If you are like the Queen of England and own a fleet of Land Rover vehicles then you probably pay exuberant prices for parts and service for your Land Rover Discovery, LR3, Defender, Freelander, Series I, II and III or the new Evoque. An oil change at the only authorized Land Rover dealership in Calgary will run you about $250. For that, you get to wait in their comfortable sales centre on Glendeer Circle among all the new Land Rover vehicles. At your leisure, you can walk around and see what the new ones cost and how slick they look when they are new. If the car wash boy is available and doing nothing, he will wash your car but that’s not a guarantee. They say it’s weather permitting but many times, they opt out doing it because of some lame reason such as it’s too late or they can’t find the sponge.
If you have a nagging problem with your Land Rover, don’t sign up for a ‘search and rescue’ appointment with them unless you have deep pockets. They charge a whopping $139 per hour for service and charge you a minimum of one hour for a road test before peeking underneath the hood. And there is no guarantee that they will find it. Remember that they would have to find the problem first before they can assess the damage. The time clock will continue to wind down until they ring up the register. A simple hourly fix can easily turn into a half day charge. An oil charge service with a 10-point inspection is easily a $350 bill.
In Calgary, we are lucky to have TRS or The Rover Shop. Owned and operated by Vern, their bread and butter totally involves repairing Land Rovers and nothing else. They are not authorized by Land Rover Canada but Vern uses Land Rover authorized parts and he knows a lot about Land Rovers. For starters, he charges roughly $120 for an oil change and you will get an inspection of the vehicle as part of the service. His shop opens at 8am and if you drop off your vehicle overnight or first thing in the morning, he can get you out of there in half an hour. If you want him to find your nagging problem, you’re only paying $100 per hour and he will probably find it.
Hopefully the Queen of England sees this post. With the amount of Land Rovers she owns, she can save a royal mint on car maintenance.
Ferrari 458 Italia
I was wrong and I am admitting it. The 2012 Ferrari that I posted awhile back is probably a 2010 or 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia. Either way, I’m jealous (but not envious). It looks the same guy that was driving it this morning as he drove down Bow Trail towards downtown. He was alone this morning with no passenger.
As you can see from the photo, its a nice dark grey. Looking on the DuPont Registry, they range in price from $290,000.00 to $420,000.00. The interesting thing is, when you look at the mileage for used Ferraris, they are really low. I guess it’s not the same as shopping for a Toyota or Volkswagen. For instance, there is a red 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia Rosso Muguello with black leather for $299,900.00. There’s only 190 miles on it. Or a 2011 black one for the same price but with 768 miles on it.
And no, it’s out of my price range.
Mercedes Benz McLaren SLR
I was shopping for a car and came upon this in the showroom at Kelowna Mercedes-Benz. This is a street legal super car from Mercedes-Benz that goes from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. Its a Mercedes Benz McLaren SLR where the SLR stands for Sport, Light, Racing.
Who would buy this car? Can you imagine the stress when someone pulls up beside you waiting for you to floor it and you don’t want to? Come on, this is a downpayment to a house. I decided to see what my friends and family thought so I posted this photo on my Facebook wall. Everyone chimed in, including my nephew who said ‘Just do it.’. You can imagine how disappointed he was when I told him I couldn’t pull the trigger.
If you’re interested in buying this vehicle, please contact Brian Malmes in Kelowna. He can have it shipped to you in Calgary or anywhere in Canada. Add a comment to my blog and I will reply with his contact information. Brian is an awesome salesperson at Kelowna Mercedes Benz.
Hyatt Mercedes Service Center
First impressions count but I usually give multiple chances before writing anyone off. With just two Mercedes-Benz dealers in Calgary, I had to call one of them about installing a block heater cord (I know I had plenty of time before winter but in Calgary, you can never be safe. And I rather be safe than sorry.)
Both service departments answered my questions about the cord, lying to me that it only costs $40. I was ready to buy one and send it back to Kelowna for refund because I had paid $107 for it.
I asked whether someone like me could install it. Lone Star said it was easy. Hyatt Mercedes said it was a little tricky and if I dropped by, they would help me with it. I took them up on this after asking for directions to their new service centre. They said it was under the Crowchild bridge and they were right. To get there, drive west on 10th Avenue on the rightmost lane. Go past the two turnoffs, one to Bow Trail and the other to Crowchild Trail. Stay right and when you see Mercedes-Benz, go down the road to your right and you’re there.
Cody greeted me at the Hyatt Mercedes-Benz service bay, took my car to the back as I waited in the waiting area for about 15 minutes. When my car appeared, Cody popped my hood and showed me where it was installed and told me they installed it free of charge. For that, I am rating Hyatt Mercedes – AWESOME. Kudos to Cody for AWESOME customer service.
