Carter Subaru Ballard in Seattle, WA

Share |

On this page you can find detailed information about the company Carter Subaru Ballard in Seattle, WA.

The following is provided current addresses and telephone numbers of all branches car dealer Carter Subaru Ballard, and using the card, you can easily locate it visually. Also on the page provides information on dealer Carter Subaru Ballard in other cities in the Washington.

Carter Subaru Ballard

Dealer Info:

Phone(s):(206) 782-7475
Address:5201 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, WA, 98107
  • Monday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Thursday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Friday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Saturday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sunday: Closed

Reviews on Carter Subaru Ballard

Rachel A. | 2015-04-23

I recently purchased a car from Carter Subaru in Ballard. Victor, our salesman, was very knowledgeable and friendly... and PATIENT! He listened to what I wanted or didn't know if i wanted and helped me to get a car that was perfect. Victor was the right blend of steering me in the direction he could tell i wanted and letting me make my own decisions. I am really happy with my purchase.

Eric O. | 2015-03-31

I've heard mixed reviews about both Carter VW and Subaru, but I have to say my overall experience has been positive. I bought my Subaru Outback 3 years ago and have been satisfied with the car and the Carter Service. They buying experience was relatively painless. I dealt with Heath Bower who was genuine (not a "slick" sales guy) and willing to work out a fair purchase agreement with me. If you're in the market for a Subaru or VW, it can't hurt to pay Heath a visit.

Kris D. | 2015-03-25

My husband and I just bought our first new car.  I had spent a lot of time on the internet trying to find out how to get a good deal.  I also got pre-approved for a loan at our credit union.  I knew exactly the car I wanted--the base model 2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i--and contacted Subaru  dealers for an internet price.  I knew that I didn't want to be pressured by aggressive sales people.

Several Subaru dealers got back to me, and Carter Subaru was the only one that emailed me a quote on exactly the car I had said I wanted.  The other dealers sent me prices on Outbacks that had more features (they call this "higher trim levels")  than we wanted, and cost more.   And the other dealers telephoned me, sometimes several times (!), to try to set up an appointment.

I didn't want phone calls,  I didn't want to feel pressured, and I didn't want to be  pushed into paying for more than we felt comfortable with.  Jonathan, in the Carter Subaru Ballard  internet department, did not pressure me in any way.  I emailed him with questions many times, and he always replied  promptly with the information I needed.  So we decided to buy the car from Carter Subaru, and we drove to Ballard.

While Jonathan did not pressure us even when we were at the dealership, we did get  a "hard sell" for an extended warranty from another person there.  It is that person's job to sell the extended warranty, and I can't fault him for trying to do his job.

But if you are given a one-time only chance to buy something expensive without having at least a week to think it over, should you buy it?  I might be wrong about the extended warranty, but as a general rule,  it's safer not to be rushed into big decisions.  Why won't they let you have time to think about buying an extended warranty, which wouldn't even take effect until three years in the future? Is this reasonable?

At the dealership, they said that we were required to fill out their consumer credit application, even though I told them that we were definitely financing through our credit union, and I had the credit union letter of loan preauthorization with me.  They said that their consumer credit application was required under anti-terrorism legislation.  Is this true?   When I asked someone at the credit union about this later, she didn't think a whole consumer credit application is required by the law.

Then Carter Subaru said that we had to fill out a "collateral" or "back-up" contract, even though the credit union was willing to fax them a copy of the check and send the check out to Carter Subaru that very day.  Why did Carter Subaru insist on the "back-up" contract?  Because  we might decide to tell the credit union not to send the check, so that we could steal the car!  

Seriously?  We might steal the car? They had already run a credit check. They knew that  we have lived in the same house for 40 years.  We're not Bonnie and Clyde. We're not going on the lam, and we don't want to go to jail for car theft.  

I called the credit union from the dealership, to see if this was reasonable,  and was advised not to sign the "back-up" contract, but, instead, to come pick up the check and hand-deliver it to Carter Subaru. So we drove to the credit union, got the check, and brought it back to Carter Subaru.  I LOVE my credit union (School Employees of Washington Credit Union)!!!!!

If I were doing this again, I would look into using the car-finding company that is linked to on my credit union's website.  I would research extended warrantees before going to the dealer.   And I would check with the dealership first about how closing the deal would actually work, since we were just lucky that our credit union happens to be located near this dealership and was willing to issue our check immediately.

Shawn X. | 2015-02-18

I dealt with Gil here both times I came in.
He was very personable and very knowledgeable about all of the cars there.
Not once did I feel pressured.
if I was indecisive at any time, he would lay out all of the differences between both cars I was looking at.

I didn't end up making a purchase there but I was very happy with my experience at Ballard Subaru.

Erin F. | 2015-02-06

I've taken my car here a few times for various things such as a 90k service, oil change and tire rotation, etc. In my opinion the tire rotation and oil change were pricier than when I would have it done elsewhere and then tires rotated for free from where I bought them, but this is seattle and its a lot easier than driving around town all day to do so.
The service has always been great and timely, and I would like to give a mention to Taz, who has provided excellent service to me on more than one occasion. Keep up the great service and work everyone!

Erin D. | 2015-02-04

I first came in on a Saturday back in late November.  Just was a walk in hoping to see the two cars I was thinking about seriously at the time.  I was introduced to Bill who was very willing to show me both the Crosstrek and the Forester.  I stated that I was traveling for work and wouldn't be purchasing anything today but likely would be making my final decision around Christmas/New Years.  Rather than push and be obnoxious like most car salesmen, he actually listened and respected what I said.  He took the time to let me test drive both vehicles and explain their major differences.  During this same time period I did visit two other dealerships and was not treated at all the same.  The other dealerships did exactly what I expected and feared - hounded me, pressured me, AND didn't listen to the fact that I was traveling for work to a place with very limited cell service/internet and proceeded to constantly bug me and try to get me to come in and buy a car.  But Bill at Carter? No, instead he emailed me before I left asking to touch base when it was convenient for me once I had returned to set up another time to come on in.  So impressed, I decided to continue to work with Bill.  We set up an appointment time just before New Years.  When I arrived, Bill came over and apologized that he was finishing up a deal with a customer who had an earlier appointment.  I didn't mind waiting, I understand things sometimes take longer, but rather than make me wait he asked if I was okay if someone else got me started and then he would catch back up with me.  This is when I met Archie.  Luckily, I struck gold again meeting another car salesman who was not pushy, annoying, and actually listened to my wants/needs.  I had basically given up on finding a used Crosstrek since they have only been in production since 2013 and are relatively hard to find used.  Rather than just sell me a new one, which I was fully prepared to do, Archie went the extra mile and saw a used 2013 that had only been there 20 days or so (it showed up since my last visit).  This car was exactly what I wanted - again with the "actually listening to my needs" the car was the right color, interior color, a limited, low mileage, and more in my comfortable price range.  Now, here is where Carter Subaru went above and beyond...most places (at least the last 3 used car experiences I had) you buy the car as is.  You see what you get.  I noticed a small dent on the side but figured " is a used car...".  This was after the paperwork was signed.  Archie took an even closer look and noticed a couple small pitch marks on the hood where it had eaten through the clear coat.  He then talked to the service team and told me, "we are going to make this car feel brand new and be in its best condition, drop it off this weekend and we will repaint the areas where the pitch ate through, re-clear coat the hood, and remove the dent on the side."  I was floored.  When I went to drop it off, I was given a loaner car and was in and out in about 10 min.  Not only did they fix what they said, but they found another very small dent in the hood and popped that out as well.  I received a call the day it was estimated to be done - and due to the nature of popping out both dents they needed a few more days.  Two days later I was leaving on a work trip again (for 2.5 weeks) and said I don't mind if they keep the car and need more time - but would it be alright to keep the loaner while I am away on this trip?  No problem.  The day after I flew home I stopped in, 5 min later I was driving home in my new and improved certified used Subaru Crosstrek.  Needless to say, I am one very happy customer.  Other dealerships sure could learn a few things from how Carter Subaru operates.  Keep up the good work.  

