A couple of weeks ago, in my quest to call attention to terrible dealership markups, I covered a few on the newly released Hyundai Santa Cruz. Hyundai teased us for years with its compact pickup and when it finally starting appearing at many of them starting asking outrageous prices for them. One dealer said “hold my beer” and has outpriced them all.
Riverside Hyundai in Riverside, California is the dealership I bought my car from a couple of years back. They’ve been good. Service always takes care of me (Currently dealing with an oil consumption issue on my car. Down nearly three quarts in a thousand miles!) and I got a good deal on my car. In the last few years though, as Hyundai churned out hot new products like the Veloster N, Palisade and the redesigned Sonata and Elantra, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: they started to mark up every new car in their inventory. From base Elantras to fully loaded Palisades, you aren’t paying sticker on anything. It’s gotten worse with the new Santa Cruz.
I was at the dealer this weekend waiting for my car to be serviced when I noticed there were four Santa Cruz in their inventory. All had markups but one is the actual highest priced Santa Cruz in the country. It’s a loaded Limited trim the dealer is using as a showroom centerpiece. MSRP on it is $41,130. Riverside Hyundai’s price? A whopping $53,823.
So what are they charging you for? On top of the $10,000 market adjustment, it’s just bullshit extras no customer would ever need. A grand for paint protection? Hell no. Five hundred bucks for window tint that I can get done for half that in East L.A.? Big nope. Then there’s Theft Patrol, which seems to be some kind of LoJack. That’s $1,200 for something no one asked for.
If these pricing trends continue, Hyundai could find itself with a DOA model. Dealers are asking big truck for money for a vehicle Hyundai describes as a Sport Adventure Vehicle. This dealer is betting on buyers that will pay a premium to have to have the first of something. Do they exist for the Santa Cruz?