Jill Merriam Key Hyundai Blog

What’s the #1 Trade-in at Key Hyundai Connecticut?

Key Hyundai is all kinds of crazy busy these days!

Elantras and Sonatas are flying off the lots, with Santa Fe and Tucsons getting traffic as well. It’s easy to see why. With gas prices skyrocketing nationwide, and our little corner of the world, quaint Connecticut owning bragging rights of consistently over $4/gallon regular, and over $5 (not a typo) in lower Fairfield County.


So there’s good reason drivers are flocking to Milford and Manchester for a test drive or two.

People are rethinking the cars they want to drive. Hyundais are smokin’ hot, and the 40 mpg has many people – many, many SUV driving people – coming in for a look. Apparently they like what they see.

The hot Hyundai gas mileage, teamed with Key Hyundai’s great credit approval process (yes, even for you rolling your eyes right now!), and anticipated, practically promised, future savings in gas, it’s easy to see why one particular vehicle is the trade-in du jour!

Just take a look! And I’m not this squinty – the rare CT sun was in my eyes!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76A__dmnEtQ&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

Rockville High School in Vernon, CT is Getting a Hyundai

Key Hyundai donates to Project Graduation 2011

Our entire Key Hyundai team is proud to announce we are donating a gently used car to Project Graduation at Rockville High School, right up the road from Key Hyundai Manchester, in Vernon, Connecticut.

Rockville High holds this amazing event year after year, Project Graduation, but in these tough economic times, donations are dwindling. RHS needed a big incentive to solicit other donations and create excitement amongst the students. That’s where Key Hyundai came in.

We did an exhausting amount of research before choosing a school to donate a vehicle for a worthy cause.

And let me tell you, choosing just one school sure wasn’t easy.

Because all the schools researched are full of worthy programs, deserving students, committed parents and hard-working teachers and staff. The search was inspiring – and frustrating – because I would sure love to donate a car to each and every one of them, but it’s just not possible to do that, and stay in business!

Connecticut Hyundai | Hyundai CT | Key Hyundai donates car

Rockville High School students in Vernon check out the Key Hyundai car giveaway

Rockville High emerged the clear winner, partly due to proximity, as Key Hyundai of Manchester is actually located directly on the Vernon/Manchester town line, and many of our customers and employees are from this immediate area. (But sorry! Only Rockville High School Class of 2011 graduates are eligible for the car!)

The amazing Jeri Bebrin, parent volunteer and Project Graduation Committee member, who we bombarded with questions, responded with such thorough detail, I knew our donation of a gently used car from Key Hyundai would be used to its utmost potential. To find out more about Project Graduation, email these fine folks at rockprojectgrad@yahoo.com.

Key Hyundai Giving Back to the Community: It’s Our Job

I’m not the first auto dealership to donate a car to a school. My friends at Manchester Honda do so for Manchester High. All over the state there are examples of local businesses who give to their school community in effort to ease the financial burden by providing whatever they can. Food. Advice. Money. Services.

And sometimes cars.

Project Graduation at Rockville High School is parent sponsored and community funded. Graduates attend for free the night of graduation, with all entertainment, raffles, food, music, and, yes, this year even a car, donated for their enjoyment. The evening is a substance free, celebratory all-night bash, where the kids can party safely and celebrate this milestone of young adulthood – high school graduation – and parents can breathe easy that for this night, they will be safe.

I am proud to be affiliated with such a noble event at Vernon Public Schools, and look forward to meeting these fine graduates-to-be when they stop by to visit us at Key Hyundai of Manchester.

Recycled Motor Oil heats Connecticut’s Key Hyundai dealerships

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Used motor oil heats Key Hyundai in Milford and Manchester

Earth Day celebrations are fun and timely and warrant a lot of media attention. All those tiny acts sure add up to a billion acts of green!

The thing is, you don’t have to do a lot; you just need to do something.

At Key Hyundai of Milford and Key Hyundai of Manchester, we do our part to conserve, recycle, reuse.

It’s habit, and I never thought that it’d be “news-worthy” until a random tweet from Ryan Hanrahan from NBC30 Connecticut asked ‘what does your business do to recycle‘ that I simply tweeted back:

@KeyHyundai reuses customer motor oil to heat our 2 shops.

Recycling that is so automatic, I did not considered that Key Hyundai did anything special! Boy was I wrong!

To the rest of CT, what we do is big news.

Ryan Hanrahan at NBC Connecticut seemed impressed enough to come pay us a visit in Milford to see our efforts in action. Right before he arrived, I quickly grabbed the camera to shoot this.

An oil change at Key Hyundai put to good use!

