Sponsored Post: 3 Tips for Getting the Best Deal when Buying a Car

DISCLOSURE LANGUAGE

Superior Honda, a new and used Honda dealership in Louisiana, partnered with bloggers such as me for this program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. Superior Honda believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Superior Honda’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

car dealer selling new car to young family

Buying a car from anyone is a big deal. Especially when the car is used, there is a lot more research and negotiation when it comes to the deal. Often, if buying from an individual rather than a dealership, it’s a good idea to get your mechanic to take a look at the car. Below are a few of our best tips to get the best deal.

  1. Show Up Physically– auto dealers and salespeople are much more likely to give you leeway in a negotiation if you show up in person rather than start your inquiry by email or phone. While we do receive a lot of phone calls, it is mostly for basic questions. Once someone is actually interested in discussing the best car for them, they really need to come in, otherwise I think they may not be very serious about their purchase.

  1. Go to a Dealership– while used car lots have a large selection, they are not usually high quality. The highest quality used cars that you will find are going to be located at dealerships. At these locations, you can browse similar priced cars, even if they aren’t used, they may fit your need. Also, salespeople and dealership employees are more knowledgeable than basic used car lots, or buying from an individual.

  1. Don’t Negotiate- well, actually you are going to negotiate, but use your first visit to simple inspect and gain information. Then, go back to the dealership on the last day of the month and see what price they are willing to drop. Another great negotiation tactic is to show up on days with poor weather. These slow days make a potential customer exciting and a salesperson may be more lenient.

Overall, buying a used car is a great idea! They are usually in good condition, last a while, and often can come pre-certified. Talk to your local dealership soon to see what they have to offer!

Max is a marketing assistant for Superior Honda, a new and used Honda dealership in Louisiana.

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2014 Lexus LX 570: Family Friendly Review

2014 Lexus LX 570: Family Friendly Review

For Christmas break, I had requested to review the new 2015 Toyota Sienna, which I already did a mini-review on back a few months ago when Toyota flew me down to Jacksonville for their new reveal of the updated Sienna, Yaris, and Camry.

I had wanted to spotlight the new Sienna’s “Easy Speak” feature, by loading up my extended family in the vehicle and taking a road trip to Birmingham for my son Jack to visit his best friend Sophie; as they recently met up at Opry Mills Mall to meet Santa, while we reviewed the Lexus:  Dear Jack: Meeting Santa With Sophie At Bass Pro Shop (Lexus RX 450h Weekend).

Turns out, all the Siennas were booked for Christmas. So instead, I was given a 2014 LX 570 to review instead.

2014 Lexus LX 570: Family Friendly Review

Wow.

I have now officially reviewed my most expensive and most glorious vehicle here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog.

Imagine how nice and wonderful a Toyota Land Cruiser is. Well, this is the Lexus version… the $89,805.00 version, to be exact.

2014 Lexus LX 570: Family Friendly Review

To say it was a privilege to be trusted with a $90K vehicle for a week; that would be an understatement.

Another change of plans occurred when Sophie’s parents had to work the day after Christmas, the day we were supposed to meet her family in Birmingham.

2014 Lexus LX 570: Family Friendly Review

So since those plans got cancelled, I made sure our family still got to take advantage of the Lexus LX 570’s awesomeness, as you can see featured in the stories below:

Dear Jack: My Childhood Christmas Tree, The 1980s Time Capsule

Dear Jack: Christmas Is Always Quirky Wherever We Are

Discovering A Mysterious Purse While Geocaching In Fort Payne, Alabama

Dear Jack: Little River Falls/Abandoned Church Christmas Trip

Dear Jack: The Day After Christmas Was Still Fun Too!

