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Chevy Trailblazer/GMC Envoy/Olds Bravada Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I'm not good at figuring out the math of monthly payments (I save for 10+ years and pay cash to avoid having to figure this stuff out!).

    But it seems like it'd be better to figure out the price of the SUV and work that number and then apply the payments. Dealers love deals like yours because they can hide all kinds of stuff in there and tell you it's just another $20 a month (and throw in another 3 months on the back end). It gets confusing and you want to know the bottom line before you bring out your checkbook! Here's a couple of links:

    Low Down, Low Payments

    Edmunds' Financial Calculators

    I wouldn't get too hung up on the August 2nd deadline either. The incentives may change and the $5,000 Smartbuy incentive disappears on Aug 2nd (unless GM extends it), and the colors/options will change and the '05's will start arriving making your selection smaller, but it's just a car. Detroit is building lots of them every day and the dealer will have another deal for you on August 3.

    The sales staff will try to pin you down today, but you have all the time in the world to find a great deal (unless your current ride is on its last legs or something). And if you are willing to walk away from the Smartbuy, the dealer may sweeten the deal even more to get you to buy today.

    Steve, Host
  • eruss44eruss44 Posts: 13
    Thanks,Steve,for your insight on my question, I appreciate your input...The monthly payments that I told you about were firm (out-the-door)pricing with any/all other things included(TTL,etc...)No hidden stuff...With that in mind,do you still think that this is a fair monthly payment??? The salesman(a longtime golf partner of mine)said that if the programs weren't any better the day after the Aug.2nd "deadline" he would still honor these terms for a week or so...Does this sound any more fair to you??? I've known him for years and several of my other friends have had favorable results with him...In addition, he sold my girlfriend her car a couple of years ago....If you could, please reply back to me on this subject...If anyone else would like to throw me an opinion on this, it would be greatly appreciated..Thanks, ~Eric~
  • imadad2imadad2 Posts: 79
    You do not mention what the vehicle would be worth when the balloon payment is due. That to me is they key to these offers. If you are paying $300 a month for three years and then still owe 20 thousand plus on the truck balloon payment, you are getting a raw deal. Interest rates get associated with smart buys, and unless you get a rate that is around 5%, do not do a smartbuy. You would be stupid to pay the balloon payment, and if you decide to trade the vehicle in, you might be inside out. If you cannot afford the $500 a month for a 30K SUV, than make sure the interest rates on the smartbuy are low or just lease one.

    Best of luck.
  • eruss44eruss44 Posts: 13
    HI imadad...The balloon payment after 48 months is $16,100...I cannot afford to buy the TB as payments work out about $125.00 over our monthly budget...That's why I'm thinking strongly towards the smartbuy end ....Originally around mid-April , this dealer offered the same truck to me for $375.00 a month, out-the-door everything included, no hidden stuff price...So I believe that I have gained some ground since then...I'm almost ready to pull the trigger here,but would still love to hear much more input from all you great people out there...Thanx again, ~Eric~ P.S:The interest rate is 3.5% and it's 4years/48k...I don't drive over 10-11k per year,either...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The balloon payment threw me too and I edited my draft message yesterday because I couldn't figure it out. You still haven't told me what the rig costs and what you're going to wind up paying for it.

    lol, I'm not even sure if this deal is a purchase, lease or some hybrid. I can't operate that way and I've walked a few times when the salesperson tried to sell me a car by focusing on the payments.

    I think you should also try the Lease Questions - Ask Here discussion for more advice.

    Steve, Host
  • eruss44eruss44 Posts: 13
    Hi, again, Steve...The balloon price($16,100&tax) would be the final buyout price after the 48 month GM "smartbuy" leasing period...I really thought that I had all the information necessary here from previous posts to allow a favorable or unfavorable opinion from the members of this town hall forum...Cut&Dried,the facts are as follows:MSRP:$34,525...Monthly payment for 48 months:$329.00,which includes ALL sales taxes,license,registration,destination,prep,blah,blah,blah...The final "balloon" end of smartbuy payment to buyout(own it) is $16,100 plus 8.25 NYS sales tax after the 48th month...The dealer is applying the $5,000 GM loyalty discount to the MSRP(which will lower the price to$29,525.00,P.S:The $16,100 is a SET final buyout figure,it cannot be changed) and computing the monthly payments based on that derivative @ 3.5%.....I now hope that I have provided enough information to get at least a few "Yes,it sounds good" or "No,it is not a good deal" type responses...Is there anyone out there that has "smartbuyed" on a TB(or any other GM truck with a $34,525 MSRP that has a monthly payment LESS than $329.00 based on a 48 month/48,000 mile deal,with a final buyout of $16,100+8.25% sales tax????? Thanks again,~Eruss44~
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I guess the MSRP threw me too since I didn't think many people paid MSRP for a GM truck.

