When I turned 16, 17 years ago, I started out with an old Chevy pickup. It was nothing but pickups and 2-door cars (except for a co-owned Saturn when gas was $4+ per gallon and I had a big-block Thunderbird and my dad 3/4-ton Suburban). Every single one was a domestic, and that was never going to change. SUVs were for soccer moms, and I was going to buy American or walk. I also had owned only 2wd trucks because I didn’t off-road, so what the hell did I need 4wd for?

After working on cars for a living for over a decade, I realized how much easier Asian vehicles were to work on, and how much less of it they needed. On top of that, the 2014 F150 I’d bought new, while mostly reliable (fuck Sync), was such an absolute disappointment that after three years I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started shopping for a V8 Tundra, and stumbled upon an unbelievable deal on a 2008 V8 4WD 4Runner instead.

So now I’m daily driving the epitome of what I’d never own... and I LOVE it. That Japanese reliability means I fix what was broken by the abusive previous owner a year ago when I bought it, and haven’t touched it with tools since other than scheduled maintenance. That 4wd system has come in very handy in many ways, some of them unexpected (like how much easier it makes getting my 18ft flatbed trailer into and out of my backyard), and I surprisingly don't really miss the pickup bed.