By on April 2, 2018

The RAV4 has quickly become Toyota’s most important vehicle. While the Corolla still trumps it in overall global volume, the small crossover has made a ridiculous amount of headway over the past decade. Prior to the recession, domestic sales of the RAV4 just barely surpassed 70,000 units per year. Then, after the introduction of the model’s third generation in 2006, volume suddenly doubled — progressing to 2017’s all-time high of 407,594 deliveries.

Still, Toyota thinks it can further broaden the model’s appeal. It wants to see more men behind the wheel of the redesigned 2019 model that debuted at the New York International Auto Show last week. The recipe involves a more butch design, added power, an upgraded all-wheel drive system, and new trim levels giving a nod to sporting aspirations. Meanwhile, an updated interior provides more space for manspreading and big rubbery knobs some gentleman find totally irresistible. 

It’s a different story with the 2018 RAV4. It’s incredibly practical and quite comfortable within its segment, but lacks some of the edge of its successor and isn’t a lot of fun from the driver’s seat — two things we’re told most men care about. According to Toyota General Manager Jack Hollis, the fourth-gen RAV4’s best-selling year saw 56 percent of sales going to women and only 44 percent to men. In a perfect world, he says an even split would be much better for a high-volume model.

The rest of Toyota agreed and the hunt for more men directly influenced the fifth generation’s design. “We’ve doubled RAV4 sales in the last four years, so when you do that and you’re at the 400,000 level, you have to appeal to a broader part of the market,” Bill Fay, senior vice president of automotive operations, told Automotive News in an interview. “We put part of that challenge into the development of this.”

2019 Toyota RAV4 adventure NYIAS

A big part of that will be further separating the trim levels in both appearance and function. Last year, Toyota introduced the Adventure trim to draw in males. But it offers little more than a unique set of wheels, a tow prep package, and some very mild off-road aesthetics. On the new model, the face of the vehicle is completely different from the rest of the lineup — borrowing heavily from the rugged styling of the FT-AC Concept.

However, Toyota doesn’t want to focus entirely on looks. It claims the new RAV4 should be more capable both on and off the pavement. While it’s unlikely to best a Jeep Wrangler on a craggy hillside, it should trounce its predecessor by a wide margin. But we all know the most serious action most examples of this unibody crossover will see are pothole-riddled city streets on a particularly snowy day, something the upgraded suspension and torque-vectoring AWD systems should handle nicely.

Toyota is even covering the sporting angle. The old RAV4 doesn’t really have a sport variant to speak of, despite the hybrid model technically offering more power. But the focus was always on efficiency at the expense of some cargo space, and it delivered overall. For 2019, Toyota keeps the hybrid (now with the battery under the rear seat) as the most fuel-efficient option but adds an XSE trim for those truly interested in performance.

2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE NYIAS

The manufacturer says the XSE will be the fastest and best handling version of the RAV4, thanks to a stronger powertrain (details forthcoming) and sport-tuned suspension. But it also added styling cues not found on any other model. It gets the contrasting roof of the Adventure model in black, along with black-painted fender overriders, mirrors, wheels, and bumpers.

On the other end of the spectrum will be the more luxurious Limited trim, which Toyota has equipped with upscale materials and thinks will make up a large portion of sales to women. This will be further helped by an ad campaign that helps distinguish the trim levels and their purpose, with each targeted at a specific demographic. But will it work?

It certainly did on me. While I haven’t seen the marketing materials yet, I can attest to being utterly taken with the updated RAV4 after spending fifteen minutes with it at the New York Auto Show. Without driving impressions, there is no reason to commit to anything fully. But the new styling and hardware seems like a big win and I’m desperate to find out more. The models themselves are also incredibly different. The Adventure and XSE look totally unique, despite only a handful of trim pieces separating the two. The Limited’s interior is above average for this class of vehicle.

Toyota definitely hit the mark in terms of intent, but it will be interesting to see how the public responds. Building a better car doesn’t always guarantee more volume, but we have a strong feeling the new RAV4 will help close the gender gap for Toyota’s best-selling model.

2019_Toyota_RAV4 adv trim

[Images: Toyota]

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164 Comments on “Toyota Wants More Dudes Buying the RAV4, Along With Everyone Else...”


  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    It does look better than before. But, that isn’t really saying a whole lot considering the model it replaces.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      This!

      the generation up until 2012 was at least interesting in a quirky jelly bean kind of way not unlike the Previa. Every Rav4 since 2013 has been designed for people with the visual prowess of Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The up to 2012 generation was also weirdly entertaining to drive for what it is. I had a couple as rentals and liked them enough to talk my roommate into buying one. He likes it too. They completely and utterly lost the fun-to-drive in the next generation.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          Agreed. My parents have a 2011 in bargain basement trim and it still has power windows, door locks and aux in. The car is REALLY nimble on its feet, and the 4 speed gear box while antiquated according to some, is very responsive.

          The ride is a bit hard though but the tall sidewalls of the cheaper trims make up for a bit of that.

          They were really glad they got theirs when they saw that the 2013 became. Yuck.

    • 0 avatar
      Reino

      I have zero interest in this vehicle. But I am interested in the new styling. Both the Sequoia and 4Runner are due for their next gens, and I actually hope this styling carries over!

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The “rugged” version of the new RAV-4 looks a bit tacky (like it’s trying too hard to look rugged, similar to the 4-Runner).

    • 0 avatar
      baconpope

      How do you distinguish between grades of ugly? Is the new model “less ugly” or the old “most ugliest?”

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Maybe they should look to the early 1990s “This is not your Uncle Olaf’s Volvo” ad campaign. :D

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    The perfect Rav is long gone. A 2010 V6 was peak Rav4.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Indeed, such a smash hit they didn’t bother following up on it.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        It was the enthusiasts version and thus had little future. Still the best version of said vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          FWIW my friend’s dad bought a 2006 rav4 V6 to replace their aging ’98 MPV Allsport (a twin to ours except missing the leather package). He was definitely a lead foot and appreciated the strong 2GR in a fairly light package.

          Him and his wife were also fairly short, which is a good thing because as a 5’11” male I find the seats in that generation of Rav4 to be utterly horrid. Short and stiff seat cushions. Add to that the low-rent interior materials and noisy and stiff ride, and that gen Rav4 loses a lot of its luster. I do like the exterior looks and the fact that they still offered to put the spare on the back hatch.

