By on May 21, 2020

toyota

I can’t quite remember what it was that jogged my brain the other night, but whatever it was, it conjured up a wholesome yet frustrating memory. A memory of a person and a car from my childhood.

The person was my oldest friend’s mother — one of the kindest women I’ve ever known, matched easily by the daughter she clearly raised right. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. As for the car, it was a blue, mid-’80s Toyota Tercel 5-door. For me, that car is just a memory, and a somewhat annoying one at that, but for the owner — my friend’s mother — it was the first of many.

Toyota. They’re like the mob; easy to get in, awfully hard to leave. And that’s the way it was with my friend’s mother, who never again owned a car from any other brand.

My Tercel memory hails from the earliest years of the ’90s. In that long-ago time, the seemingly indestructible hatchback worked hard, with the tiny blue ship often loaded to the gunwales with humanity and camping equipment. Tasked with pulling all of that cargo was a 63-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-banger mated to a three-speed automatic.

To say this vehicle was slow would be an understatement. It was painfully, glacially slow. To a child whose parents drove American V6s and V8s, reaching highway speeds in this thing under full load was an altogether new experience. Pin the throttle on a hill with a full backseat and cargo area and the engine would recite the Lord’s Prayer. I’m surprised it didn’t shoot a grappling hook from beneath the front bumper in a bid to pull itself up the incline.

But it stickered low, sipped gas, and ran forever, just like every Tercel that came after. Know of a last-generation Tercel coupe in good condition? I’m interested.

My friend’s mom’s love affair with Toyota continued for the rest of her Earthly life; Corolla was the go-to for years afterwards, but when she sadly passed away from cancer several years ago, a Matrix had made its home in her driveway. Of anyone I’ve ever known, her devotion to a single brand was most steadfast.

Plenty of people have a short list of automakers they avoid (usually stemming from personal experience), but in her case, there was only one true love. Only one brand to trust. Have you every known anyone like this — someone with only one entry on their shopping list? What was the brand, and how long did it go on for?

[Image: Toyota]

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52 Comments on “QOTD: Many Happy Returns?...”


  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    As a family, for the past two decades, we have been faithful to two brands: Audi and Honda. It was Nissan before that before they fell off of the cliff. (Yes, the question asks for one brand, but one can be faithful to two!) Over the past decade, we’ve had or currently have an A3, A4, a couple of Q5s, and an A6. Only the A3 has been troublesome as the rest have been rock solid reliable, even after the warranty has expired! Yes, service can be a little expensive and the dread of the $5 part that needs $4000 of labor to get to is still in the back of the mind, but they are still excellent cars.
    For the more frugal members of the family, we’ve been faithful (post-Nissan) to Honda/Acura cars. A few Civics, some RSX Type-Ses, a couple of CR-Vs, a Pilot and an Integra back in the day. Every single one has been trouble free for well over 100,000 miles with a few of the Civics and Integra making it well over 200,000 miles with a lot of the original bits under the hood. Excellent gas mileage as well. Anything that reliable and inexpensive to run will continue to get my and my extended family’s repeat business.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Yes, I have known not only Toyota loyalist but those pickup truck owners that are so loyal to their brand they have bumper stickers to let everyone know that any other brand is just a pile of junk.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I was a Nissan guy for a long time.

    My first runabout as a teenager was my mom’s 1984 Nissan 720 truck. I drove a 1968 Firebird during high school but when it was time to go to college, I got the truck.

    And then a hand-me-down 1987 Stanza that my brother got in a car accident with.

    And then another Stanza, this time with a stick shift. Which really helped with what little performance there was. This was my post-college driver until I had the $$ to buy my very first vehicle.

    Which was a used 1994 Nissan Hardbody truck – king cab, 2WD, manual

    And for my wife-to-be, we bought a low mileage 1997 Altima.

