2008 Toyota RAV4 User Reviews
Base I4 4X2 shown
- $10,775 - $13,593
- No trim specified for this review
- fuel economy, great handling, storage, features
- rear door
During the summer, at the height of the gas price crunch, I was able to get close to 30 mpg (being really careful about how I drove), with mostly suburban driving! When I am not careful, I get 25-26 mpg suburban, 28-30 highway. Rear door has its pros and cons. Nice wide opening to store things, side swing-out is not an issue in suburbia where you rarely parallel park, but not crazy about the top of the tire blocking out a small portion of rear view. The side swing rear door would be a real issue for me if I lived in a city where I did a lot of parallel parking.
I was agonizing between a CR-V and RAV4, and chose the RAV4 for the following reasons:
1) Better mpg
2) Much reduced blind spot (although it still exists), and better all-around visibility
3) Acceleration with the 4-cylinder. It felt compromised in the CR-V (there was a great deal of engine hesitation when going from 3rd to 4th at around 25-40 mph, which would make accelerating onto a highway an adventure). The acceleration and shifting on the RAV4, especially from 3rd to 4th, is smooth.
4) Power - no problem going up steep hills with 4 cylinder.
5) Center console in base model
6) Better dashboard indicators
7) Lower price with comparable features (not even considering that you cannot get the center console in the base CR-V; you have to upgrade to leather to get it).
The capper was that when I test drove the RAV4, it felt right (I had been a Honda guy for over 30 years, and test drove both the old and new CR-V several times, and was never convinced that either were "the car for me"). I would have liked to test drive the '09 Forester, but it was not out when I was buying my car. I have heard positive and negative things about the Subaru, but it is certainly worth considering. Honda, Subaru and Toyota are all very good cars.
I really enjoy driving the vehicle, and love the way it handles. I noticed some bounce when I first started driving it (I have the 17 inch tires), but got used to it. Some folks say the interior is a bit cheap, but it is just fine for a base model. I have read so many other reviews that are so picuane concerning the features, and I advise anyone thinking about this car to ignore those and just see if it feels right for you.
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