Our new vehicle was to be available today, however, we have asked to wait until after March 1st to see if Toyota has any new incentives. After watching and listening to the Congressional hearings about Toyota, I am not so thrilled with getting a new one. I still love the vehicle and am happy that it is in the colour that we want and with the options that we want but I have several concerns.
First, while I assume that the car will be safe, given that they accelerator pedal part will be fixed before we get it, I still wonder if the sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) is not caused by some electronic problem. It seems that it has not been totally ruled out. And really, the number of problems of SUA, based on the actual number of cars with those parts, is small (but a potentially deadly problem). Also, the top Toyota brass said that most recalled cars will have a brake override system installed in it by the end of 2010 and they are retro-fitting some current cars. Ours will not have the override when it is delivered but it was the second or third model listed (Tacoma was first) in those to be retro-fitted. So how soon we will get it?
Second, we do keep our cars for a long time (my minivan = 8.5 years, Stephen's lemon = 10 years, my Toyota Corolla = 8 years) but I wonder what the resale value will be on the new one when the time comes. Or what if we move to say, Canada, where gas is about twice the price that it is here (do I really want to take a SUV with me there?) will I be able to unload the SUV at a fair price?
And finally, it is this...who in their right mind would buy a Toyota right now?!? I keep thinking that we might be better off with a GM or even (I cannot believe I am saying this) a Ford. I am not the least bit excited about the idea of this new car. Getting the car has been a hassle from the beginning. One road block after another. We did not give up on it because, quite frankly, we both really like the car (ok, I say car but know I mean SUV). We were excited to find a broker who helped us get it in the colour that we wanted after the dealers all said they could not get us a blue one. And we were happy too that she was able to get it in the configuration that we wanted (no middle row captain chairs, please). The car has tons of cool features, it feels good to drive, it is comfortable and it will suit our family well. But...it is a Toyota.
To me, Toyota means (or meant) quality. I had my Corolla for 8 years and besides regular oil changes, a set of new tires and a new exhaust system (we did live in Toronto and Minneapolis so lots of snow and salt = RUST on the exhaust), I only ever had one problem with the car (oil pressure gauge). That is fantastic, IMO. My first car, a 1984 Hyundai Pony that I purchased in 1988 was a rust bucket piece of crap that literally fell apart. I got $150 for it when I traded it in for my brand new sparkly marine blue mica 1990 Toyota Corolla SR5 coupe. Anyway, after that horrible experience where I $pent so much money on repair$, I swore I would never, ever, ever buy a Hyundai because to me it equals JUNK. I guess in the years since, Hyundai's quality has vastly improved (much like Honda did after their initial introduction to the North American market - they have one of the highest re-sale values these days) but my first experience has clouded my image of them). Are people going to start thinking that about Toyotas?!
Anyway, we get the car in about a week. I guess I have a week to get keyed up about it. Toy-o-ta!