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Mark, I love your old Tacoma! Regular cab, 4 banger, 4wd!...buy another Tacoma, but 
consider the extended cab and a 4, and your mileage should be in the mid 20's. Not bad 
given that it is a 4wd truck, reliable, and holds value like no other brand on the road. You 
love the one you have, right? You throw gear into it and sleep in it, right? All you need is a 
dog to sit in there with you and green VT plates to have really arrived at "core"....

I just bought a brand new rig. As a family guy, I had to have room for 4 people and their 
stuff, including bikes and skis. Two of the four are kids, and getting bigger, and bigger, too! I 
wanted something that would go through any weather (4wd) and be safe in a wreck ( this 
one really matters, having wrecked bad once, and now with kids). 

I wanted something that I could tow a trailer with and make it through mud season and 
around the backroads (clearance). I wanted something actually made in Japan, having owned 
toyotas built in both Japan (1995 4runner) and from USA (2004 Tacoma) I knew there was a 
quality difference. I considered subie wagons and audi wagons, but the reliability, resale, 
and fuel economy didn't impress me for the sacrifice of down-sizing from a truck/SUV.

I knew I wanted a toyota, in part for the reliability and in part for the resale value...and for 
a year I shopped for another 4-runner used, but found that paradoxically the rigs I liked had 
held their values close to the price of a new one! When I looked at the cost difference 
between a rig a few years old like a 4-door Tacoma or a 4-runner, the price was in "new 
vehicle territory" but with many miles already on the odometer... 

So, with a tranny once again showing signs of weakness, 150,000 on the clock, and rust 
holes as big as a dinner plate, I traded in, sold off part of an investment to get a big chunk 
of cash for a deposit, and bought a brand-new, 3 miles on the odometer, plastic wrapped off 
the ship from Japan, 2007 Toyota FJ. I negotiated fairly well, and bought a stripped one and 
paid $24,000 before my deposit. For comparision, this is the price range of subie wagons and 
min-vans and Tacoma trucks....

I can seat five. I have the roof rack and tow hitch. I can carry bikes, skis, fire-wood and tow 
a trailer! It has loads of power, and handles like a car. It has stability control and a locking 
rear diff, full frame construction, land cruiser heritage and feels like I would be ok in it in 
the rougher parts of Baghdad. It has two full size doors and two access doors my kids love. I 
get the same mileage as my old 4runner (19-20 mpg).  I have a dual over-head cam 
aluminum block, 4 liter V-6, mated to a 6-speed transmission and an all-wheel drive system 
that is 60/40 split all the time, plus a 4wd transfer case and low range. Most importantly, I 
think if I do get in another bad wreck, I will do better than if I was in a subie wagon or an 
old Tacoma...

>
>On 7/2/07, Mark P. Renson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>
>> My truck has 288,007 miles on it.  It's a Toyota.  Nothing's wrong with it
>> other than the red color is fading to pink, the 78,355 farts puffed 'n
>> sputtered into it have made the driver's seat a bit manky and I have to
>> punch it to 80+ MPH on I-89 to get enough mo' to get up that huge hill at
>> Bethel/Sharon.  I have to start getting realistic, however.
>>
>> I want a vehicle that is:
>> Inexpensive
>> Will get 250k miles and do it in a manner that is inexpensive
>>
>> Inexpensive
>> 4 wheel drive
>> Inexpensive
>> Good gas mileage would be nice because that means driving it will be
>> inexpensive
>> Inexpensive
>> 5 Speed
>>
>> Inexpensive
>> Without much yuppie accouterment status symbol sh*t because that ain't
>> inexpensive
>> Inexpensive
>>
>>
>> Any suggestions?
>>
>> Yeah, I'll probably get another Toyota ..... but I gots to shop 'cuz it
>> makes things inexpensive.
>>
>>
>> Mark P. Renson

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