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Mail & Guardian: Don't mock the new Toyota RAV4

Gavin Foster

06 April 2006

While true 4x4 enthusiasts love to mock the Toyota RAV4, every month somewhere between 200 and 300 South Africans reach into their purses and wallets and vote quietly for the little soft-roader. Why not? It's very well built, it's capable of more than most buyers would expect off-road, and it's a Toyota. It symbolises eternal youth, and as such, they reckon, it sends out a message that you're, well, special.

Toyota makes no bones about it. The new third generation RAV4, like its predecessors, was designed for people who Like to Be Noticed.

The 2006 RAV4 is available in five-door guise with four-wheel-drive only -- the little three-door version so loved by the Sandton set is no more, and the popular two-wheel-drive models have been discontinued.

The wagon uses the same 112kW, 194Nm two-litre petrol engine as the old, slotted into a bigger, chunkier body shell that is more hard-edged and masculine than its predecessor. This is mated to a new hi-tech drive train that makes it more suited to proper off-road use than the old model, while adding on-road safety.

More to read at the full article...
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