I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

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Mikeallison
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I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Mikeallison » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:30 pm

I've had it for two years now. It's a 2002 Toyota landcruiser. 12 mpg, third row seating, drives like a luxury barge. I have no justifiable reason to own this thing, except I got a steal on it, and I know how to wrench so maintenance is no issue.

My commute is close enough that I could bike if I wanted to (I don't, I'm pretty active but biking in traffic is more nerve wracking than enjoyable for me). I live in a rocky mountain state with snow and ice, and I love doing the off road thing, so it's been great for that. I've been able to access trailheads I couldn't get to before for hiking already.

This is my big indulgence, I'm stingy with everything else (I don't eat out, small house, high savings rate), but I can't let this thing go . I think I would tool around in it, even if gas shot up to 6 bucks a gallon. Not expecting alot of love for this, but I thought I would share my most un-ERE vice for the hell of it. Do you guys have any habits / guilty pleasures that don't fit with this lifestyle?

*Edit*

I should have read more carefully, I noticed that this is for questions on transportation, not general discussion. Sorry admin! I'm still a bit of a noob on here I guess. Feel free to move or delete.

Sarouel
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Sarouel » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:50 pm

Bbbbut the environment?

I still buy too much stuff, eg clothes. And although i know about sweatshops, i still buy at shops like h&m. And i also fly sometimes.

Mikeallison
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Mikeallison » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:14 pm

@sarouel

I feel you. Vanity is a tough one too.

The rational part of me says it's wasteful and borderline irresponsible, I should ditch it and buy a yaris, etc. But it rides so Nice! and I feel like I'm king of the road for the 2 stoplights it takes me to get to work. I guess I just need an element of the absurd in my life or something.

Riggerjack
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:34 pm

But it rides so Nice! and I feel like I'm king of the road for the 2 stoplights it takes me to get to work.
Drive the SUV or not, it means nothing to me. My only caution is to look closely at your feelings, your things, and yourself, and be sure those interrelationships are as you want them to be.

For me it's a c3 Corvette. I don't have one, I could afford one, but while I think it's a beautiful car, I am conflicted. I find I don't much like Corvette owners. Too status, brand, and consumption oriented. Getting a vanity plate calling it The Douchemobile, would not dissociate me enough from them. And long, low nosed cars are a pain to drive.

Because I like the way it looks, but nothing else, I don't have one. I would have something beautiful, that I didn't feel good about having. That is enough reason not to have it. For me.

You do what you want to do. But be sure you feel better about you for doing it.

OTCW
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by OTCW » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:41 pm

I own two vehicles. My S.O. has another of her own. Use your money for what you want/need to use it for and don't worry about it.

George the original one
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by George the original one » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:15 pm

The economy version of the Land Cruiser is a Subaru Outback with the PZEV engine. Getting 31.7 mpg with ours because we mostly spend driving time on the highway rather than city commuting. 8" ground clearance has been good, too.

On the other hand, "rocky mountain state" is not the place for the economy version... the PZEV engine has troubles breathing at those high altitudes.

Mikeallison
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Mikeallison » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:43 pm

@riggerjack Corvette huh? I've had the pleasure to drive a few and they are alot of fun, but a handful on the track. A Miata is more my style, I like agility over power.

I wouldn't call this a dream car necessarily, but If I were to really sit down and think about it, I like it on multiple levels. I've already stated that It's nice to drive around so that is the obvious one. It's also super reliable unlike most luxury vehicles so that is a plus.

The rebel in me also enjoys the mixed signals I get to send. I imagine a hipster in a prius behind me at a stop shaking his head, sipping his starbucks and feeding his sense of moral superiority with how much better he is for driving a hybrid. Never knowing that I most likely drive and consume less than he does.

It's an older vehicle, but still kind of pricey, so I also get to surprise people on the other end too. They expect a businessman, or a soccer mom, and instead see a disheveled 30 year old who looks like he is unemployed and just got out of bed. It probably never occurs to them what I'm actually worth, and they figure I'm just bumming my poor parent's ride.

I'm an odd duck like that, I revel in messing with expectations, probably more than I should, but I can't help it. Also, like your Corvette, a few flaws make something more interesting. Maybe I'm compensating for some sort of identity insecurity by deliberately doing something that doesn't jive with the plan. I understand all of this is a mark of immaturity, but hey, I have enough adult obligations to keep me grounded, so I allow myself the guilty pleasure of owning the mcmansion of vehicles ( I would have bought a hummer, if they weren't such junk).