One last thing - rather than let me leave with my new car and struggle with setting up the blue tooth connectivity/entertainment system on my own, Archie took the time to sit with me and get it all set up and ready for use.  And, although Archie did end up selling me the car, Bill checked in along the way and made sure I was being taken care of and everything was going according to plan.

Paul P. | 2015-01-26

My wife and I stopped into Carter Subaru looking for a new vehicle to replace our Mini. We were greeted by Gil who introduced us to the Subaru line. Wet didn't know a ton going in, just that we liked the look of some of their vehicles, but mostly we went because everyone wet know who owns a Subaru lives their Subaru. Gil let us take a Crosstrek out for a spin and we fell in love. Gil worked with us to help us turn our negative equity in our trade-in into a new Crosstrek. Gil and financial officer Bill matched and then beat the financing my bank offered. Wet never felt pressured or trapped into making the deal. Bill worked with us to go through all the paperwork to seem our old car and get a new one. It was simple and straightforward. Bill helped us see the ways Subaru is a company looking for more than just a quick sale. They're creating an environment that makes life long customers who love not just their car, but their car company. It was a great experience from the minute we walked in the door until we drove off in our new Subaru. Thank you so much for being awesome.

Chris P. | 2015-01-23

I love my car, and my sales reps Tony and Jonathan were first rate. Although Carter Shoreline and Carter Ballard are owned by the same principal...I couldn't get the used vehicle I wanted brought to Shoreline (where I live). Parking in Ballard sucks. I don't care how many cars you sell out of there a month, your footprint blows. When it came time to finalize the deal...the logistics of picking up the car were a nightmare. I will buy from Carter again, and hopefully, Jonathan and or Tony, or Rob out of Shoreline...but I abhor the Ballard location. Let the condo's win...

Katie C. | 2015-01-17

Tried to go in and test drive an Outback. Couldn't find any parking, and when I called to ask if I was missing something, the lady on the phone said they didn't have any parking, and furthermore they were busy and no one would be able to help me. No offer to schedule something later in the week or anything like that. Ok... I appreciate the honesty but I'm perfectly happy to take my money to one of the other Subaru dealers in the area.
Incidentally, we had a similar experience across the street, where we knew we definitely wanted to buy a VW Passat, but the salesperson didn't want to try and find one that fit our needs. We took our business to the VW dealer in Bellevue and they got us what we needed.

Kiel W. | 2015-01-08

The service here is terrible. I came in once because my key fob died and I needed to purchase a new one. They told me they don't make mine anymore but they could "special order" one for over $100. Yeah, I'm sure a Subaru dealership doesn't have old key fobs just sitting around all over the place. I ended up buying a new one online for $30. I recently called to see if I could get my car serviced and they said they were all booked up and without loaners for over two weeks! So I called the shoreline location and they got me in the next day with a loaner and went above and beyond with their service. I highly recommend the shoreline location over this location.

Jingyi R. | 2014-12-31

This dealership seems very disorganized during my visit today and might need a total revamp of at least the scheduling system.

I scheduled a test drive today and had to wait in the room for more than 15 minutes after the scheduled time slot. The dealer did not show up and the front desk person was less than anywhere helpful. In the meantime. More than a dozen random personnel at the shop just roamed around without coming to even answer questions.

I understand the dealership had attracted a lot of business and they do offer some snack in the waiting area. I guess other fellow yelpers' experience might be a hit-or-miss depending no whether you catch the dealers' attention.

Caitlin P. | 2014-12-18

Our car buying experience with Victor Nebre was exceptional. Victor was patient, thorough, and knowledgable. The negotiations were transparent and quick and we drove out of there with our brand new Forester in less than 3 hours. I don't know how it could have been better.

Ray C. | 2014-11-25

Carter Subaru is shady with its sales practices. Do not let them talk you into buying an extended warranty with the promise that, should you turn your vehicle in at lease-end and cancel your extended warranty, you'll get half of your extended warranty back. They do the math that favors them keeping more money than they indicate. They do not have the integrity to back that claim up. If anyone else has had similar issues with Carter or any other Subaru dealership, please comment. Carter needs to be accountable for misleading its customers into purchases like these when they have no intention of backing up their claims.

Nick H. | 2014-11-02

My wife and I recently purchased a Forester from Carter Subaru and it was the best car buying experience either of us ever had.  Our salesperson, Vince, was very knowledgeable about the car and the different trims and options.  I had done my research so I could tell he knew what he was talking about.  We took a couple different test drives and never felt pressured, nor did Vince bug us with distracting and phony smalltalk while we were driving (when one is trying to evaluate every aspect of how the vehicle functions and handles).

I shopped around to a few different Puget Sound dealers and obtained a few price quotes, but Vince managed to undercut them all.  In spite of their large inventory they didn't have the exact model vehicle we wanted--a somewhat hard-to-find configuration.  Vince helped us locate the exact car we wanted at another dealer, negotiated a trade with them and had the car delivered the very next day (at no extra cost to us).

We had a few dealer-installed options which went in without a hitch--and the loan car was truly hassle-free (and didn't require reserving weeks in advance, like I've experienced at other dealers).

Vince even managed to help out my sister-in-law with an old problem she'd had with her Outback and never got around to fixing.

I highly recommend Carter to my friends and family and they'll be at the top of our list the next time we need a car.

Erin N. | 2014-10-29

I was referred to Victor Nebre at Carter Subaru Ballard through a friend who just recently purchased a new Forester.  As soon as I got on the phone with him, I told him the exact car that I was looking for along with the price I received from another dealership to match - as simple as that!  I explained to him that this was my first-ever car purchase, and he was very patient and accommodating.  Took the time to explain and show every little detail and feature of the car, both on the lot and on the test drive.  He is low-pressure, yet very effective - which I think is important especially for first-time car buyers like myself.  It was comforting being able to work with him, and I would highly recommend Victor to anyone looking at purchasing a Subaru!

Camille S. | 2014-10-19

Took my '05 Subaru in because I was referred there by my mechanic to have some "specialized" subaru work done.  Subaru had my car for 7 days to replace an O2 sensor and a passenger airbag recall.  The communication was terrible.  I would call, be put on hold for 10 minutes only to have the receptionist come back on and tell me I needed to leave a voice mail for my service representative.  My calls were rarely returned and never in a timely manner.  Papers had to be faxed to Subaru from my previous mechanic.  Supposedly they did not get the fax, but did not tell me for 3 days. When I finally got my car back, the upholstery on the driver's seat was almost black, granted the tan upholstery was very poorly made, but it was unacceptable.  I ended up cleaning the upholstery on my own because I NEVER want to deal with them again. It was an extremely frustrating experience and I would never recommend anyone to go there. I was going to buy a new Subaru from them, but given my experience with the service department, I think I will go with another make of car.

M C. | 2014-09-30

Nothing more disappointing to know that an agreement with this business isn't any good.
We show up to pick up a car we had negotiated all day for and to find us greeted by the sales person and she tells us the car sold the night before at closing. OOPS!

Common courtesy would have been to at least call us to let us know so we don't make that long trek from Kent to Ballard to learn of this news.

I think this was just another "game" to get customers in the door to buy another one of their cars on the lot.

Shoppers beware....