When customers (about 8,000 oil changes a year!) service their cars at Key Hyundai of Milford and Key Hyundai of Manchester, we don’t toss the used motor oil.

We reuse their vehicle oil to heat both our Connecticut Hyundai shops: both Milford and Manchester. The oil reused saves about 2 tanker trucks (15,000 gallons) of oil from entering the watershed, and with each oil change taking about a gallon of oil, that’s a lot of oil saved each year from going into our rivers and streams.

Recycle DIY Oil Changes at Key Hyundai

About 20-30% of Americans still do their own oil changes at home.  If you are one of those DIY oil changers, what do you do with your waste oil?  I encourage you to bring it to Key Hyundai and we will gladly recycle it for you. If you live outside Connecticut, find a local repair facility that will take it from you.  Keep in mind that one gallon of oil can pollute up to a million gallons of water.  We all need to do our part from not letting that happen.

There are other uses for waste oil, like providing radiant heat through a waste oil water boiler. Key Hyundai of Manchester is about to go through a major rebuild of our facility, and we are exploring all the latest environmental features available.

Rest assured that when you get an oil change at Key Hyundai, you can feel comfortable knowing we reuse your oil and save it from polluting our local Connecticut rivers and streams.

Saving Key Hyundai big bucks on heating the shops.

And passing those savings onto the customers, which is why servicing your car at Key Hyundai is so much less than a quick lube. And we wash your car too – in Milford, but available in Manchester once our rebuild is complete!

Come by and see for yourself how we do what we do, or watch the newscast at NBC Connecticut to see the recycle in action!

Do your part this Earth Day and everyday, however small it is. Because the residual effects are long-lasting, and the good karma created just might land you on the news!

A Week Long Hyundai Santa Fe Test Drive in Connecticut

Hyundai cargo room

The boy was won over by his new changing room.

This is Kate, coming to you live, sort of, from Jill’s Blog.

One clarification: my family didn’t spend the week in the Santa Fe: I did. Me, the driving carpooling working mom stayed behind the wheel, while the kids were in and out, in and out.

As were the neighbors.

And the dog.

And the 16 year-old who had to have her hands pried off the steering wheel.

It was an unfortunate week for Key Hyundai to pass along a brand spanking new Santa Fe for me to compare to my gently used and nearly paid for Honda Pilot.

Bad because my husband was out of town for the weekend, my carpooling firefighting neighbor worked nights, and the kids started spring sports: lacrosse in Fairfield and soccer in Greenwich.

Where we don’t live. Not even close.

Which meant it was drive time, all the time.

Me and the Hyundai Santa Fe traveling to school and from school; to practice and games and MDs for sinus infections; for SAT tests at the crack of dawn (ugh, can you even imagine doing that again?), the vet, and the regular: work, gas, groceries, gas, and um, the occasional Dunkin Donuts drive thru.

You know, life.

The bottom line?

The usual 300-330 per week mileage EXPLODED to over 400!

Meaning one thing: my husband does a lot more driving than I give him credit for.

Fuel effecient Hyundai

No longer the only reason to drive a Hyundai!

With gas topping $3.99/gallon in Newtown, Connecticut at this writing, I was quite fortunate to have this fuel-efficient Hyundai to tool around town in.

The Honda Pilot is not bad on gas, but it’s a big car, with a big engine, and it would have cost me a bundle more. So the unfortunate timing for Key Hyundai, was quite fortunate for me. As fortunate as one can be shelling out $4/gallon for gas.

So let’s just say we went to the Santa Fe for better gas mileage, but stayed for the drive-ability. The smoothness. The get up and go. The maneuverability.

What that means in car talk, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I easily avoided wild turkeys on 3 occasions, deer on several more, and the potholes that have eaten many a car alive in my fine corner of Connecticut.

This car was way, way nicer than I expected. Smooth, elegant, a jazz to drive, and a kick-butt stereo to boot.

Let darling husband drive it to Greenwich for our boy’s soccer game, and he admitted, not what he expected.

“But will it last?” he surmised. “Sure it’s nice now, it’s brand new. But how good will it be a few years down the road?”

When I told him about Key Hyundai’s insane guarantee of new tires, new battery, and engine guarantee for life of car, he didn’t believe me.

“They can’t afford to do that,” he said. “Nobody can.”

When I told him about Hyundai’s 100k mile guarantee, he said it’s bad business: nobody can afford to fix all that and stay in business. Unless….

Unless the car doesn’t break.

The light bulb went on.

And I do believe we may be in the market for a new car.

Not getting the Santa Fe, as the Pilot is almost paid for and well, almost paid for is paid for. Almost.

“But have you seen the Sonata and Elantra?” husband announced today. “They’re hot!”

