IMBA/Subaru Purchase Experience- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    IMBA/Subaru Purchase Experience

    If anyone is interested in purchasing a new Subaru via the IMBA VIP Program, I have to report that it works quite well.

    I called IMBA and had the proper paperwork in a few days. You have to tell them the dealer you want to use but aside from that, it's quite simple.

    Dealer invoice prices are readily available on line so you have a very good idea of dealer cost before you make your decision.

    The Subaru dealer I worked with, Subaru of Morristown (NJ), had a book with dealer costs which matched the costs I had. You also get all accessories at cost so this is a good time to add anything you might want. In my case, a sub-woffer and bike racks. The racks Subaru provides are Yakima. I suggest you go with the round bar setup as it is much sturdier than the standard flat bar.

    My only negotiating point was the trade-in value of the '99 VW Passat I was getting rid of. As it turned out, the dealer I wanted to work with offered $2000 more than another dealer in Parsippany (Loman). I may have had to get another VIP form if I wanted to change dealers but you can get them faxed so that is not a problem.

    Oh, one more thing. The VIP program is administered by Subaru of America, not IMBA. IMBA just passes on the information to Subaru. It was pretty transparent though.

    Yeah, really one more thing. I ended up with an Outback Wagon, LL Bean edition, in Willow Opal Green and am quite happy with it.
    REV

  2. #2
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    Cool, how much you save? If you don't mind me asking.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  3. #3
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    I did better with internet shopping

    I'm glad it worked out for you. I used several of the web-based buying services (Autobytel, Cars.com, etc.) and got a few delaer quotes below invoice before I left home. I didn't use the IMBA program. No matter. The real negotiating point of most car deals is the value of your trade in if you have one. That's where the dealer tries to jack you.

  4. #4
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    About $2700

    I don't have the figures with me but about $2700 list plus and additiona $1500 incentive from Subaru so closer to $4200 off list and more money than I expected on the trade-in

  5. #5
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    True enough on trade-in

    I used the VIP progam as my base with the trade-in as the viable. The dealer I went with gave me $600 more than I expected for a car that was a piece of junk regardless of mileage and appearances. The dealer who bragged about his low prices offered $2000 less.

    I played up the 4-cylinder aspect of the Passat and the fact that it got over 30 mpg which made it worth more in todays market. However, realistically, the car was a piece of sh!t built by a drunken robot on Monday with many repairs waiting around the next corner. No way did I want to get involved with a private sale and have to be responsible.

    This all worked very well for me.

  6. #6
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    I am a Subaru dealer in PA. The VIP program is very easy to use. As stated, the biggest factor would be your trade in value which can vary greatly on these deals b/c of it already being a fairly low margin on the new car. I'm pretty new to this board as I really just started getting back into biking this summer, but if anyone wants to hit me up with any questions about Suby's, I'll be happy to answer them for you.

  7. #7
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    It's not hard to get a Subaru at invoice--at least not in Colorado. I didn't use the IMBA program and still got a great deal (OBXT at invoice and trade worth 27% more than Edmunds value).

    The restrictions they place on the program are the main reason why I did not use it. I had already test driven the car before getting serious so I would have had to IMBA a different dealer which didn't seem fair to the local dealer (which I like a lot). I was unsure if IMBA got a cut of the sale, or if it is mearly a value add for members which would have influenced my descision.

  8. #8
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    i did d deal in 02. now 80,000 miles later i'm still fairly happy w/ d car. but d brakes suck. the hwy gas mileage i just validated between st louis and temple, tx to be 26 MPG--better than i had always thought.

    i didnt have a trade in as the wife totaled the sunfire. but d transaction between imba and subie was rapid. in fact after going to d dealer i took d car home right off.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba
    If I ended up with an Outback Wagon, LL Bean edition, in Willow Opal Green and am quite happy with it.
    REV
    I got the same one. =) H6 vs. turbo 4 banger was an easy descion for me.
    b

  10. #10
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    What restrictions?

    I used the dealer I wanted and IMBA gets $100.

    Also, I work in procurement and "everyone can get a better deal." I'm used to hearing that. Geez.

  11. #11
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    Originally wanted the Turbo....

    Couldn't get the color I wanted, the H6 was on the lot and I got a better deal taking it than waiting. Love it.