How To Have A Vegan, Vegetarian, Kosher Or Plant-Based Christmas

2014 Lexus LX 570: Family Friendly Review

2014 Lexus LX 570: Family Friendly Review

By far though, the most interesting, exciting, and popular story featuring the Lexus LX 570 ended up being Discovering A Mysterious Purse While Geocaching In Fort Payne, Alabama, as the title alone indicates. Check that out…

2014 Lexus LX 570: Family Friendly Review

Also, I made a walk-around video so you can get 360 degree perspective of the vehicle:

This is an 8 passenger vehicle with 383 horsepower, 403 lb.-ft torque, built-in DVD players, and even a built-in cooler in between the front 2 seats, which runs off the vehicle’s A/C.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my review, come back anytime!

2014 Lexus LX 570: Family Friendly Review

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Behind The Scenes Of My Featured Story On FastLane, General Motors’ Webpage

Back during Columbus Day weekend, our family took an adventurous and somewhat whimsical road trip to the glorious city of Asheville, North Carolina.

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

I published several stories on the event here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog, as we were reviewing a 4G LTE equipped 2014 Buick LaCrosse in the midst of it:

Dear Jack: Your Drawing Of A Freak Wearing A Backpack

The New (and Younger) Buick, Equipped with 4G and OnStar

Syncing To 4G and Using OnStar Remote Link App On GM Vehicles

Dear Jack: There’s Nothin’ Like Riding Through A Tunnel In The Car

Vegan Friendly Review Of Asheville, North Carolina

Our Visit to the Buchi Headquarters And Avonlea Learning Community

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

Dear Jack: Our Visit To The Ghost And Skeleton Museum

Typically when I review a car, I publish a story that specifically features the vehicle. This time around, though… I didn’t.

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

That’s because General Motors asked me to write that post exclusively for their website: FastLane.

Therefore, I now invite you to see the story right now:

Nashville to Asheville in an OnStar 4G LTE-Equipped Buick LaCrosse

It is an honor to be featured as a guest writer on General Motors publications page. I’ve mentioned before, I only endorse companies and products I believe in.

Sky Top Orchard In Asheville, NC: Family Friendly Review

In fact, I’ve now turned down several hundreds of dollars to endorse brands I would be ashamed to associate with.

However, I have a lot of respect for General Motors.

Three years ago, I was able to do my very first car review thanks to them, when our family drove the electric Chevy Volt from Naples to Key West. (See 7 Reasons This Dad Wants A Chevy Volt and  My Son The Beach Bum… Not Really!)

They have also flown me to their headquarters in Detroit twice now to see how they make and test their vehicles. (See Rise Of The Dadmobile: The Chevy Traverse and GM Sees Beyond Stereotypes.)

Our Visit to the Buchi Headquarters And Avonlea Learning Center

I especially enjoyed my trip there last year when I visited the OnStar headquarters and was able to see a different, more inspiring side of Detroit; not the side you see on the TV. (See Born And Raise In South Detroit… Or I Just Drove Around There and Say Nice Things About Detroit.)

Not to mention, I have now reviewed several of their vehicles here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog:

2015 Buick LaCrosse (4G Equipped): Labor Day Weekend Family Friendly Review

2014 Cadillac Escalade: Family Friendly Review

2011 Chevy Volt: 7 Reasons This Dad Wants A Chevy Volt

Dear Jack: There’s Nothin’ Like Riding Through A Tunnel In The Car

Regarding my new story on their website, I was able to feature their innovative implementation of 4G LTE on their vehicles.

As always, thanks for reading Family Friendly Daddy Blog; but as for now, let me redirect you to General Motors’ Fast Lane website again:

Nashville to Asheville in an OnStar 4G LTE-Equipped Buick LaCrosse

2015 Buick LaCrosse Asheville,NC

2014 Scion FR-S (Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ) Review: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

A few weeks ago in preparation for my son’s upcoming 4th birthday, I requested to review “something special” for him. Therefore, a 2014 Scion FR-S was delivered to my home for me to review the week of his birthday.

I explained to my son, “This is Lightning McQueen.”

It really does look like the character from Disney’s Cars, doesn’t it?

