When I was 16 and first started to drive, I of course began by driving a used car. It wasn’t a particularly fancy car – it was a five year old Pontiac Grand Am that my parents paid $4,000 for, and that they made clear was not actually my car. A car titled in my name did not come for several years later, but I remember at the time being glad that I had a Grand Am SE, not just an LE or a base model. At that time – 22 years ago – I decided that I would prefer to have a well-equipped used car instead of a bare bones new car.
Merriam-Webster defines ‘dust’ as “fine particles of matter (as of earth). The funny thing about dust is that it is quite literally nearly everywhere. Our bodies are equipped with mechanisms to deal with it (that’s what those awful nose hairs are for) and left untouched, almost every surface in your home, office, or car will accumulate a layer (or more than one layer) of dust.
As our regular readers may know, I own a 2008 Cadillac CTS. In August 2008, I fell for that car’s charms, and it has been a pleasant ownership experience, though not without some annoyances. Now that my car is five years old, I feel like I’m ready to move onto something else. I very much looked forward to spending some seat time in the ATS with the 2.0 liter turbo and six speed manual transmission as a possible candidate for the coveted left-hand parking spot in the Haak garage. But for reasons of cost, practicality, and in-car technology, I’m just not ready to start another few years of car payments for a car that’s arguably better than mine in almost every way, with the exception of two big demerits.
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.
The scion of Toyota’s founding family, Akio Toyoda, has gone on record a number of times saying that he wants to make it more fun to drive his namesake company’s cars. Mr. Toyoda had quite a bit of input into the development of the Scion FR-S/Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ, and the cars have generally been well-received by the press, with criticism focused mostly on their stock tires and lack of power from the 200 horsepower naturally aspirated boxer four cylinder, which happens to be the only engine choice. We recently spent a week getting re-acquainted with the Scion FR-S; hit the jump to see how Scion’s sportiest offering fared in the Techshake garage.