Back in October, we discovered a roofing nail impaled in the Techshake long-term 2013 Toyota Sienna’s right-rear tire. Because the 2013 Sienna is an all wheel drive model, it is equipped with run-flat tires. My father installed a temporary plug in the tire, but it continued to lose air, so we called the Toyota dealer to ask about having the tire patched from the inside. Their answer: our policy is to never do repairs on run-flat tires. Tire Rack didn’t have any OEM tires in stock for the van for delivery before mid-November (and they were $222 each, shipping, mounting and balancing) for the P235/55RF18 size that comes standard in the Sienna XLE AWD model. You’ll note that this is more than the $172 asking price for the 2008 Sienna’s P225/60R17 run-flat tires.
It has been nearly one month since I took delivery of my 2013 Buick Verano Turbo, and with the pint sized Buick recently surpassing 1500 miles (mostly due to my long trek to work) It is time for a long-term test update. I am the primary driver of this long term tester, and it has done an admirable job in getting me to work and back safely as well as various other errands and visits with family and friends. So far I am very pleased with my purchase, and I’m pleased to report that the Verano has not racked up any warranty related problems since its arrival in our family’s fleet of vehicles in July.
When we here at Techshake first met the Buick Verano back in 2012, we raved about the compact Buick’s handsome exterior styling, impressive list of standard equipment, as well as its slick interior design. However, many reviewers noted that the Verano did have one fundamental flaw: its base 2.4 liter four cylinder, which did not have the power needed to move a fairly heavy small car. While the Verano brings less-geriatric buyers into the fold, younger buyers tend to want more performance than the base Verano offers.
We have passed the six month milestone in my family’s ownership of the 2013 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD, so it’s time for a long-term test update. My wife is the van’s primary driver, and she drives it quite a bit. Her typical trips are around-town errands to take the kids to school, go to the grocery store, bank, pharmacy, or park – you get the idea. She loves it, and now that we have put nearly 10,000 miles on it, she has become much more accustomed to driving it. Overall, we’re still happy with the purchase, and some of the original complaints that we had with the van have melted away with more familiarity.
I like to think that when life deals me lemons, I usually have the ability to turn them into lemonade. And so, about two weeks after my wife and preschool-age son were in a serious auto accident (they were hit by a tractor trailer in our old 2008 Sienna, but miraculously walked away from the accident), we went back into debt and purchased a new van. But, the good news is that this is the first new vehicle that my family has purchased since Techshake has begun long-term testing new vehicles that our staff members purchase. So my family’s misfortune means that you will learn what it was like to buy, and what it’s like to live with a new Toyota for the next several years. Hopefully this time, it will last us more than five years, and give us as trouble-free of a life as its predecessor gave us.
I’m long overdue for an update on the Long Term Flex Limited EcoBoost. Purchased in September 2011, the first update happened after 3 months and 3000 miles had elapsed. In the last update I talked about wanting to add better all-weather interior mats and a roof rack to facilitate carrying bikes and other loads. I addressed mats in the cargo area by purchasing a$70 Husky Liner for the well under/behind the third row seats. As we tend to travel with the third row seats deployed, that well is where our cargo ends up a majority of the time. When the third row is stowed for carrying larger loads that might be dirty or damage the carpeting, we use an auto blanket to protect the interior to avoid the nuisance of needing to remove a rigid cargo protector. The low-pile carpeting Ford specced for that cargo area grows fuzzy with vigorous vacuuming, so preventing it from getting dirty is important.