J. T. | 2014-09-27

I bet you haven't juuuust happened to be on your way to a dealership to look at a new car when your current car decides to start smoking!! People in every lane were pointing at me like I was both blind and nekkid at the same time! I could CLEARLY see the smoke. Not realizing the service dept was actually still open I wandered in and my man Carlos was soon on the job. He came out looked under the hood, gave his opinion and squeezed it into his schedule. Even better, he set me up with a choice of brand new loaner cars and said they'd look at it right away. Mind you, this was my first time for service here. I was floored. I was off and away in less than 30 minutes (in a car that didn't smoke!!) Over the next few days Carlos kept in touch and since their schedule was busy and I came unexpectedly, they let me keep the loaner car! What more could I ask for! In the end Carlos had a day off but the pass off to another service rep was smooth professional and just as awesome. Carter's has a very well deserved reputation. If your hoopty is smokin' in a bad way like mine was, look no further!

Laura H. | 2014-08-31

Deciding to rely on the advice from the service department at Carter Subaru turned out to be one of the most costly decisions of my life. Twenty-four hours before my Subaru broke down, I brought it into the dealership and they said that my car was fine to drive. Because of this misdiagnosis, I'm a teacher and don't have a car to drive to school with this year.

The check engine light was on and the service department told me that it needed an oil flush that could be done at my convenience. They told me that my car was safe to drive and there was nothing wrong with the engine.

The very next day my car had a catastrophic breakdown and I had it towed to another Subaru dealership in the area. They told me that the turbo failed and caused the engine to fail. They said that the fault codes they received indicated turbo damage and that the failure of my engine could have been prevented. Carter got the same fault codes, but now conveniently denies that these codes are associated with turbo failure and accepts no responsibility for my car's breakdown.

I have filed a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Agency and am still waiting for a response from Carter.

When I come up with the money to fix my car, I will be taking it somewhere else for service and suggest others do the same.

Amanda L. | 2014-08-26

Victor Nebre in sales was a joy to work with when I purchased my Subaru. He was straightforward, his dealings were transparent, he went over the features of the car thoroughly, I got a great deal, and drove away with exactly what I wanted at the right price. Thanks!

Christopher F. | 2014-08-09

I took my car here for a second opinion.  They seemed to do a thorough job and told me what I needed to know.  I took the optional shuttle to my office downtown after dropping the car off and found myself wishing I'd taken the bus.

My appointment was for 7am (this was the start of a very rough day). The first shuttle is scheduled at 7:30.   By my estimation I wasn't going to make it to work on the bus until around 7:40 so I decided to wait around.  The shuttle didn't end up leaving until 7:35.  The driver took a wrong turn and ended up weaving though Queen Anne backroads.  No one in the car was saying anything which made it all the more awkward. I didn't end up making to work until 8.

In the end, the bill was slightly higher than the maximum they told me it would be on the phone but there's no piece of mind like taking your car to the dealership.

Ron R. | 2014-07-31

Best service I have ever had buying a car. Will always purchase my subaru's from this dealership. The customer service went well above what I excepted, thank you Dave and Shelly, I absolutely love my car thank you.

Kimberly B. | 2014-07-03

Let me tell you a story about a business that 100% understands the value of making a customer happy, and keeping a solid relationship with said customer.

We owned a 2004 Subaru Outback for about 2 1/2 years, which we'd purchased from Carter Subaru in Shoreline (my first car-buying experience, which was also a very good one). A few weeks ago, we started noticing a funny smell from the vents. Thinking it was an exhaust leak, we brought it into Carter Subaru in Ballard... and sadly, my very nice service technician told me that both head gaskets needed replacing, and the car had multiple oil leaks (not to mention older tires and brake pads that would need replacing sooner than later). Drat. All in all, nearly $4000 in repairs. While I'd purchased a warranty with my 2004 Outback, most of the folks at the dealership agreed that it was likely not something a warranty would typically cover, but my service tech agreed that he'd look into it.

That night, on a whim, we noticed that Carter Subaru was having a big sale on brand-new Subarus, and we decided to check them out. We completely fell in love with a 2014 Outback premium, and decided it was time to let the old car go. We worked with Lynnette to pick out the car and negotiate our price (big props to Lynnette for taking off as much as she could on a way-on-sale car), and we struck a deal we were all happy with. We were sent off to finance, where we met with the kindest fella who explained every bit of the process and found yet more money we could save. We got into our sparkling, freshly detailed car and drove happily home.

The next morning, we got a call from the service tech, saying that my old warranty DID in fact cover the repairs on our 2004 Subaru. What! I immediately called for a manager - and got to meet Dave. Dave was not working the night we purchased our car, but he took it upon himself to sort this out and make sure that he made us happy. And by this, I mean he talked to the service department, our warranty folks, everybody - and arranged for the processing to stop so that we could get an adjustor out to view the car, simply so that we could get extra money for a trade-in. Talk about making the customer happy - Dave is just awesome.

We got a call the next day saying that we'd have an additional $2500 added to our trade-in value, and even negotiated our warranty down an extra $500. Seriously, Carter Subaru goes so above and beyond, I can't imagine going anywhere else. We're so pleased with our purchase and confident in bringing our new car back to Carter for fair, quality service.  Exceptional staff & service - you have made a customer for life.

Stephen W. | 2014-06-30

This is a review for the service department.

We took our crosstrek in fit it's first oil change this past Saturday.

Was able to book the appointment online. I rooked up at the exact time if the appointment and they got me checked in. I was expecting the pulls change to take a while, maybe 2 hours. The service manager said it should be done in an hour, awesome. My wife and I went out to find some lunch. The Carter in Ballard is in a prime spot for restaurants in Ballard. Half way through lunch we got the call the car was ready, only took 45 minutes... Very nice!

What's more is I installed an OEM sports grille on the car but failed to clip it in all the way. The service guys popped it in just because they spotted it and could do it. They went above and beyond.

Finally service prices are very reasonable. Well worth it.

Carol C. | 2014-06-26

Marysville Subaru called ahead as their key machine had botched making my key they tried again botched that one too (no more keys in stock), to see if they could get me right in.  Tammy talked to service manager Paul, and gave him the VIN number so they could be ready.  Drive there, go to service, and no one knows anything about me coming in!  This key, if they get it made, will have taken me over 4 hours to get made!  Why can't people follow through...why can't people just do their job!  Wonder if I will get my key!

Alice C. | 2014-04-29

Carter Subaru in Ballard had a Subaru wagon listed online I was interested in viewing. Tony Robertson, one of the online sales managers, was prompt in returning my inquiries and letting me know what the details on the car were. However, when I came to take a look at the car, Lynette in the sales room told me the car had sold little the morning I came to look at the car, even though the email confirmation I had gotten from Tony the night before stated the car was still on the lot. Lynette was polite, but insistent on selling me a brand new Subaru that was out of my price range. Tony did email me later in the day wondering if I was still interested in the car, and seemed disappointed in the run in I had dealt with with Lynette. Pretty standard high pressure tactics to buy outside your budget, go with in house financing, and buy more extras you don't really need.

Kara P. | 2014-03-25

We consistently have been disappointed with the service department. Similar to other reviewers, we've repeatedly experienced that they overcharge and under-deliver. They just charged us more than $270 for fixing a pin in our back window instead of fixing the reported leaking seal as we had asked them to do. They made no apologies for their mistake and offered no remedy other than to do the work I had actually asked them to do at the originally quoted (exorbitant) price without offering a discount for the work that I had paid for, but didn't want.

Claudia C. | 2014-03-05

"Out of the kindness of their heart" that they are going to go halfs on fixing the CAT failur that was cause by the misfire that they failed to fix before I got it.

