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Kalyn's Kitchen

Friday Night Photos: A Love Letter to Toyota

On Friday nights I share random photos of whatever has happened to come in front of my camera, and this week I’ve been thinking about cars. Thirteen years ago I bought this 1996 Toyota Camry, which turned out to be the best car I’d ever owned; all I did was change the oil on a semi-regular basis and buy tires once in a while, and I was good to go.

I’m not someone who cares a lot about cars, and I might have happily driven that car for another thirteen years. However, for about a year now this oil spot in front of my house had been telling me that it was time for the Camry to be replaced. I had a hard time saying goodbye, but finally I realized that even the best car you’ve ever owned isn’t perfect and won’t last forever.

When I started looking around for another car, there was no doubt I’d get a Toyota. I would have loved to get a Prius, but a lot of the money I’d saved for a car ended up being used for something else. As much as I’d enjoyed my Camry, when I looked at the newer models I liked the looks of the Corolla, and I ended up with this gently used 2009 Toyota Corolla.

I’ve only had it for two days, but I’m loving this car! I just wish I didn’t have to park it where the big oil spot is, but hopefully the car won’t take it as a sign of disrespect.

And since I have a wonderful brother named Rand (who does the design work on my blog, and also helps me in numerous other ways) it seemed extra fun that the place where I got the car was named Rand’s Auto Sales. I look forward to driving this car for many years to come, but when it’s time for my next new car, chances are good I’ll be sticking with Toyota!

So how do you feel about car loyalty? Are you sold on one make of car, or do you like to switch it up when you get a new car? And what’s the best car you’ve ever owned?

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    41 Comments on “Friday Night Photos: A Love Letter to Toyota”

  1. I bought a 4-year-old Corolla in 1986 and owned it another 9 years. It was a wonderful little car, and I wish you happiness with yours!

    I've had my current car – and only other one I've owned in my life – 12 years and counting, and planning on having it at least another 5 years. It's an Acura Integra, which is essentially a Honda Civic. I love it…

  2. I'm also a huge Honda fan; have owned a Civic, Accord and now a CRV (which is my favorite). They are great cars, and I love them!!!

  3. I have a 91 Toyota Camry and LOOOOOVE it! It's a little beat up from being parked on the street in NYC, but it is the little car that could! Again, like you, it has only taken minimal maintenance and purrs like a kitten. Best car ever! Now I know we are car sistahs!

  4. I love my 96 Camry. It's got 221,000 miles on it and still going strong!

  5. Yeah for Toyotas! I have my mom's 1992 Camry, at only 90K miles (she didn't drive it much) — except for no AC at the moment (part is back ordered, and apparently not made all that often [grin]), I could not be more pleased…

  6. Congrats on the new car! I love my 2001 Honda Accord. It's at 180,000 miles and running great! I also love silver cars.

  7. Like you my loyalty is to Toyotas. I've had my Highlander since July 2001, it has almost 160,000 miles, and it still drives like it's brand-new. I've done the regular maintenance, oil changes, brake jobs, new tires and batteries as needed. Repair-wise, I've only replaced a couple of sensors and the a/c condenser after all this time and miles. I still get the same average 20 mpg that I got when the car was brand-new. I love this car so much that I don't even have new car fever and I hope it lasts me many more years. And btw the Toyota Corolla is one of my favorite cars and will likely be my next purchase. My son is grown and off at college, so I don't really have the need now for a vehicle with tons of back seat space and with room to carry soccer goals and Boy Scout camp equipment 🙂

  8. I have a 2.5 YO Prius with 75,000 miles on it. I haven't loved a car this much since 1977, when I bought my first entirely new car as an adult with a college degree and a job! It was a Mazda GLC, and we drove it for ages, until it literally fell apart and the drivers seat dropped through the rusted out floor some 12 years later. In between these two paragons we had a lot of American cars, trying to be good citizens, but none of them made my heart flutter like these two!

  9. I'm having so much fun hearing from everyone about the cars they've loved owning, and happy to report that I love my Corolla a little more each time I drive it! Thanks everyone for weighing in.

