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TACUMA love or hate?


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Well I have never done any kind of blog before but thought that as this is the lowest mileage and best condition car I have ever owned I would give it a go. Also there seems to be a bit of a debate on whether these are good or bad, are they worth the stupid tax bracket?? 

As you may know I bought this car from @purplebargeken after it seemed to be a bit unwanted and my wife just happened to have passed her driving test in an automatic. The sale and collection went smoothly thanks mainly to @NorthernMonkey doing an epic collection and delivery thread ? many thanks to him. 

First impressions? It's a peach to drive, can go well if you put your foot down but mostly great for wafting along. The interior is amazingly clean and is a good place to be. It's a top of the range model but what I like is the simplicity of it. Yes it has aircon, leccy windows and remote locking, but that's about it, not a huge amount of toys. But the dash and seats do seem to be quality items. The seats are REALLY comfy and looking around the car it looks well put together. 

It may not be the prettiest car on the block but once inside it's very pleasing. My wife loves it anyway so that's all that matters! 

Further progress and pictures to follow in the coming weeks / months. We have planned a road trip to Scotland at christmas and now I don't have to do all the driving. 

So at the moment it definitely LOVE the Tacuma ?

 

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I had an identical one, which Bobthebeard now has, and I can't say a bad word about them apart from the insane tax.  They're compact in a way that more modern cars just aren't, but they cope surprisingly well with a road trip too.  We did Inverness in ours several times, and Portsmouth too.  Ours was also the 2.0 CDX+ auto; I don't think I'd be quite so free with the compliments (or would have kept it five and a half years!) if it was a lower spec.

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My ex had the 1.8SX, but it was a very early one, so not as bad to tax. I enjoyed driving it, did what a car is supposed to do. 

It even made it onto Google maps. (Neither of us live there anymore, so not worried about the address being visible) 

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Edit - Yes, the black marks on the road were from me spraying a car's wheels black. I used to be able to afford Halfords satin black back then. Tougher times now... 

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A mate had one when they were still current. To look at it it always seemed if it had melted slightly and solidified. 

I drove it once I think and it was perfectly pleasant and unmemorable. Lots of light grey plastic everywhere. 

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So people I have been out in this wonderful automobile during the day, my thoughts.

Generally my first impressions seem to be spot on, it is a lovely place to be, very nice to drive and really comfortable. I don't know if this will be a very interesting thread after all!! 

Around Bath it is a joy to drive, coping with the traffic well, I don't think you can beat an auto for stop start misery. Just a couple of slight downers, the CD player jumps over bumps so may need to sort that somehow? And, after many diesels, I can watch the fuel gauge go down now ? but this is really minor stuff, the good far outweighs these things. Some pictures for your enjoymentPhotos.zip Just look how clean everything is both inside and out, you would never believe its  10 year old car, and check the mileage, it is barely run in, although I better check the condition of the cambelt in the near future

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have managed to do a few trips in the Tacuma now. mostly to work and back initially, but that has now stopped. I also managed a few longer trips to a temporary job that my boss found for all his drivers (coach company, no work) in a Tesco store about 12 miles from home.  But I have decided that I'll be claiming the governments 80% furlough pay, the risk working in a shop is too much for me. Anyhow the reason for this update is MPG. I am getting around 30mpg, which is kind of what I expected. Normal work is only about 4 miles away through a couple of villages, and the Tesco was 12 miles on A roads, some villages, some 60mph and up and down hills, round bends ect. After all this lockdown is over I must try a motorway trip.The car performs faultlessly, is so comfy and quiet. Obviously it takes a bit more winding up than the diesels I have been used to, but once up and running it does get quite a shift on for a big bus. 

My wife drove it for the first time properly to do our shopping and loves it, she was a bit wary because of the size difference compared to learning in a Clio. She says she can see all round much easier, and loves being a little higher up on the road.

So it is still LOVE the Tacuma.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a smoll random update on this ? obviously not getting used too much right now. I have however added a couple of things. Two new front tyres as were an advisory on the MOT that they were old and showing signs of cracking, so some reasonable Falkens were fitted while we were shopping. Also the arrival of a quality* Chinese dash cam meant I fitted that. About 45 mins work, seems to do its job. Good quality video too. Then, as some person was finding it a little hard to reverse I added a freznal aid to the back window. I think it looks a bit giffer but SWMBO finds parking a lot easier ( it does actually help!). Then the icing on the cake, a MODERN HEROS car sticker ? I feel the need for an autoshite dealer sticker may be the next purchase. 

Even though the car is not used much, she always starts first time, I have a solar charger attached, even after a week or so sat idle. I do like driving it, so quiet and relaxed. However with the imminent arrival of a certain Alfa very soon I possibly think I shall be driving it much less! 

