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First Test: 2011 Toyota RAV4 Limited V-6


It's a typical sunny Friday afternoon in L.A. -- time to hit the road after another week performing my role in the office zombie routine. Let's see what's in the garage. The Pacific Blue Metallic 2011 Toyota Rav4 should fit the bill. Hmm, when was the last time Toyota updated the TOYOTA RAV4 (not counting the EV co-op with Tesla)? It looks comfortable. I bet my mom would dig it. It's the top-of-the-line Limited trim with the 3.5-liter V-6 and all-wheel drive. Those don't sound like volume-seller specs to me.

Anyway, let's get rolling. Crikey, how do I adjust the side mirrors on this thing? (*A minute or two later*) Ah, the side mirror toggle is down on the center console between the auxiliary audio jack and the parking brake. Why is the traction-control switch next to the seat-warmer buttons? I really should be paying more attention to the drive than to my trivial attempt at critiquing the interior. If only I weren't stuck in another Los Angeles traffic jam. Drat. Hands up if you didn't see that coming...

 (*An hour and 20 miles later*)

I'm getting tired. Since this particular TOYOTA RAV4 has no USB input, I can't listen to my own tunes, and the local radio is starting to get old. Worst of all, the freeway monotony seems to have dulled my mental processes. I'm languishing away, ensnared in a motorcade bind that I'd rather not be a part of...oh, good, traffic is clearing up. I'll just push my right foot farther down into the footwell...

That's when I was re-introduced to what the V-6 and all-wheel drive can do. It's no secret that power can be addictive, regardless of vehicle packaging, and the TOYOTA RAV4 V-6's performance did manage to turn heads back in 2006 (the current generation's first model year). Save for the Audi Q5 3.2 (270 hp) and Bmw X3 xDrive35i (300 hp), no other small crossover can trump the RAV4's 269 horsepower. And even then, the Toyota CUV doesn't have much company: Only the Acura RDX (240 hp), Kia Sportage SX (260 hp), Mazda Cx 7 s (244 hp), and Mercedes Benz GLK350 (268 hp) are within striking distance.

(Source)


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