So the wonderful new(ish) Venza is at Camelback Toyota getting the struts replaced on the back hatchback gate. It took them over two hours to decide whether they would cover this $500 job on the extended warranty.
They ended up soaking me $50 for the job, but I guess that was OK because at least the car is getting fixed. If they had refused to cover it on the warranty, I wouldn’t have had it fixed — just would have used, as JestJack wisely and frugally suggested, a pole to prop the damn thing open.
Here’s the entertainingly spooky thing:
Camelback Toyota resides at the corner of 16th Street and Camelback Road, once the home of the years-defunct Sanderson Ford. Wayyyy back in those years, my father proudly bought me, as a graduation present, a brand-new Ford Fairlane. He’d done a lot of studying on the subject and had decided this was the perfect car for his little girl.
He was proud to have made an American, and proud to buy American.
And it was…a perfect lemon. Whatever could go wrong with a car went wrong with that piece of junk, up to AND including its paint powdering off.
This absurd machine lived at Sanderson Ford. I would pick it up, drive it home, and within a day or two take it back for some new ailment.
By coincidence, my newlywed husband and I had rented an apartment in a complex about a quarter-mile to the north of Sanderson Ford. This was good, because it meant I was within walking distance of the place where my car lodged.
Literally, the car was in the repair shop more than it was parked in our apartment carport spot!
You think I exaggerate? Let me assure you: Not at all.
So as you can imagine, a number of unpleasant ghosts haunt a visit to that place, despite the spectacular remodeling job Toyota has done to the premises.
At any rate, as I’m on the phone to Chuck the Wonder-Mechanic asking if he can replace the struts, the Spectacular Cuteness Who Is Brian (eat your heart out, Young Dr. Kildare!!) comes striding up to inform me (at long last) that they can fix the thing and it’ll only cost me a bargain fifty bucks.
Just repair it. I’ll never use the effng power assist again. And I have a nice pole, just in case.
SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT THAT RAM 1500!!!!
They “give” me a loaner in the form of a late-model RAV-4. I say “give” advisedly: it’s actually a rental, but the rent is said to be covered by the warranty.
White of ’em, eh?
So I drive the RAV-4 to the grocery store, where I manage to dodge a PoB (Panhandler on Bike) and escape with a few bagsful of veggies and stuff. Then get home, at which point it occurs to me that I forgot to bring the garage door opener with me. Fortunately, I have a stand-by, and fortunately, it still works.
As I’m driving said RAV-4 around, I reflect that I was not wrong…yea verily, I was RIGHT when I test-drove one of the things a couple years ago and thought it couldn’t even begin to compare with the ancient Sienna. Or with the Honda CR-V. Or with the Subaru. Or with a pet donkey.
Well. A pet donkey has other things to recommend it…like a personality.
The now-defunct Venza (they took it out of production last year) is as the day unto the night, compared to the Rav-4. One is left wondering why on earth they canceled out that lovely vehicle, so far superior to the nearest comparable model. What could Toyota’s management have been thinking?
Whatever it was, it had nothing to do with quality.
Much as I could do without the Venza’s computer-driven doodads, I will admit they improve on the Rav-4’s (possibly) mechanical controls. This thing requires three dials to get the air-conditioning to operate. The Venza? One: dial to the temperature you want.
Okay, okay: the Sienna? One: off or on.
Given a choice, I’d take “off or on.” But the Venza surely beats the Rav-4 in the “turn on the AC” department.
Here in the 21st Century: Ford. Ford is what I’d say.
Quality-wise, M’hijito’s Ford Escape is comparable to the (defunct) Venza, a modern version of the Sienna, and far, far, FAR superior to the Rav-4.
And I’m brought back to that wistful impulse: Shoulda bought a Ford truck.
Ever think you’re living in a Monty Python Show?