Justin P. | 2014-02-26

Please read the reviews of those who have more experience with Carter than simply purchasing a car. Sales people are just that; they are there to make you feel comfortable buying a car. What makes a dealer stand out is how they treat you after they've made a sale.

I will not be returning to Carter Subaru for any future service, nor will I recommend any friends to purchase a car there. While my sales experience was not poor, I already knew the exact car I wanted, and due to the model being discontinued in favor of a complete redesign Carter was the one of the only dealers in the state that even had it in stock. The salesman knew I wanted the car, there was no need to push the sale or haggle.

My negative review comes from the attitude of their management and service department. I was convinced to purchase the 3M clear bra rock guard for the front of the car through the dealer since they gave me a good deal on it and it came with a 5 year warranty. After getting the clear bra installed, within 2 months it started to peel off. Parts of it were completely detached, and the bumper portion clearly had not been applied with much care. I call Carter to schedule a time for them to fix it, and it seemed like the gentleman on the phone couldn't have cared less about the problem. There was no apology, no concern that this happened in such a short time frame, he simply asked my information and got me scheduled. I didn't think much of it at the time, but after bringing the car in for the second time to get it fixed, they returned the car with a scuff on the front fender. I understand that accidents happen, and honestly the scuff wasn't bad and could clearly be buffed out with no long term damage. After speaking to the service guys about this, again, no apology. They just brought me back inside to schedule a time to get it fixed. At this point I'm having to bring my car in three times just to get a clear bra installed, and nobody seems to care.

I ended up calling the manager later that day to express my concern with their level of service. He was apologetic, but it was all cookie-cutter customer service jargon. "We don't do business like that" etc, etc, although he did promise me a full tank of gas when I came in to get the scratch buffed out. This was, of course, forgotten when I picked the car up.

Each issue in itself is not a big deal in my opinion. Mistakes and accidents happen and it's not the end of the world. It's the overall experience and handling of the issue that really rubs me the wrong way. If one person had seemed legitimately interested in my issue, I wouldn't be here writing this review. But not a single person showed any respect or seemed to care about me enough to say "I'm sorry this happened". This all happened within 3 months of purchasing the new car, mind you.

I will be taking my service to a shop that actually cares about their customers and I hope I don't have to deal with Carter Subaru again in the future.

Suzanna J. | 2014-01-21

I recently bought a 2014 Cross Trek from Ted Reich. I'm super happy with it and my experience at Carter Subaru, especially with Ted Reich! Ted is a great guy who is super knowledgeable, helpful, friendly, and had my best interest in mind. There was no  pressure, drama or games. Ted was actually able to calm my fears as he was able to answer all of my questions and offer lots of additional info.

He's a great guy that makes buying a car a fun experience. :)

Inness H. | 2013-11-25

The only redeeming quality was the friendly shuttle drivers who escorted me to be taken to this racket of a business.

The reason people go to name brand subaru dealers is supposedly to deal with trustworthy mechanics and the best standard parts. These parts are not expensive enough to account for the difference in pricing from a skilled  private mechanic .

The truth is they are not any more trustworthy than another mechanic and USE the subaru name brand to take advantage of people who wont analyse how much money they are spending. I do not have that luxury, so the analysis;

I went in last week to have my car looked at because the awd was disengaged and my heat/ac fans were out.

I indicated to the counter person that i thought it might be something electric. My own mother and two other mechanics suggested it could just be a fuse.

Why if my uneducated mother knew it was a fuse did it take 2 1/2 hours for the trained mechanic to find this???  

I was charged close to 300$  (for labor alone) to DIAGNOSE this issue. The remedy? to flip two fuses around because they were in the wrong slots.     SERIOUSLY? (the problem is fixed . and no parts were needed).

(edit; my new mechanic agrees it could be a difficult find, this does not negate my 1 star experience or the other points of this review. Also I inidcated the fuses at the initial complaint.)

It was explained to me that im paying slightly more because of the honor that subaru respresents and the fact that they use only subaru parts..... hmmm. mind you i am paying for  a diagnosis my mother already gave me.

----  to make matters worse I was given a list of routine maintenance that would cost me 1000$....... I compared a quote with a 5 star rated local japanese car mechanic who will be performing ALL of the listed service for 450$.

I did not say anything about the quote at subaru, he just honestly gave me this quote without reference to my frustrations.

I was also of course encouraged to pay for new belts, tires and to put a new headlight in. If it took 2 1/2 hours to switch 2 fuses around how much labor will they charge for a headlight?

So the moral of the story for me is, dont trust Carter Subaru or any other Subaru dealer just because they have the brands certification.  Subarus are amazing cars and the engineers and folks who make them truly do have quality in mind.

These dealers are not representing the quality and trust of  Subaru Manufacturing. They are interested in making as much money as they can get away with.

so.  cant wait for my little reply from subaru. I already know your game and hope others will take notice, it would be good to repent and turn honest but that seems like a long shot.

Jen E. | 2013-11-20

I had the pleasure of dealing with Tammy. She is so nice to work with! I took my car in for service today and she really changed the way I looked about this dealership.  I will definitely be back to have my subaru serviced here, now!

Jay V. | 2013-10-25

Was told by Eric Estrella that multiple issues with my car were covered under warranty.  Then 10 minutes later he calls back and tells me they can't work on my car and to reschedule.  When I brought my car back a week later they told me it wasn't covered under warranty.  Not only did they mislead me but their prices are more expensive than the dealership in Shoreline and they're the same owner.

Jon M. | 2013-10-17

Was not very happy giving carter $155 just to tell me they could not work on my car,
be careful not to let these guys talk you into working on your car , all they did for me was print out a form with the obd diagnosis , something any autoparts store does for free and it cost over $150 ,what a scam , racket , with extra greed on the side.  they did give me a free basic car wash at brown bear Wo Hoo,  careful with these guys,  why are we paying uneducated grease monkeys more than lawyers these days?

Carrie Y. | 2013-10-06

5 stars for Carter Subaru Ballard! This was my first experience buying a car and I am a woman, not once did Victor Nebre, my sales consultant, try to take advantage of that. He was very personable and honest during the entire process. I was originally looking to buy a gently used 2010 Subaru Outback Impreza. After meeting with Victor he informed me that those models are hard to find, but if that's what I really wanted he would help me hunt one down. He was very up front about the pros and cons of buying the 2010 vs buying a new 2013. He did not try to put any pressure on me to buy a new one. This I found very impressive, as everyone knows, car salesmen always pressure you to buy new. I also went to Carter Subaru in Shoreline, the salesmen were nice there but I ultimately went back to Carter Subaru in Ballard because of Victor. I ended up purchasing a 2013 Subaru Impreza Sport, Silver exterior and black interior. The car had to be brought up from Portland, which Victor did not charge me extra for. He even got me a great deal on the car. I will undoubtedly be sending any friends or family to Victor when they are looking to buy a Subaru!

Stacy N. | 2013-09-30

My husband and I recently bought our first Subaru at Carter Subaru thanks to the help of our sales associate Lynette R.  Lynette helped us make the tough decision of deciding between the Forester and the Outback.  She was patient in our decision making process and never pressured us once to make a speedy decision.  Lynette was trusting, honest, and never pushy.  On our test drive Lynette took us on some great hills that helped us really feel the power and performance of the Subaru.  When we had a question on if the Outback would fit in our townhome garage Lynette was more than willing to let us bring the car to our house to make sure it would fit in our garage to ease our nerves.  Lynette worked hard to find us a car that fit our needs and our budget.  I would highly recommend Carter Subaru.