  12. #12
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    I have a 2005 2.5i outback and love mine. I know you will love yours. Subarus are really great cars (I have stickers to prove this...) and fit mountainbikers quite well. Very spacious, very good ground clearance ( ~9 inches), awesome awd system...I use mine all the time for skiing trips, camping, biking...but the best thig happened today. On the way to my new job 40 miles away with yakima on top and two trays I got 31mpg there and back. As the price of gas keeps going up and up, I am more aware of my mpg's. Dont expect great gas milage untill around 8-10k miles though. New I was getting around 26 mpg freeway, around 5k miles 28mpg and now at 8-9k miles I am easily reaching in the 31mpg range. Not bad for 3200lbs car, auto with AWD.......oh and Congratulations!!

  13. #13
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    Thanks for sharing that.
    When we got a new car a few years ago I got the IMBA letter before we went to look at the subaru. It was very easy, despite the salesman having no clue what it was and had to call subaru. in fact, that particular salesman didnt have clue about anything.

    here's my question: the salesman seemed sort of deflated when we presented the letter. do the salesman lose out on the deal? Or does subaru corporate take care of him?

    what's funny with this story is that we test drove a legacy wagon, and then a passat wagon, and got the passat. no problems with it. i really loved the red legacy GT wagon... but they are $$$.

    it's funny how personal anecdotal evidence steers a purchase.

    before we got the car, we swapped cars with a friend with a suby wagon for a week, then with a different friend with a passat wagon. both were used with about 60k on them.

    the subary felt like a rattle trap, with lots of wierd grinding noises. the passat felt smooth and nice and newish. passat is not AWD and uses less gas. we dont believe in AWD, we use snow tires.

    but it could have been an opposite experience just as easily!

    good luck with the new car. hopefully it wasnt also built by a hungover robot.
    Only boring people get bored.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba
    Couldn't get the color I wanted, the H6 was on the lot and I got a better deal taking it than waiting. Love it.
    the H6 has better gas milage, much less road noise (at least in the cars I drove, both had the high end interior) plus the highway speed RPM is much lower with the H6.

    I wanted an H6 with the base interior, but was in the wait 4-6 months and pay more respectivly for it. so LL is cool with me. I just won't drive to freeport with it =)
    b

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba
    I used the dealer I wanted and IMBA gets $100.

    Also, I work in procurement and "everyone can get a better deal." I'm used to hearing that. Geez.
    Quote Originally Posted by IMBA
    IMBA members are now eligible for Subaru's VIP Partners Program. This program allows IMBA members to purchase or lease any new Subaru vehicle at dealer invoice cost. Savings may be as much as $1,300 - $3,000 off the manufacturer's suggested retail price, depending on model selected. To take advantage of this benefit, IMBA members must contact the IMBA office BEFORE shopping for a Subaru.
    Since I had already visited my dealer and done a test drive before getting serious about buying the car, I could not do the IMBA thing (at my dealer at least). Pretty big restriction IMHO. Not that I'm complaining about the program, I'm just pointing out why it was not an option for me. The fact that I got the same price is icing on the cake (although I do feel guilty that IMBA didn't get $100--I'll have to give them more $$ next time I renew my membership).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianc
    I got the same one. =) H6 vs. turbo 4 banger was an easy descion for me.
    Nice! It was an easy descision for me too--I love being able to fly past normally asperated cars on the drive up I-70. The gas mileage leaves a little to be desired, but a quick press on the accelerator after filling up makes me forget about the pain.

  17. #17
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    I'll keep this in mind for my next car purchase. I always prefer an easy transaction.

    But as others mentioned, I also got my subaru below invoice pretty easily, about $800 less than invoice. After doing research on various websites, finding out the lowest price people paid on other message boards, I emailed the dealership saying I wanted to pay $x, they said ok, I went in, they had the car pulled around out front waiting for me, and I bought the car for $x. Smoothest car deal I have ever been through.

    2003 WRX Wagon.

  18. #18
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    I still own an '00 Passat

    While the '99 was very undependable (65k), the 2000 has 104k miles and is rattle free and never seems to break. The robot had sobered up by the time it built the 2000.

    As for the Passat wagon, I do like it but after 27 years I was due for something other than a VW. I find the cost to maintain a VW to be quite high. This is my first AWD, my first automatic and my first car with more than 4-cylinders. Up to this point, I too, used snow tires on all four wheels in the winter and never got stuck but I also am spending alot of time in Canada and Vermont during the winter these days and decided that AWD was not a bad thing to have.

