I bought a RAV4-L with AWD and 5sp Man
trans. I purchased largely due to
interior comfort and driver space.
Aestherics playes a role as well.
Driving experience is very good. The
car is very nimble, and handles road
bumps with ease. Excellent brakes.
Downside is a somwehat underpowered
engine. The manual seems to make
little difference due to the rather
close gearing in the car. One could
easily go from 2nd to 5th and not
really miss 3rd and 4th. Torque comes
in a very tight range of RPM and I
find myself always dropping a gear or
two to get the most out of the
engine. Nevertheless, I have come to
really enjoy how the car drives.
As a commuter car the RAV4 is a
pleasure to drive. It is very quiet,
comfortable and nimble to drive. It
handles better than many cars.
As an urban cruiser it is near
perfect. But it seems that any kind
of grade causes the engine to bog
down. A modification of the engine or
transmission to provide more low end
torque over a wider range would be