          • 0 avatar
            Verbal

            Mrs. Verbal drives an ’07 Limited V6. I love the power and straight line acceleration. The rest of the driving experience, not so much. I drives just like you would expect from a high CG vehicle with a lot of suspension travel.

            But what really makes it less than pleasant is the driving position. At 6’2″, I have to push the driver’s seat all the way back, and even then could use a couple more inches of seat travel. As it is, my right knee touches the lower panel of the dashboard and the hard plastic on the side of the console. I use the cruise control whenever I can to keep my right leg from cramping up from the weird position I have to keep it in when using the throttle pedal.

            Hopefully Toyota made the driving position more male-friendly in its attempt to lure more male buyers.

          • 0 avatar
            Pete Zaitcev

            I had a 2010 too, although with the 2.4L, and there wasn’t any issue with the seats for someone 6’5″ tall.

          • 0 avatar

            In-laws had an 06 limited v6. Fun to drive but horribly uncomfortable for my 6’4″ self. Not enough seat travel. There are several aftermarket rail extenders in fact.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Utterly pointless. There was no reason to not get the perfectly serviceable 4-pot for a lot less money.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Since every mention of a Rav4 elicits reference to the long gone and unpopular V6 model, in turn this elicits my reality check on the V6.

      The larger engine made an already nose-heavy design even clumsier. It may have been a good drag racer, but exactly who was the target market for such a thing?

      Even that was compromised by the gearing. The V6 Suzuki Grand Vitara, with lower gearing, was faster 0-60kph. Which would be about the extent of drag racing the V6 Rav4 might ever be used for.

      That generation of Rav4 was a stretched version made only for North America. It had space for a tiny third row, which nay have been the thinking behind offering the V6. There was also a 2-door model, also not sold in NA. And the GV had a non-NA 2-door version too.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “Which would be about the extent of drag racing the V6 Rav4 might ever be used for.”

        Ever hear of highway passing or relaxed highway cruising and hill climbing? Here we go with the Grand Vitara comment again lol. Like I said last time, absolutely Pavlovian.

      • 0 avatar

        Americans have a thing for a big engine leisurely don’t it’s job (or at least used to). There are 4 of that gen Rav on my street oddly enough 3 of them are v6 versions. In fact most of that gen I see around here have the V6.

        • 0 avatar
          Hydromatic

          Most Americans (or at least the Baby Boomers) have been raised on a steady diet of low-revving V6 and V8 engines with oodles of torque at the low end. All that torque makes for acceleration that feels effortless (even if it’s a bit slow) and, more importantly, effortless cruising.

  • avatar
    volvoguyincanada

    Not the safest car.. The IIHS scores passenger side small overlap as POOR.

    Anyone I know who owns a Rav4 generally has no knowledge or taste in autos, so that means these will probably sell well.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Those scores are for the outgoing 2018 version, not the 2019 model described here.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenn

      “Anyone I know who owns a RAV4 generally has no knowledge or taste…”

      Of course, that statement may only say something about you and/or the people you know.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      “Anyone I know who owns a Rav4 generally has no knowledge or taste in autos,”

      So choosing a vehicle that actually has what for very many people is an ideal combination of versatility, performance, durability and comfort at a reasonable price indicates they know or care nothing about cars?

      Maybe the people whose choices are driven by virtue signalling actually know and care less about cars.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      >Anyone I know who owns a Rav4 generally has no knowledge or taste in autos, so that means these will probably sell well.

      The average Rav4 drivers I’ve observed on the roadways strike me as milquetoast types who’ve recently traded up from the atomic egg (a.k.a. Prius).

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I’m amazed it’s as high as 44% male buyers currently. I wonder how many of those are actually dads buying with their wife, I don’t think single guys are driving too many of these….

  • avatar
    200k-min

    If I squint my eyes it looks like an angry Nissan Murano. Seriously, the Rav4 has come a long way from it’s beginning, i.e. it got huge. Not sure what the appeal is. I’d rather drive a Highlander for a vanilla around town wagon on big tires as I don’t need the in-your-face aggressiveness. It’s ok styling on the 4Runner since it has some actual cred, but the Rav4 should stick to what it is – a woman’s vehicle.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, if they want to sell this to more men who married with kids, they’ve got their work cut out for them.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      They still make those?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Indeed they do, and some are foolish enough to buy something like this.

        Then again, not too long ago, I had some car salesman basically insinuate I was, shall we say, less than manly for wanting a car versus a pickup truck.

        In the end, people are gonna buy what they want, regardless of what kind of judgment we want to pass, you know?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Matt, your ad dollars are showing.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I saw a white Legend this past weekend when the weather was fair, I hope you are finding time to enjoy yours.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Mine is currently out on loan to a retired family member, being driven a few times a week for groceries, social visits, and such. I’ll probably see it again in a few months.

        (Amazing and a credit to Honda that a 23-year-old, 193k-mile car is suitable for such duty after some basic preventative maintenance.)

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        This seems like a good opportunity to comment on a pending vehicle purchase, since we’re off topic talking about each others cars.

        Went and looked at a 1994 Ford Tempo yesterday. Shocking I know! Actually, I wasn’t looking specifically for a Tempo or even a Ford, just a runner/driver for under a grand. I found two Accords, but they were gone by Sunday (which was my only day off). I reluctantly called about a late 90s Buick Century, but no response. Then the Tempo popped up and was only a few minutes away.

        Its got some body damage to the back, dented trunk and no rear bumper. Other than that, its in good condition with 96K miles. Its a fairly loaded GL, with the typical 2.3L/ATX combo. I already got him down to $500 for it, a bumper and possibly a decklid at the junk yard should be cheap.

        Its just something for my boyfriend to get around in. It’s not special in any way, really, its just a car I know very well and I’m sure it’ll do the job. I made plans to go buy it tomorrow after work, will update if I do.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          What color?

          Any running car for $500 is a win.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Silver, with Whorehouse© red interior.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            With that color interior, would have looked a lot better in either Arctic White or Midnight Black.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            My 1992 Tempo LX was white with red interior, and that was about the only thing I disliked about it, other than it having the auto instead of the manual paired with its 3.0L. Still, it was the right car at the right time and it served me very well. I strongly regret getting rid of it.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I didn’t notice this as much in the previous shots, but wow the cargo area looks like it got really decimated by the sloping rear roofline. Taking a lot of the “U” out of CUV these days it seems.

