Today's test drive was a 5 speed Patriot, base level with few options. Took it for a spin out of Capital Dodge/Jeep down in south Edmonton. Overall, I'd say the staff were pretty good. Went out for the test drive with one of their new sales-trainees. He's just learning the business & the products, so I took it down a few roads that I know of south of the city where we could see how the suspension handles on less-than-perfect roads. Not bad, actually.
Did I buy it? No. Not because it wasn't close to what I wanted (they are looking for a similar model for me but without A/C). More because (as those who know me well understand), I like to do a fair bit of research. You don't spend 20 years around academic institutions without some of that rubbing off in other areas. They made a good effort at the sale, but weren't high pressure when I said I was still looking at models in another place. The sales rep I dealt with had a pretty down to earth approach: "It's my job to sell you the vehicle, so that's what I'm going to try to do."
Btw, we had a chance to get out to the mountains last weekend: William Watson Lodge on the east side of the Spray Mountains. I'll tell you about it sometime.