Today there are reports that Toyota passed General Motors in sales in the first quarter, and for the first quarter ever. Oh, and the New York Yankees are in last place in the American League East. I think GM is in far greater trouble than the Yanks. The Toyota Motor Corporation is not the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and as for the pinstripes, just look at your calendar. Yeah, it’s April.

I bought a 2001 Toyota RAV/4 back in October when the Yankees are rarely in last place. I’ve owned American cars over the years but I’ll never buy another. Failed transmissions and water pumps falling into radiators with slicing fan blades were enough for me. The RAV/4 was intended to be a vehicle that would get Megan through her last years of high school and through college, but fate had another plan and I drove it all winter.

Kyle and I did a road trip to Philly for New Years in it and I also measured the gas mileage over a one month period. Overall, the 4 cylinder mini-SUV averaged 22.8 MPG, with the high being 24.1 for our mostly highway trip to Philly. Not bad, but not great either. Weren’t many cars averaging in the low 20MPG range back in the 1980’s?

Now I’m back to driving my 1996 Volvo 850 and it’s still running smoothly after 220,000 miles. My belief is there aren’t many American cars of that vintage still running smoothly after 200K miles. I could be wrong, but as I consider a “Phase 2 mid-life crisis” vehicle purchase, I’m thinking Lexus/Infiniti, not Lincoln or Cadillac. I like my Volvo, but since I purchased it, they were acquired by Ford, who evidently dropped the slogan, “Quality is Job One.” One frustrating constant is the lousy gas mileage cars still get in 2007. Of the mid-sized “luxury” cars I’m looking at, the best MPG is from the Lexus 350ES at 20 city / 30 highway… Sigh.

Anyway, I’m just happy Megan is back driving the Toyota to school. Oh, and I’m rooting for the Yankees to pick themselves off the mat and claw their way back up where they belong. It just won’t be any fun without them.