    Curious to see what the upgraded powertrain on the XSE entails. I assume it’s the NX’s 2.0 liter turbo motor.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I bet it’s just going to be the 2.5 with some intake and exhaust tweaks. Toyota’s promised roughly 200 hp for the mainstream models and I bet the XSE gets that up to 210 or so.

      I can’t imagine they’re actually going to do an uplevel powertrain when those are disappearing from mainstream cars left and right for both CAFE and production cost reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        If they could have predicted Subaru dropping the FXT from their lineup, it would have been a brilliant move to scoop folks up that want a mainstream (non-lux brand) Japanese CUV with some balls. But I suspect you’re right.

      • 0 avatar
        spw

        it is going to be new engines from 2018 Camry, 204 and 208hp. They are all new dynamic force engines with 8AT and D4S.

    • 0 avatar
      dejal1

      Thanks. I didn’t really see that until you said so. My lord, The hatch hinge and the bumper look to be at least a foot and half off.

      Take into account the seat back angle and your head is maybe a foot from the hinge. Not seeing the “U” either.

      A hatchback car probably has a more use-able area behind the seat.

      I have a 2011 CRV. Nothing special. It does exactly what I needed it for. I can see a bunch of times where this thing wouldn’t have worked.

      The only thing I can think is Toyota expects someone who needs the cargo area isn’t going to have people in the back seat to begin with.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        deja, my parents-in-law have your CRV in ex trim, in a nice dark blue. It’s not my thing, but it’s a faithful servant to them and takes care of so many things related to their hobbies (empty nesters). I’ve driven it a couple of times when they visit us and would rather not drive in our neck of the woods, and I really like it. Except once when I pushed the pedal to the floor to pass someone, watched nothing happen for a full 3 seconds, then lifted and gave up. [4 cyl, full of five adults and they’re a family of small giants, shoulda known].

        As far as this goes – looks absolutely atrocious to me.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Toyota have already said the hybrid will be the RAV4 lineups top performer. If they put the 8AR in anything, it would have to be the hybrid. I don’t know of any Toyota hybrid that uses the 8AR.

      It’s probably going to be 2.5L for all.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “According to Toyota General Manager Jack Hollis, the fourth-gen RAV4’s best-selling year saw 56 percent of sales going to women and only 44 percent to men. In a perfect world, he says an even split would be much better for a high-volume model.”

    Jack, just be happy you were able to garner 44% of sales of a woman’s purse on wheels to males.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I would figure that a solid half of those sales to men are in actuality driven by the wife, mother, or daughter.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      What would you say defines the Rav4 to be a woman’s vehicle?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        This is such a freaking tricky and loaded question. And no one agrees on it. But pretty much everyone seems to put a small CUV in the woman’s car class.

        Where my BIL lives in small-town Texas, even a Suburban or Expedition is a woman’s car if it’s factory. And any smaller SUV or CUV is just more so. If you’re a man, you drive a truck with a bed, or if you have to have a long roof your SUV better have some serious off-road modifications. The only alternative is old American V8 iron.

        Where my wealthiest relatives live in Silicon Valley, low-roof cars — especially sporty European cars — are mostly for men. Anything with a high roof is pretty much for women.

        Where I live in Seattle, everyone drives everything, Priuses and Subarus share the road with ancient Japanese beaters, and cars have much less gender connotation — but the small CUVs preferred by men are still Subarus and Jeeps.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        A more appropriate question would be what about it makes it appealing to a masculine man? Oh, its practical, because other SUVs (that don’t look like a silly Playskool toy) aren’t. Oh and, um, its a Toyota! That is the answer to end all discussion.

  • avatar
    Michael S.

    People will laugh, but my 2008 Rav4 Sport V6 was a fun car to drive. It had the fifth best power to weight ratio of any SUV on sale in the USA in 2007, even besting the non-turbo Porsche Cayenne. It was small, light, and nimble. I drove it through standing water that was knee high and muddy trails with only FWD and all seasons. It had enough power to pull itself through almost anything. It was fast, too.

    A part of me died when I saw the current gen Ravs with only a 4-cylinder option. Glad to see it’s “growing up” and getting some more power. I hope it’s from a V6.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      ” fifth best power to weight ratio of any SUV on sale in the USA in 2007″

      Do you use a spreadsheet you input manually or does someone out there keep track of stats and rankings like this?

      • 0 avatar
        Michael S.

        I forget who, but one of the auto mags did a feature on them. It was Motor Trend, C&D, or someone else. The Grand Cherokee SRT, Cayenne Turbo S, Trailblazer SS, and some AMG Mercedes bested it – the order of which I can’t recall. I read it in a doctor’s office while waiting, and was in need of a new car. The Rav4 hadn’t crossed my mind until then.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Back then I read once (somewhere) that the V6 RAV4 was the FASTEST vehicle you could buy from Toyota! Somehow the Camry was slower (gearing?) Let that sink it for awhile… this is a company that once made fun and fast cars like the Supra, Celica and MR2.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Around that time you could also buy a Tundra with a dealer installed, Toyota branded supercharger good for something like 500 horsepower and 0-60 in the mid 4s.

        It was and is a real shame that the second golden age of cars arrived just in time for 4.00 gas and the great recession to kill them, and in the intervening decade that it took to dig up cheap fracking gas and rebuild the economy the Democrats had made them essentially illegal.

      • 0 avatar
        Michael S.

        @JMII – Yep, but the Sport was actually capable of taming it. Different struts, beefier strut mounts, and some weight shaving compared to the Limited.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      A fwd V6 Rav4 described as nimble, and highly capable off-road? Frankly, gimme a break.

      • 0 avatar
        Michael S.

        Did I say it was capable off road? No. You don’t have to drive a bro-dozer to run through muddy trails and standing water.

        As for light and nimble, yes. The strut mounts were twice as thick, the struts stiffer, and the ride stiffer on the Sport trim. 268hp from a DOHC 24-valve 3.5L V6, in a car that weighed the same as the Mustang GT of the same era (which was only putting out 300hp from a 4.6 V8), isn’t anything to scoff at.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          “I drove it through standing water that was knee high and muddy trails”

          “Did I say it was capable off road? No”

          “As for light and nimble, yes. The strut mounts were twice as thick, the struts stiffer, and the ride stiffer on the Sport trim.”