Randall E. | 2013-08-31

I recently took my 2009 Subaru Forester in for a 30k service thinking that they'd be the most experienced with working on my vehicle, and to get some recall work done. The service was a bit expensive ($800+) but I figured this is what's call for at that point in the car's life and they know what their doing. So everything was fine until I went home and remembered that I had a burnt out tail light that I forgot to tell them about. I checked their "Multi-Point Inspection List" and they had checked off that they had inspected the tail lights! Now it's one thing for them to miss a problem, but to LIE about it by checking it off on their list is another thing. I brought it back and they replaced the bulb for free and supposed did the inspection again. I wrote an email to their management but they have not responded.
I see no reason to trust their expensive service. Any mechanic can accidentally miss checking something, but to go out of their way to LIE about it is another. Also the fact that they didn't respond to my complaint, indicates that they ignore this sort of unethical practice.
I won't be returning, nor will I ever consider purchasing a car from them.

S K. | 2013-08-30

I was excited to finally be able to purchase my first new car in twelve years. I chose a 2013 Subaru Outback, but unfortunately bought it from the wrong dealer. Although they promised they would take care of me and assured me I was getting the best price, a few days later their ads began, the exact same car I purchased was now on clearance sale, as 2014 cars had arrived. I immediately called the dealer, asked why, although they knew about this, they refused to offer me this price or make any adjustments. In fact, the sales manager, Dave, didn't even have the courtesy of returning my phone calls! How sad and disappointing, sure takes the thrill out of buying a new car. At this dealership customer service stops as soon as you drive off the lot!

R A. | 2013-08-26

BEWARE OF THIS PLACE! DON'T MAKE THE MISTAKE I MADE! Before I brought my car to Carter Subaru, I read reviews that mentioned that the mechanics were stealing items from the cars that they worked on. So, I made sure that I took everything out of my car and then brought them my 10 year old Outback. BIG MISTAKE! When I received it back my car was barely functional. I got a recommendation from a friend that I should take it to their neighborhood shop (who they knew well) and they showed me that Carter Subaru Ballard had charged me for parts that they didn't even install! This place is full of thieves.

Sarah M. | 2013-07-09

I had a very, very good experience at Carter. I took a Forester for a test drive early last fall with Victor, and it was probably the best test drive I have ever taken. Victor knew the model inside and out, was able to explain to me what the car could handle--basically, I know nothing about cars and he was able to successfully inform me what the car was capable of. I felt no pressure, even when I decided to take a few months to make the purchase.

I went back in November ready to buy my 2013 Forester. I had a trade-in, and the overall process (I was by myself) was quick and easy. The customer service was amazing (and if you read my reviews, you know that's #1 for me); the staff and sales associates are friendly, courteous, and respectful. My experience was excellent. I highly recommend buying from Carter.

Amy A. | 2013-06-06

I recently purchased an Outback from Carter Subaru and found the experience to be perfect! The staff and in particular our rep Lynnette, was extremely helpful in providing me detailed information of the differences between various models, didn't get upset when I wanted to test drive multiple cars, and put zero pressure on me to make a decision.
Lynnette was just an absolute pleasure to work with and in the end, we bought our first Subaru!

Q H. | 2013-06-04

Let's face the facts. Car shopping can be stressful, dealing with dealerships can be even more so. My tip to you all: research your vehicle. Know the market/demand and importantly: have your finances ready. There are plenty of "stealerships" out there waiting to take advantage of your lack of experience and knowledge. (Carter Subaru wasnt one of these shady dealers from my experience) But if you know what to get, and what you are looking for, finding a car can be a lot less hectic.
My car shopping experience at Carter Subaru of Ballard was spectacular. My sales rep "Cresta" was super knowledgable, friendly and professional. She even set up a shuttle ride for me to the dealership, since I had just sold my vehicle that morning! Throughout the whole transaction, I did not feel being pressured into anything I did not want. Cresta even followed up with me to see how I was doing with my new 2013 WRXa week later!
Without question, if you are looking for a Subaru, give this place a shot.

Jimmy N. | 2013-05-29

I walked into Carter Subaru in Ballard expecting the usual car sales treatment I have been getting. I had been shopping around to many different dealers around town in the hopes of replacing my beloved Mazda. I went to University Mazda, University VW, Walker Subaru Renton, Toyota of Seattle and Walker Mazda Renton. At each dealer I got the usual insult of an offer on my trade in, and the high pressure sleazy salesman trying to force me into purchasing a car i didn't want or like. Walker Subaru tried the "let's talk to my manager" tactic expecting me to be intimidated into buying a car. University VW even held the keys to my car and made me speak to the manager to get my keys back!

You won't get any of this treatment at Carter Subaru in Ballard. My experience from walking in the door was the exact opposite of other dealers. When I wanted to be left alone to play in the cars, I was left alone. When I had any questions, they were answered promptly and correctly (I do all my research beforehand, and half my questions are tests. wink wink).
My sales assosciate, Lynnette Rice, was new at the job, but you wouldn't know it. She was very knowledgeable about the car I was interested in and in no way pushy or agressive. She got me the exact car I wanted, with added options, for a greeat price. Her follow up after the purchase was also very good. If you're the laid back type, make sure to ask for her. She's not like the others.

Bottom line: I'd buy from them even if i wasn't to keen on the car. It's a good thing Subarus and VWs are great cars!

Shira K. | 2013-05-10

I would give 5 stars for our sales consultant, Ted R., a smart, capable and polished sales professional. Ted inspires trust, does not apply undue pressure or manipulate the facts about the vehicles he sells and always keeps the process on track while treating the customer with respect. He is also a fun, decent person, which is helpful in a car salesman! I am very happy with my new 2013 Subaru Impreza hatchback!!

I am subtracting a star because the business manager who went through the final paperwork with me told me that they "accidentally" gave me an extra percentage point lower APR than they were supposed to...Ugh. This was supposed to make me feel like I got a better deal. Totally unnecessary, as I was already feeling great about the deal we struck due to my awesome powers of negotiation and Ted's ability to strike a fair deal, quickly. They should tell that guy to stick to the facts and leave the schtick to someone who knows what a schtick is. Meh! Whatever.  No harm, no foul.

Michelle O. | 2013-05-07

I had a great experience at Carter.  We walked in knowing what we wanted but not willing to deal with pushy and dishonest salesmen.  We almost bought a car from Bremerton but the sales manager we were dealing with ignored my requests and gave me a bad feeling so we walked on the deal.  

We were looking for a new 2013 WRX.  At this time of year they are tricky to find due to the 2014 model coming out shortly.  By luck Carter had the car we wanted, down to the color and options.  Everything went smoothly.  We dealt with Matt Schwenke on the sale and he was upfront, nice and efficient.  Travis in Finance saved us almost $3k on our Audi lease by giving us the inside scoop on how to deal with our overage in miles.  He was awesome and we really appreciated him.

Good dealership.  They charge a fair price and treat customers and employees well. We will definitely be back.

Eric T. | 2013-05-06

Had a great experience with Carter in getting my STI. They were hands off when I was doing my research and hands on when I needed help. No pressure from the sales team and had a great overall experience in getting the car that I wanted.

Jeremy L. | 2013-05-01

I purchased a 2013 Impreza from Carter.  I worked with Victor Nebre, who was professional, forthcoming, and helpful.  He tailored his "pitch" to the features I desired, and made no effort to up-sell me on things that I didn't.  He provided information that I requested in a timely fashion.  The fact that they are also a Volkswagen dealership enhanced the experience.  I was deciding between the Impreza and the Golf, and felt as though I received straight dirt on the advantages and disadvantages of the two.  (During my research, I went to Subaru-only dealerships and Volkswagen-only dealerships, and had vastly different experiences.)  I grade down only because I wish I didn't have to negotiate the price down, but I understand that's the nature of the beast, and Victor encouraged me to seek out other offers and bring them to him.  I ultimately got a good price for a great vehicle.