Obviously, this is a very sporty, sharp looking car. There is no denying that.

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

And to make sure I got the full experience on this sports car, I asked for the manual transmission.

Let’s talk about that…

I’ve driven a stick shift since I was 15 and the Reverse gear has always been the bottom right section.

Not with the Scion FR-S, which is also known as the Subaru BRZ and/or the Toyota 86, depending on which part of the world you are in; more on that in a minute…

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

It actually required some research to figure out how to use this apparently European style of a gear shifter. I noticed there was a lack of information on the Internet and even YouTube on how to shift the gears.

The main problem I was having was simply getting the car into Reverse.

Here’s the trick, as demonstrated in the video I made for you:

You have to pull up on the “ring” of the shifter before it will allow you to move the shifter left into the Reverse gear.

Once you move the shifter into 1st Gear from there, you will probably feel a slight vibration, sort of like a “triple click” so that you know you’re in 1st gear, not 3rd.

That’s something else that may take some getting used to: the gears are not so much in the tradition squared “U” formation. They are more of a “V”; very tight.

Again, this all takes some getting used to. It might literally require driving around the block a time or two, literally.

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

I suppose that’s sort of the qualifier for the manual transmission version of the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86:

You have to be pretty confident in your abilities to drive a stick shift to enjoy it. I feel this car is designed for that corner of the market that is still passionate about driving a stick. After all, if you’re like me, you probably see the ability of driving a stick shift as a lost art.

This car is not for most people, which is probably why you don’t see an abundance of them at Toyota/Scion dealerships. Chances are, if you’ve made it this far in to my review, you’re part of that demographic that the Scion FR-S is intended for.

If you’re curious about the size of the back seat, you came to the right place. I rode in it for about 4 miles round trip to and from the storage facility (we’re moving across town); with my dad driving and my wife up front.

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

I am 5’9” and 143 pounds. Sitting back in the seat, the top of my head was against the back windshield. Sitting straight up, my head cleared the ceiling by a half an inch.

As long as my knees weren’t together, leg room wasn’t an issue. I sort of have to straddle the front passenger seat; which was not pushed fully back; only about half the way.

And here’s a video I made on on that too:

A child will easily fit back there, given that your wife is okay with it…

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

Adults my size or smaller shouldn’t have too much of an issue for shorter trips. Granted, I don’t think anyone is expecting a “road trip worthy” back seat from the Scion FR-S.

After all, it’s a 2 door sports car. However, it does indeed have 4 seats and 4 seatbelts should the occasion arise.

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

Lastly, I want to point out the obscure fact that the motor for the Scion FR-S is made by both Toyota and Subaru!

If you’re familiar at all with Scion, you know they are the sportier, younger sister of Toyota.

So I wasn’t surprised to see a Toyota engine in it, but I definitely was surprised to see the Subaru name. Check out my video on that now:

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

Apparently, overseas, Toyota and Subaru team up for special projects; unlike here in America, where it appears those two companies are competitors.

Notice the “86” emblem on the sides of the car. I suppose that’s a sort of “Easter Egg” that points to the fact that outside of America, this vehicle would be a Toyota 86, or a Subaru BRZ.

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

As you can see from the dashboard display, I was averaging over 28 miles a gallon in this $25,000 sports car.

I get a free tank of gas with each car I review, and sadly, I didn’t even get through the first quarter tank. I could have easily spent another week driving this one!

2014 Scion FR-S: How To Shift In Reverse/Size Of Back Seat/Toyota Subaru Engine

At least my brother-in-law and I got a chance to take it out for a spin down Broadway in Nashville late Saturday night.

I’m all for answering any questions you have about the Scion FR-S. I really do feel there’s a lack of information on the Internet about this car, so I’m hoping to change that.

Thanks for reading!

And if you dig this t-shirt, click here to get it for the lowest price on Amazon!

shift

Folding Down/Up The 3rd Seats Of The 2014 Lexus GX 460

Third row seats in SUVs are so hot right now! And chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve recently purchased a 2014 Lexus GX 460; or you’re leasing or renting one.