          Stiffer heavier struts don’t fix weight distribution.

  • avatar
    Prado

    They have my attention. As a 4runner owner, who really doesn’t need it’s capabilities, I will give the Rav4 Adventure a serious look. Love the exterior with the white roof! My biggest concern is the drivetrain. Mediocre power, and many reports that the logic in the 8AT in the Camry is not very well sorted out. It is disappointing that Toyota does not have an upgrade engine option on such a high volume vehicle. “Class competitive” power might not be enough to get my dollars. Although it is much larger, this new RAV4, at least in Adventure trim, seems to capture the spirit of the original, a lot better than any recent versions.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    No open bed? I probably won’t buy it; despite the fact that it’s smaller than the Tacoma. Yes, there are some ‘crossovers’ I like but what I need is a pickup truck that is smaller than mid-sized but still offers modest but usable towing and hauling capability. 5000# towing is sufficient for almost any RV I might want to pull and 1000# hauling (plus driver and one passenger) is enough for any task I may require of it. I don’t need a garage-stuffing, floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall monster for what I do with my trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      What in God’s name does a compact crossover have to do with pickups?

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        “What in God’s name does a compact crossover have to do with pickups?

        Seriously. People just need to discover sub-800 dollar Home Depot utility trailers for that one weekend a year they need to go to home depot for a small bag of mulch(which is 1/2 the size of the bag of mulch they complain F150 owners get once a year) instead of keep asking why no one makes a compact pickup with a 2.5 ft bed.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Hang on there, I’m all for getting some cheap smaller trucks. I just don’t see how an article about a compact crossover is the place to discuss such things.

          I actually daily drive an old regular cab 4cyl+stick Ranger (7ft bed) and actively use it in urban environs to do some substantial gardening in addition to the usual mulch hauling. Used an identical Ranger last year to build a paver patio and privacy fence which entailed some substantial gravel and paver and stone hauling, rental tools, using the full 1200lb capacity of the little truck and then some. I also use said Rangers for daily commuting. The one place mine fail is winter traction/handling.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            The trailer idea has merit for many, but not me. I’d have no place to store it without worrying about it getting stolen. For where I need to maneuver the truck, a trailer would be quite a pain as well (backing into a gate from an alleyway).

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “What in God’s name does a compact crossover have to do with pickups?”

            EVERYTHING! We have more compact crossovers than we need already–the law of diminishing returns means that the more crossovers go out there, the fewer of each one will be sold. Meanwhile, there’s a demand for a truck in that size range that the OEMs are flat ignoring. All of them except, maybe, Hyundai. Meanwhile, both GM and FCA have at least one such vehicle already in production in South America that could easily meet the needs of those who truly want a SMALL (not just smaller than full-sized) pickup truck.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “EVERYTHING! We have more compact crossovers than we need already”

            Mr.Fox has a point. If a Trax or Kicks or EcoSport sells at a margin that allows its continued production why is a tiny truck a nonstarter?

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            IIRC all of these really diminutive crossovers are built overseas with cheap labor and can be brought over cheaply. Perhaps on cheap low-margin vehicles, Big Al’s favorite Chicken Tax really does put a damper on any further development of this field. Personally, I think that it’s just hard to make one of those cheap little FWD trucklets that some of us dream of refined enough for most American consumers’ taste. That and the missing “BIG TOUGH TRUCK” angle.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            If a Jeep Renegade can be “refined enough” or even a Fiat 500 (their sales problems do not come from their level of refinement) then a compact pickup can fill the bill too. Start at about $17K and top out at just under $30K would still let the mid-sizers have the $25K-37K range (and higher) while the full sizers can carry the $32K-$∞ price ranges. Crossover sizes overlap prices so certainly a small truck can overlap into the low-end mid-size range.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I guess I’m more ambitious in that I really do dream of a bare bones VW Saviero type vehicle that would be sold in the $14k-$20k range, at which it would need to be made in the US to not have the 25% Chicken tax imposed. But it seems that most people want their truck to double as a family vehicle these days (see proliferation of quad cabs and loss of reg cabs in midsizers) so a cheap small truck that emphasizes cargo hauling on a budget is a hard sell.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Could be Hecho en Mexico as long as Trump keeps his tiny little fingers out of NAFTA, no?

            The only sort of pickup I would ever have any interest in is exactly what Vulpine is currently driving. But I’d rather just rent a utility trailer. I used to own a folding one that I just stored vertically in the back of the garage, but at $19/day or less I will just rent as needed now.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            that’s nice but your regular cab ranger will never have a modern day equivalent. Even when they were available people stopped buying them.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            People stopped buying them because Ford stopped improving them. Did you know that Ford’s white color on the truck hasn’t changed in nearly 30 years? When I wanted a touch-up pen for a small paint chip loss on the back of the cab of my ’97 Ranger, the parts guy was absolutely surprised that it called for the exact same pen as a brand-new truck. The ’11-model Ranger was nearly identical to the ’04 model with only marginal exterior updates (grill and headlamps), interior changes (info stack) and almost no structural changes whatsoever.

            The Nissan Frontier hasn’t been changed in over 10 years outside of relatively minor trim changes and the interior is seriously dated. It’s due for a major upgrade within the next couple of years.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “that’s nice but your regular cab ranger will never have a modern day equivalent. Even when they were available people stopped buying them.”

            Honda would be thrilled to sell as many Ridgelines as Ford sold reg-cab Rangers, even in the twilight years.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’m sure there would be “buyers” here or there for 2-seater sub-compact pickups, except most would be hoping to find Vulpine’s used trucklett on Craigslist for a couple grand.

            Anything 2-seater (or just 2-doors) is extremely hard to sell (new) in the US.

            Add a 2nd row, 4-doors plus a 4 or 5 ft bed? It totally defeats the purpose.

            The old, reg-cab Ranger couldn’t have happened for as long as it did without the V6 Super Cab FX4. And it was “midsize” no matter how many claim it was a compact.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’m asking seven grand as she sits. After all, she’s probably got the lowest mileage on the clock of any old-school mid-sizer and even any of the later Rangers. Roughly 1200 miles per year of age. And she turned 21 last month.