    Ok troops, let's weigh in the deal - the 2nd is almost here!

    Steve, Host
  • Another reason why I don't mess with all this leasing and monthly payment stuff. I researched my vehicle, knew the price I should be able to get it for, and went in and negotiated the price of the vehicle (not the monthly payment) to where I wanted it to be. For an extra $100 a month for five years on the same sticker priced vehicle as the LS you mentioned, I will own my TB with no remaining "balloon payment" and no restriction on mileage and no worrying about what it looks like when it comes time to turn it in years down the line. Has always been my experience that if you're looking at a vehicle payment where you have only an extremely small amount of wiggle room in your budget left, then you're probably looking at way too expensive a vehicle to begin with. Good luck to you, but I'd have to vote against it simply because I think you could do better somewhere actually buying one. There are many '04's left on the lots and probably will be well into the fall. There are bound to be some really good deals to be had.
  • eruss44eruss44 Posts: 13
    Thanx for your perceptive analysis concerning my situation,shooterdave7...I am going to try the ole'sit and wait approach to this with my eyes peeled in the meantime...I'm certain that I can whittle one of these two dealers down(shifting towards an outright purchase now,as opposed to a smartbuy)...I'm sure that the deals will become sweeter as the 2005's arrive on the lots...I am trying to learn a little patience with myself...I hope that it pays off sometime before the snow flies here in central NY state,though....Once again, thank you for your sobering advice...~Eruss~
  • imadad2imadad2 Posts: 79
    Your numbers look like they are at sticker. You should be able to get invoice easily on a TB. I know three people in my office that just bought Chevy's at or below invoice. Your smartbuy should be at invoice. I would insist on seeing the dealer invoice.

    How long do you plan on keeping this truck? The balloon payment will be over the blue book value when it comes due. I wish you could do a used car value search of a TB that is 4 years old, to see the resale value, but the TB was created in 2002, so no luck. If you are planning on trading it in before 8 years have passed, I would say do not buy the truck. If you refinance the balloon payment, you will be paying 7 or 8 years on the truck. That is a lot of interest, even at 3.5%.

    I walked out the door before TTL with my 2004 LS Ext at around $24,000. A 6 year (72 payment) loan can be had, if you have excellent credit, for 3.5% or less. The payment on that would be about $50 higher than you quoted, and you would pay a lot less interest, and own the vehicle in 6 years not 7 or 8.

    I generally frown on smartbuys. They are designed for individuals that can't afford the vehicle any other way. I wanted to buy a Sequoia, but I would have had to do a smartbuy to get one. I could not afford over $30,000 for a SUV. The Trailblazer is not selling well, they actually had to shut down the production of them in May. So, I have a hunch that in the next few months, you will see 2004 TB's on sale for the cheap. I doubt this deal you have been offered will go away, because oil is at $44 a barrell, and will not go down until after the summer. I would keep an eye on as many Chevrolet lots as you can and keep looking at the rebates. I have a feeling they may even go over $5,000 off MSRP.

    A bigger down payment will only help you, so keep saving and put down as much as you can. I hope this helps, but if you do a smart buy, you should always plan on keeping the vehicle until it dies (hopefully 15 years from when you bought it). If you don't plan on it, a lease is your best bet.

    Good luck.
  • eruss44eruss44 Posts: 13
    Thanks imadad2,I guess I will re-tool my thinking towards saving more for a good down payment to purchase one outright and live for the moment with my trusty(and rusty!)1994 S-10 LT Tahoe blazer with 103k on it...The right deal will come eventually, probably when I'll least expect it,so I'll take the pressure off myself and let it ride for now...Patience is a virtue,I've been told...Thanks for your time...~Eruss~
  • imadad2imadad2 Posts: 79
    One last thing I'd like to leave you with.