Mike C. | 2013-04-08

I bought a 2014 Forester and received great help from Victor.  We road tested 6 vehicles and he explained a variety of options.  In the end, the vehicle choice that I made happened to also be with one that he had been thinking was in my best interest as well.  

I bought the car on a Wednesday and it was vandalized the very next day at a parking lot in West Seattle.  I brought it back to Carter and they had a loaner car waiting by the time I finished the repair paperwork.  With the exception of the financial guy upstairs, all of the salespeople that I dealt with and all of the service center people were very helpful.

Kyle S. | 2013-03-24

I worked with Victor to purchase my first new car, and he was amazing. The first time I was on the lot he answered all of my questions and never pushed the sale on me, which is good cause I absolutely hate that.

2 weeks later I am back and want to test drive the 2014 Subaru Forester. Victor took me on the greatest test drive ever. It had everything ups, downs, pot holes, gravel, accelerations, quick braking and we even tried out the "X-Factor" which is used on hills with ice. Needless to say, this really sold me on the car, and he even offered to pull over and let my girlfriend drive the car. No other sales person even bothered to ask my girlfriend what she thought, Victor was very caring.

The only reason I am not giving Subaru a 5 star is because they gave me too much crap about going through their financing. I understand that's there job, but when some guy I'm not working with comes in and stares down at me making me feel like I'm not worth his time, you lose credibility in my book. I plan on paying my car off in 3 months and don't want to give money to Chase. Also, I really thought my car was coming with the key-less entry, but most of that was my own fault for not looking over the car beforehand.

Over all I will be going back to Subaru for future cars and would recommend them to my friends, just either be ready to fight off the finance guy or bring a check for the value of the car.

Mindy K. | 2013-01-27

I have learned a thing or two about car shopping and salesmanship over the years. I have been through several car purchases and consider myself someone who is typically a pretty hard sell. All that to say, it takes a special kind of dealer and dealership to win me over enough to want to buy from them. And I have to say I am very impressed with the professionalism and personalities of the folks at Carter Subaru in Ballard!

I had been looking for a new/used car for several months. I shopped around, did the craigslist thing and wound up at the dealership in Ballard. I met Victor who took me out into a 2013 Forester. This was one of the top salesmen I have worked with over the years that did not try to persuade me with a lot of salesmen talk. He was very personable, kind and straightforward. I walked out of the dealership that day with several sheets of paper in hand about price breakdowns- of which Victor had spent quite a bit of time working on- and left without feeling a bit of pressure or guilt for not buying a car. I continued my search and wound up back at their dealership a month later and received the same experience. Warm, straightforward, no pressure, and laid back personality. Victor did everything he could to get the numbers where I needed them and once again, i was able to leave without feeling pressured to make a purchase. I did go back a few days later to buy the car that I wanted. I would definitely recommend buying a car from these great folks in Ballard. I will refer friends/family and I will gladly make another purchase there sometime down the road.

Mikey V. | 2013-01-09

I purchased a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek XV from Carter Subaru.

My customer experience started in May of 2012 well before the first vehicles were delivered for the 2013 model year.  I sent an email inquiry about availability and received and immediate response from Tony Robertson.  Tony and I corresponded mostly over email and talked on the phone a few times through the summer and into fall.  He always responded to my emails in a very professional and timely manner.  He included as much information as possible and answered all my questions.  Even phone calls were followed up with email, and all emails were very detailed allowing me to keep a record of the entire process.

When the time finally arrived for me to reserve my car and go in for purchase, working with Tony in person was just as pleasant and straight forward as our email correspondence and phone conversations. On the day I purchased my vehicle, Tony helped me get a very fair dollar amount for my trade in.  I was handed off to Tony Nguyen in Finance who also treated me well.  I was not pressured or hard-sold on any of the insurance or warranty packages, and I was in and out of the F&I process very quickly.

I had a very good experience working with the Tonys at Carter Subaru in Ballard.  I've had very poor customer experiences at dealerships before, and I can honestly recommend working with these two gentlemen at this dealership.

- Tony R. responds to emails in a very timely manner
- Tony R. is very detailed and is a straight shooter
- Tony R. handles himself in a very professional manner and is also quite friendly
- Tony N. is expeditious in his low-pressure F&I process

Full Disclosure: I live in Seattle, and although I shopped other Subaru dealerships, my intent was to buy at Carter to take advantage of the Carter Advantage. That said, a bad experience would have immediately motivated me to purchase from one of the other many Subaru dealerships in the area.

Megan Y. | 2012-12-19

Heath was a wonder to work with. I was all over the place trying to figure out what trim I wanted and he was patient and understanding. He also came in with an awesome quote that I didn't even have to haggle for. I had a few dealerships come in 100 bucks under but I liked working with Heath so much I bought from him anyways. Once at the dealership my fiance and I were well taken care of. In and out in little time and no pressure to upgrade or buy extra stuff. I'm very impressed! Thanks again Heath, we love the new Outback!

Sam T. | 2012-11-28

Just bought a 2013 Outback, here's the scoop:

1- I actually wanted a CPO 2012 which they had and contacted them Monday, sent over my trade info, etc.  
2- Tues morning I get an email stating that the 2012 had sold but due to my employer, I could get a 2013 for about $1,000 over the price of the 2012.  Cool!
3- Show up, they called my salesperson and he showed me the car, except is was the wrong car.  Oops!  We start the negotiating and paperwork process while they grab the "right" car. I am impatient so I am glad that we were being efficient.
4- Turns out the car I wanted got damaged in transit so they have to bring one in the next day.  I am pissed and let them know that I understand that mistakes happen but this could have been caught before I got there and saved us a bunch of time.
5- Got another email this morning, the car was ready, fueled up and detailed (why detail a new car?)
6- In and out of the dealership in about 30 mins this evening with a new car, 2 seasons passes, and an Evo Gift Certificate.  The nice thing is that the car had a few extra options that the damaged one didn't that they threw in due to the hassle from yesterday.

Heath Bower was a straight forward, responsive and easy to deal with salesperson.  If you work with him you can avoid some of the issues people dealt with below.  The staff is "varied" in the quality of their service but Heath is solid.

FYI- My car is SWEET!!!!!

Matt F. | 2012-11-27

Wow let me start of by saying I haven't been this upset about general customer service in a long time.  I do want to note that Ted was quite helpful about keeping me in the loop and actively looking for the car I desired.

Here's the gist of it, I'm a smart shopper, I know what I wanted and I've looked around.

Got to the dealership and was forced to work with some guy named Archie, he didn't know my backstory nor did he care to go find my main point of contact.  He appraises my trade in, and offers me $500 for my car, a car two other dealerships had offered around $4000 for, there is no room to move on the trade in value.

He goes to " talk to his manager" as it turns out we are sitting right next to the managers office, I can over hear the manager talking crap about me.  

I've had better customer service buying a $3 cup of coffee than trying to give a dealership $20k+
I promptly left but not before letting the manager know I could hear everything he was saying.

Matt M. | 2012-11-26

***I will preface this by saying that I have only dealt with the service department.**

The customer is always wrong here.

I've had to deal with Carter Subaru Ballard three times now. The ONLY reason I have kept coming back is because they are just a few blocks from my home and the location is extremely convenient for me and my busy schedule. Unfortunately, the ease of location has been offset by the completely rude and indifferent employees I have dealt with and it's bothered me enough to write a review here.

