Piston Slap: The Luxury Sedan Fanboi Fallacy
county writing :
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?
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.
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