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Toyota RAV4: A Review

Updated on December 27, 2015
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Jo has been an ITU nurse at the London North West NHS Trust for 14 years. She obtained her RN at University College London Hospital.

Toyota RAV4
Toyota RAV4 | Source
We bought a Hunda CRV and used the Saab in part exchange.
We bought a Hunda CRV and used the Saab in part exchange. | Source
Ford Fiesta
Ford Fiesta | Source

My husband and I bought a Toyota RAV4 a few weeks ago, so we are now the second owner of the vehicle, an automatic drive, that is proving to be very useful as my husband had a small operation on his foot recently, and changing gears would have been difficult for him. Our Toyota RAV4 is a comfortable drive, even Rodney, our Jack Russell terrier gave it the paw-up stamp of approval.

The dog has worked out how to sound the vehicle's horn by pressing it hard with his paw, and now does this every time he enters the car rather like a child with a new toy. Obviously, very cute, but the neighbours are not amused.

The used second generation 2.2 litre Toyota RAV4 is roomy with impressive load carrying capacity, the back seat folds or can be removed to increase cargo space.

Excellent mileage for its age, my husband found that the RAV4 performed well, good fuel economy, even as a used car the steering, handling and braking are excellent. The Rav4 is thought to be noisy, but we did not find noise to be a problem, possible because the vehicle runs on petrol and not diesel.

All in all; the vehicle seems to be good value for money. The only negative is the rear door that opens to the right side, but with what appears to be a design fault does not open far enough, but we can live with that.

I am not a driver, even though I'm the proud owner of a provisional driving licence I proudly acquired in 1983. And before you ask, no my driving was not that bad, certainly not then. The problem was my inability to stay in one place for any length of time.

I would sign up for a set of driving lessons, but unfortunately, before completing the course, life would inevitably get in the way.

I would either move house or go travelling abroad. Although travelling was great fun, I never did manage to complete a driving course.

On my return from two years in Saudi Arabia where I met my husband, there was no urgency to resume my driving lessons since he was happy to do the driving. Yes I know, more excuses... But for me, at that time learning to drive was not a priority. However, as one does, I grew older, and both my husband and myself fell in love with the English countryside, my inability to drive became more of a problem.

We were drawn to the more secluded areas surrounded by nature, the downside was also the very same reason that attracted us, the seclusion; not the easiest places to get in and out without transport. The walks were good for my health, and I still miss the leisurely strolls down the lane after work.

Spring time was especially beautiful, with a sea of drifting bluebells and host of other wildflowers that accompany me on my walk home. In a world of my own, I'd be humming to myself and no doubt scaring the squirrels as they scampered away swinging from branch to branch, probably covering their little ears.

Lovely as this was, I began to feel a bit stranded and felt like I was losing my independence. So once again, I enrolled for more lessons about two years ago.

I had completed my 10th lesson when we found just the right house and decided to downsize, as we embarked on yet another move, and yes.... that's right, the lessons were placed on the back burner once more. However, this time; I found out I was pretty crap at driving, it seemed that the universe was trying to communicate something to me, so I thought it was the time to heed the warnings. And so, I gave up my quest to take to the road once and for all.

My husband has access to a company car, not flash by any means, a new eco-friendly Ford Fiesta it's OK for short runs but not the most comfortable drive for long distances. Before the Ford, he drove a Saab, a great looking car, but we had major problems with this vehicle and decided no more Saab's, we sold it in part exchange for a Honda CRV a very reliable car that we reluctantly sold a few years later on receiving the company car.

In the early years of our marriage, we bought a caravan and had a lot of fun travelling around the UK and Europe. However, we later moved to the Grenadines for four years and sold the caravan. Now that we are approaching our twilight years, we thought it would be great to start caravanning once more, and decided to purchase a vehicle capable to which we could attach a towbar to pull the caravan. We needed something substantial that would also be a comfortable drive for long distance travelling.

We searched online, comparing various reviews; we also looked at the used car buying guide at Consumer We reviewed their list of reliable cars from 2011 Annual Auto Survey, looking at specific models with above average reliability, this only included models from 2002 through 2011, we looked at vehicles that performed well in Consumer Report road test, when new.

Subscribing to this site, gives access to a list of reliable used vehicles and also access to information about which used cars to avoid.

Buyers are advised to buy the newest car that fits their budget, to reap the benefit of the more recent safety advances. We took the advice, and looked at the price range for similar vehicles with average mileage and finally decided on the Toyota RAV4.

The next step was to find the right vehicle to fit our budget. We wanted a used vehicle, because my husband did not believe in spending a lot of money on a flash ride that would depreciate the moment he drove it from the forecourt, and since he would be the one driving, who am I to argue the point? We needed something that would be safe on and off road, the Toyota RAV4 appears to tick all the boxes. The next test would be to see how well the Toyota RAV4 will perform pulling a Caravan, to find out; we will have to wait till next Spring.

For used Toyota RAV4 check out The

Rodney | Source


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    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Irish, Rodney is certainly keeping us on our toes, he's a little sweetie really. We thought he would never get used to driving in the car, because he would drool like crazy and spew all over the back seat of the Ford Fiesta, but in the Rav4 he is great, given the chance, he would take over the driving, I'm sure he thinks he is the navigator. :).

      I would still love to be able to drive, who knows, maybe one day. Your aunt sounds like a formidable character, bless her.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Kashmir, good to see you as always , thank you for stopping by. Yes, Rodney is pretty irresistible, quite the little character.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Frank, you are so on the money, Rodney's a pretty shifty character. When we first met him at the Rescue center, we named him Sly, so yes, he'd make a pretty ruthless used car sales man :). Thank you for the comment and for dropping by.

      My the best to you

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great car review within this well written hub ! And Rodney is a cutie !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      This was a fine review but I especially enjoyed reading how Rodney has learned to operate the horn. Your attempts at a license are to be commended and ring with some humor as well. My Aunt gave up on the driving as you did and is no worse for it. She enjoys the walks and other people do the driving. Which is a very good thing - believe me - you've never met my Aunt.

      Love and regards to you and yours.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      a very good review and if I were to buy a Toyota RAV4 it'll be from Rodney....:)

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      B. Marlin, so glad I can help, good luck with the car and many thanks for the visit and comment. My best to you.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      What a Timely Hub for me to be reading now. Very Interesting and most Informative, Tobusiness. We are in the market to buy One Car right now, as both our Cars were Salt Water Damaged in Hurricane Sandy, and NO longer Drivable. Great Tips, Thanks Girlfriend.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Mhatter, many thanks for taking a look, much appreciated.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for the tip.