Do you watch Mad Men? If you don't, it's a throwback television series about lucrative and risky advertising business in New York City during the 1960's. The main character, Don Draper, who is a complete badass, has a stereotypical 1960's housewife, Betty Draper, and everyone I know can't stand her. She's too damn perfect, and frankly every time she comes onto the show it's like nails on a chalkboard.
Don likely married her because by the book she's the perfect 60's wife—dinner is always on the table, the kids are always taken care of, and she always looks perfect. But Don can't stand her, and that's why he's been seeing other women around town. You see, Betty is like a Toyota, nearly perfect, but for some people, it's like nails on a chalkboard. Don is tired of his Toyota and wants a more exciting vehicle, even if it breaks down and occasionally is a little bit difficult.
When it comes down to the numbers, there's no denying that Toyota has probably built some of the best and most successful vehicles on the planet—but I think they've also built some of the most boring vehicles as well. Apparently they're gaining some steam in the fun department with the FT86, but to get there they needed some help from their slightly more exiting, albeit granola munching cousin, Subaru.
Aside from the FT86 (which is massively underpowered by modern standards) lately, it seems everything in Toyota's plan has been geared towards mediocrity. Instead of the purposeful vehicles such as the earlier model Land Cruisers which effectively built the company's reputation, they're more focused on creating soft, bulbous, imitation vehicles. It's why the new Land Cruiser is currently the worst selling SUV in America. [link] Sure, it can venture off-road, but the version offered in the United States only has 8.9 inches of ground clearance, which is only .2 inches more than a comparable model year Subaru Outback at 8.7 inches.
Anyway, I promised you five reasons didn't I? Here they are:
1.) They're boring.
Whatever spice they had in the last few decades with models such as the 80 series Land Cruiser and the late-model Supra have been wiped clean off the board. Actually, never mind, the 80 series was boring as well, I even had one, it was too perfect. Everything worked way too well for a nearly 20 year old car that lived a horrible life transporting people around the suburbs. Even at it's age you could probably drive it around the world with little to no issues. But I was about as attached to it as I was my toaster. It was the lack of flaws that really bored me, flaws equal personality.
To quote a famous and possibly British Automotive Journalist, "[it's] like sitting in a bucket of warm wallpaper paste"
2.) They don't break.
"But wait, did he just say you could drive it around the world with little to no issues..."
Yes, but it doesn't mean that it wouldn't suck. Honestly, do you really want to drive around the world in a boring car? Adventure happens when things go wrong, if everything is calculated then where's the fun? When a Toyota breaks, you're pissed off because you didn't expect it, when a Land Rover breaks, it's all part of the experience.
3.) They are everywhere.
You know how everyone says that as soon as you go overseas it's really easy to get parts for a Land Rover? False. Try a Toyota, just like cockroaches, they're literally everywhere, and you can't kill them. No matter if you're driving your 4Runner to the mall, or your Land Cruiser in Botswana, odd are that you're probably going to end up parking next to a vehicle just like yours—What fun is that? Also, parts distribution networks are well-established and located almost anywhere, except if you're driving a Land Cruiser through Minnesota and your rear brake line blows up—you're screwed in that situation. (Ask me how I know...)
4.) The Prius Problem.
Let me say this incredibly clearly, I despise the Toyota Prius.
At some point in the last decade horrible drivers unanimously switched from minivans to the Toyota Prius. Now their ego is so inflated with green propaganda that they feel justified for cutting me off in my SUV—making them even worse drivers. Eventually the ego of a Prius enthusiast grows so large that they feel entitled to yell at SUV drivers if you happen to be next to them at a stop light. This recently happened to me in my 40 year old, 100% rebuildable and recyclable Land Rover; which has no nickel batteries contributing to acid rain, nor does it have disposable construction and more plastic than ...something really plastic. Anyway, Toyota, this is your problem.
5.) I'm always going on trips in them.
Because the damn things are so reliable, it seems I'm always stuck in a Toyota whenever I do some serious traveling. The worst part is that they never break down so the inner grease-monkey inside of me gets really bored. I was even forced into a 70 series to drive nearly across the entire continent while I was a part of Expeditions 7. We never end up taking my Land Rover for some reason, apparently my friends haven't developed the fine affinity for dust and gear oil like I have...
This is really starting to sound like one of those teen-drama movies where two opposite people that hate each other end up falling in love and being perfect for each other—perhaps my que to stop.
(Please note: sarcasm has been used in this article)