A bit of an unexpected story about our primary towing vehicle that I thought I would share.. . .
The Admiral uses our 2004 Cadillac Escalade as her daily car. A week ago, Friday morning, the water pump crapped out, spewed AF all over the place in the engine compartment and shorted things out in the electrical system, trashing the battery . . . all this while on her way into work.
The car came to rest about 3 miles from home. I came to the rescue, Triple A was called, and I had them tow the car to a local repair shop that we use.
That afternoon and $1,000 later the car was fixed, but the Admiral & I decided that she needed a more reliable car, as the Caddy seems to be in the repair shop on a regular basis. The next day (Saturday) we went to the local Ford dealer and drove a 2018 Ford Explorer XLT. It was pretty nice, they also had a 2016 Platinum Edition CPO w/ 21K miles for about the same $$$$$, but the color (metallic Brown) was a no-go with the Admiral.
We did not talk any numbers on the car, but learned through talking with the salesperson and checking online that the remaining 2017 models (new) were being given steeper incentives
. Also, a 2016 or 2017 CPO would also be a good option from a cost perspective. Later Saturday afternoon, we scoured the Internet for any remaining new 2017's. Blue, White, Silver, or Red were acceptable colors for the Admiral. I figured that the option packages with the heated leather seats, Class III Towing, and there was a Technology bundle that got you Navigation and Blind Spot & cross traffic indicators were the best option combination for us. The vehicles are rated to tow up to 5,000 lbs, which would be fine for the sailboat. (3.5 V6 w/ 290 HP)
We found that 'Herb Chambers' Ford had a bunch of new 2017 remaining on their lots (They have 2 Ford dealerships in the Boston area) and had 1 or 2 in the option combination we were looking for. So, we put an inquiry online about a 2017 Explorer XLT - Blue Jeans Metallic. I had also signed up for TrueCar and put a few inquiries in . . . BTW don't sign up for TrueCar unless you like to talk to car salespeople, as you will get a plethora of calls, emails, texts, etc.
Anyway, a short time later the folks from Herb Chambers called and emailed a 'price' on the car. By then it was about 6:00 PM and the dealers were all closing for the day. We also got a response from another dealer that supposedly had 2 cars that matched our desired configuration, but upon talking with them, the cars were gone.
Sunday, we had a bunch of stuff to do in the AM and the afternoon was the AFC Championship game. So, rather than looking at the car, 'Herb' said we could put a 'hold' on the car and come in on Monday after work. So, we did. Our concern at that point was, if we could not find a 2017 XLT with leather, towing, and tech bundle, the next steps up were in the 'Limited' series, which were a whole bunch more money. The 2018's of similar configuration did not have as steep incentives, and they also had eliminated the Blind Spot/Cross traffic feature from the tech bundle. I was just concerned that when we got to the dealer, that the car would not actually be there and we'd be in a 'bait & switch' play.
The next day (Monday) after work, we went to the dealership and the car was there . . . no bait & switch . . .
We drove the car and it was nice. We had them take a look at our Escalade and work up some numbers. At that point we came to realize that the Caddy had a minor accident back in 2008 ( a La CARFAX report )
. The car was previously the FIL's car and he gave it to us a few years ago. Although the car had been in the family since new, we were unaware of the blemish on the car history report. So, that took a little bit of air out of our negotiating ability, but we came up with some decent numbers that were pretty much what we expected.
The car was going to be in the Admiral's name (since I already have 3 cars in my name), but at that point we realized her drivers license had expired last week . . .
Anyway, they did the paperwork and the Admiral was going to renew her driver's license first thing Tuesday (the following day), and we would pick up the car all prepped, inspected, and registered Tuesday evening.
That all worked out and we drove the car home the following night. I got to say, I was not too keen on the 'uni-body' versions of the Explorers, having done away with the truck-based chassis, but this car/SUV is really nice. . . feature rich and very comfortable.
So, we got
2017 Ford Explorer XLT Metallic Blue w/ black leather interior - 7 passenger.
Premium Audio System
Dual Zone temperature control
10-way power seats
Heated seats and steering wheel
Sync 3 system, which is great as we took phone calls via the radio on the way home.
Blind Spot system
Foot Activated lift gate
Forward Sensing system
Class III Towing
Intelligent 4 wheel drive
Etc. . . .
We still have our older Explorer (2004), so we will probably keep both for a while.
Here are a few pics:
The Escalade, now traded-in for the Ford. 6.0 V8 360 HP 9,000 lb towing.
Here is the new tow vehicle - 2017 Ford Explorer. 3.5 V6 290 HP 5,000 lb. towing
Here is the older (2004) Ford Explorer that we still have. 4.6 V8 249 HP, 7,000 lb. towing
We just got the 2004 Ford its annual inspection sticker, so it's good for another year. Probably will keep it at the summer house as a beach mobile and for trips to the dump/landfill.
Anyway, we certainly were not thinking about getting a new car/SUV tow vehicle a couple of weeks ago, but stuff happens. There goes the new boat fund . . .