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Looking at a new 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid still on the dealers lot; should I be concerned?

Hi all, I recently found the above car at a dealership and can get a very good deal on it because it is an older model with only 1k miles on it. It was a demo model so never titled or ‘owned’ technically. It still would come with Hyundai new warranty for that reason. I asked why it was still there and they said the former sales manager had a ‘different philosophy’ about holding on to old inventory, whatever that means. They actually have several 2013s of this model that are still new. I did look up the model online to see if there any real complaints with it for that year, but couldn’t find anything so I am inclined to believe the salesperson on that part at least. They are willing to sell it below kbb value probably just to get rid of it.

My question is: what should I be concerned about since I’ve heard cars that sit too long without being driven can have issues. Would it be breakdown of fluids like oil, tranny, brake? I am in the mid-Atlantic so wet climate but not on the ocean . Should I ask for those to be changed before purchase or as condition of? If anyone has had a similar experience with buying a ‘new’ car that is several model years old, I’d love to hear about it.

Thank you and happy New Year!

This car sold poorly in part because Consumer Reports found it not as desirable as the Camry Hybrid, and I think hybrid buyers read Consumer Reports like a Bible. You would have to look up the old Buyer’s Guide for more info.

If you are going to buy it then ask that they change the oil, and if you are concerned then the brake fluid, too. Actually, why not all the fluids? Condensation is a real issue. Make sure the tire and battery warranty is going to start now, not 3 years ago. Or they can replace the regular battery. You are in control here.

This is one strange dealer that would hold onto them inventory so that it is 3 years old by the model year. I would expect the car to be priced as a 3 year old model with average miles. As far as the warranty is concerned, while you would have almost the full amount on the mileage, you would lose three years on the time in all likelihood. I ran into a similar situation once. In late 1988, our local Pontiac dealer had an unsold 1987 Pontiac 6000. I was,shopping, for a car and told the salesperson to give me the rock bottom price. My wife and I were left in the booth while she “consulted” with the sales manager. I knew the booth was probably bugged, so my wife and I didn’t say one word to each other. The salesperson returned and said they could take $150 off the sticker price. I said that wasn’t good enough and we got up to leave. She then said it wasn’t their best price. I just looked at her and said, “I told you to give me your lowest price. I don’t have any more time to waste. We have a much better price on a 1988 Taurus at the Ford dealer down the street”. We went right back to the Ford dealer and bought the Taurus. Frankly, I think you should run away from this Hyundai’ dealer as fast as your legs can carry you.

I assume the sales manager is now working somewhere else-maybe at Sears. Cost of money-turnover turnover turnover. All the rubber parts are now 2-3 years older as well as the battery and fluids. Yeah it should be priced as a 2013 used car not a new one. At any rate, maybe they’ll throw in a manufacturers extended warranty to deal with the age issue.

Make sure the 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty applies from the time you title it, not from some past date. It should if you are the first owner. Any vehicle with more than a few hundred miles on it is considered a used car, and should be priced accordingly. I bought a 2010 Cobalt LT from a dealer in 2010 with about 450 miles on it. Because it had more than 400 miles on it, GM considered it a used car and would not take it back from the dealer when they went out of business. It was priced more than $1000 below the lowest price new Cobalt LS (lower trim level). You can get a price estimate from or any of the other, similar web site. Input a used 2013 with 1000 miles in excellent condition and see what price they suggest.

A 2013 still on a dealers lot means nobody wanted the thing. Do you really need a Hybrid?

Every minute that car sat on the dealer’s lot, it cost the dealer money. They would have sold it long ago if they could have.

It is now a 3 year old car. Only you, because of the dealer’s carefully selected words, think there is some “new and special” about it.

Suppose next month you have to sell it, or you crash and total it, its worth would only be that of a 3 year old car.

It was an average hybrid at best when it was new. Make sure the price you pay reflects it being a 3 year old car.

I would run away from this “deal.” Your bank account will thank you later.

"A 2013 still on a dealers lot means nobody wanted the thing. Do you really need a Hybrid? "

With the rapidly plummeting price of gasoline, hybrids make much less economic sense than they did a few years ago. If nobody wanted that car in 2013, or 2014, or 2015, I think that this speaks volumes about the desirability of that model in particular, and hybrids in general.

Some dealers do not have the best business sense,that car should have been gone long ago to make room for a popular selling model.

With the warranty every thing should be ok as far as trouble goes, but remember if you go to trade in the car the year of the car will lower value automatically.

Remember the old saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

It may not have sold because the 2013 Sonata Hybrid was dinged by the EPA for having gas mileage significantly below the EPA test values. Additionally, the gas mileage was much less than comparable hybrids. You should take it out for a long test drive on surface streets and the highway to see if you like the way it handles. There were also complaints about unusual braking feel. Again, this is a used car and must be priced accordingly.

According to Edmunds, the base model with 1000 miles should sell for $17,000. The Limited trim ups the cost to $18,500. The low mileage increases the value by $2100. If the cost is in line with these numbers and you like the car, you might consider a purchase.

My dad bought a manufacturer’s demo car years ago. That one worked out fine, never any problem with that car. Except for the ugly color.

But that car was a widely sold model. In the OP’s case, the car in question isn’t widely sold. Even though the car itself might be fine, the low sales volume will almost create problems down the road; e.g. finding knowledgably techs to work on it, and getting replacement parts. I’d pass.

When we were buying our CPO 2013 Sonata with 20K miles on it around 8 months ago, I noticed a few Hybrid versions were priced 1-1.5K over the regular ones. I did the math on and adjusted for our driving and the CA gas price and the added savings were not worth the trouble of maintaining the hybrid. In my case, I can do most regular stuff on the gas engine car though.

If I were you, I will look and see how much a CPO 2013 hybrid sells in your area and won’t pay more than 1K on the "new"one.

And now, the question that hasn’t yet been asked; how much is it discounted?
There’s some reason it’s still there, and that implies that there’s risk involved. Discounted enough, it might be worth the risk. If the dealer is going for the full 2013 price, or only offering a modest discount, than to me it wouldn’t be worth the risk.

Agree all the others

It should sell for only slightly more than a used 2013 Sonata Hybrid with 1000 miles, and that’s because it will have more warranty, versus all the other 2013 cars, which have been registered, and are almost out of warranty by now

Having worked at a dealer, I believe the warranty starts when the car is registered, not when it arrived at the dealership. We ran into this scenario a few times, but I’ve never encountered a car that sat unsold for 3 years

db4690 is correct about the warranty. Once put into service as a dealer demo the warranty period starts at that time so time-wise a good part of the warranty is dead and gone.

A dealer demo is also considered a used car; not a new one.

It’s highly unusual for a car being allowed to linger that long. Dealers do not want any car on their lot to linger; they want them all gone yesterday in the name of cash flow.

There has to be a story behind that thing and you may never hear the real one.

I’d walk away because the large hybrid battery has just been sitting there. Not good to keep that big battery just sitting ‘on the shelf’. I drive a hybrid.

In 1980 a local Chevy dealer had a new (1976) Cosworth Vega in the showroom. Only had 2 miles on it. He was asking full retail and wouldn’t budge on the price.