Episode 248. Toyota Rav4. P742 HJN. (Part 5).

 Way back in August you may remember that I decided to arm myself up with the second 'soft-roader' of the year, the 1996 Toyota Rav4 with a 2.0 litre Petrol engine under the bonnet, and just 131606 miles showing on the odometer.

Well, my month of ownership with the little Rav4 went so well that when it came to the end of the month instead of selling it, I did the exact opposite, I bought another one. Like quite a few of the cars I had in the lst year this one had got under my skin a little bit. I thought about trying to convince her Worshipfulness that she needed this little Rav4 in her life, but as I'd been unsuccessful in trying to convince her that she needed one of the cars I was trying to sell I felt that there was little point in pushing this one at her. So as the end of the month approached I found myself out on the street, taking photographs of the Rav4 ready for its auction listing on fleabay. While I was outside taking the photos to use in the ad on fleabay Mrs Clint came out and said, "I don't know what you're doing that for, that thing's going nowhere!" It would seem that she had decided that a 1996 Toyota Rav4 is the car for her, and to be honest I kind of agree with her. So instead of trying to sell it, and obviously losing yet more money I figured that she might as well have it as she likes it so much. I've got to say that I was pretty glad that she wanted it, it's a good little car, and I like it a lot.

However, if you've read the previous post, the final post about the lovely Citroën XM you probably already know that the sale of it didn't exactly go according to plan. The first person who looked at the Citroën didn't seem to be all that interested in it, and this is where the sale of it really deviated from the plan, he was far more interested in the Rav4... Mrs Clints Rav4! He asked me several times if it was for sale, and several times I said that it was not. But he was persistant, he asked me how much I would take for it. So, as I've been on a bit of a losing streak this year I said £750. That wouldn't make much of a dent in my losses, but it would be a start as that would put me £250 in profit on the Rav4, and besides I was really trying to put him off. It did not, but he made a counter offer of £300 for it. Now, I don't know about you, but I thought that was a bit of a cheek making an offer more than 50% lower than the asking price, so I laughed at him, and said, no, you've got to do better than that. What I should've done was stuck to my guns, and said it wasn't for sale, but now we were bartering, and so it went back and fourth until he pulled £450 out of his pocket, put it in my hand and said, that was it. Well, I'll be honest, that was close enough to the £500 I needed to break even on the Rav4 as this meant that our six months motoring in it has only cost us £50 (not including petrol) which I thought was pretty good, and as Mrs Clint was at work at the time, which meant that I was left with no adult supervision I went inside, got the documents, filled them out, and away it goes!

As I watched it driving away I wondered if I should be out in the garden digging myself a hole where the patio is in preparation for when Mrs Clint arrived home and murdered  me. But I hoped that she would be pleased that I'd got almost all my money back for it... She was not! The first thing she said when she came through the door was "Where's my car?" I looked at her and said, you know what, it's the darndest thing, some fella came to buy the Citroën, but he decided that he wanted the Rav4 instead, so, as he was offering almost as much as I'd paid for it, I sort of sold it to him. She looked pretty angry, so I quickly filled the silence with, can I interest you in a lovely Citroën XM? I looked at her, she looked angryer than before and said, "NO YOU CAN NOT! I don't want that junk, I want my lovely little 4x4, so you'd better be joking!" I looked at her Worshipfulness and said, we both know I'm not. 

Anyway, thankfully I didn't get murdered, but all through tea while she was eating her delicious looking hot meal she looked pretty angry at me while I sat at the opposite end of the kitchen table as I ate my delicious cheese sandwich on stale bread that she had created for my culinary pleasure!

So what can I tell you about our six months or so of Toyota Rav4 ownership? Well to tell the truth pretty much nothing, I've said it all before... TWICE from episodes 222 to 233 about two different, although very similar Toyota Rav4's. There really is nothing not to like about these little 'soft-roaders'. Mechanically they seem to be quite robust, and I really do think that they would stand up quite well to some pretty abusive behavior off road without any trouble at all. Under the bonnet, the 2.0 litre petrol straight-four producing 120 horsey power straight from the Toyota Carina, Corolla, and no doubt other 2.0 litre Toyotas whirrs away quietly, and effortlessly, and hasn't missed a bit. All while producing enough power to almost convince yourself that you're actually the pilot of a little hot hatch, and not a little 4x4. I honestly find myself wondering if a so called proper 4x4 could be any better than this?

Inside the cockpit is a surprisingly comfortable place to be, the seating position is comfortable, and being up higher than most other cars it gives you a good view of the road ahead. The dashboard is nicely laid out, if a little basic, and the front seats are quite comfortable even on long journeys. There have been a couple of times when I have been in the Rav for the whole day and I never felt uncomfortable in the seats even after driving for five or six hours.

In the back my two little Monsters said that they had plenty of room, and were very comfortable. But the thing that they liked the most was that they could recline their seats for once. This they felt was a great idea, however the bootspace is quite small, and when the seats are reclined it is even smaller. This has resulted in a very angry Mrs Clint on more than one occasion when we've returned home from shopping to find that the kids have reclined their seats breaking eggs, and squashing fruit in the process! this is a problem that we have not encountered with the lovely Citroën XM, although now is probably not the best time to share this peice of information with her Worshipfulness.

 All in all I would have to say that this was, and is a great little car, it's fun to drive, and it's pretty good to look at! It's almost as good as a little hatchback is on the road, and it's not even that bad off the road either. 
So you may well be wondering would I have another one? Well, yes I would, infact I shall be looking for one as soon as I finish writing this! There's not really a lot to dislike about these little Toyotas in either manual or automatic flavour. They both drive pretty well on the road, they seem fairly competant off road, they're comfortable to sit in, and I think they even look pretty good. I'm tempted to go looking for a second generation Rav4, but I would even go as far as to say that I prefer the first-generation Rav4, known as the XA10, over its replacement the second generation Rav4, known as the XA20 just based on it's looks alone. That being said the XA10 is starting to get a little bit harder to find due to rust which I am of the understanding was quite a problem to the earlier models, and so at some point in the future I will no doubt find myself the co-pilot of a newer XA20 model while Mrs Clint drives it along. Although it's safe to say that Mrs Clint would prefer the earlier model really, and so perhaps I should try to find her a really nice one to drive in the future, and when that time eventually arrives the best thing I can do for my own safety will be to not sell it! No matter how much money anyone offers me for it.