    The LT model is nice, but the LS model is less expensive and just as nice. The Bose system on the LT is not all it is cracked up to be, and the only thing I prefer on the LT is leather seats. The power seats, on-star, 6 disc cd, and a few other items are just added goodies most people can do without. My wife is 5' 0" tall. I am 6'1" tall. I have to manually adjust the seats and mirrors every time I get in the truck, and had to think about the price tag on getting the seat position memory that the Trailblazer offers. It was not worth it.

    I guess what I am trying to say is luxury sometimes has to be pushed aside and common sense needs to be used.

    I got my LS Ext with a V-8 for $23,800. Without the V-8 it would have been $1,200 less. I put nothing down on it. I pay $490 a month with 60 payments. (4.26% interest) My budget was $500 a month on a truck. If you put $3,000 down, get $5,000 in rebates, you could easily get an LS model down to $22,000 or less. The dealer you are working with is going to push the smart buy because they make money on the deal. You should be able to buy at invoice, and get the rebates on top of that. Get financing before you go, so that you don't have to use the dealers financing.

    I am telling you, 2004 models will be even cheaper in the coming months when the dealers are clearing out for 2005 models.

    I bought only because the deal was right, and I got what I wanted. Check with several dealers (if you can) and when they get in your price range, buy. If you have a vehicle that works, and you are not desperate, patience will pay off. If not, you can always lease.

    I check the board at work all the time. I love my TB, so if you get another offer, and are unsure, just ask. Someone here will let you know if it is worth doing or not.
  • eruss44eruss44 Posts: 13
    One more time,thanks imadad2...When something juicy comes up in the fall months (or sooner),I'll give you guys a yell on this forum...I'll be in touch,take care and great luck with your Trailblazer!!!!
  • keeferbkeeferb Posts: 81

    We're trying to estimate lease payments for a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer. We have the residual % and lease factor. However, to get a more accurate estimate we also need to know what, if any, other lease costs GMAC charges. Does anyone know if there is an aquistion fee or security deposit for GMAC leases?

    Thanks in advance!
  • hardhawkhardhawk Posts: 702
    You might want to check the GMAC web site. They may have sample lease agreements you can download and read. I know that Chrysler Financial has them on its web site.
  • djaxdjax Posts: 3
    Someone here may have specific experience with my questions, so here goes. Lease on my 02 TB is up in 7 weeks, but current $6000 rebates and GM's pull ahead program for getting out of lease sooner with no penalty makes it worth my time to try to get the best deal before 9/7, when current incentives and Pull Ahead end. So far I have 2 dealer quotes, each at "invoice" on a TB LS. Both arrived at this figure rather quickly when I refused to even talk "monthly payment", but the 2 invoice prices are different and for no reason I can see from the stickers. The best offer is for a discount of $2200 off MSRP before rebates. I've even had them itemize the Tag/tax/fees down to the dollar so that they can't pad this later on. Two questions remain: 1) Am I being unrealistic to expect even more discount from the dealer even at this point in the selling year(say up to $3300)? 2) And with excellent credit (I know my Score) can I hold out for 4.9% or lower for 60 months through dealer/GMAC? (As a returning customer, I'm preapproved by GMAC already.) I know what on-line banks are offering, but not sure how this compares to what I can bicker for at the dealer who needs to make money on the financing. One dealer, in attempting to work toward monthly payment as the 'hook,' figured a 9.5% interest rate to start. Knowing they start high, how LOW can I push on rate without embarassing myself?
  • imadad2imadad2 Posts: 79
    You can always negotiate price. Invoice for a TB, according to Edmunds is around 9% below MSRP. So, a 30K TB at invoice should be around 2700 different. Options also can be at cost/invoice. I bought a LS Ext with a V-8, and the dealer gave me invoice, but was trying to get me with options. Print out a pricing list from Edmunds or Kelly Blue book and take it with you. If there were not surplus TB's on the market, they would not have slowed production in May. Also with the 2005 models coming, you have very good leverage.

