My Take On Toyota Hauler


There ain’t no electric motor.

On the eve of Alberta’s new carbon tax, I bought a bigger, thirstier SUV than I thought I could ever want.

Well maybe not quite… One could argue that an 80’s series Land Cruiser would be thirstier, and I could certainly want one of those. Still, this 2UZ powered, two and a half tonne, seven seater can’t possibly be much thriftier than its older, more archaic brother. 

As I mentioned last post, the FR-S is a reasonable daily driver, but when conditions get really ugly (I mean literally tonnes of gravel and salt on the road) I’ve discovered that I really don’t have the stomach for driving it.

On such days, either our Matrix, or IS300 would be used in the past.  The wife however, decided that she loves the Lexus, and loathes lending it to me.  The Matrix has demonstrated characteristics less like Toyota, and is perhaps more like the world’s worst brand… to whom it is somewhat closely connected.  

So I bought what I think is a proper Toyota (if only I had done that with the toy car?). The Matrix 1ZZ is IMO the worst engine Toyota has made in the modern era.  The 2UZ is considered by many to be the best.  

Still for the first week of ownership I questioned my sanity.  On January 1, the Alberta government rolled out a much despised carbon tax – taxing carbon emissions at a rate of $20/tonne with a plan to hike it again in 2018 to $30/tonne.  As I watch the needle in this thing drain to empty every 500km, I think to myself that I must be crazy.  After all, who actually NEEDS something like this?  

A big truck is one thing, but a proper box and true truck-like work capacity goes a long ways towards justifying massive fuel bills and emissions.  This thing has carpet, leather and oak from windshield to rear bumper, and will doubtfully ever haul a load of gravel or an engine anywhere unless it’s attached to a trailer.

The fact that everyone else in the market has made this realization, is probably why a Sequoia costs nearly half what a similar Tundra does.

Two weeks into ownership now, and I have fully embraced being an old man with a boring, but comfortable daily driver.  I don’t want to be the guy who justifies truck ownership… but there are good reasons why most people in our Province choose to drive similar vehicles.

Even when our IS300 is more fun and more economical, this big beast is now the machine that does the brunt of the work when it comes to family hauling.

That fact means that this addition to our fleet is certainly no fun project…. but it is here, and may perhaps one day in the future pull another proper Toyota and actual fun project behind it. 

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