@George

I looked at those! Well the older ones, but the flat 4 design scared me off, the years I was interested in were notorious for blown head gaskets, and even changing the clutch requires pulling the engine on most models. As someone who works on their own cars, it scared me off. On a side note, changing the starter on this thing required me to pull the intake manifold all the way off because, in their wisdom, toyota thought it would be a good idea to put the thing inside the v, instead of alongside the block like normal. Even well engineered cars have their flaws I guess.

plantingourpennies
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by plantingourpennies » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:33 pm

Mikeallison wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:30 pm
Do you guys have any habits / guilty pleasures that don't fit with this lifestyle?
I argue with people over the internet =/

jacob
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by jacob » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:05 pm

We have a 2002 Outback with 186k miles on it (DW uses it for work, she hauls crap around (office materials) and covers offices in multiple districts). We bought it for $5k at 122k or so and so far it hasn't had major issues (but lots of minor ones: brake pads, battery, head lights, catalytic converter, tires, and timing belt have been replaced.) Our neighbor is a mechanic so he does all the work on it (I just never got into cars.) The AWD is absolutely fantastic in the snow---goes right through everything unlike front-wheel drive which feels more like ice skating in Chicago winters.

It'll hold 2x4's no problem. Unfortunately it's just a few inches too small to hold an 8x4 piece of plywood but that can always go on the roof rack.

George the original one
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by George the original one » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:44 pm

Mikeallison wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:30 pm
Do you guys have any habits / guilty pleasures that don't fit with this lifestyle?
Oh, hell yes and they're named Fiats, but most people call them a large collection of rusty sheetmetal, LOL! The trick is to find the compromise that works for you, that is reasonable on your available budget/time. If your savings rate goes to 45% from 50% by supporting your guilty pleasure, then it's not the end of the world (vs. dropping to 25% from 75%).

In the digital realm, my guilty pleasure is "Next Car Game: Wreckfest"... satisfies my inner road rage.

Freedom_2018
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Freedom_2018 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:09 pm

@Mikeallison

Timely post. I'm in the market for a Landcruiser or 4runner for going off road...will be doing a good bit of it. The mpg on those things make me wince but since I need some ability to sleep in the SUV also...the Subaru is out.

Question: Did you consider the 4runner also? Any pros and cons you care to mention for your Land Cruiser.

Time to retire my 1998 Honda civic on which I put over 350k miles and still drive it (only car I've owned)...sometimes to places it has no business going.

I'm 45..life is too precious to not do a few things that one really wants to.

Mikeallison
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Mikeallison » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:47 pm

@George

My father has a few of those pieces if scrap metal, and some MGs, my mom makes him get rid of them every couple of years, but they always seem to come back, much to her ire.

@Jacob
I know all kinds of people up here swear by Subaru, it's almost the state car at this point. I may have passed judgement too soon, but for now I'm content with my mall crawler. The land cruiser really is a fantastic vehicle all kidding aside, built for world expedition, and very well put together.

@freedom
That is a loaded question! Do you plan on doing long overland expedition stuff? Or just rock crawling? Is it a toy or a daily?

If it is for long trips or double duty as a daily then you cannot beat the 100 series land cruiser. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it rides like a lexus LS series, and performs very well in completely stock form for 90% of what you run across on most forest service/dirt roads ( I would avoid dedicated, technical 4x4 trails in stock form though).They are also ridiculously tough vehicles, you have to really try if you want to break something. I recently pulled a replacement bumper off of one in a salvage yard, and the mileage on it was 450,000 miles.

The cons are that it is heavy, has an independent front suspension, and is very expensive to set up as a serious off road rig. You will have 6 to 10 grand in it on top of the purchase price if you want lockers, bumper, lift, tires, etc, and that is if you can do the work yourself.

The 4runner is cheaper in almost every way, Better on gas, and it is close in the reliability department. If it is just a weekend rock crawling machine, or you want to watch your mpgs, I would go with it. But don't test drive the land cruiser! Driving it will ruin the 4runner for you, they are that nice.

Mikeallison
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Mikeallison » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:48 pm

jacob wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:05 pm
(I just never got into cars.)
Reading through your work gives me the impression that you view them a necessary evil at best? I think you would really enjoy the process though. Cars are complex puzzles that challenge your mind in many different ways.

I disliked not knowing how to work on them. I remedied this by buying a broken down honda crx for next to nothing, and going through every thing on it from the tires on up. With the help of a service manual, hand tools, and youtube I got it running pretty well again, and to my knowledge it is still going strong. I had fun, learned a ton, and got alot of satisfaction out of putting it all back together. I made almost no money on it though, but I just consider that the cost of tuition.

Freedom_2018
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Freedom_2018 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:36 pm

@MikeAllison

Ha..now I will have to try the Landcruiser too...you knew that would happen!

Not interested in modifying whatever I get, will be happy to go wherever the stock vehicle can take me.

I was seriously looking at the 4runner and LC...but the third row seats in the LC would eat up sleeping space..not sure how easy it would be to remove...and even if done...might impact my ability to sell it in the future (won't have a place to store removed seat, my lifestyle is very mobile..almost everything I and partner own fit in my civic and the stuff in the backseat doesn't even come up to the window...we are pretty good at maintaining a veneer of middle class respectability).

Have you tried overnighting in your LC?

