My Next Car…

May 17, 2008

… won’t actually be a car, it’ll be a Toyota Highlander. Like maybe this one:

Toyota Highlander

In late 2006, when I started working at Marchex and was faced with having to drive the 200+ miles from West Richland to Seattle at least twice a month, I had a feeling my little Toyota Corolla (the 1999 model) wouldn’t survive much longer. So I started looking for something bigger and sturdier to get over the mountains in winter, and decided on the Highlander. Never bought it, though, because the company let me work from home over the winter months while Snoqualmie Pass was more like an ice rink than a highway.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, when we’ve rented a mid-sized car for our vacation back in Philly, except when we get to Avis they’ve upgraded us to a brand new, only-5-miles-on-the-odometer, 2008 Toyota Highlander. YES!

I’ve been wanting to drive a Highlander ever since ’06, and this was my chance. I wasn’t disappointed. The thing drove like a charm — super smooth, very quiet, all kinds of comforts in the passenger cabin. And, much to my surprise, it went more than 300 miles on 3/4s of a tank of gas! We drove from Bristol up to NYC and back, then down into Philly and back, and didn’t have to fill the tank until the day before we were coming home. There was still 1/4-tank of gas and we’d gone more than 300 miles. When I went to the gas station, it took a little more than 15 gallons … so 300+ miles divided by 15+ gallons … more than 20 MPG for a big SUV. I’m sold.

Only problem is, it might be years before I get one. I don’t buy new cars until my current car is dead. And my ’99 Corolla, like all Toyotas, just keeps going and going and going and going…..


  • Reply Phil R May 18, 2008 at 6:44 am

    I wasn’t planning on buying a new car until my Ford Explorer died. Then I got back from Peru, a week later the head gasket blew.

    It would have been at LEAST 1,500 to fix it if everything went right. So, instead, I got 3k for it on a trade for a new Subaru. Things last forever, AWD, and rides REALLY nice. Always wanted one too…

  • Reply e naul May 20, 2008 at 5:40 am

    What about your ecological footprint, Matt?
    Is it a good idea to buy a SUV?

  • Reply Ben May 20, 2008 at 10:28 am

    I have the same problem – I WANT a new car really bad, but my 97 camry just keeps on going… just hit the 125,000 mile mark, and I figure I have another 25K to go before I really need to worry about it… for me, 25K miles = about 3 years because I live so close to work and limit my driving.

    I get the odd repair that runs me several hundred or even $1k about every 18 months, but that still beats a car payment by a LOT…

    So, I’ll keep dreaming about a new ride, and hoping that by the time my Camry really dies – cars don’t use gas anymore. 🙂

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