Motor Kombat: The Battle in opposition to Egregious Dealership Markups

motor kombat

Illustration by Derek BaconAutomobile and Driver

From the February/March 2022 problem of Automobile and Driver.

My pal Louis wanted a truck. After driving nothing however Toyota Tacomas for 20 years, he was quickly truckless, sarcastically as a result of the craze for Tacomas resulted in some family vehicular arbitrage that noticed his dented and scratched 2017 Taco traded straight up for a brand new Ford Bronco Sport. However then what? How do you exchange a car that everybody needs with out paying a concurrently silly worth? I suggested him to embrace an previous baseball maxim: Hit ’em the place they ain’t. If everybody’s after a Tacoma, simply get one thing else. You do not all the time want the new automobile. Take it from a man who traded in his 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander for a 2010 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost.

Marc UrbanoAutomobile and Driver

I recommended Louis to take a look at the redesigned 2022 Nissan Frontier, the Ford Ranger, and the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon. He instantly clocked the Ranger because the form of truck that is due for a refresh, which is correct. The one four-wheel-drive Canyon or Colorado that met his $40,000 funds was an prolonged cab, not a full four-door. As for a Tacoma, the supplier mentioned one thing like: “We’ve got one Tacoma coming in subsequent month, and for an opportunity to purchase it, prospects are going to interact in hand-to-hand fight in our new showroom battle pit. The winner can pay $7000 over sticker.” A pal who lately purchased a brand new 4Runner TRD Professional informed me what an amazing deal he obtained—he solely paid full worth.

A block away, the Nissan supplier had 4 new Frontiers on the lot and no form of Squid Recreation state of affairs. I gave Louis the smooth promote, telling him, “I do know you’re keen on Tacomas, however the Frontier simply obtained redesigned and is definitely higher than the Tacoma in a number of methods—an additional 32 horsepower, three extra gears within the transmission, Zero Gravity entrance seats.” He requested what I meant by Zero Gravity seats, and just like the automobile professional I’m, I shortly modified the topic. Gravity is without doubt one of the strongest forces within the universe, however not as highly effective as my apathy in relation to investigating advertising rhetoric.

Louis ended up shopping for the Frontier for a minimum of $5000 lower than the most cost effective native Tacoma, a disparity I discover mystifying. I imply, I like Tacomas, however I do not perceive the deification that is driving costs insane. “The Frontier drives means higher than my Tacoma did,” Louis famous. “It is quieter and sooner.” It additionally has four-wheel disc brakes, which, imagine it or not, differentiates it from the present Tacoma. “My new truck has rear drum brakes” feels like one thing you’d say to a fellow passenger on a steamship whereas consuming a laudanum soda pop.

Andi HedrickAutomobile and Driver

The way in which I see it, the mere presence of a scorching car available in the market creates alternatives for anybody who can hold an open thoughts. The Ford Bronco is one other instance. I have been rubbernecking Bronco anguish for months, as reservation holders complain and complain about distant construct dates. And the Bronco is cool. However when you’re so impatient for a convertible four-by-four, there’s an SUV known as the Jeep Wrangler that is fairly straightforward to get. My native supplier has greater than 40 to select from, none of which carry five-figure markups. The Wrangler is not new and novel, however “new and novel” is a nasty motive to purchase a automobile that you simply plan to maintain longer than six months.

Desire a C8 Corvette, however cannot discover one at an affordable worth? Get a C7 Grand Sport. Because the previous Corvette saying goes, “Eventually, they’re all a C5.” Do you would like you might purchase an FJ80 Land Cruiser, however they’re all midway again to their authentic base worth? Get in on the bottom flooring with a manual-transmission two-door Chevy Blazer ZR2, or a supercharged Nissan Xterra, or a Quadrasteer three-quarter-ton Chevy Suburban.

Really, overlook I mentioned that. None of these are scorching or stylish. Lengthy might it final.

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Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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