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5 minutes ago, purplebargeken said:

How weird, I was just thinking this afternoon that I hadn't heard anything from you in a good while. I was going to post a comment to that effect as well.

great minds and all that!!!

The car is just peachy, by far the nicest car I have owned. People may mock that its a Tacuma, but it is a lovely place to be. For us it is just about perfect to potter around in, my wife loves the visibility she has(well forwards anyway!) Its quiet and smooth, nothing rattles. We are both very happy with it. Just a huge pity that the lockdown came, we had plans to visit places this summer, oh well.

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  • 1 month later...

After taking the Alfa for fish and chips I thought we would take the Tacuma to see my grandkids 60 miles away. Also gave the good lady a chance to drive the car properly. 

It is a lovely drive, but for completely different reasons to the Alfa. Its quiet and just gets on with transporting you around. It has a surprisingly good amount of get up and go if you want to overtake a giffer doing 35 in a 60 ??. We still can't believe how clean the inside is, it is just like a brand new car, makes us feel like we have just picked it up from the showroom. The good lady felt much more confident in it after getting out of our local roads, and even offered to drive back all the way, result! Fuel economy is not too bad considering its an old engine design linked to a Bader box, we got 35 em pee gees, so only  10-12 down on the laguna I sold to get this (glad to see that car is still going well on this forum) 

There are a couple of things I want to do it. Firstly is a gearbox and engine oil change, then if funds allow a cambelt. As I think it must be the original, only 37000 miles but 13 years old! This needs to be done as we plan to take it to Scotland over Christmas, virus allowing, fingers crossed.

As I have said before to me it is like a brand new car, and will undoubtedly be the cleanest car I will ever own. I love both the cars I have for completely different reasons. Is that even possible? 

No pictures I'm afraid, nothing has changed with the car and Andover is not the most scenic of backdrops. 

More news soon hopefully... 

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Yeah I got some touch up paint and did a bit of dabbing! I guess the original colour faded a bit because it's not quite a perfect match but it does look better. I'm guessing some of the previous owners couldn't drive too well ?  I'm thinking about getting  the rubbing strip for the passenger front door, but unless it's really cheap I won't bother. Cosmetically I'm not overly fussy, unless I create a ding then I get a bit pissed off. Everytime I get in it I'm impressed with how it looks. I know I will never own a brand new car but from 10 feet this looks it and once inside it feels it, we love it. So thanks Ken, it's continuing to be a pleasure. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a brief update. As you may know this is now our only car once again. So I have decided to give it some proper love. She continues to be ultra reliable and goes anywhere without any fuss, however it has been a bit of cambelt roulette. She has only done 38k miles but I would guess its still the original belt, 13 years old ? So, following the sale of the Alfa, she is now booked in for a new one next Saturday. Fingers crossed when the job  (un) certainty sorts itself out next will be gearbox oil change then service before we run her up to Scotland in December, virus dependent. 

I took her for an aircon regas last week with the Groupon voucher, but ATS said there was a leak so couldn't do the job. I bought a UV torch and so far cannot find any leaks? The jury is out on whether to do it this year now or leave until next, money dependant. Its not the most important aspect, I think cambelt and a service is the priority. Once these are done then I can't see why she can't grow old gracefully with us. 

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I think that is a wise move re: belt and fluid and filter change on the autobox.

Oddly enough, ATS also said that there must be a pinhole leak in the Mercs system somewhere as it was empty when they went to regas. They did regas but could give no guarantees how long it would alls stay put for. There is seemingly a dye in this gas, so I have a suitable torch and may* go looking at some point. Maybe not. We shall see. 

I will keep on saying it, the Tacuma is an absolutely lovely thing and I am pleased that it is getting love and attention. 

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8 minutes ago, purplebargeken said:

I think that is a wise move re: belt and fluid and filter change on the autobox.

Oddly enough, ATS also said that there must be a pinhole leak in the Mercs system somewhere as it was empty when they went to regas. They did regas but could give no guarantees how long it would alls stay put for. There is seemingly a dye in this gas, so I have a suitable torch and may* go looking at some point. Maybe not. We shall see. 

I will keep on saying it, the Tacuma is an absolutely lovely thing and I am pleased that it is getting love and attention. 

Yes ATS said there is a dye in the gas, that's why I bought a UV torch. The man refused to fill the a/c because the gas would leak into the air ?‍♂️ but as I said on another post, I am of the opinion that they couldn't be bothered to do it because I can't find a leak with the torch. 

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I had a similar experience with the Jaguar I had. Took it to Kwik fit where it spent all morning attached to something. Chap told me there was no gas left in the system so there must be a leak & he couldn't/wouldn't fill it. I took it to a local garage who sucked out a shit load of gas & refilled it. A year later, it became apparent that there was a leak when it eventually stopped working. Conclusion - Kwikfit & probably ATS are as shit as everyone says they are. Find local garage.

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