    Long story short, I got in a bad (not my fault) accident with the truck and it was taking a long time to repair. The collision shop suggested I call Nissan directly to find out what the hold up was on the needed parts. After being passed around for 20-30 minutes, one of the customer service reps hung up on me. And that, I told myself, was the last time I would every buy a Nissan.*

    *though my wife is now driving a 2008 Infiniti M35x so after 18 or so years I sorta-kinda broke my promise. I do like the M35x an awful lot even with the bad gas mileage. So easy to see out of. So easy to drive.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Most people I know are brand loyalists. My father worked for GM so that’s all that was ever allowed in our driveway. A lot of brand loyalty comes from good experiences with the brand. I was a Jeep loyalist for many years and only switched when I decided that a 4WD crossover would suit my purpose better and switched to Ford, because at the time Jeep didn’t offer a viable alternative. I’ve been loyal to Ford since for no other reason then I’ve had good luck with them

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      …….” I’ve been loyal to Ford since for no other reason then I’ve had good luck…..” appears there is hope for you.

      I too used to be Solid GM. Now every family member is blue oval. I’m the only one who has a smattering of old Mopars in the fleet.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    For me:
    80-96: Ford
    96-09: Mopar
    10-20: Hyundai Kia

    One Honda (mistake), one Scion (good), and one Nissan (OK) mixed in there. I’m pretty stuck on H/K right now.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Oops – forgot the VW in there, too… another mistake. My one ancient Fiat lived up to the brand reputation, but at least it had charm.

    • 0 avatar
      SirRaoulDuke

      I am becoming partial to Hyundai/Kia as well. My 2013 Elantra that I ended up giving my daughter has been flawless. My 2017 Sportage EX with the Premium and Tech packages is loaded, trouble free, drives great, and I think the interior is damn good for the price point. The wife’s Jeep got t-boned, so right now we have a rental 2020 Sante Fe with the wonderful, smooth V-6. I think H/K is knocking it out of the park right now, and I will likely stay with them for my next purchase. Besides a new Wrangler (I used to do a lot of off-roading and miss that), I can’t think of any reason that really sways me another way. Honda has lost their way, Toyota is still perfectly boring but H/K still gives you more for the money.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Made it thru without noticing any Steph factor. Maybe there is hope.

    I ll check back.

    Used to love Honda. But, are the seats and suspension getting firmer or am i just noticing it more as i age?

  • avatar
    Jon

    I have been loyal to GM trucks for 18 years. I am familiar with them, like their mechanical simplicity and know how to repair them. I almost switched to Ram recently but the carpenter who installed my cabinets dissuaded me. He has a 2500 with a 6.4L that was replaced at 42k (under warranty) after burning a hole in a piston while climbing a grade with a 7000lb trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      IDK what that truck is rated for, but a 6.4L should easily walk up a grade with a trailer. Surprised they didn’t blame him for using bad gas or something. Maybe they’re just trying to keep him in the RAM family, which would be good customer service.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        A hole in a piston is never from a design flaw or factory defect. They’re caused by skipping maintenance, poor or lean fuel, carbon build up, etc, and obviously ignoring pinging/detonation and or overly hot that’s telling you to stop.

        • 0 avatar
          Jon

          Mike,

          Although I am inclined to agree, never say never. Ram has had their fair share of QC defects in the past (but rarely a piston on a well regarded motor). I cant speak to the maintenance of the truck even though he doesn’t seem like the type to neglect his vehicles. I dont know what the exact elevation was, but the incident happened in Idaho on a mountain pass. He claims he was “pushing the truck pretty hard”.

          What is odd about the whole situation is that most trucks have an array of sensors and software to detect ping/detonation before it damages the engine. If detonation was the cause, those sensors and that software did not do their job. One minute the engine was running fine, no CEL. The next minute, “it sounded like golfballs in the engine and then it shut off”. The cause was likely either a faulty detonation detection system or manufactured piston defect (or both). Both are the OEM’s fault.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “I almost switched to Ram recently but the carpenter who installed my cabinets dissuaded me.”

      It is your money but I wouldn’t make a pro or against purchasing decision based on unverifiable anecdotes from some guy. In my experience contractors and construction workers especially love to tell fishing stories. Stuff like “My Chevy went 900000 miles and got 29 MPG and towed 10000 like it was nothing” or “My Chevy went through 3 engines and 4 transmissions in 100000 miles and I never towed with it and only gave it the tenderest of maintenance”.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        99% of the time, i would agree with you. Ive met enough working folks to be able to identify the “story tellers”. However, this guy spent a lot of time inside my (unfinished) house. I worked on a lot of projects with him and got to know him pretty well. Now my wife works for the same small business he does and we have a similar opinion of him. Even though he is a bonafide redneck, he isnt the type to tell outlandish exaggerated stories.

