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Commute Appliance

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First up, the Murano hit 15,000 miles…

Dusty… Been driving around with the windows down. 🙂

I’ve had the Murano for three years now. Three years and three days to be exact – and in that time I’ve averaged about 416 miles per month.

Just not a lot of miles when all you do to drive back and forth to work, and work is three miles away from the house…

Anyway, this combination of low miles, a well documented and meticulous maintenance record, and the car being in pristine condition means that for the last few weeks I’ve been getting a lot of offers from dealerships to sell it or trade up.

See, there’s a ‘chip shortage’ that’s impacting the planet due to various socio-economic factors that have been ruining lives for over a year now. And being as every car these days is about 50% CPU it means they can’t build new cars – and if they can’t build new cars they can’t sell new cars… So every dealership only has like a dozen or two ‘new’ cars on the lot these days, and all of them are base-model junk that only the desperate will buy.

This means that dealerships are paying a premium for anything that isn’t base-model just to keep cars and customers flowing.

I have a tendency to buy top-trim versions of whatever I buy, and accordingly my Murano is the “Midnight Edition” model. 2018 was the last year for that trim level, so it’s pretty stand out and kind of desirable for anyone looking for a luxury crossover / SUV / station wagon-on-steroids…

So the offers I’ve been getting are pretty good…

The first one I took seriously was on Monday evening; a local Chrysler dealer that I purchased my old 300S through offered me $29,000 for the Murano in trade for a 2021 300S Hemi they had on the lot.

Thinking this would be a fun car even with gas being $4 a gallon, I went to go talk to them yesterday morning… And in the time it took me to get over there they sold the car to someone else.

See, new cars that aren’t base-model junk are pretty much Unicorns right now. The sales-guy I talked to at the Chrysler dealership mentioned that people are literally ordering cars and waiting months for delivery or buying cars in-transit sight unseen, so everything pretty much arrives at the dealership already sold.

The only reason the 300S they offered me was even there over the weekend is because it’s a $50,000 RWD sedan that gets 16MPG if you’re going downhill with a tailwind – and that doesn’t mesh well with Denver’s new California dude-bro electric car / bike / scooter demographic or the native ‘murica! AWD / 4WD SUV demographic.

I initially figured this was just a sales tactic; a variation of the old “I’ve had a dozen people look at this car today, so if you don’t buy it now it won’t be here later” ploy. But, no – he was telling me the truth. Everything in the showroom was sold and just waiting for people to pick them up…

The dealership had essentially become a place with a lot big enough for a car-carrier truck to deliver the stuff people have bought sight-unseen, and where they do the sales paperwork.

Anyway, I declined to order a $50,000 400HP RWD sedan and wait for delivery, and decided to just keep the Murano. So I headed back home with a stop at Taco Bell on the way.

When I arrived home there was an offer in my email from the dealership where I bought the Murano; $33,000…

I did some quick back-of-napkin math and figured this could be beneficial; the Murano is really nice, but it’s huge and doesn’t fit into the garage easily, and I simply don’t know enough people to make use of the plush leather back seats… Someone has sat in the back seat exactly once since I bought it in fact.

It’s also an amazing highway cruiser – which would be amazing if I ever went anywhere. And it made moving easy because it’ll comfortably swallow an entire house’s worth of knickknacks in one shot. But I’m tired of moving and if it happens again, I’m paying someone to deal with it for me…

So, maybe I could take advantage of this turn of events and down-size on the cheap.

A check of the dealership’s travesty of a website (Seriously, why do dealership websites suck so badly?) showed two options that were smaller than the Murano; the “Rogue” and the “Kicks” – the latter being a mid-$20k compact crossover with front wheel drive and 30+ MPG in-town… And with the top-trim and the extra bells and whistles would meet my sound-system and gadget requirements.

So I put my lunch in the fridge and drove back across town to the Nissan dealership to see what they had that I would be interested in…

Nothing.

They had one Rogue in the showroom, but it was 7-up colored and pretty basic – and they wanted too much for what it was so I skipped it. There was also a Kicks on the lot that had just arrived – also a base-model – so I could at least test drive one.

Unfortunately the Kicks was still in ‘shipping mode’ which is an anti-theft limp-mode and no one could figure out how to get it out of that mode… So my test drive was around the mostly empty lot.

It drove fine though, and while I was orbiting the lot they checked their other lots and found an electric-blue Kicks with all of the features I wanted up on 104th. So I said I was interested in the car up on 104th and would take it.

Fifteen minutes later I was informed that it had been sold while I was testing out the limp-mode base-model.

Sigh.

Over the next hour they search every dealership in a hundred mile radius, coming up with three cars that were optioned how I wanted – but it turns out they were all sold as well.

The general manager comes out to mention that he was really sorry and that he usually has 180 days of stock on hand, but these days it’s about five days because of the new car shortage and because anything that comes in has already been sold by the time it arrives… He reiterates that people are either ordering or buying cars that are still in-transit.

A few minutes later he returns and states that he’s located a car with the options I want, and it’s guaranteed I can buy it – because it’s still on the assembly line. This also means that it’s three weeks out from delivery. But if I wanted to replace the Murano, this was probably how it was going to go down pretty much anywhere I went.

So, ultimately I sold the Murano to the dealership last evening and bought a 2021 Nissan Kicks SR in ‘Boulder Gray’ with every possible option… A bit over $26,000.

Boulder Gray is basically battleship gray for Millenials by the way, and is apparently really popular as every auto maker offers it now. Being former Navy I find this milspec paint trend to be pretty comical, but it is what it is.

Anyway, it was an odd sale because I’m still driving the Murano for the next three weeks, but it has dealer plates on it and is basically a rental.

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