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Discussion Starter #1
Being in Idaho, dealers do not prioritize electric vehicles. I recently found a dealership near me with the PHEV on the lot and will be driving farther for a proper test drive. I came in with my homework done--I knew another nearby dealer had a notably better advertised price for the EX Premium, but without sunroof/LED map lights. I wanted a test drive, as I had driven the HEV, but not the PHEV, and I wanted them to see how close they could come to the same discounts as the other dealer.
The test drive started with an uncharged battery (pretty much fully drained), with the salesman telling me that it would drive the same in HEV mode. Strike one. He explained that they don't really keep plug-ins charged, since they'd just lose their charge when people test-drive. Strike two. When he took the advertised discounts of the other local dealer to his manager, he didn't come back to me with any price negotiation...just told me they could not get close. I thanked him for his time and contacted the other dealer to ensure they would plug one in for me to try. Hoping they can manage that.
Still trying to decide if I want to wait for the 2020 (hoping we get the paddle shifters and 10.3" screen here in the US) or buy the 2019 and call it good, but it is even harder to make the jump when the dealers don't give it a proper test drive.
 

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Can you go to a different dealer? I drove from TN to KY because that was the closest dealer that had a EX Premium PHEV. It was the Kia Store in Louisville and they were awesome. I asked them to have it charged up when I arrived (they did). I asked them to let me test drive for at least 30 min (I drove for almost 45). And they gave me a killer lease deal ($3000 off MSRP + the $5680 Kia lease cash which is essentially the tax credit taken off the front end since the consumer cannot take it on leases). Don’t be afraid to drive to a dealer a little further away to get the experience and deal you want. It’s a big purchase and they should treat you like it. Most do, but obviously, as you are finding out some don’t.
 

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I had the same issue with the first Kia dealer I went to. They had several PHEVs in stock, but the one I wanted to try had no charge. We checked several other cars and found one that had at least some charge, and I drove that one. But when it came time to talk numbers, they couldn't come close to what I was willing to do. They were nice about it, but didn't appear to be willing to even attempt it. Drove to another dealer and they were willing to work at it. It took a while, but they finally came back with numbers I was willing to take, and leased it right then.

I can't say I agree that it drives the same in HEV mode compared to EV mode with a charged battery. The PHEV is a little lacking in acceleration while in EV mode, but with the engine running it has plenty of go. You'd never experience that in HEV mode. You have to drive in EV mode to understand its limitations and capabilities. That's a tradeoff you have to decide is worth it for you. For me, I would prefer a little more EV power, but am still satisfied overall. I don't regret trading my Outback for it at all. Especially since it's been 5 weeks since I put gas in it and it's still over 1/2 full. :)
 

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Definitely call ahead for a PHEV test drive to make sure it's charged, and to let them know you will want to take it for more than a lap around the block. And don't expect the sales guy to know anything about the PHEV.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I realize I did not mention that I already scheduled a drive with a charged battery at the next nearest dealer, where it will be notably more affordable, too.
 
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