Or Loyal to a Fault?
We’ve owned 9 SUV’s over the past 24 years. Our line-up, in Mitsubishi circles, could be called legendary, by some. I’ve had 3 different V6’s, a 4 banger, and 3 different diesels. In essence, I’ve had almost every engine iteration available.
These motors were ensconced in three gen1’s, in both 2 and 4 doors, three gen 2’s, with both shorty and LWB setup, and even three Monocoque gen3’s in, you guessed it, buggy and wagon configuration. Mixed in with these was (and still is) the famous Pajero Evo. For good measure, I even had a Mitsubishi 4 door diesel pickup. Between my wife and I, we always had a Mitsu 4WD each.
Some might call me the King of Pajero ownership. (Okay, no one ever called me that. Actually, most just roll their eyes as they say “You bought ANOTHER one…?”) Still, even my oldest dog’s name is Mitsu.
On the side, we had 4 Lancer’s (one was an EVO IV!), a couple of AWD Galants, and an Outlander, just for good measure.
Never, in this time frame (except for that one Suzuki wagon, which had some mitsu electrics under the hood), did we stray from the three diamonds.
UNTIL THIS WEEK
No one was more shocked than I, when I realized last week we had just bought a Toyota. Some even thought it was some kind of joke – a prank, devised to tide us over until April Fool’s.
A TOYOTA? WTF?
Admittedly, it wasn’t just ANY Toyota. It was one of the few vehicles on my short list that I’d consider outside Mitsubishi. This list, for better or worse, is the MB G-Wagen, the LR Defender, and the Land Cruiser. It was of course the last one: a UZJ100 to be exact: the 100 Series Land Cruiser, with a solid V8, and a pearl white that my wife instantly bonded with.
I’ll tackle the “WHY” of this decision in Part Two, but I thought it was important to examine brand loyalty first. Once upon a time it applied to almost everything. Folks tended to buy the same brand of Stereo every time (or TV, or dishwasher). Most of these appliances lasted a decade or two, and were a fixture in the home. Then in the garage was a Ford, or a Chevy. Maybe Dodge was your thing, or you favoured “them there foreign imports”? Brand loyalty wasn’t necessarily a stretch when things lasted a long time, rarely changed and folks held onto things longer.
But now? Try and find brand loyalty. Brand dissatisfaction is the new normal. Whether it is refrigerators that last 2 years and a day (with a 2 year warranty), cell phones that can’t even fully function for the duration of their (short) contract, or TV’s that are obsolete the moment you hang them on the wall, brand loyalty seems to be dying on the long vine of one star amazon reviews, google searches, and negative facebook groups. Brand-bashing is now a social media sport.
Loyalty these days is bought and sold, based on the bottom line.
How cheap can you make it, and how quickly can you replace it?
My loyalty was hard won, and is still held very dear. It seems rare in this day of newer and shinier. Yet it feels good. Comfortable. Familiar. True. I get no sponsorships, parts discounts, or special treatment. But I did enjoy driving something special for the last 24 years. Many somethings, actually. I still do. And will continue to.
What have I missed out on? Probably nothing, maybe everything, but I honestly can’t say. Brand loyalty does tend to give you blinders. I really have no idea about vehicles outside my interest zone, beyond the basics. So have I missed out? Let’s call me “blissfully unaware”. I will admit that discovering there are other rigs out there that might be almost as good as what I’m used to is kind of eye-opening. I’m saying this tongue in cheek yes, but only one cheek.
Embrace what you love.
You’ll probably find like minded folks and grow to love it even more. Enjoy the perks of knowing everything about one thing, instead of nothing about everything.
But every now and then? Take off the blinders and look around. There might be a possibility out there you haven’t considered before.
It might even be… a Toyota.