I've been driving a Toy*ta for a week

I don't want to add to the recent Domestic vs Import debate here, but I've had this vehicle for about a week and would like to give my impressions. I normally drive
a 1984 Lincoln Mark VII with 142K miles on the clock. There was obviously an adjustment period. It's a well used 2001 Toyota RAV-4 L with 85K miles, maintenance has been a bit lax but pretty normal for much of the US driving public (at least that I'm familiar with). The motor runs like a swiss watch. It was 8K overdue for an oil change and the upper end was really noisy. The noise went away after service. You now can't hear it idle from 10' away. The gearing in 1-2 seems to max the motor out quickly, but after that it pulls pretty good for a 4 cyl. At 55, the motor sounds like it's screaming (~2500rpm), after that, the noise goes away. Harmonics? The 5-speed tranny 1-2 synchro is getting weak. Likely from being crammed into 1st while down shifting. The clutch has (what I've always called) that Toyota feel. It's just different than the domestics and most other imports IMHO. It takes a little getting used to. Upshifting is like slicing butter. There is a lot of road noise in the rear (tires are nice condition and decent quality Coopers). This observation was made before removing the carpet, etc. It didn't get much worse with the rear interior stripped. The ass end is just really noisy in this Rav 4.. It rides like a buckboard wagon! I switched from my Lincoln with air suspension to the RAV 4 with NO suspension, so obviously there is a big adjustment. I also drive a 79 F-150, just for reference. After a week, on lightly bumpy roads, this thing is all over the place!. (air is at spec in the tires). Rumble strips drive it crazy, but it stays in the lane. The sound system has all the fidelity of a Campbells soup can. As a matter of fact, it makes the whole vehicle sound like a huge soup can. It's rally bad. The brakes are really aggressive at 70 mph, for a few seconds, then they fade down to "normal" for an Escort. Below 70, the braking system reminds me of most small Ford products. The interior just screams "cheap" but it's durable. It "feels" ungodly cheap, but seems to wear like iron (it's likely all nylon). After 85K miles, it ain't pretty, but it's not tattered or worn much. The light tan color may add to my negative impression. Yech. Many of the controls are sticks on the column. Too many! The wiper switch is in the way no matter what I do. I can't dim the headlights without turning on the turn signal. There's just too much going on there. The auto-down, auto-up drivers window just makes me want to kill myself! There are detents for manual control, but just try to feel them while driving. Yaaarrrggghhh. With the windows up, this thing is a blast to drive. For a FWD kinda-truck wannabe, it scoots. It's a really fun car to cruise in. I hate to admit it, but, I like it. Put the windows down and it's conversation hell. The airflow across the interior negates conversation at any speed above 20 mph. The factory stereo is worthless with windows open. You can 'crank it up' to overcome the wind, but it sounds like loud S*it in a big tin can. The CEL is on and it's tossing "catalyst efficiency" codes. Only happens on a long highway run.(Between me and the owner, ~35 miles) In town, nary a flcker. Uh-oh! Sounds kinda like valve guide seals. In all, the RAV 4 is a well made, fun little vehicle. The attention to 'quality' is in different places than in it's domestic counterparts, in my observation. If this is indicative of Toyota, it's certainly not the 'absolute quality vehicle' that many Toy owners claim.
Just my inpressions, Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I think you have the wrong newsgroup. This is a Ford newsgroup.
Not sure what a Toy*ta is, but it sounds this is more appropriate for a Toyota newsgroup. ;-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff wrote:

Aren't Lincolns made by Ford?
Rob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is about a Toy*ta, whatever that is, not a Lincoln.
Should I start talking about my rides on the subway and just because I am lucky enough to drive a Ford Contour?
Jeff

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff wrote:

Actually, it IS about a '84 Mark VII.
And it just as easily could have been about my '97 Taurus GL.
For you, it may be out of context, but for regulars, it's dead on topic.
You just have to know who Tom Adkins is(hint - Google is your friend).
Rob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
'84 Mark VII? Really? ;)
mike

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Hunter wrote:

Yup. About $2000 (purchase price, repairs, and maintenence ). I've driven it for almost 3 years years and 80K miles. It's getting rather tired, I'm looking for another, later one so I can use the 84 as a hot rod project. Man, US vehicle quality is really in the dumper, ain't it? ;)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Why not sell it? A rare vehicle like a '1984 Mark VII should be worth a small fortune ;)
mike

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Hunter wrote:

Oh, I get it. Yes it is an 84, first year for the VII. Nobody really wants them. Wimpy 302 CFI motor and early(ish) AOD trans. The 86 and up is much more desirable due to the 5.0 HO engine and real EFI. Now, if it was one of the Steyr diesel powered 84-85's... Thats a totally different ballgame $$.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
trainfan1 wrote:

Actually Rob, Google isn't much help. There are a some imposters out there that get most of the hits. ;)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The vehicle does have... character. I don't know why they geared it so low, 2500 at 55 is spinning a bit. The automatics aren't geared quite as low and still get good performance. I have an older one with plain vanilla 2.0 engine; yours has VVT and your low-end is much improved. Mine still zips right along but the newer ones are much quicker.
I have not noticed significant brake fade in mine, perhaps the newer ones don't have quite the same brakes. I believe I have ceramic pads. Do you know if it's on the first set? They appear to last 100K miles.
That buckboard ride is a function of the short wheelbase and higher driver seating position. Not much you can do about it; you could perhaps spring it differently but I don't think it would help A Chevy Blazer (a real one, a K-5) does much the same thing.
The windows open/wind issue is not that unusual. If you're lucky enough to get one with a sunroof, you would find it much quieter to tilt the sunrrof open and pull the shade mostly closed, then use the vents (in the '00 there's one right at the base of the sterring column) for your fresh air. It's pretty pleasant.
The one thing you missed, IMHO, is "Wow! Is this thing easy to park!" Decent turning radius + extremely short = very, very easy to park.
--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dh wrote:

It certainly does. It's a ball to drive. (Did I mention the stereo sucks? :) )
I don't know why they geared it so low,

It pulls great, but in 1 and 2 the motor is screaming before the clutch pedal is fully released. A slight exaggeration but not by much. It's easy to cook the tires and not even be trying. It's also part of the "Toyota clutch" thing. ;)

Not sure on either count. They don't fade, per se. It starts out like it will stop in the next 10 feet, then...doesn't.

I'll have to try that. It has a sunroof.

That's for sure! I turn it sideways in the garage when I work on it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My domestic would be doing 85/90 MPH at 2500 RPMs, It onely needs 1800 to do 55 ;)
mike

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.