Folding Down/Up The 3rd Seats Of The 2014 Lexus GX 460

Even though it would have been much more practical for my son to have sat in the 2nd row seat for the past week, which included a 5 hour round trip road trip, he liked the very back better.

He was able to have a place for his sippy cup, blanket, vintage Transformer toy from my own childhood, and his favorite stuffed animal which he clothed in his own underwear.

Folding Down/Up The 3rd Seats Of The 2014 Lexus GX 460

Now, let’s get to what you came for. In just a few simple picture collages, I hope to show you that it’s actually pretty simple to fold up and down the 3rd row seats of the 2014 Lexus GX 460.

The 1st step is to unlock the back door using your remote. Then pull the door handle open, on the left side of the license plate. Once you swing out the back door from left to right, you’ll see some interesting things.

Folding Down/Up The 3rd Seats Of The 2014 Lexus GX 460

On the door itself are two panels, which after you open them, you’ll discover a roadside tool set on the left and a 1st aid kit on the right.

Turn facing the front of the vehicle and on the right interior side you will see a convenient power outlet; AC 120 V, 100W. That’s the kind you need for your electronics!

If you face your left, you will discover a secret compartment to hide and store whatever you can imagine; whether it be rare golden coins lifted from the Titanic (I won’t ask how you got them), or simply just tickets to the upcoming Dave Matthews Band concert.

Oh yeah, the seats. Let’s learn how to fold them up and down now.

Pull the lower handle you see on the back of the seat. What that does is automatically pulls in the base of the seat in front you. See my “action shot” below.

Folding Down/Up The 3rd Seats Of The 2014 Lexus GX 460

Now you want to pull up the ribbon handle which allows you to fold in the head rest.

Folding Down/Up The 3rd Seats Of The 2014 Lexus GX 460

To actually fold the seat down, left up the latch on the back shoulder, then push the seat down until it becomes the floor.

Folding Down/Up The 3rd Seats Of The 2014 Lexus GX 460

Follow those same steps for the other 3rd row seat and you’re done. Your view should look like the upper left corner shot in the collage below.

So now, real quick, let me show you how to fold the seats back up:

Folding Down/Up The 3rd Seats Of The 2014 Lexus GX 460

Just lift up the “back shoulder latch” and push the seat up, while standing next the vehicle with the back passenger door open.

Now you need to pull out the base of the seat again by pulling a tray right underneath the seat base. And don’t forget about those head rests!

While it may have taken 2 minutes and 13 seconds for you to read and process this information, I’m confident that once you do it a few times, you’ll be able to fold the 3rd row seats up and down in less than 30 seconds.

Hopefully this is now officially the most entertaining review of how to fold down and up the 3rd row seats of a 2014 Lexus GX 460 that exists on the Internet!

That’s sort of what I was going for, at least… Thanks for reading!

Were you interested in what you just read? Was this post a strangely pleasant distraction to other things popping up on your Facebook or Twitter feed? Ya know… you could always like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or even subscribe to Family Friendly Daddy Blog by clicking on the appropriate icon on the left side of this page. No pressure though…

Syncing Your Phone To A New Lexus Vehicle

I’ve reviewed enough Lexus vehicles by now to have memorized the steps to sync my phone to the car. Now I want to help you learn how to do it. Okay, here we go…

Our 2nd Visit To Our “New House”/ 2014 Lexus GS 450h: Family Friendly Review

Oh, and instead of boring you with long explanations, I’d rather just show you in pictures. You might laugh at my phone, though. It’s not a smart phone.

So first go to “menu,” which is likely a button on the mouse; near the gear shifter.

Next click “phone.”

Meanwhile on your actual cell phone, go to “settings and tools,” then “bluetooth menu,” then “add new device.”