  10. We love Toyota and Honda. My 2001 CRV still seems new and in perfect condition. When I do have to buy a new one, it will be another Honda CRV. DH drives a Toyota and will probably always have a Toyota. I could tell you a few vehicles we've had that we will NEVER buy again but I won't mention those names! 🙂 Congratulations on finding a perfect fit for your new vehicle.

  11. Corollas are incredible run-forever cars. I am on my third and my last one had 240,000 miles on it when it was rear-ended. Too bad because my mechanic had recently told me that he saw no reason why my car wouldn't go to 300,000 miles.

    Hope yours gives you many years of problem free service.

  12. all the best to your and your new car! I had a corolla for 7 years and loved it

  13. Congrats on your sweet new ride! Please keep us posted on how you enjoy your new Corolla.

    I'm on my 2nd Honda. I traded in my last Honda Civic Ex (2000) for my 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid. I have never had a problem with Honda. The only thing I ever do for maintenance is take it in for oil changes, occasionally buy new tires, change the air filter, and replace the wipers. I'm so happy with Honda!
    I know Toyota makes a great car too. I'd love to have a Prius, a Camry, or a Corolla one of these days. Of course, that's not going to happen until we're not scraping by on student loans are at least one of us are making some money.
    I'm hoping to upgrade to something a little larger when we have kids in a couple of years. We'll see.

    Enjoy your new car! = )

  14. I agree that Toyotas are great, Kalyn. I like driving a car for a long time. Shopping for a new car is not my favorite activity. As far as brands, I have loved driving Oldsmobiles. Not sure what my next car will be.

    Congrats on the new Toyota!

  15. Nice! I'm with you on Toyota too. I sold my first car this summer (had it 6 years) and after failing to find a Tacoma with the specs I wanted, ended up buying my boyfriend's 04 4runner – which he bought last year as an upgrade from a '96 4runner that we loved.

    Good call on the Corolla too – we have 08 and 09 Camry's at work and while they're great, they're part of the car-industry-wide trend of just making every model noticably bigger, so the 09 Corolla is probably a closer match to your old Camry than the new Camrys are!

  16. We have had a long & successful run with Toyotas – Celica hatchback in the 80s, multiple Camrys, and a Corolla. When we were ready to replace our van, we went with the Honda because of storage options. My van has over 95k miles on it & I've spent $1500 in repairs. I still love it. We are a Toyota & Honda family, although my husband has a Dodge Intrepid & it's still running well at 75k+ miles. Congrats on the new car!

  17. After reading all these posts it is obvious why the US car companies are going broke. I too have a Toyota story–my wonderful, beautiful 1974 Toyota Corona wagon. Unfortunately Toyota does not make this model anymore, and I know why–because it was almost indestructible. I owned mine for almost 20 years, it had about 200,000 miles on it (not sure as the mileage gauge broke in 1990), and in the end drove itself up the ramp of the tow truck. I cried for days. Over the years we also had a 1988 Camry Alltrac, a 1995 Camry (husband still drives this one), and a 2000 Corolla (which unfortunately was stolen out of my very own driveway one evening). I now own a 2002 Subaru Outback wagon; it reminded me of my old Corona but it is definitely not the same. Good luck Kalyn with your almost brand new car.

  18. Kalyn congrats on your new purchase! I always enjoy reading your blog as it's so varied between life and food!

    I have a 2006 Corolla with 65,000 miles on it and still love it. I can't complain about the car and the gas mileage is great. I've owned another Toyota in disguise (Geo Prizm) and liked it quite well. I've also had a couple of Honda's and am torn between loyalty on a Honda and Toyota…

    Enjoy your ride for years to come!

  19. I love my beat up old Subaru Legacy Sport Sedan. She rarely lets me down. I also have a Honda Civic hybrid that I'm quite fond of except for the blind spots it presents to those of us who are slightly height challenged. Congrats on the new wheels.

  20. I have a 2002 Toyota Echo and love it. I get great gas mileage (40 mpg), which helps me in my 50-mile (round trip) commute to work. My Echo is silver and I like that it does not show up dirt quite so fast. Enjoy the Corolla – a colleague that I carpool with has one and it is a great car. I would consider another make, but I have had good luck with Toyota.