Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why Toyota Is Annoying

I've been thinking about getting a new car. My current car, a 2002 Audi A4 is getting too small. There's not enough legroom in the rear for my daughter, due to the booster seat. This is another reason government regulation pushes people into larger vehicles, but I digress. I'd have her in a booster seat anyway.

I think I like the Toyota RAV4. I know what I want -- V6, 4WD, 3rd row seat, and a factory installed DVD player. I went to the Toyota website and tried to "build" the vehicle I want.

You can't always get what you want (yes, that's from the Rolling Stones - Can't Get No Satisfaction - unless you prefer the Devo version). When you go through this "build" feature on the Toyota website, the first thing you enter is your zip code. This controls what choices are available to you.

Here are the option packages available on the Limited V6 4x4 here in the Albany area:

And here's the same for Cleveland Ohio:

Why do people in Cleveland get 5 choices while we in Albany get only 1 choice? I could ask the second question - why can't I get one without any option packages? And doesn't that mean the "MSRP" number is really incorrect? But I want to stick with the first one. It is disturbing that Toyota would discriminate against our region like this (or any other region). If I'm ordering a car built for me at the factory, why wouldn't Toyota want me to be able to choose exactly what I want? I just don't get it. Charge me a custom design fee or something if you have to.

When my wife bought a Mazda CX-9, we had a lot better array of choices. I'm not happy with the dealer-installed DVD we got and I really want a factory-install DVD player for the kids on my next car. Looks like I might be ordering a Mazda. Bugs me because I'd rather have the RAV4, but Toyota's system is too frustrating.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Mr Redlich. My name is Dan Kennedy and I work at Toyota's New York Region. Please contact me with the specifications that you would like and I will try to get them for you. The challenge with the RAV4 is that it's one of the few volume vehicles that is still built in Japan, so the vehicles are ordered in advance. If you have some time, we can normally special order what you want. Thanks, DK