My Chief Complaints

1. The employees do not acknowledge me as I walk in the door or offer assistance of any kind. I have to signal them to take their eyes off their computer screen and initiate the conversation.

2. I was told that a problem with my car was 'normal' and that they can't do anything about it. I insisted that this issue was far from normal but all I got was a blank stare; no empathy. A TSB was later released by Subaru confirming that this issue should be resolved and it has since been.

3. I have been funneled to the same service employee each time. The versatility of these guys is laughable as I am literally always referred to the guy that appears to be the boss or person in charge. This usually involves some waiting while he finishes dealing with other matters and the other employees continue to stare at their monitors.

Bottom line: Go somewhere else. There are plenty of other Subaru dealers in the area (and they generally sport a much better aggregate rating than Carter-Ballard).

Bryan K. | 2012-11-26

I will give the place two stars because they gave me what should have been a fair price on a 2004 Passat wagon.  However, since buying the car in March I have had nothing but trouble in areas that should have never arisen in the first place.

The car has had multiple mechanical issues related to the cylinders not firing due to cheap cylinder replacements and/or not replacing the spark plugs despite telling me that they were new.  How do you sell a car with about 65k miles on it without actually changing out the plugs, especially when you tell me that the plugs were replaced when I bought the dang thing?

Calls for service records were given vague, unhelpful answers and there was not even a consideration that they should do any more work to resolve issues that should have never come up in the first place.

I had always heard pretty good things about buying cars here- I will not be making that mistake again.

Bridget B. | 2012-10-09

Love stopping in to get my oil changed. They provide snacks and coffee and great KNOWLEDGEABLE Subaru service. I have learned that if I bring my own oil in they will use it and it saves me about $15. I drive a Subaru Legacy GT which I purchased here and have no complaints!! Best part is, Subaru LOVES dogs and I have a doggy poo bag dispenser shaped like a green bone that they were giving away a while back. ALSO, they give you a Brown Bear car wash coupon whenever you get an oil change here.

Michael D. | 2012-09-26

Talk about bad customer service!! They ordered a part for me after I bought a used car from Carter but NEVER called to say the part had come in. It feels lilke you are walking into a high school auto-shop when you go in. Very casual. I will try mu luck with used car dealers on 99 before I let this team of pranksters sell me another used car that they claim has had a "99 point checkup". It's been falling apart ever since. And I thought I could trust Carter.

R. J. D. | 2012-08-29

Won't think twice to bring my Subie here for service.  I tried all morning to reach the service desk to make an appointment, but the phone just rang and rang.  It rang for over a minute during one attempt.  With all the Subaru owners in Seattle, you'd think their customer service of the Ballard location would be top notch.  Unfortunately, I will have to sacrifice convenience for better service and take my business 10 miles north to Shoreline.

Derek P. | 2012-06-28

I'll preface this with the fact that I moved from a Volkswagen into a Subaru. I have never had much trust in dealerships working on my car - often electing to take vehicles to speed shops or specialists.

One of the reasons I decided to purchase through Carter (Ballard) was the experience my girlfriend had buying her 2011 Forester. I sat through the entire process: the intro, vehicle background, options, add-ons, test-drive, financing, signing and vehicle hand-off. She worked with both Cresta and Victor. Both were extremely responsive and respectful of our schedules.

A few months after the Forester purchase, I returned to Carter Subaru for a 2011 STI. I made it a point to speak to either Cresta or Victor. I happened to get Cresta and received the same level of service my girlfriend did with her Forester. At the time, the only STI available was on the showroom floor (a color that I just couldn't live with). I wanted white and Cresta did everything she could to track one down in the state. A few phone calls later and a white STI wagon was on the way for me.

I've overcome my distrust of dealerships servicing my car. I have taken both vehicles in for service, double checked the work and walked away happy. I generally drop vehicles off in the morning and receive a phone call a few hours later for pick-up. Granted, neither vehicles have needed any significant work, but so far... Service has met or exceeded my expectations.

Sue M. | 2012-04-07

Don't go here for service. No one has a clue from one employee to the next and I ended up not only repeating my service needs several times, but left without them met.  What a bunch of dingbats.  Kudos to Campbell Nelson!

Matt A. | 2012-03-27

Took my car to their service department one time. It will be the last.

Left a potentially life threatening issue on my forester that caused my brake caliper bolt to come out and the wheel to completely lock up. I could have been travelling at freeway speed and have been killed.

I had taken my car in for a control arm recall, during this they preformed a free inspection that included my brakes. I was told they needed to order a rust proof coating for my control arm recall and they would call me.

After 2 months I contacted Subaru of America because they never contacted me.

Terrible shop. Service manager must have been fired because they have a new one now that refused to acknowledge responsibility for my loose caliper bolt even though they inspected my brakes with the previous manager.

Lea D. | 2012-02-13

I was very disappointed with the service we received at Carter Subaru. Here's what happened...

Friday at 9am, when the service staff arrived, I called to see if they still had the 2012 STI wagon that was listed on their site. The Subaru database was showing it was the only wagon in the state. I was told they would have to call me back in 10 minutes. 2 hours later and no call, I called again. I was told by the sales associate (i'll leave his name out) that it was in the showroom. My boyfriend is the one that would be purchasing the car, and I told him we would be in that afternoon to see it, as the BF was at work. I also mentioned that he got special pricing through his work, and asked if they honored it. He said they did.

3 hours later, at 2pm, we headed down to Carter and paged the salesman. The BF gave him his discount paperwork, and the guy took it to his manager. He then returned with the pricing breakdown on the car, and showed us. It was not honoring the price the discount offered, and he explained because it was the only STI Wagon in the state, they didn't really have to honor it. But, because he lived a mile away and wasn't from Bellevue, they'd give him half of the discount.

Slightly annoyed but dealing, the BF said, ok, this is fine, let's see the car. It was sort of awkward and the salesman explained that someone had come from their shoreline shop and took the car up there to show it, and he had to call to see if it was still available. I had told him we were coming, so it felt weird they'd move the car. After 10-20 minutes of waiting, he gets a call back from Shoreline, and says that there is an offer on the car, but that they wouldn't know if their financing went through until the next afternoon. This seemed fishy to me as I recently bought a new Subaru at Walker Renton Subaru, and it didn't take a day to find out if I was qualified. So we were told they'd call the next day and let us know.

As we left, I said this seemed suspicious and we should call Shoreline to see if the story was true. So I called the Shoreline Carter and asked if they had a 2012 STI wagon on their lot. The salesman there came back and said, they did indeed have an STI wagon, and that, while there was an appointment to see if the next day at noon, there wasn't a deposit on it and that I could come see it if interested.

At this point, the BF was fairly annoyed that they were playing games with him. We drove up to Shoreline to see if it was on the lot, but didn't see it as we drove around their lot. It definitely could have been in one of their garages. But, he didn't want to stop and talk to anyone bc of what they had done.

It certainly felt like they were saving the car for the appointment the next day in case that buyer was going to purchase it, thus saving them from giving any discount on the car. The next day, the BF called them to see what was up with the car, and they kept saying they were waiting for more info on the sale.

So, we ended up finding the exact same car that had just arrived at Subaru of Puyallup. We drove down there Saturday, and they were nothing but great. Let him test drive it, honored the discounted was definitely a great buying experience. Although the BF lives 1 mile from Carter, I think he's planning on trying to get the service done at another dealership because of this experience. I live about 1/2 mile from there, but I plan to take my Subaru to Walker Renton for service just to avoid the games at Carter.

For being the self-proclaimed biggest Subaru dealership, they sure don't treat new customers very well. They lost out on a sale of one of their more expensive cars.

