2024 Toyota RAV4 - Dealer test drive chat

Hi Ray, Wife and I been looking at small hybrid SUVs at cars dealers. Since rollover death of Sil’s SiL, been uber-concerned w/safety. Honda Odyssey van is biggish but don’t trust the old tech airbags after 14 years and 160+K miles. My Jeanine was test driving a RAV-4 Tuesday and Toyota salesman in backseat asks where we want to drive to and I, of course, said, “The closest Nissan dealership.” I sprinkle in Jimmy Kimmel type questions like, "When you were a Toyota salesman in Tacoma, did y’all sell less or more Tacoma trucks there because of the name-match homonym angle? ((He said same but I know from his inflection he really had no idea.)) Also, when I bought my VM Rabbit and PT Cruiser back in the day the dealer made sure his name was on the (removable) license plate frame. Fair 'nuff. Buying my Nissan Cube in 2011 affixing a metallic dealer name was already en vogue. Didn’t think much about it 'cuz it was smallish and dark red matched the taillight color. FFwd to today. This dealer’s MO was different with a big bright red Red (local boy made good) McCombs ‘‘signature’’. So, for MY/YOUR QUESTION, I asked ‘Bob from Tacoma’ if anyone ever says, "Hey–I’m paying you all this money for a beautiful new shiny car, can you please not defile it with any such scribbling on the tailgate? ((He says that’s a first but he’d likely say the same if it wasn’t.)) I mean even a lawncare provider says they’ll give a discount if you put their biz sign in your yard. Why should I be a free mobile ad for them – or anybody? Bet there’s a SubReddit on that. What say you ‘Ray from Car Talk’? ;-} MJ from SA

lol … this reminds me of my own Toyota dealership experience. I told the salesman I wanted a car with manual wind-up windows, rather than electric. He told me I was “old-fashioned” and walked away, Not all downside, I learned I can look at dealership cars all I like without being bothered by the salesforce just by starting the conversation with that topic … lol …

2025 Toyota RAV4 redesign right around the corner.

Get em now before they stick a sub 2.0 L engine with a turbo and a CVT in them , LOL .

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We had some requests to omit the dealer name back in 92 at Lompoc Toyota (Northern Santa Barbara). Really northern by fifty-five miles. We lost a few sales because of the goofy stickers that we ordered to run down the side of the basic pickups we were selling for $6,700 at the time. Good thing we weren’t charging for those disfigurations. Nissan trucks were really ugly back then or we might have lost all the sales.

I heard a complaint from a different dealership that tried to leave the dealer sticker off. I think that someone noticed it was missing and rushed to put it on. Five minutes later the customer had a meltdown. He almost got what he wanted.

You live in Lompoc? I used to travel there for work. One project was in the early 1990s and the other was in 2021. There were several trips and they were for a long time. I decided that I like Lompoc, at least as a business destination. I stayed at O’Cairn’s Inn for both trips. Great place, although the neighborhood is a bit funky (Red Roof Inn).

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