Warning, long post ahead!
I was in the market for a 2012 or 2013 Outback Limited 2.5 for my wife, as she has a long commute to work and we have to deal with eastern TN weather. We both had Jeeps (hers - 1998 Cherokee Classic, mine - 04 Liberty Limited 4x4), but I let her have my Liberty as it is more reliable, and has full-time 4WD for bad weather. Both have 155K miles on them though and we knew we had to replace her Cherokee
I checked the dealers in the Johnson City / Bristol / Kingsport TN area and encountered some very rude sales people and staggering price markups.
The best example of that was a dealer that insisted that we'd want his 2012 demo 2.5 Premium and wanted to sell it for 29K. It had no nav, no backup cam, and had 3300 miles on it. New. Eesh. He wouldn't even talk to us about the 2013's.
My wife was a bit disheartened, as she did a huge amount of research, this was going to be her first "new" car, and she already knew what she wanted which was the Limited, and we decided we wanted the EyeSight system, so now we needed to find a 2013.
Dealers in our area wanted $34-36K for them.
We don't have Costco in our area, but we moved here from Tampa earlier in the year and kept our membership active as we will occasionally go to the one in SC every other month as we're not fans of Sams Club. On a lark, I decided to give their service a try.
I plugged in the info for our closet Costco in Spartanburg, SC and it found us a 2013 Limited w/ EyeSight in the same city, and for $32,242.
20 minutes after submitting my contact request, Neely from Vic Bailey called to get some more information from me and to verify that they did have the car. She was extremely personable and immediately put me at ease.
I checked the basic options they had listed, and figured I'd try to haggle the "no-haggle" price a bit. We went back and forth over a couple of phone calls, and I got a final quote emailed to me for $31,750. She always called within 5 mins of when she said she would, which was a big plus. And she understood that we already had extremely low financing in place via our credit union and didn't push the Subaru financing.
So, we drove the 130 miles there on Sat and when we got there it was parked right at the front door waiting for us to look it over. Well, it wasn't exactly as described, but in the best possible way.
In addition to being the color (twilight blue) we wanted, with EyeSight, it also had:
Front & rear bumper protectors
Rear bumper cover
Dual side cargo nets
Seat back protector
Auto-mirror w/ Homelink
Body side molding
My wife was ecstatic. This car was loaded with just about everything she could have wanted. I couldn't believe the price for the options after seeing some of the prices paid in the Gen-4 pricing thread. It was a no-brainer at that point so we signed some papers and added the remote start & rear DVD system for the kiddo. The Costco buying plan also gives 10% off of accessories and labor, so that made those two items an easier purchase for us.
Easiest. Experience. Ever. I thought we'd get the usual add-on run-around such as: waiting for the dreaded "four-square" sheet to pop up, rust protection, VIN-etching, etc. That part never came.
She took us on a test-drive and fully showed off the EyeSight system and even took the time to go through the copy of War and Peace that sits in the glovebox to add sticky tabs to important areas in the manuals.
She was extremely helpful, as were the sales mgr, and Amy in the Finance dept who handled our trade in paperwork of our Cherokee + Subaru Gold warranty purchase. Amy also got us a fantastic deal on the 6 year / 100K warranty for a price we couldn't turn down. After seeing what some people paid on the forum for their warranty, I feel we got a really fair price.
The Cherokee was in extremely rough shape as well, and we got a fair trade-in price for that made us pretty happy.
I was truly dreading the thought of dealing with car sales people, having owned over a dozen vehicles before including two that were new, and had a bad history with sales people.
I'd definitely drive out of my way to go to their dealership for our next car, and my wife has already given the go-ahead for me to pick out a new Subie for my next car once I have the Liberty paid off in a few months.
Oh, and the Outback really impressed me with how fun it is to drive for being a 4-cylinder. That's hard considering my previous vehicles included more than a few fast cars and a couple of sport bikes.
I know I'll likely end up with another Outback for my car, but here's hoping I can talk her into a WRX.
TL;DR: Had a fantastic no-pressure buying experience with really fair prices and great service.