Vanessa V. | 2012-02-12

I did not by a car from Carter Subaru and here's why...

I called and spoke with a woman about coming in to see a 2011 Impreza Outback Sport. When she answered the phone she just said her name (which I forget) and didn't even say "Carter Subaru" - I had to ask to be sure I had called the right number. I set an appointment for 5pm and asked for the used car manager, also mentioning that I had a trade in I may want them to evaluate. She didn't give me a specific name of a salesperson I would be meeting with, just said to come at 5.

When I arrived, there was no one at the "reception" desk, but a man approached me to ask how they could help me. I told him I had an appointment at 5:00. He asked me "with who" and I said there was no specific name, just that I was interested in the Impreza and had set an appointment for 5. He said "well, I have 15 sales staff here and we are all very busy. I need to know who you are meeting with." I told him I had spoken to a woman and she just said to come at 5:00.

He went and talked to a woman on the sales floor. She said she had not taken my call. He told me "I don't know who you spoke with but the only other women who work here are across the street" - at Carter Volkswagen, and he told me to walk across the street myself and find one of them.

Clearly they are very disorganized and had no record of any appointments, nor did he even attempt to call across the street to actually find out who I was supposed to be meeting with - he expected me to do the legwork myself. What is the point of answering the phone and setting an appointment if you aren't organized enough to have someone available at the time set?

His attitude toward me was rude and demeaning, and I actually said to him "Frankly, this is not good customer service. The way you are speaking to me is unprofessional and you're basically telling me you don't have time to help me, when I am here to potentially spend $20K on a car!" He again suggested that I walk across the street. I declined and promptly left the dealership.

First impressions mean a lot in sales and customer service, and with so many dealerships out there, why waste your time with someone who is rude and disrespectful? This individual (didn't catch his name) made a terrible first impression and showed his utter disregard for my business, so guess what, Carter Subaru, I will be taking my business elsewhere!

Marcia P. | 2012-01-30

How do they stay in business? I needed a rear wiper replaced on my Outback after someone pulled it off my car. I went in and ordered it. I came in, picked it up, and went across the street to get it installed. I was told it would take about an hour and they'd call me. (This should be pretty simple, right?). After an  hour and a half I came back (no phone call) and was told it wasn't done because they ordered the wrong part. Great. They said they'd order it again. No phone call but I called and was told it was in. When can I get in and get it installed? Well, no appointments on Saturday and they can't do anything after 3:30. I reminded them this would be time #3 to be in for this but the scheduler apparently couldn't care less. Fine. I scheduled for today at 8 am. I went in, waited about an hour before I went up to the service counter to find out how it was going. Um, actually, they can't install it because they ordered the wrong part. Again. I was pretty mad by now and apparently the manager was going to overnight the part in and get it installed where I work (?). I said "forget it" and left after letting them know that I would never ever buy a car from them. I mean, if they can't handle installing a wiper arm and blade why would I trust them with anything?

Jenny P. | 2012-01-23

Hello, I came in this.morning like a hurricane with.a dead battery, two hungry kids and an attitude.  I was welcomed, comforted and taken care with excellent service.
A very nice man helped me with carseats and shuffling cars.  We had a loner, wish it was the Outback but works fine.  Customer service rocks.

Jim C. | 2011-11-08

Never again. Two "mix-ups". First was in for rear brakes--came back to a bill for front and rear brakes. "Oops, our mistake, we'll give you a 30% discount."  Wouldn't have had it done for a year. Second: Estimate please--check wiper blades and see what is in windshield fluid container. No estimate: "We changed the blades for $75 and already flushed the container for $200."  What part of estimate do you not understand? Unscrupulous and overpriced.  Going someplace that pays attention and will be honest.

BJ O. | 2011-06-18

While there was some initial miscommunication, John (Service Manager) went out of his way to solve the problem and make sure that I was satisfied with the repairs. Thanks to him, I will keep coming back to this shop.

gretchen m. | 2011-06-03

I like these people. My other car is a mercedes and I get better, nicer service from Carter Subaru than from Phil Smart Mercedes. We've had a lot of services done and they've been fair and friendly. That and its local and convenient.

Erin W. | 2010-09-30

I have to say that I was a little hesitant to leave our one and only in the hands of a service shop to whom we had never been before. Add to that the weirdly inconsistent reviews, and I was plain nervous.

But they were close, they were Subaru, and they had a coupon. Frugality wins again... And I'm really very happy that it did.

We knew our brakes were going, and it was time for a new, complete set - the coupon promised a whopping 13% discount, but better than nothing -- and their prices (sans coupon) were already better than other shops I called.

Anyway, the following sequence of events then took place:
1. The lovely service staff said that I could drop my car off the same day I called (I dropped it off around 5:30pm)
2. Tammy (I love Tammy -- she's so friendly & helpful!) immediately told me that there's a recall on a small part in my gas tank, & they'd take care of it.
3. Tammy called me BEFORE 8:00AM THE NEXT DAY to let me know the damage
4. Our car was REPAIRED AND READY for us by 12:30pm!

They even offer free loaner cars if you need them during your service, AND they have a free shuttle service to pick you up anywhere in the city.

As I look back over the poorer reviews here, I think a lot of the 1-stars are for the sales department, with whom I obviously had no interaction. I can say, however, that the SERVICE department is on the ball & has just gained themselves a new loyal customer!

Angela S. | 2010-07-19

Ask for Bryan DeAnda and you will be pleased from start to finish. None of the typical car salesman slime. In fact, there were only 2 Subaru WRXs in the entire eastern US in the color and features we wanted.

Somehow, Bryan not only managed to get us the one we wanted, but drove it over to our home in Kirkland so that we could see it! And then sent a shuttle to come and pick my husband up from work in Redmond the next day, to come in and do the paperwork. Now THAT'S service.

I would not hesitate to refer my friends and family to Bryan at Carter Subaru of Ballard.

Nichole F. | 2009-06-01

Not too pleased with the customer service. The main repair coordinator guy is WAY too stressed out for his job, and it shows. Although, most of the other employees are nice. Also, they repaired my car WITHOUT giving me an estimate first. The reason I gave them two stars instead of one is because they realized they made a mistake and gave me a discount without me even having to ask. That was nice. Here's a petty thing to complain about: I brought in my car for an oil change. "Where can I wait?" I asked. The main guy (the stressed-out one that I mentioned above) waved his hand vaguely at the showroom and said, "Wherever. It doesn't matter." So I sat at someone's desk in a little bunch of cubicles with a computer because those were the only seats anywhere around short of sitting in a stairwell. After 45 minutes, an employee walked by and said, "Why aren't you waiting upstairs in the waiting room with the coffee and magazines?" Hmmm....cuz the stress-out dude didn't tell me about it. I used to go to Carter Subaru in Northgate before I moved to Fremont, and I think I'm going to start again.

Ted P. | 2008-10-31

I will never buy a car from Carter Subaru of Ballard.

To be clear, I've never dealt with Carter Subaru of Ballard's service department -- only their internet sales manager, Alex Freet.

Alex was simply horrible to deal with via email.  

He talked down to me, made serious presumptions about me that were wrong and when I called him out about being offensive, he basically told me that I was wrong and that he'd never do anything of the sort -- in short, once again, making it sound as if I was stupid for seeing things how I did -- no apology or hint thereof.  Even via email, he tried to be a high-pressure sales guy -- a digital version of what you don't like in the showrooms, as a buyer.  

Don't waste your time dealing with him or the internet sales dept. at Carter Subaru of Ballard -- there are better deals and nicer people to deal with at other local dealers.