        I think that his trucks failure was a combination of a) poor detonation software detection system, b) a redneck underestimating his load, c) a redneck pushing his truck too hard. Sorta the perfect combination of truck failures causes.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          No one’s gonna admit they neglected it, pushed it too hard and then ignored the warning signs.

          Especially not to their warranty people. Mostly you get contractors that know absolute zero of the engine mechanical side and mechanics and gear heads that know complete zero about construction.

          I try to know a lot about both, but I’ve owned 3 Powerstroke 6.0 diesels and don’t know what all the fuss is about. I try to know what I have and how far it can be pushed.

          With anything in question, you shut it down until you know.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Anedotes are how reputations are made and broken. That, plus personal experience. My personal experience says that Honda is the worst mfr of all.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @ajla – I’ve been watching some of the videos that TFL has been posting on their YouTube channel regarding high mileage trucks. I laughed at the guy with the almost 500,000 mile Chevy van. Well we installed the 2nd transmission under warranty, then the third one from a wrecked one at this mileage, and then a new engine at…

        The shell was the only thing that went the distance.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    I and members of my immediate family are unapologetic Toyota brand whores. My first Toyota was a 1985 brown Tercel similar to the photos above. While I have had other brands around (particularly GM musclecars, Miata, etc), I always had a Toyota of some kind as a daily driver. I’ve had excellent results with the brand which makes it hard to consider something else. I will admit,though, the Dodge Challenger RT 6-speed has been calling my name louder and louder. May be a fun diversion for a couple of years.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      There is something to be said for trouble-free cars.

      I was a teen when those Tercels came out, and the one in the picture is considerably better car than the original that debuted in 1979/80. Still, back in the day, I considered the pictured Tercels 2nd class, compared to Civics or Mazda GLCs.

      But now I realized, in the early 1980s, that pictured Tercel best epitomized the virtues of the early VW Beetles….reliable, economical automobile.

      I think, especially now, in a poorer, post COVID America, people should be allowed to buy a new car like this–if they want to.

      I know, I’m an eccentric. “Gas is cheap”. Plus, people could say “You can: it’s called a Nissan Versa”. But even the base Versa packs on pounds and features and costs, that must be borne by the buyer. Airbags aren’t free. ABS is not free.

      “But the automakers have invested so much…” Yes, it keeps newer entrants out–though Mr. Musk proves me wrong on that point.

      The one takeaway from COVID-19, as harsh as it is, is that saving lives is important, but society cannot afford to try to save everyone regardless of the cost.

      The standard for what I call “Do-gooder laws” (which I generally support) needs to be, “if it effects others, we the people (aka the govt) will legislate it. If it effects only YOU, we will give you a lot of lattitude).

      So, in my view, smoking in public places is a NO; but in private clubs where membership is not compulsory (like your job), let club set rules. Tailpipe emissions–regulated, since we ALL breathe the air. Air bags/crash. NO. Just as you buy a house in Beverly Hills if you have dough, and in LA if you don’t, you want a 20-air bag tank, buy an Escalade or a Benz, and pay for it. If you need economical reliable transportation without the cost and hassle of little ‘gotchas’ or BIG repairs, buy something new and modest you can afford.

      Then again, the automakers are all good at making you think you NEED all kinds of stuff, and selling you on it. The last auto company pushing “modest and reliable” was the original VW Beetle…and it came from a bombed out country desperate for US dollars to rebuild, during an era when even in affluent (compared to every other nation) America, many people still had only ONE or even NO car. Basic wheels appealed to people.

      I really appreciate this Tercel 35 years later.

  • avatar
    watersketch

    My parents and Toyotas have had 2 Corrolas 3 Camrys and 1 Prius. Other than a dead battery dont think they have ever had a breakdown. I wish I could be so disciplined.

