In my youth I was a vital, virile, male Manly Man. So manly that when I got a new ’86 GTI as my first “nice” car, I left off not only the automatic transmission but also the power steering. Mind you, it drove great — when it drove at all.
One night my parents tossed me the keys to drive them home from the restaurant. Mom’s whip was a mid-trim, 4-pot ’88 Camry. Yes, its limits were low, it was gutless, and it was tailored to bourgeois tastes with pastel upholstery here and fake stitching there. However, it was up front about its limitations, pridefully built, civilized in all its moves, and driving it was just so…easy. I one-fingered steered all the way home and made an earnest mental note.
Fifty VW defects later, I went Japanese and never looked back.
Maybe it’s the horrific condition of most New England roads. Maybe it was because we just had snowiest winter in Boston since anyone’s been counting. Or maybe, just maybe, I have finally fully succumbed to my Napoleon Complex.
“The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one’s designs to one’s means.”
What started off with me buying my first liter bike has blossomed (*tear*) into the purchase of my first pickup truck: 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4×4 double cab short bed with a…..dun dada dun….6-speed manual gear box. I know the Tacoma has remained relatively unchanged since 2004 – actually, it’s pretty much the same truck I’ve been lusting over since 2007. I know that it doesn’t have great fuel economy. I know that there are trucks with better technology in them. But hear me out!
Just a couple of months ago, GM quietly announced their factory 5 year/100k mile powertrain warranty was going to henceforth be downgraded to a 60k mile powertrain warranty because their cars are all fine now and customers don’t care about long-term warranties.
About 48 hours after this was announced, my wife found herself limping along the side of a major road in our 2010 Malibu with 90k miles on the odometer, engine revving, but little transmission of power taking place between the engine and the wheels.
TTAC reader James Federico sends us his take on life with a Mitsubishi Delica
“It’s a Mitsubishi Delica”
“Japan originally, but I bought it from a dealer in London”
“About 10 grand”
These are the first three sentences I speak any time I exit my van within twenty feet of another human being. There are other questions, depending on the age and interests of the person asking them:
“Do you go off road?”
“Is it hard to drive over there?”
“Is it hard to get parts?”
Reader Phil Brown shares his experiences with his Jetta Wagon
Volkswagen still has the temerity to sell a compact station wagon in an American market scarfing up CUVs, and bless them for it. I should have been in the heart of the CUV market when looking for a new vehicle in 2010, but I ended up in a MkVI Jetta Sportwagen. It isn’t brown and it doesn’t burn diesel, but after four years and 51K miles of ownership I can understand some of the fervor of wagon fans here on TTAC. There is just something so fundamentally sound and good about the way this car drives, the way it goes down the road, and the surprising utility it offers. With the recent ascension of the Volkswagen Golf to the MQB platform and the 1.8TSI engine on North American shores, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share my longer-term ownership experience of the outgoing platform.
TTAC reader Steve submits his review of his 2014 Mazda6 Touring – with a manual!
I drove home in my new Liquid Silver Mazda 6 (Touring with 6MT) in January of this year – at just over $23,000, this is the cheapest new car I’ve bought, and also the most enjoyable.
Let’s play a little word association, shall we? Okay, great! I will say the name of a car, and you describe its owner.
Nissan Leaf S. Got it? Cool.
Here’s what I came up with: LeMons-racing, Glock-owning, Libertarian-leaning, father of four, mechanical engineer. Wait, that’s not what you came up with? Well then you don’t know Brian, TTAC reader and owner of today’s Reader Ride Review, a black 2013 Nissan Leaf S.
TTAC reader Tim Rust sends us his review of his 2010 Infiniti G37x.
Do you pass up the expensive steak house restaurant to buy your meat at Costco and grill the perfect steak at home? Do you purchase your clothing at an outlet mall to avoid the huge mark-up employed by brand-name stores in a mall? Is hiring a handyman/contractor a last resort when your house needs some work? If so, a gently used Infiniti G37 may be the vehicle for you.
A quick note on the Reader Ride Review program. The response has been overwhelming.
TTAC reader and contributor Rich Murdocco sends us his review of his brand new 2014 Dodge Charger R/T
In the middle of the harsh winter of 2013, the lease on my beloved Ford Mustang was coming to an end. That car had a special place in my heart – The 305 horsepower power plant whisked me to my first “big boy job”, my first date with a new girlfriend, the birth of my niece and was right there as I got down on one knee and proposed to that aforementioned girlfriend. I was faced with the difficult decision every leasee faces: Do I stick around, or see what else was out there?