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Buying A New Car – ON EV STREET

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Buying A New Car – ON EV STREET

Buying A New Car


I was ready to replace my 2011 Infiniti G37.   With only 80,000 miles it was still in good condition, but I wanted safety features, such as blind spot warning mirrors and lane keeping assist; and I wanted to sit higher.  I started my search for a mid-size plug-in hybrid SUV because a friend was happy with hers.  With driving patterns similar to mine, she rarely needed gas, so this initially seemed like the best of both worlds.  

I had recently re-connected with a friend on Facebook, whose page reflected a passion for cars as well as deep knowledge.  He generously shared his expertise as I began my search for a plug-in hybrid.  He also gently encouraged me to consider an electric vehicle (EV).  This connection made car shopping easier and fun and sent me on a path I might not have otherwise chosen. 

After using Edmunds comparison tool, I drove the following plug-in hybrids: Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, and Lexus NX.  I also drove a “regular” Hyundai Tucson because they didn’t have plug-in hybrids available.  These cars drove very well, but their sheetmetal didn’t excite me.  I was told that Indianapolis dealers didn’t receive many of these cars because they usually go to the coasts.  My favorite among these was the Tucson – good looks, nice drive and size, great warranty, and more modestly priced.  It made me question why I was willing to pay so much more for a luxury vehicle.  

I wasn’t enthusiastic about any of the plug-in hybrids.  With the limited battery range, they began to seem like more trouble than they were worth.  Rightly or wrongly, I was also concerned that plug-in hybrids might not be around long, and that they inherently had more things that could go wrong.  

So, I began to think seriously about an EV.  We’re well-suited for an EV because my husband drives a hybrid Lexus RX 450h that takes us long distances in family room comfort, and my driving is mostly around town.  Range anxiety would not be an issue. 

Once we decided on an EV, it became clear it would not be ‘my car’; we would both use it as much as possible around town.  Thus, we needed something comfortable for me at 5’2” and my husband at 6’.  

We drove the Electrified GV70 Advance first because there was a lot of buzz about them, and my adult sons encouraged me to.  It was very nice, but not love at first drive.  It initially seemed too glitzy, especially the grill and the interior’s red lighting.  

The salesman was not enthusiastic about EVs.  He described annual battery loss and voiced doubts about the country’s energy grid.  He said that Genesis is now requiring dealers to have physically separate facilities from Hyundai, which had caused some Indiana dealerships to close.  He was concerned that central Indiana’s two dealerships would be serving Genesis owners from across the state.  (Currently, it seems that Hyundai and Genesis salespersons are interchangeable, sometimes running back and forth between dealerships.)  

The additional electric vehicles we drove were the Audi Q4, Volvo XC40 Recharge, and Lexus RZ.  They drove nicely and their features were similar but felt undersized.  Volvo’s Google Assistant caused concern because the salesmen didn’t seem to understand it.  I was still not excited, and new cars SHOULD BE exciting.  

We then went to a second Genesis dealer where we connected with a nice young salesman and his service-oriented manager.  Our second test drive sold us.  NOW WE’RE EXCITED!  It’s a perfect size for both of us, drives like a dream, has great pick-up, yet is very quiet.  The interior felt roomier than the others, the grill didn’t seem so flashy after all, and the sleek strips of red interior lighting were now fun.  

The dashboard and control panels are intuitive and offer options on the steering wheel, the console, and the monitor for various functions.  The controller and touchpad are easy to use.  The shorter “home screen” does not block my view.  The front seats are extremely comfortable.  The back seat is roomy enough and has seats that tilt back.  Little things, like the visible tailgate button near the rear windshield wiper and the compass directly in front of the driver, are great.   

Our sales team worked hard to find the Electrified GV70 Advance in Uyuni White.  Without even a deposit, they made a trade with an Illinois Genesis dealer.   We had not talked price details yet, but we had told them we would not entertain “add-on fees” we had heard about.

When it arrived, the manager emailed the sticker, which did not include any add-on fees.  With a few adjustments, we agreed on a price and were pleasantly surprised at the trade-in offer.  We had never leased a car but decided to lease the GV70, largely because of the $7,500 rebate they were offering on leases to counterbalance tax credits for which their cars didn’t qualify.  The rebate – coupled with the reality that EV cars were evolving rapidly – made the lease seem like a good idea. 

I have barely scratched the surface of understanding all of the amazing features, but we couldn’t be more satisfied!

The price of the vehicle was $70,011, which included an upcharge for Uyuni White.  After a $7,500 rebate, a $2,700 trade-in (for our son’s 2014 Hyundai Elantra), and a $10,000 down payment, our lease was for 3 years/12,000 miles per year with a monthly payment of $469.  At the end of the lease the car will have a residual value of $46,032. 

Diane Pfeiffer is an Indianapolis-based consultant who works with foundations in the areas of grant making, program evaluation, strategic planning and needs assessment.  Primary areas of interest include community development, re-entry, education, and youth development.  She holds a master’s degree from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs with a concentration in Human Services Management.

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