As Jalopnik’s resident car buying expert and a professional car shopper, I get emails. Lots of emails. I’ve picked a few of your questions and will try to help out. This week we are discussing incorrect listings for new Toyota Supras and finding an “old school” but recent car.
I was looking at 2021 Supras recently on AutoTrader and noticed a lot of $42-45k I6 Supras. I was excited until I read the details. A lot of these dealers are listing the Supra as a 2.0L 6 cylinder.
I count 17 within 300mi of Austin, TX. Is this stupidity/ignorance or a tactic?
This isn’t just a problem in Texas for Supras. I ran this search nationwide and found a similar pattern of suspiciously cheap six-cylinder cars. When the options populate you see listings that look like this -
Then once you click the listing, you see the details — and that is where the possible explanation comes into focus.
It seems that somehow Autotrader is labeling these cars as having a 2.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder when we all know that is a four-cylinder model. If I run that nationwide search for six-cylinder Supras through Cars.com, then sort by price low-to-high, I don’t get any false matches for four-cylinder cars. All cars are correctly listed as Supra 3.0 models.
As for the explanation of whether these Autotrader listings are “stupidity/ignorance or a tactic,” it could be all of the above, but I suspect that there may be some kind of error within the Autotrader system that is mislabeling these cars. I reached out to Autotrader to get a statement, and I will update the post if they respond. (Update 1/5/2020: An Autotrader rep has informed me that the issue has been corrected on the website. Autotrader did not provide an explanation as to why the error occurred.)
“I’m currently driving a 2003 VUE that I bought 2 years ago, and I don’t much like driving an SUV. It was cheap ($1200 and road-ready), but I want to drive a car again. I’ve never in my life had a car that was less than 10 years old, and I despise all the tech that I’m seeing in cars these days. I want a basic FWD manual (NO CVT PLZ) preferably with manual windows and locks, no Bluetooth/heated seats/cameras/GPS/sunroof. I keep looking around, and I can’t seem to figure out how to search vehicles that fall into my criteria. I can choose all these options, but not exclude them. Can you lend some guidance as to where/how I go about looking for cars that fit my preferences? Most sites tout all these cool features that I hate, and I just want a simple basic barebones car, the fewer electronics, the better.”
I don’t think you can buy any car made within the past four years that would fit those requirements. Backup cameras have been mandated for several years, and I don’t know of any modern vehicle sold new in the U.S. that doesn’t have power windows. Bluetooth has been a feature of most vehicles since 2010. There are some “basic” cars that are FWD and a manual trans, but they are going to have some tech and features that you don’t care for. Almost everything built even somewhat recently isn’t going to meet your requirements, so you may want to plan on getting something from the early 2000s.
Got a car buying conundrum that you need some assistance with? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!