Tail lights of a Ferrari
Someone in the city is making too much money and he is driving around in a brand new 2012 Ferrari. I’ve seen him twice in the same week. He was driving up 8th Avenue towards 8th Street and today, he was going up Bow Trail towards Sarcee Trail. I came up alongside with my VW Passat and peeked in. He had a passenger with him and he wasn’t that old. He was probably in his mid 40’s and well dressed.
Once the light changed, he reved up his engine but he had nowhere to go. There were too much cars in front of him but he could have changed lanes and gave some of us a show. It would have been worth a ticket to rev up those engines and tear up Bow Trail.
The 2012 Ferrari starts at $257,000. The Ferrari FF model sells for $295,000. Who drives one of these around Calgary? Where does one buy a Ferrari in Calgary? I decided to look around on the internet and found that Kijiji has a listing of a few Ferrari’s ranging from $19,999.00 to $259,900.00. Ok, so I found private sellers of the vehicle. Next, I need to mortgage my house in order to afford one of these babies.
Next life, maybe.
Lone Rabbit at Hyatt Mercedes Benz
There is certainly a difference between buying a brand new Mercedes Benz and a certified preowned or used vehicle. At least when you shop at Hyatt Mercedes Benz on 9th Avenue and 15th Street. After dropping my wife off downtown, I decided to stop by and take a look at certified preowned GLK 350. When I arrived over by the new cars, the place was deserted. There was absolutely no movement there. Behind the showroom glass, there was nothing. A few desks and some leftover buckets. Perhaps there were some renovations going on that I wasn’t aware of. It didn’t look like it was open for business.
Almost behind the showroom and fenced in, are the certified preowned’s or used vehicles. I asked for a salesman to help show me the certified preowned GLK 350 that I saw online. He opened the vehicle and I sat in. It was filthy. There were coffee stains on the console and someone had been eating chips in the front driver’s seat. Are they seriously selling this car? Compare this to buying a BMW at Calgary BMW in the south. All their preowned’s are embedded. They even have a preowned BMW X3 in their showroom. I think this is great! Customers can still have their dignity when buying used as they are buying new.
People wanting to buy a car would like to see it clean and sparkling, even if it is used. There were stickies on the front hood and bumper which probably can be scraped off but why wouldn’t a dealer do this before showing it to the public? A quick vacuum and wipe would have done it for me. There were two chips in the windshield and the tires looked worn out. It’s amazing to imagine this was a 2011 vehicle.
We made an offer and he told us that his manager wouldn’t consider it. We gave him a comparison of another vehicle with lower mileage and more options and told him that this vehicle was overpriced. We volunteered our phone numbers and told him to contact us in case he changed his mind about presenting the offer to his manager. Would I recommend Hyatt for a used car – stay tuned.
Car Shopping for a Mercedes Benz
On Saturday, we decided to kick up some dirt and check out a new SUV. We drove down to Lone Star to look at a Mercedes Benz GLK 350. They had lots of certified preowned cars on the lawn and one of them caught my eye because it had just rained and one of their SUV’s had the moonroof wide open. I looked inside and sure enough, the leather was a little wet. I walked into the dealership and told one of the salesman. He went outside and took a look then came back inside and didn’t even flinched. There you have it – I did a good deed and didn’t even get a thank you!
I went back to looking at the vehicles and trying to look like I could afford one of these cars. There was a brand new GLK 350 in the showroom with a price tag of around $53k. It was dark grey metallic with black leather inside. And it had the new car smell which I love. I decided to page an old friend who I bought a vehicle from way back when and was a big man at Lone Star. His name is John and luckily he remembered us or he pretended he did. Anyways, he wanted to show us the GLK 350 close up and wanted us to test drive it. Next thing you know it, he was driving it hard down Glenmore Trail. The thing had some power, plenty of it to easily take anyone. We were going about 60km when he said by the time we get to that green sign, I’m going to brake and he did. He took his hands off the steering wheel and stood on the brake pedal. The whole car stopped on a dime. It didn’t sway or fall off its axel. Impressive.
Next, it was my turn. I wasn’t going to give it the same test but I wanted to see how smooth it was to drive it. I loved it. It had plenty of power and it took curves really well. It’s not as high as the BMW X3 but its higher than most sedans and about average in the SUV’s.
John’s recommendation was to take a new basic 2012 model for about $45k. With taxes and everything, it would be $50k. That’s a little more than a 2012 Subaru Forester Limited but it is more solid than a tin can.