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Toyota's Legendary Solidity, but Some Issues

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 8/28/2015 William

I've owned the car 12 months, driven it under 10,000 miles, but half of that has been on interstates and local highways on a long trip. Quite a change moving from Camry to RAV4. Slowly adapting to a much stiffer suspension which really shows on poorly maintained urban streets. Not harsh, but stiff. Highway behavior at speeds at least up to 75 is very good, not subject to buffeting the way my 2004 Camry was. I did not find it tiring to drive 500 miles daily for multiple days. The front seat at least for a smaller person is comfy, though an adjustable lumbar support would make the seat better. I miss the power seat of the Camry, but I can comfortably live with this basic seat with its height adjustment. The interior is not particularly quiet, but again it is not tiring on long trips. Engine noise is higher than I think it should be in city driving. The body is quiet - no booming or reverberations. The view out is surprisingly good, but I find the slope of the A pillars to obstruct turning vision in both directions. Thought I would not use the back-up camera but it is very useful. The screen is hard to see in bright overhead sunlight, and turns into a mirror with low sun to rear. With no Navigation, the screen is simple and easy to use for the radio. There are metallic and reflective surfaces on the flat edges of the dash. Finally, I am bothered by what for me is a bright screen that I cannot find a way to turn down or off at night. The instruments are more or less easily seen, except for the digital panel showing mpg & other data which can be bright at night and still hard to read. Speedometer is a little hard to see in bright daylight - not enough contrast. Cruise control is consistent,. Brakes are very good with nice modulation and no grabbing. Rear discs had grinding noise for the first three - five stops after sitting 2 days during the winter. This has not been an issue in warmer and drier weather. Car maintains good firm highway manners with a full load on long trips. Gas mileage is not better than advertised except on long flat runs in the mid 60 mph range. I bought this car for its decent-sized load room, and on that score it has been good. The rear seats do NOT fold flat, and the front passenger seat does not fold flat forward. Nonetheless, the space is useful, and has a couple of D rings for tethering things. Safety: Decent, but not great: In particular see the NHSTA front passenger score, and the IIHS Small Overlap score. 2015 models have addressed the IIHS issue. Handling seems fine. One last note: I have just discovered the "eyebrow" over the rear window: probably preventing use of a bike carrier. Bummer. Overall, the car seems to me to retain legendary Toyota qualities - tight body, decent seating, reasonable sight lines, probably trouble-free -- with firming up of steering and suspension. But interior content & quality seems to me to be clearly down a notch - if this is important to you, inspect and survey closely to verify the presence of the stuff you like.

Average Rating : 4

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