worthwhile or accurate on what they report. They are very biased in their reporting based on who know what. They have rated cars and appliances in the past that I have owned and every one of them was erroneously reported to have defects and deficiencies that I never saw. I wondered what in the world they had been looking at. It was like watching a Cassius Clay boxing match reported by Howard Cossell. You wondered what fight he was watching. Like I said, it's my opinion, but I wouldn't take their magazine to the outhouse. Totally worthless. I sure as heck wouldn't pay them extra to give me price quotes.
Tom

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wrote:

The worst appliance we ever owned was rated as Best Buy by Consumer Reports. Bought it on the strength of their report. Never did get more than two months out of it, the loaner fridge was a much better deal.
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Tom, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Although I don't see the bias that you are talking about, I do think that they have a semi-critical flaw. They should purchase about 5 examples of each product they test, possibly from different locations, to get a representative quality sample of the product. I think they refrain from doing that because the average customer can't do that either. But I think it would help with the quality and reliability ratings a bit.
With that said, I personally have never been disappointed by them EXCEPT for their automobile ratings. I do, however, think that their new/used car purchasing guides are very useful. Especially the financial portion.
Eric
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Thanks. It's called City Auto -- Hyundai City. I was there yesterday and I am going back there tomorrow.
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You may want consider a new (2006) Santa Fe. I see that Hyundai is offering a $3000.00 rebate.Just a thought. Barry/Austin

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After reading the prior posts about the amount of discount off the MSRP that people are getting, that's exactly what I was thinking. I'm signing up for the $39 Consumer Reports deal this morning and will be looking at prices for a new 2006. I started thinking that if I was willing to pay $15,000 for a 2005 with 22,000 miles, that may not be too far from the price for a new 2006. And, while I like the fact that the 2007's have side curtain air bags in the front and back, I am not sure I like the new look of the 2007's.
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After you drop the $39 for the 'Consumer Reports deal', let us know how much off of list price they told you you should get. I am geniunely interested to see if it is worthwhile. Compare your price to that shown on www.carsdirect.com. Please let us know if it's a good deal or not.
Thanks,
Tom

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I have never used Consumer Reorts car services even though I do subscribe. I have always just gone to www.kbb.com and have never been disappointed. The $39 may be a good idea for some (but I can't come to grips as to why since everything you would ever want to know can be obtained FREE off the Internet) but if you do your research, you'll be able to buy a car for the same or LESS than what Consumer Reports says you should pay. My purchase of my 2007 Limited Sonata is a perfect example as I paid a few hundred less than what Consumer Reports stated I should have paid.
You need to know what questions to ask like:
1. How much in dealer hold-back monies are there? 2. How much is advertising costs torwards dealer invoice?
Each of these are fully negotiable and I had them both given back to me as part of my deal.
The ball is in your court gentlemen but you don't need to spend $39 to get the answers to your questions! Just send it to me:)
Larry
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I signed up for the $39 3-month unlimited new car pricing and $26 3-month unlimited used car pricing. I'm glad I did it because I wanted to have some idea what would be reasonable for me to pay for either a new 2006 or a used 2005 or 2004.
I looked at he www.carsdirect.com website and the new car "target" prices seemed similar to what Consumer Reports pricing showed. I just didn't get exactly how the carsdirect.com plan would actually work. But, if I was looking for a new car, that might be a good way to go.
For used cars, the carsdirect.com pricing and ads seemed out of whack -- on the high side and the ads are not very complete at all. What I ended up doing was looking at www.vehix.com , www.cars.com , www.autotrader.com , and www.carmax.com and the using the used car pricing guide through Consumer Reports to get an idea of what a realistic price would be. I ended up buying a 2004 Santa Fe LX 4WD 3.5L engine, leather seats etc., and 22,560 miles for $14,300 which was less than the pricing Consumer Reports said were typical, and which a lot less than the $15,995 asking price on the vehix.com ad for that particular vehicle and dealership.
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BETA-2K wrote:

I bought my Sonata through Carsdirect, and I also had the CR pricing report. The prices were virtually identical for both. My understanding is that the dealer pays Carsdirect what amounts to a finders fee and agrees to offer the no-haggle pricing which still has enough profit in it to keep the dealer happy.
It is not the lowest possible price. If you went in a negotiated for hours, you could probably get a better deal. But the pre-negotiated price saves a lot of time and that happened to matter a _lot_ to me. I had no time to play. My entire time at the dealer from showing up to keys in pocket was around an hour basically.
Downsides: I did have to call and nag my Carsdirect rep repeatedly to get them to tell me OK, come get the car. They never actually said those words. After a week of no action, I ended up just showing up at the dealer and said here I am, where is my car. Bit of a shock to them but they already had ALL my info from Carsdirect and got with the program immediately. No problems.

Right. Noticed the same thing. The used car ads are paid ads placed and priced by the dealer. It's basically just a used car classified service.
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By buying new you also get a better warrenty
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I researched on the net with Yahoo, Edmunds, NADA, and Kelly.
When I was satisfied with what the car was actually worth and knew exactly how much I was willing to pay, I sent an email to 8 Hyundai dealers with my offer.
Four met my terms and I purchased my 2005 Santa Fe from the closest one.
Simple, no hassle car shopping. And yes I feel like I got a great deal.
Norm
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I had actually spent a lot of time initially researching on edmunds. kbb & this forum. Then I heard of the dealer I eventualy bought my Sonata from. They advertise a price online & sell for that same price with no hidden costs. The best part was there was no haggling and at the end of the day I paid a price which no other dealer in the area could offer. I feel satisfied since it was a very stress free experience & I think I got a pretty good deal. youc can check their pricing online at fitzmal.co.. Just my thoughts.... Usul Muad'Dib wrote:

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