    Financing can be had at credit unions and other banks. Shop around for financing. I got 4.26% at a credit union for 60 months in July. If you have your financing already laid out, you might get better rebates and financing through GM.
  • djaxdjax Posts: 3
    Thanks. Also, I've been trying to trace the history on After-Labor-Day incentives to see if last year (Sept 2003) GM continued their August incentives (both rebate and GMAC fi bonus). I would not expect them to go higher than they are right now, but with end of year approaching and industry reports saying SUV sales are still sluggish (and 2005's now on the lots), I lose nothing by waiting 6 weeks to purchase, except maybe on color. Do you know what incentives were offered in Sept last year?
  • imadad2imadad2 Posts: 79
    If I recall correctly, GM was offering $5,000 cash back as well as 0% financing. I am not 100% sure on that, but I feel pretty comfortable writing it. With the 2005 models coming in, and SUV sales being sluggish, IMO, Labor Day sales are going to have very good offers. I don't think getting below invoice with rebates and decent financing will be all that difficult. I got 4.26% 60 month financing, invoice, and $5,000 in rebates from GM. On top of that I received an additional $1,000 from GM on my GM card points. That was in June. Three months later, and three months of sluggish SUV sales, the offers have to be better. Good luck
  • wendy3wendy3 Posts: 1
    Anyone out there tried to trade in their TB yet. I have a 2003 LT, with 4WD. I am currently looking into trading it and first went to Ford they only wanted to give me $15,800 for it. The sticker price on it was $36,000 when I bought it. I also had a rear entertainment system added when we bought it. It only has 14000 miles on it. So we went to Chevy thinking they would do better on their own vehicle. Wrong!, They offered 17500 first, then called the next day saying they would give us $19,000. Just wondering if anyone else has traded theirs and if so how much they got for it. I'm afraid if I don't get rid of it now I will have to pay a dealer to take it by next year.
  • What you have experienced is not uncommon, especially since there are so many incentives on new TB's right now. But, you have already taken the big depreciation hit. I would guess that 1` year from now you could still get between $15,000-$18,000 trade in. The dealer can not give you much trade in when they sell that same 04 LT for invoice less $5,000 in rebates.
  • Just FYI. Last March (2003) I traded in an 02 TB LS 4x4 with 14K miles for $20,200. I traded it in for an 03 envoy SLE 4x4. At the time I got the envoy for $27500 with a few options.
  • I am looking for TB EXT 2004 for couple months already, I saw two dealer ship sell TB EXT 2003 arount 12,000 to 15,000 mils LT model they asking for $24K to 22K, on-line trade in value
    around $20K, so you may sell by yourself better
    than sell to dealer. I am waiting for to but a new TB EXT 2004 or 2005, I know a lot of dealer
    is very tricky, also I have to let you know TB EXT 2005 with leather seat, on star, first and second row seat with 8 way power seat MSP $ 385K.. and GM discount $1650 and dealer discount
    final sell price $32900, without negotiate the price. so I am waiting for labor day or after labor day, because I do not think they can sell all, thinking about this GM made a lot of same cat, chevrolet, ISUZU ( Assender), Builk(Rainier), Oldsmobile, GMC all the same type, also stock market is very bad, and oil price is up, consumer does not have that much to buy that
    4x4 car GM try to let consumer to finance but don't forget after 60 months you will pay $10K to $ 20K more then cash price, I will suggest negotiate cash price and finace form bank because they always have low rate than dealer.
  • halcombhalcomb Posts: 3
    Is this correct, you got the invoice price then the incentives on top of that>
  • halcombhalcomb Posts: 3
    We are thinking of purchasing a "04 TB using the GMS pricing, what is the additional 750.00 that you got for GM family discount? Any info would be appreciated.
  • I am a GMS customer also. In the southeast region the rebate is $6,000 if you use GMAC. That makes the TB pretty attractive. I would love to know more about the $750 if it exists. I see nothing on the GMS site.
  • Ok leasing isn't for me but here is an experience I am going through right now.
    First off congratulations on being on Edmunds. It is your first step to not getting screwed at the dealership.
    My wife and I were just starting out and really wanted a Durango. Make and Model could be anything, but we spent hours getting their "Monthly Payment" down. We were so worn out we didn't even really think about things like residual payment, buy out, and what the actual percentage rate was on the lease.
    Lets just say we love our car but we are in the 11% range, and have a balloon payment of 17,000 due in a year. Normal residual should have been around 12,000.00. We basically got screwed because we didn't know what we were getting our selves into. Let me just say this. Never ever talk about monthly payment. I don't care if you finance through them. I don't care if you pay cash. Just talk about selling price with fees included. Talk like you want to pay cash. They will be eager to drop the price. Your best bet if you can get it is to finance through your local credit union or bank. Then buy it out right although right now 2004 deals through Chevy offer 6K cash back or 1.9% for 72 months. Not bad, except get them to agree on the price first then talk about finance. That way they can't just slip the 6k back to you as though it was their selling price. In the end for the Durango we payed full asking price for a 2000 model. It isn't bad, but I am kicking my self at the lack of education. Now I just want to dump it and get a Trail Blazer of Explorer. I am not sure which is better. Although the interior of the Chevy seems nicer than the Explorer, but not Quite as nice as the Envoy or Mountaineer, which are just souped up versions of the previously mentioned vehicles. Just think of it this way. Leasing is like renting a car and then you dump it and start over. If you plan on wanting it longer than 3 years then buy it.
  • pscalapscala Posts: 1
      Just picked up an 04 Sandstone LT with moonroof. I live in NY, so northeast discounts apply.