            And compared to a modern mid-size, she’s a shrimp. Compact indeed next to a modern Colorado x-cab.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            “The trailer idea has merit for many, but not me. I’d have no place to store it without worrying about it getting stolen. For where I need to maneuver the truck, a trailer would be quite a pain as well (backing into a gate from an alleyway).”

            You can rent trailers and there are small fold-up utility trailers.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            In my case, even a “small fold-up utility trailer” is not permissible if it has to be stored outdoors. I do NOT have a garage and I am NOT allowed to enclose the area under my deck as a kind of tool shed (fears of gasoline storage and fire hazard. Combination of HOA and municipal rules for safety and supposed maintenance of property values.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “I’m asking seven grand as she sits.”

            Good luck. It’d have to be a collector or someone buying it specifically for some kind of nostalgia or historic value. Most people (like me) in the market for a used compact truck are going for the best value possible. $2000 got me a my ’94 106k mile turn-key unit with a well worn in bed but no immediate mechanical concerns. But good luck regardless.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I said “I’m asking.” If someone really wants it, they’ll pay. If they just want a cheap truck, I get to keep it until I trade. I’m not ready to sell because the truck I want is not yet available and I need to keep the little dolphin until I have a replacement available. (Remember, I’m the Road Whale™ guy.)

            Oh, and don’t forget the old rule of selling: “Always ask double the amount you really want.” With 26000 miles on her, she’s worth at least that much.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @Vulpine
            “Always ask double the amount you really want.”

            I sell cars on craigslist/FB marketplace with some regularity. Simply asking double its real value is a recipe to not get a single hit on your ad. Certainly I build in some room to negotiate down from, but I generally have the best luck pricing right in the thick of competing ads, with good photos/description and some basic detailing making my “product” stand out.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Simply asking double its real value is a recipe to not get a single hit on your ad.”

            A) I don’t use Craigslist;
            B) Exactly. I think by now it’s clear that I don’t intend to sell unless someone really, REALLY wants it.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          ?????

          People need to discover the $20 Home Depot rental pickups.

          Good God.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “People need to discover the $20 Home Depot rental pickups.”

            And what if you’re cleaning out your attic or basement of decades worth of storage? Are you going to rent a pickup for $20/hour to spend 96 hours bagging stuff, hauling it away, back to bagging, to haul, to bag, to haul, ad infinitum? And what if you have to go to a nursery that is NOT Home Depot (I’ve found good plants and bad at HD) to get landscaping materials? What? Go out and rent another truck? Then, a couple weeks later maybe need to make a different run?

            The point is that for some, a compact truck would be their daily driver, utility vehicle, possibly camping hauler (or tow if you buy/rent an RV trailer), etc. Of all the Utility Vehicles on the road, one with an open bed tends to be far more useful than one with an enclosed load floor, especially of the load can be aromatic at times (soil, mulch, trash, etc.) People driving the big trucks claim this is what they do with them but to be quite blunt, fewer than half ever see a load sufficient to justify the size and expense for a full-sized truck. Even the modern mid-sized trucks are notably larger in overall dimensions than the old “compact” trucks. Go look up the old Mitsubishi Mighty Max and compare it dimension for dimension to a modern mid-size or full size. They’re lower, narrower and yes, somewhat shorter than a modern mid-size with the same configuration.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            And how often does one clean out his attic or basement of decades worth of storage?

            You’re the ID10T who uses a one-time example to try, and fail, to justify why you NEED that vehicle.

            I would argue that if you’re cleaning out decades worth of stuff, you do it a significantly different way than your pickup truck anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @jalop: Try reading my comment again; I used far more than just a one-time example in that statement, pointing out that renting a truck or toting a trailer is simply NOT practical for someone who actually has a reasonably frequent need for hauling ability but doesn’t have enough need for a full-sized fuel hog.

            Every vehicle has its advantages and disadvantages. A truly small truck has huge advantages over a full-sized truck (or even the current mid-size models) in economy, maneuverability and utility in an urban/suburban environment. Full sized trucks have their advantages in a working environment or camping, towing a larger (7500#+) travel trailer. Mid-sized trucks shouldn’t even be trying to compete with full-sized trucks, yet they’re nearly as large and compete somewhat favorably against half-tons. At that rate, they might as well replace half-tons and leave the bigger ones to Heavy- and Super-duty tasks.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “People stopped buying them because Ford stopped improving them. Did you know that Ford’s white color on the truck hasn’t changed in nearly 30 years? When I wanted a touch-up pen for a small paint chip loss on the back of the cab of my ’97 Ranger, the parts guy was absolutely surprised that it called for the exact same pen as a brand-new truck. ”

            clearly Ford is trying to kill consumers with their constant color mix for fleet white paint.

            “The Nissan Frontier hasn’t been changed in over 10 years outside of relatively minor trim changes and the interior is seriously dated. It’s due for a major upgrade within the next couple of years.”

            Notice how Frontier no longer offers a regular cab?

            The smallest Frontier you can buy us a king cab that is longer in wheelbase and about the same length as a Ram 1500 regular cab.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “The smallest Frontier you can buy us a king cab that is longer in wheelbase and about the same length as a Ram 1500 regular cab.”

            Think about that, Beluga. The smallest Frontier–a mid-size–is as big as the smallest half-ton full-size? Why not just let the mid-sizers replace the half-tons then?

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “In my case, even a “small fold-up utility trailer” is not permissible if it has to be stored outdoors. I do NOT have a garage and I am NOT allowed to enclose the area under my deck as a kind of tool shed (fears of gasoline storage and fire hazard. Combination of HOA and municipal rules for safety and supposed maintenance of property values.”

            “And what if you’re cleaning out your attic or basement of decades worth of storage? Are you going to rent a pickup for $20/hour to spend 96 hours bagging stuff, hauling it away, back to bagging, to haul, to bag, to haul, ad infinitum? And what if you have to go to a nursery that is NOT Home Depot (I’ve found good plants and bad at HD) to get landscaping materials? What? Go out and rent another truck? Then, a couple weeks later maybe need to make a different run?”

