Toyota RAV4 (1998)
The RAV4 is Toyota's newest SUV. If you've seen the ads you've probablyfallen in love with it (assuming you're not an old f--t like my brother). Imean, it's cute..kind of a slightly larger, cuter, safer, more reliableSuzuki Sidekick.
It's built on a Toyota Celica platform with a transverse-mountedFRONT-WHEEL DRIVE engine. Note that most SUVs are rear-wheel drivevehicles; so to get some kind of reasonable traction if you live in thegreat frozen tundra (anything north of Washington, DC), they go to four-wheeldrive. The RAV should have pretty good traction because it's front-wheeldrive--although pretty light. We'll try to get one in the winter andwe'll report back to you on this. It does come with four-wheel drive--baseprice $16,000 vs. $14,000 for the two-wheel drive version. We drove a four-wheeldrive RAV with all the trimmings, which got it up around 20 bigones.
We put it up on the lift to take a peek at the underside and we were prettyimpressed. It's very ruggedly built.
On the downside, the seats are downright barbaric--small and cheap--theequivalent of the rear jump seat in a Volvo wagon.
It's lousy in the wind; it blew all over the road at 65 mph.
Looks great and it's fun to drive, although I wouldn't want to count on itfor long trips. But I'm not 25 years old. Doug's new wife, Lisa,loves it.
View cars.com model report on this vehicle.