    I look for bargains and get some great deals and some lemons. Have much more automotive drama in my life.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I was a Honda fan boy for a long time: 85 Civic S1500, 89 Prelude Si, 93 Civic EX, 96 Isuzu Rodeo (aka Honda Passport). My brother had 86 Civic LX then a 89 CRX Si so this was a family affair. Honda was dominating in F1 and CART (Indy Car) during the same time frame. The NSX was launched… Honda ruled the world in my eyes.

    We even debated getting an Acura twice, once a TSX and again with a TL during the years those models were popular. Just a few years ago we went back to look at an Accord Coupe. But it seemed Honda had lose its soul. Gone was the rev happy engines that sipped gas, gone was the sharp handling, light, communicative chassis. Instead you had an average car, no different then Toyota or Nissan but with above average pricing based on it reputation for reliability. Plus everyone had one, the parking lot was awash in Accords and MDXs. The love was gone.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    I can’t be the only one who gets a certain Peter Tomarken or Chuck Woolery vibe when I see to early 1980s beige, bare-bones Tercels side by side? “You win the grand prize, worth $4,998!”

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I love the GMC loyalists for the past 50 years that will never in a million years own a crappy, substandard Chevy pickup, when of course they go down the same assembly line in Mexico with all chinesium parts.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Dad was always a GM guy starting with a new 1966 Chevelle SS 396 and then a 1968 SS 396. He had such good luck with the Mopar work vans they started buying Mopar cars in 1978 and a copper 1976 Monte Carlo with the swivel out bucket seats being the last non-Mopar vehicle they had. Of course it is all minivans for them now.

    My wife, despite having grown up with a mid 70s wood applique Aspen is a Mopar person as well. She was given a hand me down LeBaron coupe with the 2.2 Turbo I motor that she really liked. She also didn’t like driving friends full sized suburbans but thought the 1st gen Durango was just right sized. We still have the 2000 SLT+ with 195k miles on it. It has been pretty trouble free but has had everything that touches the serpentine belt replaced other than the engine itself. The rear pinion seal started leaking too and was replace about the same time as the starter.

    Our youngest boy (10) wants a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon in yellow with a body colored freedom top.

    The daughter likes the Scat Pack and Hellcat Chargers.

    Both would by a Lambo if they won the lottery though.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    My mom and stepdad didn’t necessarily have a brand loyalty, but they definitely had a dealer loyalty.

    It started in 1987 with our program used Olds Custom Cruiser wagon.
    That was followed by my sister’s 1990 Pontiac Sunbird.
    Then the 1993 GMC Safari.
    Followed by the 1996 GMC Safari.
    My mom then got a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am SE.
    She replaced that with a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am GT.
    Next was a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix base.
    The Pontiac/Buick/Olds/GMC dealer eventually opened a Toyota store next door.
    She helped me with the down payment on a 2005 Scion tC.
    Next was a 2007 Toyota Tacoma 2wd base for my stepdad to finally replace the worn out Oldsmobile.
    Mom ventured from that dealer chain once after pleading with her to at least consider something else and she leased a 2008 Saturn Aura.
    She may have stuck with Saturn but… they died.
    My mom got a couple Toyota Rav4s over 6 years.
    My stepdad destroyed the Tocoma and picked up another one in 2009 – a new PreRunner 4 door.
    Finally my mom picked up a 2013 Toyota Venza.
    Since then my stepdad passed away and I gave my mom a 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross which I fixed up that she’s been driving since 2016.

    So Kern Motor Company in Winchester Virginia put at least one of their kids through college thanks to my folks. You’re welcome, Liz (whose locker was above mine from 6th – 12th grade).

  • avatar
    geozinger

    My family was a Ford family back in the day. Me and my siblings and our spouses all had some kind of Fords up until about Y2K. I can’t speak for my other sibs, but the Ford products I had were of uncommonly bad quality at the time and I gave up. My wife’s family were all GM (Oldsmobile, actually) and we’d had a couple of GM cars up until then. But since 2001, nothing but GM in the driveway.

    Like Land Ark said, sometimes a good dealer makes all of the difference. Our old Pontiac dealer had a great reputation for customer satisfaction. That all changed in 2009 when the family sold the business. I bought my last new Pontiac from the “new” owners, but I could see the commitment was no longer there.

    When I lived in Pennsylvania, we had a Dodge dealer in a neighboring town who understood customer service was the key to retaining customers. They were very good about taking care of customers and I would have bought another Dodge from them, except I ended up moving out of state before I needed another car.