            Stay in school and learn a marketable trade, kids. Don’t end up like this guy.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            More people live under these kinds of conditions than you know, Beluga. Some communities won’t even permit pickup owners to park their full-sized trucks in the driveway; it’s garage it or lose it. (And the garage door has to close to hide the truck. Did you know most full sized trucks won’t FIT in a garage today?)

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @brandloyalty

            Okay so you know best and you’ve done this yourself? You know that I should be able to stow a folding harbor freight trailer in a narrow 1940s era garage? You like making a trailer reservation the night before, driving down to the place when it opens (only at 9) dealing with the people at the desk, finally getting on your way, and then repeating the process all over again on the return trip? How about you’re renting a compactor or something at a tool rental place. Now you’re making a trip to the trailer rental place and going through that process, then driving down to the tool rental place and loading up, and again dealing with that whole additional hassle on the back end. Some of us like to be more self sufficient and like having our DIY capabilities enabled by a truck, and are willing to pay for that privilege.

            Get real bud. Buying a cheap truck last spring was the biggest automotive eye-opener for me with the context of home ownership in mind. My nice patio and privacy fence and raised bed garden are testaments to that.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Get real bud. Buying a cheap truck last spring was the biggest automotive eye-opener for me with the context of home ownership in mind. My nice patio and privacy fence and raised bed garden are testaments to that.”

            Thumbs up, gtem.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @jalop1991 See my comment above. I can only assume that those that bring up “what about a $20/hr rental pickup” have a) not tried to complete a substantive project using said service and/or b)have never owned and used a pickup truck in said capacity.

          • 0 avatar

            I find renting annoying personally and time consuming. I have a utility trailer currently. Works great but I miss a pickup still it’s odd how you will do more projects when you own a pickup just because it’s easier.

            I really miss stopping at home Depot or the garden center on my way home from work and tossing stuff in the bed.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            “Get real bud. Buying a cheap truck last spring was the biggest automotive eye-opener for me with the context of home ownership in mind. My nice patio and privacy fence and raised bed garden are testaments to that.”

            “Get real” Really?

            Fyi I have refurbished an old character house and completed various excavation and arbory tasks on a large heavily treed property without owning a pickup truck. Jobs that make your flower beds look like flower beds. Yuu can’t use a pickup for foundation loads of concrete, or a single delivery of materials for a new garage. You can carry lots of stuff in suv’s (such as on the roofrack or with the hatch window open) (even a sedan with folding back seats can carry long objects as easily as a pickup) and for the other loads there are delivery services and pickup and van rentals.

            So for getting real, there are all sorts of ways to move stuff without pickups. How does Europe function without them?

          • 0 avatar

            I think in europe people accept the concept of large things getting delivered the US mentality is a lot more DIY and a lot more right now. Which lend themselves to having a vehicle that can handle it. You can certainly do without it but having the over kill vehicle makes things easier.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @brandloyalty

            This started with you questioning why someone wouldn’t just rent or buy a trailer without any knowledge of the particular situation at hand. So yeah, get real.

            And don’t knock it ’til you try it. Buy a cheap old truck on CL in decent mechanical shape and see if it’s not the handiest second vehicle you’ve ever had.

            I’ve hauled bagged mulch and plants and lumber and ladders in my 4Runner, the Ranger makes the task massively easier as well as allowing me to get cheaper materials in bulk. If I had a place to put a cheap utility trailer I’m sure I would go that route and have a nicer driving sedan as my other vehicle instead. But as the situation stands, as an affordable weekend hauler that also is my primary commuter that I don’t care about getting dinged or street parking, the Ranger excels.

            “How does Europe function without them?”

            Most western Europeans generally live in smaller homes and urban areas, large scale DIY landscaping projects and such aren’t as big of a thing from what I’ve seen. Now for a Eurasian example I can tell you about growing up and how my grandpa would haul burlap sacks of potatoes and hay in the back of his Izh 2125 Kombi hatch, and how much he would have appreciated having a pickup truck around. I have other relatives whose main family conveyance is a 3 wheel cargo scooter , they too would think a pickup truck is really neat if they could get their hands on one.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I do like the specs of the Adventure model, we’ll see how that translates to real world.

    In other news, the 2019 RAV4 is within a few frog hairs of the original (gen 1) Highlander in wheelbase and overall length with the 2019 RAV4 actually being wider inside than the 2001-2007 model.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      Thou shall exhibit deference to CAFE2025!

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        The science is settled. Wheelbase and track must go up because it makes cars more efficient.

        Don’t question, comrade, you may end up in Siberia.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Da!

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Don’t get me wrong, I actually think the 2001-2007 Highlander was the “just right” size (not too big, not too small) for a 2 row CUV (yeah I know row 3 was optional).

            But our “compact” CUVs are now midsize? MON DIEU!

            One of the guys from another automotive website got to sit in the 2019 RAV4 at the show and reported that at 6 ft tall he could sit comfortably in the drivers seat and then sit behind himself with room to spare.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Longer wheelbase and wider track make a car more stable, not necessarily more efficient.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “Don’t question, comrade, you may end up in Siberia.”

          Hardly a threat lol, I’d love to go visit the fam on someone else’s dime! :p

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          “The science is settled. Wheelbase and track must go up because it makes cars more efficient.”

          A fine executive summary of modern CAFE.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Does it have 80″ of flat space in the back for a mattress with the rear seats folded down? That suddenly puts it in an entire different class of vehicle from what it has been so far.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        “Does it have 80″ of flat space in the back for a mattress with the rear seats folded down? That suddenly puts it in an entire different class of vehicle from what it has been so far.”

        Which raises the question of whether you can sleep in it. I wish car reviewers mentioned this for suv’s. Most people don’t need 80″ to sleep in, but a level floor with the back seats folded is essential. 2nd generation Escapes have room for sleeping, with the front seats moved forward. The bottom cushions are designed to be easily removed. This also translates into whether you can carry a bicycle inside without removing a wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Always it has been, and always it shall be. The size of a popular model grows with each generation so that it can “grow up with” its loyal buyers, until ultimately a new nameplate must be slotted in below it. Hence the RAV4 grows to the size of a Highlander and a C-HR the size of the original RAV4 has appeared below it, while the Highlander may as well be a damn Tahoe now.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        And I remember when North Amerucans turned to imports, two of the reasons cited were that people didn’t like the frequent model changes and that the cars bearing the same names kept getting bigger.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Maybe men buy cars, we don’t know. Frankly we don’t want to know. It’s a market we could do without.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    “Rav9 From Outer Space” pretty much sums up this underpowered poseur.

