mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I think I'm in love... with a truck...

I was reading AutoBlog, and I think I found my dream vehicle - the new Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV.

I've always had a soft spot for retro, truck-like SUV's, and have seriously thought about buying a used Jeep Grand Wagoneer if I had the money.

I've also been thinking about what I would replace the PT Cruiser with in a few years. After the issues I've had with the electrical system, including having to shell out $600 for a new gauge cluster on a 4 year old car with 40,000 miles, I think my next car is going to be Japanese. And because I've twice done major damage to the suspension of the Cruiser (including tearing a chunk out of one of it's rims) thanks to Baltimore's poorly-patched roadways, I want my next vehicle to be a truck or SUV - and a body-on-frame SUV, not one of those car-based hybrid type things.

The other thing I would really like is a 2-door, mid-sized SUV, but ever since Ford dropped the Explorer Sport and Chevy dropped the Blazer Z2, nobody makes a two door. A four-door just screams "soccer dad", but apparently nobody without shorties buys SUV's. Right.

So on the dream vehicle list, there are a few Japanese body-on-frame SUV's. (I thought I was alone in lamenting the death of the small, trucky SUV until I saw this TTAC post) The Nissan xTerra and the Toyota 4Runner come to mind, although neither is cheap. I would love a Toyota Land Cruiser or Lexus LS470, but they are fity g's plus. Even 4 year old Land Cruisers with 60,000 miles seem to go for 25,000+. While they would probably last forever, it's hard to justify spending that much on a used truck.

So the FJ Cruiser seems like the perfect combo of the Land Cruiser's off-road rep and the price of, say, a RAV4. It has 4 doors, but because the back doors are suicide doors, it looks like a two door. It has lots of room and an easily configurable interior, two things I love about my PT Cruiser - it's great to be able to buy a TV or computer and easily throw it in the back of the car. I also love the plastic diamond-plate cargo area, and best of all, the iPod jack. And it's got tough body-on-frame construction, for the toughest of Baltimore potholes.

But alas, it will probably be 3+ years before I replace the Cruiser, barring my complete frustration with reliablity or it getting hit by a city bus. Besides the room and styling, there is one other thing I really like about the PT Cruiser - it's paid off. And since I want to buy a house, that will eat up most of my savings and income, which doesn't leave money for car payments (or food - I think I've got to start developing a taste for ramen noodles again).


At 8:49 PM, Blogger Muneer said...

Well, would you rather a new house or a new car? (hint: the right answer is house)

Ever look at the Chevy Suburban? Now thats a nice SUV.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger mad anthony said...

My older brother had a Suburban - I think it was a 2001. It was one of the first ones out and he had some reliability issues - ended up trading it in for a Ford Expedition. Nice truck, although probably way more than I need - and right now I live and work in the city, and can't imagine trying to parallel park something that big.

But yes, buying a house is the more prudent financial move - which is why I haven't bought something new.


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