  • avatar

    I’ll buy any brand as long as the car is built in the US. That leaves a lot of possible brands, and currently we have a mix of GM’s and Ford’s

    My Mum is a brand loyalist to Hyundai. Not even Kia. Her car MUST have the italic H

    After decades of owning GMs (both Holdens in Australia and then Pontiacs Stateside) and having inconsistent ownership experiences, she bought a brand new 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. The car went 160k miles with minimal fuss, something that couldn’t be said about her prior cars.

    She then moved onto a 2015 Sonata which she loved, but it was too low to the ground for her liking, and now has a 2017 Santa Fe Sport.

    Whenever it comes time for car shopping, the only place she will go to is the Hyundai dealer.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    LandArk & geozinger mentioned loyalty to a dealer. One of my cousins was married to a Buick-Olds-Pontiac dealer. Yeah we got the family discount. He was a small town dealer, lived in the community, belonged to the Lions club, etc. He sold the Buick dealerships to a mega-dealer. As small dealerships close or get bought out and get replaced by the “Autoplex” or “Dealership Rows” all owned by the same dealer; has dealer loyalty fallen off?

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    I was a VW loyalist from 1971 until around 1989 when I fell out of love with the brand. Typical interesting VW issues with my air-cooled’s (32PICT carbs, dual carbs on my vans, no real big stuff) but starting with my ’75 Scirroco and ’78 Dasher with their water cooling, catalytic convertors, and emission controls attached always seemed to have strange issues. My ’81 Vanagon, my return to air-cooling, was bullet-proof for 120k miles needing only the cable for the oil cooler flap to be replaced (with apologies to my son from whose bicycle I stole the replacement). The later models lost me as a fan.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Little loyalty here. I’ve owned a Chevy, an Oldsmobile, a Ford, followed by another Ford, followed by a Toyota, followed by a Buick…

    I like the local Buick/GMC dealer, know the family well – taught one of the kids who is part of the direct line of ownership going back to 1919. BUT with the death of the Regal and the Lacrosse there isn’t a single product that I’m interested in their lineup.

    GM – build a GMC Terrain Typhoon and I might be interested. Crank up the boost on the 2.0T, give it torque vectoring AWD, lowered suspension over the standard model, and we’ll talk.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    I pose this question first without an answer: Is a brand loyalist the same as a brand enthusiast?

    Th person who’ll always stand out in my life as a brand loyalist was one of my uncles who passed away just a couple of years ago. He was a driving school instructor in Japan, and was a Toyota man to the end; specifically for a long time Mark IIs, though he did have a Daihatsu (technically still Toyota) or two in the 90s and I believe his last was back to a RWD JZ-powered Brevis or Progres.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    People from India in US, in 95% cases have 2 brands – Honda/Toyota in their lists

  • avatar
    Kerfuffle

    I’ve owned a lot of brands, foreign and domestic. Had a lot of used car drama along the way. Then I bought a brand new 1982 Toyota Tercel Deluxe 4-door sedan. Wow! It rode like a limo compared to the Chevy it replaced. Absolutely no problems with it, ever. Plenty of power with the 5-speed manual. Good gas mileage. No squeaks or rattles. It felt like quality, even though it didn’t cost much to buy. Have been a Toyota fan ever since.

  • avatar
    MeJ

    I think we need word limits on some of these reply’s.
    I don’t have time to read some of the novella’s on here.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    My loyalties have changed over the years, but I’ve always had that shadow of awareness in the back of my mind that they weren’t entirely logical.

    The 1986 Taurus made 10-year-old me into a huge Ford fan, and I stayed that way right until I owned an ’89 Taurus SHO that remains the least-reliable and most-expensive-to-own car I’ve ever had. After that, I didn’t own another Ford until we leased a C-Max at a bargain-basement price in 2016. (That one was trouble-free, but one would hope so when we only put 21k miles on it over the course of the lease term.)