    Sticker price : $34,305.
    Dealer Discount : - $3000.00
    Manager "play money": - (3) @ $500.00
    Rebate and GMAC loan: - $6,000
    price before tax : $23,805.

    This deal actually cost the dealer $495. but they wanted to beat out another Chevy dealer. Also, there are higher GM Card allowances for 04 models, the TB allowed $2250 off...Finance rate was a bit high at 6.9%...

    Good luck.
  • lee_wlee_w Posts: 239
    Thanks for the information. It is people like you that share that make Edmunds a valuable source of information!!!
  • I bought my Trailblazer 6-cylinder Ext LT late June 03.
    MSRP is $36,300.
    The following is the breakdown of the details:
    The dealer took off almost $10,000 discount
    It had a few hail dents on the hood but not any on four doors.
    several small dents on the roof but you cannot see that
    also including $4,000 GM manufacturer rebate
    $500 conquest rebate.
    I had $4,100 GM credit card
    including $3,500 accumulated for seven years
    and $600 bonus GM gave me as incentive.
    I also had Citibank driver edge credit card
    which gave me $1,500.
    It had memory seats, six CD player, heated leather seats
    two zone automatic temperature control, automatic screen wiper,
    On-Star, driver information system, dual control button on steering wheel.
    The price I paid was $20,700 before TT&L.
    One week after I bought my TB EXT, GM offered some
    more rebate such On-Star rebate. I missed that chance
    around another $1,000.

    I put more than 20K miles on that.
    I have had several minor problems so far.
    Item 1) Tailgate light was flooded at 3,000 miles.
    The whole light housing was changed within thirty minutes at service dept.
    Item 2) gear handle came off.
    Item 3) back license panel gasket was not properly
    installed. These two items were fixed at dealer within one hour.
    Item 4) whole front bumper was disfigured very slightly.
    it was completely changed with a new one.
    It took dealer three days to finish that job.
    And I was offered an Envoy as a rental car for three days.
    Now it looks perfect.
    Item 5) passenger side strut is slightly leaking. not fixed yet.
    I am waiting for something that might show up to have them
    fixed together at one trip. It is not urgent.
    Item 6) the shift between the first gear and the second gear
    is not very smooth as I expected and you can feel it very reluctant to switch it
    forward and backward. So now the acceleration is not good
    enough and on the other hand when it is coasting on idle
    it is very reluctant to shift back to the first gear. So that
    it will stay around 1100 to 900 RPM at the of 30 miles.
    The real idle rpm when it is at stop either at parking or idle driving
    is around 600 rpm. Now it is wasting around 5 percent of gas
    because the most of the mileage I drive is local and have a lot
    of stops and goes. I have talked to two dealers
    and had it checked and was told 'no problem. the other
    Trailblazers also behave in the same way'.
    I have test-driven several TBs and Envoys before and after
    my purchase and found them behaving much better than
    mine. All I have test-driven are regular not extended version.
    Actually or ironically I did not test drive my vehicle before
    I bought it, because I thought they should be the same.
    Now I know there might be and will be some differences
    between each individual unit even though they are mass
    manufactured on the same assembly line by same kind of
    workers and by same kind of parts.

    I feel extremely happy with the whole deal including the price,
    its whole design, all those luxury features and warranty service,
    because nobody would and could give me such a deal.
    With all those features, Toyota Sequoia or Acura MDX
    (both have the third row) will cost around $40,000.
    Will they give any discount from MSRP? Probably
    one thousand dollar. That is it.
    Have All those minor problems bothered me? Not at all.
    On the contrary, I am really amazed to find actually the
    vehicle has so few minor problems considering it has
    more than thirty thousand parts.
This discussion has been closed.