Driving a Loaner: Best Advert for a New Car

I had to take my 2010 Forrester in for a check engine light issue, and got a loaner: a brand new Crosstrek with under 1000 miles on it. Very snappy to drive. Subaru technology has been upgraded a lot in the last 8+ years. The car sells for the mid-20’s, and my car is a primo trade-in: 33,000 miles, and I’ve kept it in mint condition. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with my car except that I’ve had it for going on 9 years and I feel like something new. My hesitation is that I put so little mileage on a car, it hardly seems worth the purchase when my current car gets me around just fine.

I have to say, though, that giving service customers a brand new car to drive is a pretty smart advert for a new car. Stay tuned. 🙂

P.S. The check engine light issue turned out to be a low tire pressure light issue instead — solved with a little air in the tires. I had Googled “what does check engine light mean?” when the light went on. Instead should have Googled “what does check engine light look like?” Then I might have been pointed in the other direction, to the tire inflation. All good. But the car was due for a major routine service, so I had them do that and the service visit wasn’t wasted.

I’m interested that I now go right to Google on my phone, instead of taking the print manual out of the glove compartment and looking up what the various dashboard lights mean.

On pickup, the service guy said the car is in impeccable shape for a vehicle in its 9th season, and that I’d be crazy to trade it in.

I like the look of those very cool wheels, though. 🙂 Haven’t entirely given up the thought.

4 thoughts on “Driving a Loaner: Best Advert for a New Car

  1. My sister brought a Cross trek this summer. She loves it. It’s easy to drive and park. She was driving Toyota Siena which was hard to park. It is snazzy looking. I want to see the new Subaru Ascent. I often have to take more than 4 people.

  2. for Katie: Good to know. The car was fun to drive. I was always a person who got a new car every three years, so I have no idea if keeping a 9 year old car is reasonable, even one in mint condition. I put fewer than 3000 miles on a car per year, and I have no idea how many more years I’ll be able to drive. Really up in the air on this one.

  3. Speaking from inside the business, the Subaru service loaner program (SSLP) has been a fantastic success, and not just for advertising new cars and all the new safety gear. The other side is these loaner cars become a great source of barely-used cars perfect for certified pre-owned marketing when they’re done being loaners (sometime between 6 months and a year later). If you’re used to all the space in your Forester I’m not sure you’d like living with the Crosstrek every day. I tried to go from an Outback down to a Crosstrek and loved the car but missed the space and ride of the larger wagon and ending up going into another Outback. That being said the Crosstrek is a great size for a city like Seattle.

    for Katie: The Ascent is absolutely gorgeous and beautiful to drive. The ride is smooth and quiet, and despite being big the driving characteristics are unquestionably Subaru. The handling is tight, and it accelerates and brakes like a smaller, lighter vehicle. I’d love to get one for myself but haven’t managed to justify the size and price… yet.

  4. for Ben: Have been thinking about contacting you re car decision. Will email separately. The Forrester has been great in terms of space. Sara and Ben borrowed it in the spring and fit 20 bags of mulch in the back — amazing. It’s a great car, and whatever I do, I think it will stay in the family. Thanks for weighing in here — insider view most welcome. 🙂

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