    Toward the end of the SHO ownership, I bought a crapbox ’88 Accord from a relative at a discount to have another transportation option. Even in crapbox condition that generation of Accord was so good that I became a big Honda fan. I then bought a 2004 Acura TSX, a home run of a car which just solidified my fanboyism. Honda lost the plot in subsequent years but I’ve always continued to have a soft spot for them. My toy car is a ’95 Legend and if I had a long commute I would likely be doing it in an Accord Hybrid.

    More recently, as my tastes moved toward comfort and smoothness, I’ve started to pick up Toyota loyalties. I owned two flagship Lexuses and now have a third-gen Highlander Hybrid, which is basically a Lexus RX 450h with a third row and some feature decontenting, and drives near-identically to the Lexus. My appreciation for Toyota’s reliable and smooth hybrid powertrains helps too.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    All my pickups have been Fords but I can argue to a degree that it wasn’t blind loyalty. My 1984 Ranger was a better deal and they actually let me factory order exactly what I wanted. I got 4k off my 1990 F250. Chevy wouldn’t budge. The used Ranger I had I bought off a friend who owned it since new. I traded the used Ranger for a GM Safari van a friend had. He needed a 4×4 and I wanted more seating. The 2010 F150 had the best discount plus at the time it was the only crew cab with a 6.5 box.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    If you don’t like the stories in the comments, don’t read ’em .

    This entire thread is designed to draw out personal stories and histories .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    downunder

    Always had soft spot for Australian built Fords, apart from the Cortina, had 2 Falcons XC,XE 1 Fairmont EF, and 1 Fairlane ZG. Bulletproof apart from door handles. They would go forever until the body fell apart. Got a weakness for my American built ML320, still going, still shiny after 2o years of sitting in the weather. I’ll let you know in another 20 years if my HAVAL H9 makes it that long and if I stick with that brand. :)

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      HAVAL – I had to look it up, because we don’t have those in the US.
      Made by Great Wall, of China.

      Is there any truth to the rumor that they are going after ethnic markets now, starting with the Haval Halal?

  • avatar
    conundrum

    I only ever eat Heinz branded baked beans. Nobody else does them right. And checking out the competition regularly and finding out nothing’s changed costs but a few bucks.

    Oh cars? Well if you stick to one brand for ever, it’s a sign you never want to do yourself a favor by looking at something else from someone else. A blinkered mind, shall we say, or disinterest on such a broad scale you’re not really a car enthusiast, just pretending.

    I’ve owned only 10 new cars since 1974. Audi, VW, Mitsubishi Eagle Talon, Subaru and Mazda were the brands. Secondhand winter beaters: Volvo, Audi and Subaru. None ever suffered a major problem except the Volvo which blew a timing gear made of fiber at 157,000 miles. None ever used oil.

    Why stick with one brand? The next car of the same brand’s wonderfulness is not guaranteed by the steed you currently pedal around. Live a little. And leave the cloister for friars.

  • avatar
    DrivenToMadness

    I had an 86 Tercel, a 3-door hatchback, in exactly the same color as the one in the picture foreground. It was my car through college and even the first year of my professional life. Because there’s no “dynamics” to speak of, before I learned to wrench on cars I thought it was a RWD car because of its longitudinal engine. I splurged and bought a TRD leather shift knob (from the dealer—where else—before internet shopping?) for its 4spd manual and did my best to emulate the fast shifting I saw in “Days of Thunder”, imagining the driving pleasure when one day I could actually afford a fast car that wouldn’t struggle to climb up the Grapevine near Los Angeles.

    I don’t think I’m loyal to any particular brand; I want different cars for different purposes and not every carmaker makes every car I need (or want) for myself and for my family. I still have a Toyota in my garage—and it’s probably the fastest and the most ambitious Toyota ever that’s actually designed by Toyota from the ground up. But I look to different carmakers for other cars in my family because they’re good at different attributes: reliability, sportiness, etc.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I worked at a GM dealer and drove GM for decades. My GM cars were far more reliable than their reputation and I was happy enough with them. I bought a Malibu Maxx for its brilliant packaging, it was also fairly reliable, but it was so cheaply made of cheap materials that I hated looking at it. I traded it on a then 10 year old Lexus and 10-years later that car is still the single best thing I’ve ever bought. I bought my wife a Volvo 850GLT which led to a ‘no European cars’ edict being issued in our house. So, it’s going to be used Japanese cars from now on.

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