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After the demise of my beloved Alfa 156, due to being shunted from the rear into a lorry in front, it was my wife’s turn to choose what car we had next (part of an agreement for me to get my motorbike) and when asked what she wanted she said what John down the road has. This transpired to be a 5 door Rav 4.
So off we went to the local Toyota dealer and did the deal on a new 2004 XT3 model. A couple of weeks later the vehicle arrived and to be honest the first time I actually drove one of these when we took it away from the show room.
I am an Alfa fan so I was not expecting too much from this, you can not match the handling and styling of an Alfa. I was much surprised by the Rav 4 as it handles very well for a 4x4 semi off road vehicle and it has reasonable performance to go with it.
My wife loves the car especially the ride height as you can see over most things in front. Build quality is good although the paint finish is not brilliant in places. I am getting used to its handling characteristics and the wallow and understeer is a part of the ride that you get on with and accept.
Space in the car is fine with adjustable rear seats that can also recline if required, although this is a slight problem if you have three in the back as the seat reclines in two halves down the middle. Boot space is more than adequate and fits in all we need although it would be better if the rear door opened to 90 degrees.
Would I buy one again yes as long as I have an Alfa as a second car.