  • avatar

    Is there anything Toyota can’t do? Foolish Ford is going to be all their eggs in one basket with SUVs and trucks, while Toyota will specialized in being good at everything. Even the RAv4 is better than anything Ford builds in its class. It won’t take much for Toyota to build a better pick up than the Ford 150.

    Ford – what a disgrace!

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Put a Tundra V-8 or Cummins B6.7 diesel in it, jack it up with 31 inch off-road tires and you have the manly feature needed to masculinize the RAV4.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I know I am an outlier, but to me the snout from the Taco does not translate well on these. Looks like the ugly tree fell on it. I don’t think there is anything in the way of driving dynamics that would get me to even sit behind the wheel for a test drive.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      It’s definitely ugly, but what might help it sell to men is the new TNGA platform. The 2019 RAV4 should be wider and more spacious than the outgoing model. We’ll see.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Of all the ugliness in the CUV segment, you want to pick on this one?

        I will admit that the 2019 Adventure in side profile looks like they gave Toyota designers a photocopy of the Subaru Crosstrek and told them to “butch it up.”

        Lately I’ve noticed that automotive designs that are not photographing well seem to look “OK” or even handsome in the metal. My father-in-law just bought a new Terrain and it looks much better in person than in pictures.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          I’m relieved other people are noticing the wide divergence between DRG and photographs. I thought it was just me.

          Perhaps, wait and see is the best approach, but Toyota doesn’t have a great track record. In my opinion, many marginal Toyotas and Lexuses are uglier in person. Camry is the exception. Surprisingly, it looks pretty good on the road.

          We’ll see. Some of the official Toyota photos are less offensive. Maybe DRG will be okay.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Vehicles can’t be sold to dudes unless the vehicle has substance. If the vehicle has substance, then fandudes make purchases, and they tell other clueless dudes that said vehicle is awesome, and those dudes become clueless fandudes, and those clueless fandudes recruit the sheep dudes to follow.

    It’s generational too. Dude teaches his kids not to drive unibody four-banger trucks like gay communists. They says “Yes, Dudey”, and they buy increasingly huge body-on-frame arsenal of democracy trucks, while teaching their little dudes the same lesson.

    It doesn’t appear as though Rav4 Dude Edition will have any substance. Maybe if they built a new 2.7L 4RZ the dudes would have a reason to buy. Maybe other dudes would be content with a 1AR.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I think your comment nailed it.

      The RAV4 is a purse on wheels along with the CR-V, so why would a dude want to be seen driving one (if they have a choice)?

      And for those people who can only afford ONE all purpose vehicle, the 4-door truck is the only way to go.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “…purse on wheels..”

        Bingo. Or why not have me grow an ovary instead?

        There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Corolla, if having to buy a small Toyota. Anything more is a waste.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Corolla, if having to buy a small Toyota. Anything more is a waste.”

          In reality, the Rav4 is the salvation for aging Corolla station wagon/Matrix (RIP) owners who now have hip problems.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            That’s right.

            The seat height is at butt level for most people and they can just scoot in and out of the RAV4 with minimum grunting and groaning on account of those hip and back problems.

            The only drawback is, many oldsters take the kitchen sink along on their road trips, like Oxygen concentrators, ice coolers, luggage stuffed with clothes for extended stays along the way, small microwave ovens to heat their Bed Buddies, etc.

            You run out of room pretty quick in a vehicle like a RAV4 or CR-V when you choose to carry that much baggage.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            True. But some have trouble lifting their legs up into a higher vehicle and so prefer sedans.

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    Spraying black out paint on this thing to make it sporty is just about like how they put loud tape stripes and decals on just about anything in the 70’s and earlier 80’s to make it look they were sporty and went faster.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “Meanwhile, an updated interior provides more space for manspreading and big rubbery knobs some gentleman find totally irresistible. ”

    So, yet again the big rubbery knobs are on the inside for HIS pleasure.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    The new RAV-4 has a Lexus angular design to it, especially on the rear quarter panel.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Make it look like a pit bull with a severe overbite. Yep, that’ll do it.

  • avatar
    tlccar

    When will Toyota learn that overstyling a car does not make it more desirable? Can you say Avalon? Lexus RX? This design will be dated in no time. Guess what? It already is! Ugly. Period.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    “Ever hear of highway passing or relaxed highway cruising and hill climbing? Here we go with the Grand Vitara comment again lol. Like I said last time, absolutely Pavlovian.”

    And yet the inevitable reference to the V6 whenever a Rav4 article appears is not predictable? And now we have your automatic response to my comment. Funny.

    If someone can’t manage without the V6, they are an incompetent driver. And I gather incompetent drivers are unwelcome here. What gives?

    Towing is a reasonable reason for getting an suv with a larger engine.

    “In fact most of that gen I see around here have the V6.”

    The gen I Rav4 was a completely different vehicle and had no V6. The V6 version in the generation in question dropped it due to lack of sales. Probably because the target market for Rav4’s isn’t much into drag racing, and the cost, impaired handling and mileage. I recall reading the V6 take rate in Canada was 15%.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      ““In fact most of that gen I see around here have the V6.”

      The gen I Rav4 was a completely different vehicle and had no V6”

      I think you’re confused. He was saying that most of that [3rd] gen that HE [“I”, referring to himself] sees around are V6 models.

      “If someone can’t manage without the V6, they are an incompetent driver. And I gather incompetent drivers are unwelcome here. What gives?”

      You’re reaching for an argument that isn’t there.

      Brandloyalty’s Grand-Vitara broken record:

      June 2016: “Maybe for drag racing. The V6 be made a front end heavy vehicle even less balanced. And hurt mileage. Few paid the prices for the V6 just to win stoplight drag races. Time to put the V6 Rav4 laments to rest.”

      Dec 2016: “Except that the larger engine made an already inherently nose-heavy design even worse. So it was clumsy. Practically no one knew that off the line to 40mph the peer Suzuki Grand Vitara V6, due to lower gearing, was faster. Been there done that. Much to the Rav4 driver’s surprise.”