Yessiree, they are on our very, very short list of cars. Especially with Hyundai’s reputation for fuel economy.

Come for the gas savings. And let the rest surprise you.

Hyundai Santa Fe Surprises Busy Mom

Even the dog approves.

Hi, I’m Kate, happy to work for Jill Merriam and the nice folks at Key Hyundai in Connecticut as Key Hyundai’s community relations and social media multi-tasker.

Key Hyundai people are nice. And friendly. And personable. And they were like that even after they found out I wasn’t a customer on the showroom floor, and before they knew I was a colleague!

These are just good, honest people.

Anyways, I’m posting on Jill’s Blog with an update on the Hyundai vs. Honda Smackdown: the switcheroo of my almost-paid-off Honda Pilot to more job-friendly Hyundai Santa Fe.

First off, let me clarify why I didn’t opt for the larger, roomier Hyundai Veracruz with that third row seating. The third row is the exact reason we opted for the Pilot to begin with: our growing family needed 3rd row seating due to three teens and a tween and one very large dog.

But that was then, and this is now.

Now being, of the 4 kids, one is away at college.

And now being, gas is $3.89 in my area of Western Connecticut and I’d rather squish kids in than pay more gas money for their comfort.

So Andre and Matt at Key Hyundai Milford swapped out my Pilot for the Santa Fe, gave me the walk around, in the rain no less, and off I went!

This is a not a loaded soup-to-nuts version of the Hyundai Santa Fe, because I wanted a similar car and to not be distracted by the bells and whistles of the more laden models.

For which my kids were clearly disappointed. But I wasn’t.

Not sure what I expected in the Santa Fe, but it clearly wasn’t this.

I know it’s a back-handed compliment, and sure doesn’t look good in print and sounds worse out loud, but the Hyundai Santa Fe was waaaayyyyyy nicer than I ever expected.

The Hyundai drives smooth.

I mean, really, really smooth. Like, um, a car and not an SUV. Maybe it’s the new car smell and all, but this Santa Fe rides real nice. Not at all boxy or truck like, and very manageable in the grocery store parking lots and SUV laden soccer fields.

It even hits the Connecticut potholes with a less jarring effect on car – and driver.

Not what the loaner agreement I signed had in mind, but a fact driving on Connecticut roads after Snowpocalypse 2011.

But the best part so far?

I’ve had the car 3-1/2 days, have traveled 178 miles (not what nice folks at Key Hyundai had in mind either, I’m sure!) at no more than 40 mph doing the drop off, pick up carpool thing, and people?

I still have half a tank of gas.

Unless they’ve got a 40 gallon tank hidden in this car somewhere, Hyundai is a clear winner.

So far, so good! Will be doing highway driving this weekend, criss-crossing the state for soccer and lacrosse games so we’ll see how the highway miles treat us.

Connecticut Car Dealer Steals Cash, Cars and Consumer Confidence

Connecticut Car Dealer compaints

This should never happen to any car buyer

How does this guy sleep at night? This makes my skin crawl, I’m so angry.

I hate this story, but am sharing it anyway. Because Connecticut car shopping should never be like this. Not ever, ever, ever.

I heard about this Connecticut used car dealer/thief from a NBC Connecticut reporter Jeff Saperstone. A Hartford car dealer took the money and ran, leaving customers empty-handed with empty wallets. It’s despicable for any business, and as a member of the auto industry and a Connecticut car dealer who prides herself on honesty and transparency, I’m sickened.

Hartford Car Dealer Steals Way More than Cash & Cars

These days more than ever, we work too hard for our money to have anyone take it away. Shame on this dealer for being a thief and a slimeball. I don’t care if you’re buying a brand new car right off the delivery truck full price with a suitcase of cash, or financing a used winter-beater car to get to your mailbox every day.

Car buyers: Car shopping doesn’t have to be like this.

Please don’t assume you can’t afford something at a “good” dealer, because you can. At Key Hyundai, we put people in cars everyday that they never thought they could afford to drive. And we do it with a crystal clear conscience. Reputable dealerships, not just mine, but most Connecticut car dealers work hard to stricken this reputation from our industry.

Go to a reputable dealer and ask a lot of questions. Check out DealerRater.com (and because I am Jill Merriam, visit the Key Hyundai reviews and read what our customers say about us! Thank you Connecticut!)

At Key Hyundai, I promise our staff will work with you and your budget and get you into a vehicle that meets your needs, whatever they are. It’s what most of us do every day, but don’t make the news doing so.

My heart breaks for these consumers, and my blood boils for this car dealer tarnishing the rest of us out here doing the right thing every single day.