Loma Drives: YAY or NAY?

Hello, my name is Wesley Aring, and I am a second-year multimedia-journalism major. I have been a huge car guy ever since early elementary school. My dad introduced me to The BBC’s Top Gear, and the magazine Car and Driver. Learning about cars and seeing them has always been a rewarding experience for me, so give me an opportunity to share some of that with you, even if you think that cars don’t really matter.

 I welcome you to a new column, titled “Loma Drives,” dedicated to showcasing interesting cars on Point Loma Nazarene University’s campus, creating dialogue about said cars and creating space to learn more about them.

I introduce to you second-year Alissa Havey and her 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s a large three-row SUV, seating eight with all-wheel drive and a five-speed automatic transmission, all pushed forward by a Toyota 4.7-liter V8.

This Land Cruiser weighs in at just around fifty-four hundred pounds, and triumphs a somewhat low 230 horsepower, with a slightly more attractive 320 foot-pounds of torque for all your pulling and off-road needs.

Unfortunately, this car’s massive scale and its beefy V8 doesn’t lend itself particularly well to efficient fuel consumption. Havey commented on the cars underwhelming but not unexpectedly poor gas mileage 

 “I’ve suffered a little,” Havey said with a laugh.

In her experience, around town The Landcruiser gets 12 to13 miles per gallon, which in many folk’s opinions is just too darn low, but what’s really important for her is the ability to move tons of people. 

“Especially with being an alpha leader, I can take lots of my girls’ places, and it’s very helpful. 

The more the merrier!” Havey said.

Havey’s favorite part of her car is that she can fit as many friends and as many surfboards in this car as needed. One time, she and her friends managed to cram eight surfboards into the back of her car.

With well over three hundred thousand miles under its belt, it’s not surprising that the car has been taken all over America. The car was passed down from Havey’s grandfather, which he gifted to her and her sister.

As lovely as the car seems, it’s foolish to not recall the car’s main flaw, which is its lacking fuel efficiency, and in addition to it being expensive to drive, the emissions from such a vehicle might be something a student should seriously consider. These drawbacks hurt the car seriously for commuting as a PLNU student to work, or when simply driving around town.

What also might intrigue a PLNU student in purchasing a Toyota Landcruiser is its off-road capability. Overlanding and various other forms of off-roading are becoming very popular, and this car is a great starting point.

Now, understand this car as a very versatile people mover and a potentially versatile off-roader,  yet weak in efficiency and emissions. I’ll address the elephant in the room: Toyota’s awesome pedigree of reliability. 

For decades the Toyota Landcruiser has stood around the world as a symbol of reliability. Lower budget militaries, insurgencies and private military contractors the world over have used the Toyota Hilux (Toyotas foreign market mid size pickup) and Landcruiser for decades for one main reason— their incredible reliability. There are even claims constantly floating through message boards online of land cruisers driving around the “third world” with an excess of one million miles.

Havey’s 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser, named Sally, draws from those older stages of Landcruiser with some modern touches like heated seats and satellite navigation. 

If a PLNU student is interested in what they’ve read, or what they’ve seen, please email me at waring0020@pointloma.edu, I’d love to answer questions or disagreements you might have with me, and I’d be happy to connect you with Alissa Havey if you have any questions for her.

Written By: Wesley Aring