Stupid question: Can a Subaru go most places a 4runner/LC can? I mean considering it has 8.7 inches ground clearance and AWD (but things like no Low 4 etc might be limitation)

Thx
M

Mikeallison
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Mikeallison » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:40 am

Freedom_2018 wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:36 pm
If you are going stock I would look at the land cruiser, it is much better for that IMO, if you can stomach the mileage.

The third row comes out in less than 5 minutes on mine, they are also really small seats, and If you dont need them there is always ebay. I haven't slept in mine yet, but with the second row out I imagine you can sleep two people pretty easy, it is a big truck.

You pretty much laid out the problem with Subaru, they are great for light duty and nasty roads, but off road you will miss that low range. Still they are impressive for what they are.
https://youtu.be/mbOCzqMYNlo

Sclass
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Sclass » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:04 am

I’ve been looking at 4runners and landcruisers too. I’m not too sure they are stupid purchases. After many years I’ve gotten back into skiing and started looking for a hunting vehicle for muddy forest roads. Those old Toyota’s are amazing forreliability and considering they sold for $30-$50k when new they are awfully cheap now on Craigslist.

The mpg is low but if you don’t drive all that much it isn’t bad. While mounting slow chains recently I thought how expensive getting hit by a car during chain installation could be. It may be a game changer. $5000 for an old Toyota suv with some snow tires may be a bargain.

I have some guilt over my 80s Mercedes cars. My worst was a 560SEC that delivered a wonderful 10mpg. It seated four. But in the big picture, these old Mercedes cars were bought for prices like $2000 on CL. I fix them myself. If I count depreciation the fuel looks like nothing. No auto loan interest. No collision insurance (but tons of liability). Cheap tires...one tire on my sister’s BMW M4 costs more than my entire car (edit opps, it’s more like 4 Beemer tires = 1 S-Class beater diesel). My step mother with a modern Camry recently asked why I pay so little for tires at Costco. 14” rims baby.

So I’m not all that convinced the Landcruiser isn’t economical. Yeah it burns a lot of gas but overall I bet it doesn’t hit you too hard on the bottom line.

What keeps me on the fence is paying insurance, license and parking for a third car (the proposed 4Runner) when it just sits most of the year as a recreational vehicle. I guess I cannot beat my $6 goodwill store snow chains and 15min of grit.

Farm_or
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Farm_or » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:54 am

My sinful love for cars started in my teens. It's still my guilty pleasure, and I have one taken apart right now awaiting parts.

I've done all my own wrenching for 35 years. I am almost grinning inside when my wife tells me of a new problem with the mustang. I am still adding to my tangible and intangible tool box (es).

I love corvette! Never owned one, yet, but I am on my third mustang (67, 97, 07). I haven't seen the corvette snobbery, but certainly have seen the Mercedes snobbery. I have a friend who owns a Mercedes that insists on taking it to Portland every time he has trouble. All the local podunk mechanics are not worthy of looking under his hood!

I have to agree with what marvels of engineering cars are. I worked 25 years in semiconductor, food, mining, and farming. I worked with aerospace engineering and one former NASA guy. The technology from everywhere finds it's way into cars. There are some car guys with very sophisticated experience.

jennypenny
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by jennypenny » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:44 am

@freedom -- What kind of off-roading are you planning on? I drive an '06 Highlander Hybrid and I love it. The gas mileage is much better than a traditional SUV. The third seat folds down to make sleeping easier although I'd probably go with an SUV tent set-up myself. It's not going to climb rocky hillsides but it can go off-pavement with no problems.

In my dreams, I'd want a hybrid Xterra. Maybe Nissan will resurrect the model when they go all electric.

jacob
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by jacob » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:59 am

Mikeallison wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:48 pm
Reading through your work gives me the impression that you view them a necessary evil at best?
Exactly right. Best case is that this will be the last car we ever own.

Sclass
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Re: I bought a big gas guzzling suv, and I love it.

Post by Sclass » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:22 am

JP - somehow I picture you in this from an old post. :D

https://conquestvehicles.com

I’d love a 4wd vehicle but I keep getting hung up on the cost of owning an extra car. I’ve been limping along putting outlandishly accessorized roof racks on my sedans and using snow cables. I’m trying to make my sedan work like a truck and it is a compromise. Not my car below but I feel I’m trying to do too many different things with one set of wheels.

Image

It’s funny, buying an older depreciated SUV is very affordable for me but my old psychology cannot get me to drop the money because it feels inefficient in several ways. More fuel. Additional insurance and licensing for a parked car. I’ve been there and watched my motorcycles and cars rot from lack of use - rubber cracks up when not moved around. But I still want to indulge myself.

I think there are a lot of things in life like this. It sounds fun to have the rec vehicles, the vacation home or the extra friend in one’s life. Then there’s the reality of juggling it all.

I get the guilt. It is more over efficiency than actual cost. I guess if you don’t drive much or you carry a big family around in the two rows of seats your cost/passenger mile can be kept low

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