Syncing Your Phone To A Lexus

Once the “add new device” option shows up on your phone, direct your attention back to the Lexus, choosing to “register” your phone with the car.

Syncing Your Phone To A Lexus

From there, your phone and the Lexus will take a few moments to “discover, pair, and connect.”

Syncing Your Phone To A Lexus

After that, you should be good to go. The next time a call is made or received, you’ll be able to carry the conversation over the car speakers.

This whole process takes less than a minute once you know what you’re doing.

Try it out. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m here to help.

The New (and Younger) Buick, Equipped with 4G and OnStar

While I have been steadily (nearly weekly!) been reviewing cars from a family friendly perspective for a solid year now, it’s something I’ve actually been dabbling in before that; since November 2011.

The Rebranded Buick Line, Equipped With 4G and OnStar

Last November, GM flew me up to Detroit for the 2nd time so I could get a behind the scenes look at how OnStar works, as well as to learn about their newly rebranded Buick line. (See Born And Raise In South Detroit… Or I Just Drove Around There and Say Nice Things About Detroit.)

NOV 2013 Nick Shell Detroit OnStar

NOV 2013 Nick Shell Detroit car review

The first time they invited me to Detroit was back in November 2011 to check out the Chevy Traverse (see Rise Of The Dadmobile: The Chevy Traverse and GM Sees Beyond Stereotypes), which marked the very beginning of my now long list of car review stories.

NOV 2011 Nick Shell blogger GM Detroit

They also sent our family on a road trip from Naples to Key West to test drive the Chevy Volt as a family, back in December 2011. (See 7 Reasons This Dad Wants A Chevy Volt and My Son The Beach Bum… Not Really!)

DEC 2011 Naples FL Chevy Volt Nick Shell car review

DEC 2011 P2 DEC 2011 Naples FL Chevy Volt Nick Shell car review

Plus, I reviewed the 2015 Cadillac Escalade a couple of weeks ago. So over the past couple of years, I’ve become quite familiar with GM vehicles. In fact, my college car was a 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.

AUG 2014 2015 Cadillac Escalade

And when it comes to Buicks, my Italian grandfather loved them. He had owned both a Park Avenue and a LaSabre.

But the demographics of who is most attracted to Buicks has been shifting in recent years, as the age of the average Buick buyer has lowered.

So while I did get to drive the new Buick through Detroit last year, I have been eager to try one out where I live in Nashville, TN.

Especially after seeing that very relevant and witty Buick commercial…

Well, I got my wish. Our family had the privilege of getting to review/model a 2015 Buick LaCrosse, which let me point out, is 4G equipped.

I can honestly say that for our Labor Day Weekend road trip from Nashville to Chattanooga to my hometown of Fort Payne, AL, and back, our son (age 3 years, 9 months) has never had a more peaceful ride.

4G OnStar 2015 Buick LaCrosse

He was too busy playing learning games on the Kindle in the back seat.

Just like any cool coffee shop, certain GM vehicles now have Wi-Fi.

See my recent Syncing To 4G and Using OnStar Remote Link App on GM Vehicles to read what I wrote on how to connect to the 4G in these vehicles. It’s really simple, though.

As for me, I’m an OnStar abuser, if there is such a thing. I know that entering “Whole Foods, Chattanooga, TN” into the GPS is not that much of a chore…

4G OnStar 2015 Buick LaCrosse

But if all I have to do is press one button (the OnStar button) and ask the friendly Michigan-accented person on the other end to send “Whole Foods in Chattanooga, TN” to my GPS, then I’m going to do it every time.

(And by the way, I like the Michigan accent. Think: Tom Selleck.)

During Labor Day Weekend, I took advantage of OnStar’s help no less than 8 times. I learned not to be shy about it after my last Detroit trip to the OnStar Headquarters.

Needless to say, we had a very fun-filled and random road trip. Be on the look-out for my upcoming story, 4G Equipped 2015 Buick LaCrosse: Labor Day Weekend Family Friendly Review.