I really did want to love my little '12 Focus. It had a TON of great properties. Excellent handling, decent power, slippery smooth 5spd trans, and excellent fuel economy.
However, we made the government a HUGE interest free loan last year (read, super-giant-tax-refund), and have used some of that to cover the "upside down" we had in the Focus, and moved my wife over to a 2010 Chevy Traverse. Probably what we should have done initially when our '03 Yukon had to be replaced (what we traded the for the Focus). Here's the details....
2010 Chevy Traverse
FWD (I wanted AWD, but it wasn't worth the premium)
Every option under the sun except NAV.
Seatbelts for 7 so the grandparents can ride anywhere with us now in one car when they visit (which is about every 3 weeks). Rear DVD system for junior for the somewhat frequent road trips.
Overall we had to put a bit more down than we wanted, but it all came from the unexpectedly high tax return we got, so no hit to our savings or debt reduction plan. Payment went up by ~$20/mo, term was lengthened by about 6mo, so overall not a ton more cost out of pocket than the focus. Insurance was quoted as a $4/mo decrease, so not much change there either.
We decided to let the Focus go instead of the Audi for two reasons. The Audi is MUCH closer to payoff, and we're sneaking up on "even" with the payoff vs value, the Focus wasn't even close, and was plummeting faster than a safe chasing Wil. E. Coyote down the canyon. The second is the lack of confidence from the Focus. I complain about the Audi a lot, but in the end, it really is a better machine. Maintenance is higher, but I think if it's maintained even remotely well, it will last us into the 250-300k mile range. The Focus is already having issues it shouldn't have at 35k miles.
The dealership experience this time was surprisingly easy. We calmly negotiated the price of the truck with the OWNER of the lot, as well as our trade value with him as well. He was reasonable on both values, and we knew we were close to being "on target" going into the deal anyway, so a little wiggle room from both parties and we struck a deal in 10 minutes time. No more talking to a manager, to talk to a salesman, etc. We drove 45miles to Frankfort, KY to buy it as the lot had 6 Lambda platform trucks on the lot. This one struck the best balance of price/options/miles. There was a spectacular 32k mile 2011 Acadia, but it was $9k more, and wasn't as highly optioned as the one we got...it was AWD though. They only sent our credit apps to two credit unions on our request not 101 different banks, and we settled on a "new" credit union in town. Best rate was 3.75 with direct deduction, so we were good with that. Overall, the experience was super easy, and they were great to let Grant run around the showroom like a crazy child (as much as we tried to contain him). Overall, about 5 hours from door to door, and that includes 45 minutes of driving each way!
At the end of the day momma's happy, so that makes the rest of the family happy.
Many thanks to those here that have helped me work through various problems, and issues. The MK3 platform is a good one, it just wasn't for us.