The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone made a purchases from Criswell Lotus (Md), and how would you rate your interactions with this dealer? I am up in NJ, but thought I might take a trip down there given their large inventory of 2007 Exige S's. Any thoughts on going for the '07 and presumably some substantial savings vs. the '08 240 model, or alternatively, waiting another few weeks for the '08 Elise SC models?
Thanks,
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
I don't work there. nor did I buy my car there.

That said, I had dealt with Dan and he is great. (his info below) He will take very good care of you, and you will no doubt use him for your Lotus upgrade when you drive the wheels off whatever you buy from him.

I have dealt with their survice and it is a mixed experience, but if you are in NJ, you can choose where you want to have your service done, NY or MD. They tend to be have a pretty bad rep on the service side. It is mainly due to the fact that they work on every car, for every service in the area. Their shop is BIG, so their service is not very... I don't know how to put it in words... maybe it is detail oriented? or informative? Still, when you tell them what was missed, or what was done wrong, they will get you back into the shop and try again.

Dave



Dan's info:
Dan Drayton
Internet Sales Specialist
Criswell Automotive
301-212-4432 direct
301-461-6292 cell
[email protected]
www.criswellauto.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback...I have been in contact with Princeton Lotus and you are spot on with their inventory...very low volume indeed, but it is great to hear that their service is exemplary, as they are about 30 min away from where I live. Thanks also for the feedback about HRM as I have been speaking with them as well (Paul Dumont), and they have at least a large '08 inventory of s240s. Any thoughts about the second part of my question?

Thanks,
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
I purchased my Elise from Criswell and got a good deal. I have also had several service experiences with them - all fine. They just flushed the brakes and put in Redline MT-90 transmission fluid for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,000 Posts
If you know basically what you want, talk with Ed at Sports and Specialist in Hopewell (www.princetonlotus.com) and see if he can get you what you want.

If you stop by early enough, be sure to grab breakfast at Rose and Chubby's by the railroad station. Turn North at the traffic light in the center of town and it's on the corner on your right before you go over the tracks. It's a classic small town luncheonette you just don't find any longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,026 Posts
Never at Criswell Automotive

After two visits for major work I would never trust them for service again. Serious overcharges for poorly performed work. In my opinion they provide very poor customer service, my local Ford dealer does much better. If they lost their Lotus dealership as they lost their Lamborghini dealership I would applaud.

If I could get the car I wanted significantly cheaper at Criswell’s I would do so, no sense in cutting off your nose to spite your face, however I would much rather give my business to a dealership that would take care of me.

I know many Lotus owners who live within a half hour’s drive of Criswell who do not go there. They drive, or have their cars towed several hundred miles have their service done.

Death to Criswell Automotive!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,108 Posts
I dealt with Criswell when Lotus first announced that the Elise was coming.
Criswell is the closest to dealer to me. I planned to buy there.

Thanks to Criswell & their handling of the "waiting list", I didn't buy an Elise at all.

When I realized I wasn't mad at Lotus, and when the Exige came, I decided to buy one ... BUT NOT AT CRISWELL. I ordered my car from Rothrock in Pennsylania instead.


But I know some people like Criswell ... Borat likes it there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,374 Posts
I tend to do my own maintenance on my vehicles, including my Lotus, so I haven't had any major work done at Criswell.

But I did have my first service (1,000 mile check up), and several minor warranty tasks completed (the shifter recall, the TSBs, and a replacement muffler after a chrome tip fell off). They did a great job with no problems on each visit.

I have no complaints.

As for buying my car, there, that was also no problem. However, I didn't get a "deal" - my car was the first to arrive at the dealership. I had been on the waiting list for two and a half years, ordered the Elise exactly the way I wanted it, and I paid the original MSRP for my car (no body was giving a discount, most dealers were getting a premium). The buying experience was just fine and very professional.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
After two visits for major work I would never trust them for service again. Serious overcharges for poorly performed work. In my opinion they provide very poor customer service, my local Ford dealer does much better. If they lost their Lotus dealership as they lost their Lamborghini dealership I would applaud.

If I could get the car I wanted significantly cheaper at Criswell’s I would do so, no sense in cutting off your nose to spite your face, however I would much rather give my business to a dealership that would take care of me.

I know many Lotus owners who live within a half hour’s drive of Criswell who do not go there. They drive, or have their cars towed several hundred miles have their service done.

Death to Criswell Automotive!
We did not lose our Lambo dealership, we sold it due to them wanting a seperate Lambo only showroom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I had good experiences with the Criswell service department. They performed several service bulletin upgrades under warranty, so I don't know about their cost of service. I didn't buy my Lotus from them. Their sales department rubbed me the wrong way, so I went to Ohio to buy mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I ordered my 2005 Elise from Criswell and have had it serviced there for the past three years. I have had excellent service from them. Tom in the sales dept. is always informed about the inventory and incoming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
I've been there twice. Once for a state inspection, and once for some minor warranty work. Both experiences were fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,515 Posts
Bought one, had a few serviced by them. Buying experience was ok. I could've gotten a better deal, that was my failing.

Service on a scale of 1 to 10 has been about a 7. No REAL complaints, but nothing outstanding, either. Every time I go there, though, they hand me a sheet of paper with the Lotus service schedule that is different from the last one they gave me.

