If you read my first post about my current car search you know I’m an Anglophile and my last two cars were British. So on a recent snowy Sunday (car dealers in Colorado are not open on Sundays) my wife and I drove to the closest MINI dealer to take a look at the 2016 Clubman. It was just the small station wagon I was looking for and Mary didn’t hate it. And that’s when I ran headlong into dealer math.
Let me digress a bit: Before Mary purchased her 2006 SLK but way before Diesel-gate, she really want to own a new Beetle convertible. And why not? Beetle coupes were leasing for $199/month. But after a much too long conversation at the VW dealership, the salesman said the Convertible lease would be $420/month.
And so with MINI USA advertising MINI hardtops for $199/month, how much would a Clubman lease for? The answer turned out to be $374. No, I’m not stupid and know the VW convertible was more expensive than the coupe and a Clubman costs more than a hardtop, but that much more? Apologists (and dealer salespeople) will say that’s because those $199 rates were incentive deals for specific models and they may be partially right. But I have another theory: The car you want always costs more.
If I had wanted a red MINI hardtop, the sales dude would say that lower rate was only good for a black hardtops, the red model is $374. That’s dealer math for you…
And no, I still haven’t found a replacement for my Range Rover. The search goes on.