      Oct 19 2017: “The V6 made a nose-heavy vehicle even worse. Yes, a good dragster, but who buys them for that? And the V6 Grand Vitara of the same days, due to lower gearing, could beat the V6 Rav4 0-40mph.”

      March 2018: ” Yes, but it made the compromised handling of an already front end heavy design even worse. It could drag race, but that was hardly the target demographic. And because of its lower gearing, the V6 Grand Vitara of the same model years was faster to 40mph than the V6 Rav4.”

      Apr 2018:
      “The larger engine made an already nose-heavy design even clumsier. It may have been a good drag racer, but exactly who was the target market for such a thing? Even that was compromised by the gearing. The V6 Suzuki Grand Vitara, with lower gearing, was faster 0-60kph. Which would be about the extent of drag racing the V6 Rav4 might ever be used for.”

      Always initially mentioning the nose-heaviness, drag racing, and then the ‘piece-de-resistance,’ the fabled Grand Vitara comparison.

      • 0 avatar

        To ad nothing of worth to this conversation. Personally I would own a last gen grand vitara over a rav but thats because I find it more comfortable and I love how much work suzuki put into the platform to make it different then the GM versions. That said the RAV 4 v6 is a great motor and the interior usefulness of that gen is incredible.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Oh believe me I think the Grand Vitaras are really neat trucklets, and bemoan their departure from the marketplace. I’m more so questioning the sanity of the “nut behind the wheel” of this particular Grand Vitara lol

          I’m actually subscribed to a channel that specializes in Grand Vitara maintenance/repair/offroading, and my brother owns an ’02 XL7 (2.7L V6, 5spd, 4wd). The final gen lost some offroad chops (went to reinforced unibody+IRS) but was still head and shoulders above the typical crossover competition. The sad thing is that here in the states it became harder and harder to find one with the 2spd transfer case after the first few years of production.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “I love how much work suzuki put into the platform to make it different then the GM versions.”

          You’re thinking of the Theta-based XL7 which IMO was an abomination as far as being a fat dopey FWD-based crossover. BL and I are talking about the smaller Grand Vitara that was a compact unibody SUV with a longitudinal engine and RWD-based drivetrain with independent rear suspension. A very unique offering on our market, which sadly the masses rejected in favor of roomier and more efficient (and less capable) Rav4s and CRVs.

          • 0 avatar

            I was actually talking about the smaller GV. I remembered reading it was based on a heavily modified theta when it came out but now with a little google foo that appears to be a bit of argument among GV fans.
            For instance
            https://www.autoblog.com/2014/08/28/suzuki-vitara-paris-official/
            http://automobile.wikia.com/wiki/Suzuki_Grand_Vitara

            Either way I really love these little trucklets. I actually looked at some last summer before I got my super cheap 300m.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Wow I had no idea! And I would love to see what exactly carried over.

            I’ve looked at used listings a few times, seems that very few survive in decent shape in the hands of mindful owners. Given the lack of brand recognition (on par with the sketchy Mitsu dealership here in town), I think all too many of these entered the sub-prime market early on in life and are worse for the wear. I’d want a basic 4wd one (with the low range t-case) with steel wheels and black plastic center caps. With a limited slip fitted, it’d be a heck of a billy goat. Too bad the only way to get a 5spd was to go RWD in that generation IIRC.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            The Rav4, CRV, Escape etc. would be better choices than the GV for most people in the market for a small suv. I exclude the Forester of the day because it was far less vehicle for far more money.

            I don’t know about the US, but there are lots of 2006-2014 GV’s on the road and for sale in Canada. You almost never see one in bad shape. Though I no longer have one, there are four of them in my circle of friends. They are close to ideal for our set of vehicle needs.

            They have some clear advantages going for them. The longitudinal engine layout meant a perfect weight distribution. This becomes more evident the worse the conditions get.

            The low range is invaluable in some situations. Most notably descending very steep slippery grades. While the low range was available in Canada only on the most expensive version of the first (2006 JLX-L) year, it gradually became standard on almost all of them. I think there were some Canadian versions with the low range and standard transmission, but I’m not sure.

            In 2009 the limited slip feature was removed from the centre differential. I’m not sure this was to cheapen them or because abs-traction control was found to be adequate.

            The other clear advantage turned out to be reliability. Most reliable car I ever owned. By far. Suzuki put some effort into that. They did things like installing a large battery and large mirrors despite the harm to mileage. Meanwhile the Rav4 had what looked like a motorcycle battery.

            The GV’s mileage was also impacted by low gearing, which was consistent with the design bias.

            As for dealer support, not much is needed. Most of any parts needed would be generic stuff. Rarely needed proprietary parts can be obtained from wrecks, or through the remains of the dealership network. I had no problem sourcing an oem muffler. At last resort parts could be imported. As of a year or so ago the same generation of GV was still being manufactured and sold elsewhere.

            Lastly I think the styling has aged better than most of the other small suvs’.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        Good work, gtem. You could mention that every one of my posts was in response to someone else bringing up the V6 whenever an article about Rav4’s appeared. I did not bring up GV’s out of the blue. That you have no problem with unsolicited mention of V6 Rav4s, but you do with my corresponding responses, suggests your viewpoint is at least as unbalanced. And as I said, your emerging pattern is more of the same.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          It’s both that automated chiming in to ANY Rav4 discussion with this same thouge, but even more-so to do with your robotic repetition of the same sequence of words/sentences that is fascinating to me (drag racing/nose heavy/Grand Vitara reference) in a morbid curiosity sort of way. Carry on.

          I promise you I don’t have strong feelings about 0-60 times of 10 year old compact crossovers.

  • avatar

    I found a 2007 or 2008 with the V6 white middle trim that was clean back in July but the dealer (BHPH) wanted to much for it cash.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    Rented a Rav4 LE for a week and it was bad but wasn’t great either.
    No lumbar support and the engine was weak and had to keep the transmission on Sport mode to get life from the engine.
    The stereo system Sukked Ash and couldn’t even program the stations! WTF?!
    It was relatively roomy for a 6 footer with wide shoulders and average build and had room in back as well.

    I’d consider buying the newer Hybrid AWD Rav4 in the future considering that there’s currently really just 2 options available for Hybrid CUVs… Rav4 or Rogue. Hopefully, the fuel economy is improved and the engines are replaced with new, powerful versions.


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