Very pricey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
Let's put it this way....

I live in MD. I visited and test drove at Criswell. Great place if you wanna buy a Chevy. Maybe. I'm picking up my '08 Exige (Criswell doesn't even have ANY '08's! :confused:) FROM Sports and Specialist in Princeton, on Monday! :nanner:

Yup, Criswell's got plenty of '07 Inventory. All of 'em but one, out on the lot, in the weather, and being beat to a pulp (by both the elements, and test-driver's like me! :evil:). Other than a one-time, on the spot "hard sell" attempt while you are there, ZERO follow-up, or acumen of any type at all really, either shown, or experienced there I'm afraid. :shrug:

If you ask me, you are traveling in exactly the opposite direction, and for exactly the opposite (an misdirected) reasons too! I only wish I lived closer to the 3+ hours I am driving AWAY from Criswell - to now purchase my baby (pic's and follow-up experience will follow), as I can tell you my experience otherwise in EVERY aspect from Sports & Specialist, has been TOP NOTCH. Bar none.

By the way, do you think anyone will mind me doing the brake bed-in procedure as I've just read in another post, while going either down 295 or the NJ Pike on my way home with 'er? ;)

This is my 1st post on this board (so sorry Danny at Criswell - nothing personal - Just my experience. Usual disclaimers to all: of course YMMV), and I'm looking forward to joining the community! Looks like you guys have got, and share both openly and freely - quite a lot, of awfully good information.

Cheers!
-Grant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,515 Posts
Let's put it this way....

I live in MD. I visited and test drove at Criswell. Great place if you wanna buy a Chevy. Maybe. I'm picking up my '08 Exige (Criswell doesn't even have ANY '08's! :confused:) FROM Sports and Specialist in Princeton, on Monday! :nanner:

Yup, Criswell's got plenty of '07 Inventory. All of 'em but one, out on the lot, in the weather, and being beat to a pulp (by both the elements, and test-driver's like me! :evil:). Other than a one-time, on the spot "hard sell" attempt while you are there, ZERO follow-up, or acumen of any type at all really, either shown, or experienced there I'm afraid. :shrug:

If you ask me, you are traveling in exactly the opposite direction, and for exactly the opposite (an misdirected) reasons too! I only wish I lived closer to the 3+ hours I am driving AWAY from Criswell - to now purchase my baby (pic's and follow-up experience will follow), as I can tell you my experience otherwise in EVERY aspect from Sports & Specialist, has been TOP NOTCH. Bar none.

By the way, do you think anyone will mind me doing the brake bed-in procedure as I've just read in another post, while going either down 295 or the NJ Pike on my way home with 'er? ;)

This is my 1st post on this board (so sorry Danny at Criswell - nothing personal - Just my experience. Usual disclaimers to all: of course YMMV), and I'm looking forward to joining the community! Looks like you guys have got, and share both openly and freely - quite a lot, of awfully good information.

Cheers!
-Grant
No offense Grant, but I can assure you that few, if any Lotus dealer keeps their entire inventory (unless they are so small of a dealer that they never have more than one or two cars, in which case you've got to be a bit wary) inside. I bet Princeton doesn't. I don't understand folks who think dealers need to, should, or can keep their inventory in out of the elements.

Hate Corvettes or love em, lots of folks do. Criswell has 40+ on the lot, they all sell for at least what an Elise does. Should Vette buyers expect the inventory to be kept indoors?

Criswell used to keep 20 or so Lotus on the lot. Can't keep them all indoors.

As for test drives, actually getting a test drive out of Criswell is the hardest thing about dealing with them. I don't believe their entire inventory is available for unlimited test drives.

I've bought one Exige from them, had 3 Elise's and one Esprit serviced by them. Not a big fan, only game in town, but they are hardly as bad as you describe.

My experience with Dan's follow up has been great. I've come relatively close a couple of times to pulling the trigger on a different Exige from them, and Dan was professionally persistent with his follow up until I finally decided to go another route. Even after that, he's maintained good contact, because he knows at some point I'll probably be in the market yet again.

Again, not a Criswell fanboy, I've had a couple of issues with service (but no more than I've had with Mini dealer, Chrysler (Crossfire) dealer, or Mercedes dealers), but if they will sell you the car you want at the price you want, go for it.

Oh, and welcome to Lotus. Join the national Lotus Ltd, and from their website get the contact info for Phil Mitchell, who leads the DC/Balt./MD chapter. If for no other reason than to get an invite to the September picnic at a member's home in Ellicott City. Last year's picnic had about 45 or so Lotus of many vintage and models, as well as Ferrari, Lambo, Noble, Porsche, Shelby Series 1, Ford GT's, etc. etc. Great people, stunning cars. (Yeah, he has a VERY big yard). Scroll through this link for pics from last Fall's event:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44952&page=2

It will also connect you to the wider Lotus world, there is so much more to it than Elise and Exige.

I'm going to put together an overnighter (see Mid Atlantic Regions) for MD/VA Lotus folks to hit the Eastern Shore, and some of their great back roads. PM me if you're interested. In the early 'who is interested?' stage, so no firm dates yet.

Personally, I liked dealing with Maplecrest in NJ, (bought two Elise's), but they gave up their dealership.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top