    As for mpg, that was pretty much a non-issue. I take a train to work so most of the miles I put on a car are discretionary and an additional $1/gallon or 5 less mpg is not going to effect me as much as other people.

    Finally, what pushed me over the top to a Subaru was my son's experience with his STi. He really does race it on Sunday (top import at the track) and drive it to work on Monday. If he can't kill a car, it won't be killed by me. He has previously killed a supercharged
    VR6 GTI and an older VR6 Passat.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    here's my question: the salesman seemed sort of deflated when we presented the letter. do the salesman lose out on the deal? Or does subaru corporate take care of him?
    Depends on the dealer, most likely. Car salespeeps generally earn x% of the net proft on a car, and that x% goes up with each car they sell.

    For instance, sell 5 cars a month, get 5% of net. Sell 10 cars a month, get 10% of net, etc etc.

    That was quite a few years ago though... Our sales guy, when we bought our Subie, brought out the invoice book, said here's the one for your car, you pay invoice minus rebate, ok?

    That was certainly ok!
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Bubba
    While the '99 was very undependable (65k), the 2000 has 104k miles and is rattle free and never seems to break. The robot had sobered up by the time it built the 2000.

    .
    that's cool. dont want to turn into a discussion about cars. subies are great cars for sure. except for that ugly new SUV!

    enjoy the new ride!
    Only boring people get bored.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser
    Depends on the dealer, most likely. Car salespeeps generally earn x% of the net proft on a car, and that x% goes up with each car they sell.

    For instance, sell 5 cars a month, get 5% of net. Sell 10 cars a month, get 10% of net, etc etc.

    That was quite a few years ago though... Our sales guy, when we bought our Subie, brought out the invoice book, said here's the one for your car, you pay invoice minus rebate, ok?

    That was certainly ok!
    so the dealership still profits nicely, even at invoice? what exactly is 'dealer invoice'?
    Only boring people get bored.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    so the dealership still profits nicely, even at invoice? what exactly is 'dealer invoice'?
    My understanding, is that a dealer profits much more from the repair facilities, body shop, parts sales, etc than car sales. Selling cars (and warranties) points consumers towards those higher profit areas at the dealership.

    I'm sure there's tons of info over at edmunds.com about this, selling cars, etc.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  23. #23
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    Invoice Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by grrrah
    But as others mentioned, I also got my subaru below invoice pretty easily, about $800 less than invoice. After doing research on various websites, finding out the lowest price people paid on other message boards, I emailed the dealership saying I wanted to pay $x, they said ok, I went in, they had the car pulled around out front waiting for me, and I bought the car for $x. Smoothest car deal I have ever been through.

    2003 WRX Wagon.



    Same here - got my '05 WRX wagon for a few hundred below dealer invoice w/ out the IMBA deal. Plus at the time they were giving $1500 cash back.
    Here is a great site for looking up the current and past models' invoice price of subies.

    http://www.cars101.com/subaru_prices.html

    Invoice prices are what the dealer acutally pays for the car BEFORE any mfg. kickbacks.
    Keep in mind the $625 "dest" or destination charge is for Washington state. Other areas will be different.

    I bought it a year ago, still love it as much as the day I picked it up... turbo, AWD, and 3 bikes on top - and damn it's a fun car to drive!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    here's my question: the salesman seemed sort of deflated when we presented the letter. do the salesman lose out on the deal? Or does subaru corporate take care of him?
    We used the program last year and were happy with it. We figure it saved us the time and aggravation of haggeling. I asked my saleswomen outright what she gets. She said $200 from corporate. But she also didn't waste her time going back and forth.
    People don't think it be like it is, but it do - Oscar Gamble

  25. #25
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    Am I the only one

    I must be the only one with a bad Subaru experience. My first car out of college (okay, it was quite a few years ago '86). I spent all my summer work money on a new XT 4WD Turbo. The one that looked like a wedge. Cool car, fast as hell, and a dash board like a video game. The timing belt snapped at 30,000 miles! It was off warranty, Subaru wouldn't help defray the repair, and $1000 later the car never ran the same again.

    Maybe they have gotten better? I'm just afraid to even go there again.

