Piston Slap: The Luxury Sedan Fanboi Fallacy

county writing :

Hi Sajeev,

My wife wants me to sell our spotless Cressida 90 time capsule for a 4Runner (or similar) because we live in the world of winter. I look at used 4Runners and the prices are crazy. Typically a rusty 1996-98 with 350-390,000 KM will cost $5,000-$6,000 CDN. I have seen a Lexus LS with half the mileage, much better condition and all serviced for that price.

Which gives? Are the 4Runners that good?

Sajeev answers:

Of course, used 4Runners are not It’s good! well except they they are so good for many people.

Here’s the deal: You, like me, have a thing for classic luxury (or near-luxury) sedans. They’re so beautiful, so affordable, and give you so much more than any other road machine. But for pennies on the dollar. A great value proposition that everyone should accept!

The fallacy? No one is going to adopt a cheap alternative to an Avalon under warranty. But everyone outside of Manhattan wants a drummer truck (or truck-based SUV) to haul shit, travel safely through snow, flash floods, non-KOA camping, and more. As much as my Lincoln-Mercury fanatic appreciates the occasional compliment on my cars, I get cash offers on my 5-speed Ranger. Regularly: The market has spoken, son!

Is the 4Runner worth it? Sure, because they’ve earned a reputation for high quality, great performance, and even superior fit and finish. And the market reflects these opinions. But that’s another mistake: the gap in quality at the fully amortized level really depends more on service records. I’ll take a Cherry Explorer/Blazer/Durango with a binder full of receipts in a rusty 4Runner bucket with no service history. Most likely, both can be had for the same price.

If you’re badass enough to roll a Cressida of choice, I don’t consider you a lemming. The tone of his letter also proved the point. But if the sedan has to go to keep your home balanced, buy something other than a 4Runner. Because, unless your fanboi blood runs deep, Toyota SUVs and trucks (especially Tacomas) can be undervalued for their asking price.

Send your questions to [email protected]com. Don’t skimp on the details and ask for a quick fix if you’re in a hurry… but be realistic and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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