I Went Shopping for a Car… and Wound Up Buying a Tacoma.

Buying a New Vehicle Is Awesome, Exciting, but the Process Kinda Sucks.

5.raventurous-Toyota-Tacoma-Access Cab-offroad-off-road-toyota of el cajon-san diego-truck-oickup-offroad-offroad package-hauling-hauler-gear-travel-fun-adventure-terrain-prerunner-sport-tacoma sport-big tires-desert-girls and trucks

Well. After my Jeep Rubicon was stolen, I’d been comparing the cost of a WRX and a Mazda 3, and I’d put together all kinds of nifty spreadsheets to help me make a decision. It turns out that not all car salesmen are completely honest about the deals they can provide. I’m shocked… SHOCKED! So, here are the -real- numbers once it came down to the writing-a-check part.

4-subaru-mazda-mazda3-impreza-wrx-adventure-raven-raventurousThis means that I may as well expand my search into truck territory, as I think it’s going to be even numbers, here. Also: this purchase in general is sucking, as I was perfectly content -not- spending this money on basic transportation.

So, now I’m looking at a simple, vaguely boring Tacoma. I had no idea that there are something like nine hundred iterations of the Tacoma, actually. Little engine? 4×4 lifted? Long bed or short? Passenger space? Storage? Fancy colors? Jeez Louise. Guess I’m going to have a lot of choices to agonize over, and the price spread is $20k to #35k depending on options, so I’m prepared to have a few bouts of sticker-shock along the way.

3.raventurous-Toyota-Tacoma-Access Cab-offroad-off-road-toyota of el cajon-san diego-truck-oickup-offroad-offroad package-hauling-hauler-gear-travel-fun-adventure-terrain-prerunner-sport-tacoma sport-big tires-desert-girls and trucks.jpg

Lets start basic. Gray, of course, as it hides dirt and rock chips. Tempting though the little price tag is for the little engine, I may want to actually drive the truck sometimes. Also, I’d like to bring friends along, but not so much that I want to sacrifice bed space. I’d love to be 4×4 Guy like I was with the Jeep, but that’s a lot of expense and maintenance to ill-advisably go off-roading in a new truck with new paint. Perhaps I should remove that temptation by going with the 2×4. Do I want a manual, or do I want to be able to eat an ice cream cone while I’m driving? Also, I could probably actually hear a radio in this, unlike the Jeep that required shouting to the passenger right next to you, even with the top on. Considering I creamed a passing car when backing out of my driveway, a backup camera might be a good call, as well.

Now we’re getting somewhere. Gray, access cab, big engine, automatic, fancy audio/visual system. Here are the numbers:

1.raventurous-Toyota-Tacoma-Access Cab-offroad-off-road-toyota of el cajon-san diego-truck-oickup-offroad-offroad package-hauling-hauler-gear-travel-fun-adventure-terrain-prerunner-sport-tacoma sport-big tires-desert-girls and trucksIn other words, the WRX, the Mazda3, and the Tacoma are all the same cost. That’s crazy. Now for my favorite part: haggling, an entire week of it. No sarcasm here. I love the negotiating process, but I can’t imagine the dull reading about the details of the experience, so I’ll skip that part.

2009 Tacoma Access Cab

The winner was Toyota of El Cajon. They didn’t want me to quote the exact price, but I’m pretty f’ing excited about it. Ask for Vincent; he’s nice, easygoing, and very responsive by text. (The biggest loser was Kearny Mesa Toyota. They acted like car salesmen over there, what with the, “let me talk to my manager while you wait two hours” shenanigans. Oh, please.)

Voila! My new Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, complete with New Truck Smell, undinged paint, unstained upholstery. I bet I’ll have changed (fixed?) all three of those things by the end of the week.

What choice would you have made in a new vehicle?
Please let me know in the comments below.

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4 Responses

  1. Enjoy. Drive it in good health!

  2. Raven says:

    Thank you! It’s pretty handy, this whole having-a-truck thing, especially with two vintage motorbikes and a backlog of Costco needs. ^_^

  3. Gerry says:

    I had always wanted a Toyota Tacoma, back to when they were the T100. I finally bought one in 2009, a 2010 Off Road edition that look exactly like the one in your picture. It’s almost paid off, and I still love it. I live in a small city and people ask me, “What do YOU need a truck for”? You’ll be surprised what you use it for now that you’ve got it. Mine’s hauled a Yamaha scooter to another State, live chickens, trash, lots of brush, and most recently, 6 barstools. Enjoy it!

    • Raven says:

      Right…? I’m amazed, too: two Vespas, three quads, my Scrambler, a haybale (random), several Costco runs, helped two friends move (I owe the universe several more of those), and am getting used to carting around an entire day’s-worth of errand-running. I don’t know how I survived without it all these years. ^_^
      You know, with six small motors and one of those hauling loads you had, you’re all set for a pretty good barstool race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erNO699Jm8E

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