Guest Blogger Megan
Hello CEP fans! Andrew’s wife here. I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring and write a blog post for you all.
I got a new car the day before Thanksgiving and man, is it fun.
When I began thinking about what my next car should be (thanks to all the helpful suggestions from Andrew), I eventually narrowed it down to the 2018 Jeep Renegade Limited and the 2019 Hyundai Kona Limited. Actually, it was the 2018 Kona, but we’ll get to that later. I’ve had my eye on the Kona since they first came out in 2018 and Andrew showed me the green one. We have a good relationship with one of the salespeople at the local Hyundai dealership, so I’ve driven the Kona at least a couple of times and knew that I really liked it.
I had no experience with Jeeps yet, though, so we went to the Jeep dealership closest to our house to get some information about the Renegade. Everything about that dealership was garbage. I know Andrew has mentioned this already on a previous podcast, but the salesperson was awful. We’ve had great experiences with female car saleswomen, so it has nothing to do with gender at all, but she really made the entire visit feel so uncomfortable. Or, between her and the sales manager who painfully caned his way over and back to his office at what seemed like point furthest away from where we were sitting, the whole thing was very uncomfortable.
She sat us down and asked what I was looking for in the car, what I wanted it do to, etc. The basic initial discussion. The Renegade and the Kona I was looking at came with almost exactly the same features – heated seats, Apple CarPlay, AWD, they both came in bright green, and the two are roughly the same price. The main difference is that the Renegade can tow, and the Kona is significantly faster. A full 3.2 SECONDS faster from 0-60. Knowing my personality and how I drive, it should have been a no-brainer: GET THE FAST CAR, YOU IDIOT. But no – there was something so cute and alluring about that damn Renegade. Maybe it's the X-shaped reverse lights, maybe it's the fake dirt that replaces the redline in the speedometer, but it just has personality, and I liked that.
But the Jeep salesperson couldn’t tell us the differences between the different trims (Limited, Trailhawk, Latitude, etc), and she just kept telling us that any package can be put on any car. Not helpful. I wanted to know what each one comes with standard, not what I can put on it. And then, after telling her I was looking at the 2018 Altitudes or Latitudes only (because of the CarPlay and the engine), she put me in a 2017 Limited model to test drive. I never even got to see or feel the car I actually wanted. And then the sales manager came over. Neither one could make eye contact well, and both of them kept looking at chest level. I understand there was writing on my shirt, but glance at it once and move on. And then he had the audacity to make a comment on it? Come on, man. Just tell me about the fucking car already.
Of course, the next thing they always try to do is push you to talk numbers. I was literally just there to test drive the car and get a sense of how it drove, how I felt in it, and if it would be a good fit for my lifestyle, which is what I told her from the beginning. They had the car that met everything I wanted on the lot (even though they didn't bother to pull it up for me), and it was in the exact color I wanted, but I wasn’t ready to buy, and I certainly wasn’t going to buy from them, the garbage people. I spent the next few months thinking about but the Kona and the Renegade, and the Renegade kept drawing me in, even with that terrible dealership experience. The Renegade looked so much more fun. It looked super sporty. Plus, it was a Jeep! Everyone should have a Jeep phase, right? But two weeks ago, I was really honest with myself and paid attention to the way I was driving my own car and it was clear: the Kona was the right choice. Sure, I wouldn’t be able to tow anything, but having the faster car was more important (EDITOR'S NOTE: This is not what happened. I kept telling her to go drive the Kona again before she went with the Renegade, because I knew the speed would get her).
So, that Saturday morning we got up to get some groceries and suddenly we found ourselves at the Hyundai dealership. Doing some research over the last couple of weeks, I knew there were no green 2018 Konas to be found in the area, and I had to have that green. Had to. I even expanded the search radius to 500 miles and there were STILL none available. But if you looked at the 2019s, there were several available, and even though they were a little bit more than the 2018s, you got a few extra features.
We took a 2019 out, I loved it, and we drove the Kona straight to a different Jeep dealer where we know a salesperson who doesn't suck at their job. We drove them back to back, and the Jeep just wasn’t as fun. In fact, it wasn't any fun. Something had changed. It wasn’t as fast, it felt too big, and it just didn’t seem to fit me anymore. So we went back to the Hyundai dealership, told the salesperson that the Kona won, and she started to throw out some numbers. Suddenly, it was a real possibility that I was going to get this car! We talked about what my trade-in was worth, what my financing options were, and then they tossed out a leasing option. Knowing literally nothing about how leasing a car works, they went through all of the details. It’s surprisingly easy to lease a car, if you didn't know. Almost weirdly easy, compared to how much more intense it is when you buy the car.
The thing was, the dealership still had to get me my green Kona. They sent us home in a black one, and said they'd call as soon as they got the green one. The car came in Tuesday night, I was able to go in Wednesday morning and sign all the papers and pick it up, and then we immediately drove to Nebraska to spend Thanksgiving with Andrew's brother and his family. On that trip, I really got a chance to break it the Kona and spend some quality time with it. It rides well on the freeway, even on the appalling roads of Iowa. It gets good gas mileage, it can fit a Black Friday sound system impuse-buy inside it along with luggage and a big cooler, and the best part is that the Hyundai Kona is a quick car. You can get the jump on almost anyone in this car with the Sport Mode and AWD Lock on, and as it turns out, that won my heart. After driving almost 1,200 miles round trip, I can say I definitely love this car, and it was the right choice for me. I would even say that if you're looking at a small SUV, you have to drive a Kona, because you might just fall in love with it too.