  26. #26
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    Suby

    Worked out great on the last purchase, outback wagon. With the IMBA deal got the car at invoice, plus the applicable rebate off ($1,200) and another $400 off from the dealer. All in a 10 min transcation. Not bad!

    Mitch, the XT was a problem child from what I heard. My current subaru has 65K miles in two years and all on normal oil changes and one set of tires!

    Bob W.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDiamond
    I bought it a year ago, still love it as much as the day I picked it up... turbo, AWD, and 3 bikes on top - and damn it's a fun car to drive!
    Hey, 05 WRX wagon buddy!

    A bunch of the Subaru wagon guys are running 'wagon mafia' stickers from the following site: www.wagonmafia.com

    Get one!

  28. #28
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    Subaru Outback Yahoo Group

    Soobie owners might want to check out this group on Yahoo: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/outback/. It's very informative and a good source of Subaru information.
    free-flowing meat waves of possibility...

  29. #29
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    I had a 97 Passat and HATED it...we had just come from a brand new 99 wolfsburg golf and it was such a good car...but circumstances at the time were not so good....regret the decision everytime I drive.

  30. #30
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    actually no..

    ..the brakes squeeled from day 2. all dealers said was nornmal. finally i paid like 7 or 8 hundred bucks to an oahu mechanic in waipahu who actually did the work and was quiet---for a year---now back to squeeling blah blah

    otherwise subie has been good.


    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers
    I must be the only one with a bad Subaru experience. My first car out of college (okay, it was quite a few years ago '86). I spent all my summer work money on a new XT 4WD Turbo. The one that looked like a wedge. Cool car, fast as hell, and a dash board like a video game. The timing belt snapped at 30,000 miles! It was off warranty, Subaru wouldn't help defray the repair, and $1000 later the car never ran the same again.

    Maybe they have gotten better? I'm just afraid to even go there again.

  31. #31
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    Being European I was a big VW fan. I had an '84 Jetta GL that was just indestructible. The car never really "died" just slowly deteriorated after some 220k miles. It still ran and passed a California smog check but needed a new clutch and a set of tires. At this point it was some 18 years old and not worth putting money in. When I sold it the oil pressure would drop to zero at idle speed but the car ran perfect. Amazing. I then bought an '89 which had more vacum hoses that anything I have ever seen before but it was not as good as my '84. Finally my '95 was just junk and I sold it and swiched to Subaru. I have noticed a decline in VW quality as the years go on and they add more and more electronics. That seems to be their weak point. Also the fact that they make them in Mexico does not help reputation and reliability IMHO. I love my Subaru but I do have to admit while a nice car, it does not have that Euro quality/sturdy interior that my '84 jetta had.....

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoterryh
    Soobie owners might want to check out this group on Yahoo: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/outback/. It's very informative and a good source of Subaru information.
    www.nasioc.com, www.legacycentral.com (older legs), www.i-club.com, www.legacygt.com

  33. #33
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    Ok ok, enough, how about some subi pics?

    here is mine. I love the Turbo.


  34. #34
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    Mine:



    From this morning when I was leaving for work:


  35. #35
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    just an update--then subie has over 125K on it now and going strong. the kid just turned 16--I may pass it off to him within the year and get another through IMBA VIP again.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr
    i did d deal in 02. now 80,000 miles later i'm still fairly happy w/ d car. but d brakes suck. the hwy gas mileage i just validated between st louis and temple, tx to be 26 MPG--better than i had always thought.

    i didnt have a trade in as the wife totaled the sunfire. but d transaction between imba and subie was rapid. in fact after going to d dealer i took d car home right off.

  36. #36
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    resurrecting....

    Well the boy needs a ride to college so he gets the 02 Outback later this month. I drive a company Ram and the wife inherited a low mileage Sonota. The ram I am authorized 10% personal miles on besides the gas paid for commute and business miles. But much over the 10% I feel need to pay for some gas. But really I just WANT a new Subie as my primary biking vehicle and can afford to plunk d cash 100% down.

    I just sent the email to IMBA SUbaru VIP program and will be visiting Subaru of Georgetown TX soon. Thinking 2103 2.5 Limited in either skylight blue or arctic ice. No special packages required...




    Quote Originally Posted by ArmySlowRdr View Post
    just an update--then subie has over 125K on it now and going strong. the kid just turned 16--I may pass it off to him within the year and get another through IMBA VIP again.

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