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Any info on the Toyota Rav4? Or Ford Escape Hybrid?

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Any info on the Toyota Rav4? Or Ford Escape Hybrid?
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
2008-08-31, 18:06

I was wondering if any of you have opinions or info wrt Toyota's Rav4, whether you own one yourself, or have friends that do.

I test drove a Honda CRV a few days ago and liked it a lot, but it would only tow 1,500 lbs. with its four cylinders. *sniff*

The Rav4 has a 6-cylinder available, and with the tow package could tow 3,500 lbs., with gas mileage of 19-27 for the six cylinder version. (The four cylinder version gets 22-28, so the six is still pretty good for a compact SUV.)

As I've mentioned before, I'd like to get a Burro travel trailer sometime down the road, preferably the 17-foot version, which is about 1,800 lbs dry weight, before water is added.

(The Burro website absolutely sucks. It sucks so badly that I'm going to have to drive to San Diego or Escondido to see if the company actually exists. I have repeatedly requested brochures from their site, with never a reply of any kind. If they exist, I'd want to see a Burro in person anyway.

I've been wanting a fiberglass travel trailer for years, and the purchase of my car has to include the possibility that I'll be able to buy and tow one eventually. There's another company called Scamp, but the interior of their trailers is designed by a guy who likes to fish and hunt, with no taste or talent for attractive interior design. )

Anyway, any feedback on the Toyota Rav4? Also, how are the Toyota dealerships and service departments to deal with? When I was shopping for a car long ago, I just *hated* the way the sales people were at the Toyota dealership. I ended up buying a Honda Accord.

If Honda had a 6-cylinder CRV, I'd buy it in a second! The sales guy I dealt with the other day was so nice.

Also, if anyone has a Ford Escape Hybrid, same questions as above for the Rav4.

Thanks so much for any replies. I'll be test driving a Rav4 today or tomorrow probably.


Last edited by Windswept : 2008-08-31 at 18:33.
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
2008-08-31, 19:13

Originally Posted by Windswept View Post

Anyway, any feedback on the Toyota Rav4? Also, how are the Toyota dealerships and service departments to deal with? When I was shopping for a car long ago, I just *hated* the way the sales people were at the Toyota dealership. I ended up buying a Honda Accord.

I can tell you that the dealership here in Virginia Beach is awesome. My wife loves it and is more than willing to sit in it for hours on end. They have WiFi, child's play area and refreshments. Really a customer service oriented staff too. I'm sure this varies by dealership though.

Thankfully, we've only had to take our 2005 Sienna in for routine service and twice for different recalls.

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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Near Indianapolis
2008-08-31, 20:44

I've not had to deal with the service department yet, but the Toyota dealership my wife and I bought our new Yaris from in June was great. We've not been back yet, but I'm confident I'll be pleased with the service department after the sales staff treated us so well.
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2008-08-31, 22:53

I have to got to say, I really enjoyed the way Toyota deals with customers. First of all, fixed pricing on cars, no need to haggle to get the real price. As for service, very nice, in my experience with my 04 Corolla, very speedy. I had an oil change and a recall repair done in two hours, and I just walked in off the street without an appointment. My sister worked for a local Toyota dealer for about four years, and from the knowledge we gained from her time working there, led us as a family to all own Toyota's. Although I have to say, the employee family discount didn't hurt either.
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
2008-09-01, 08:40

Hi Windy,

Just a quick note to say that my mother has a 2007 Rav4 and likes it very much. I don't think she's had any issues with her Toyota dealer, although I presume not, as she went back to Toyota after 15 years in a Camry (Gold bless her).

I've just purchased a Toyota as well, and was going to post in the "mileage" thread once I had a picture available.

Mac Mini Maniac
Join Date: Sep 2005
2008-09-01, 15:52

Just wanted to remind you that towing is not all about the engine and tow packages and whatnot
Still, that's pretty horrible performance from that 4-cylinder, so I'd pick the V6 anyway

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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Lansing, MI
2008-09-02, 10:40

My dad has a 2004 Toyota Tundra (which is the previous version, actually a little shy of being a full-sized truck) which he loves. Runs fantastic, and does everything he needs it to.

As far as dealerships..... who knows. I think Car companies have relatively little control over what the dealerships are like.

I'll be purchasing a Toyota Tacoma in the not-to-distant future myself.

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2008-09-02, 11:01

I work with some people who have Rav4's. They like them (but, they are all women who drive A to B). I've driven a few and they are typical Toyota.
Put together very well, but don't feel like it (all Toyota's -- even Lexus' -- feel cheap to me even though they aren't -- it is something about how they drive and are constructed) . Ok to drive, but totally soulless. Some love the dealership and some hate the dealership. Some have had constant issues with their trucks and some have not. Luck of the draw?

My in-laws have one of the older Escape's and they love it. They have had 0 problems in 90,000 miles and 4 years. I've driven it around quite a bit and I don't like it too much, mostly because my 6'2" frame doesn't fit very well. My (much) smaller wife loves it though. If I could fit better in the truck (note to self -- loose some damn weight you fat MF'er) I think I would like it much better.

IMHO, most hybrids (or hy-birds as my mom-in-law incorrectly says) are not worth it unless you are doing almost all city stop-and-go driving. That is where hybrids really shine.

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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
2008-09-02, 11:18

I just bought a '08 Rav4 this past May. I LOVE it! We went for the base 2wd for the better fule economy. I prefernit over the CRV for ths simple fact it has the spare tire on the door and therefore a HUGE storage well under the floor. CRV's used to have it too with a nifty picnic table for a lid. Now with a liftgate, they have to stick the spare in there. For me, storage for camping is important.

The similarities between Honda and Toyota make them pretty much a wash. Base model to base model, I preferred the feel of the Toyota. With your towing needs, the V6 is the tie breaker for you. Don't worry, you won't regret it.

I installed a 2" receiver (for a 4 bike rack, not for towing) on it. Draw-Tite has one just for the RAV4 and the frame is pre-drilled and threaded. Just bolt and go. Oh, you'll need a light kit and it would be a good idea to get a tranny cooler too.

If you want specific details, you can PM me.

Just remembered. If you have a Costco Membership, you can get fleet pricing on cars. I bought mine from Wilson Motors in Bellingham Wa and imported it to Canada. I live 30 min from Bellingham. They basically gave me cost + $600. Don't know where exactly in the Pacific Northwest you live....
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
2008-09-02, 11:38

I'd not tow anything unless it was at MAX 1/3rd of the weight of the towing vehicle.

The 2008 Rav4 now weighs 3300 lbs, and using my calculations, I'd not pull anything [without it's own braking system] over 1,100 lbs., and I'd honestly not be comfortable with anything over 800 lbs.

I believe the Burro trailers are between 900 and 1200 lbs, from what little I can find about them on the 'net.

I'd not use the Rav4 for towing even though they claim 1,500 lbs towing capacity.

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Last edited by Taskiss : 2008-09-02 at 11:49.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
2008-09-02, 11:43

The I guess that would go for any compact SUV (Honda CRV, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-7, Hyundai Tucson, VW Tiguan etc).
Join Date: Feb 2007
2008-09-02, 12:46

I have a 2002 Ford Escape V6 (not a hybrid) and love it. So far, 90,000+ miles and no problems (knock on wood). I'd buy another in a heart beat. The gas mileage dropped a lot when I moved to a state that puts ethanol in the gas, but I still wouldn't trade it. I've never driven a Rav4 or owned anything other than an American car, so I'm no help there.

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