Bangernomics Best Buys: Toyota RAV4 Car News

01 toyota rav4 front off road

Toyota RAV4 Mk3 is more adult but still happy to wade through muddy puddles

This capable off-roader is a bargain on the used market

In 2005, the Toyota RAV4 changed forever.

It got bigger and became more of a minivan mash-up when the three-door version disappeared. More funky cool, just practical.

Apparently it gained 25 per cent more luggage space, as the rear seats fold flat with the pull of a lever very quickly to give you 1469 litres. These seats can also be moved to balance passenger comfort and cargo space.

It is possible to have a side-hinged tailgate pop, which can sometimes be annoying, especially when the spare tire is fitted, unless there is a hinge upgrade. Otherwise, the trunk is a decent size and shape, and there’s enough rear-seat layout for you to carry two adults properly.

The 2.2 D-4D diesel was the most popular choice, so there are many more on the market. Keep in mind that when the RAV4 got a facelift in 2009, its power went from 124 hp to 147 hp and its economy rose to 48 mpg, resulting in lower taxable emissions. There was also a 177 hp version.

However, the 2.0-litre petrol remains the longer-term option in an increasingly ULEZ world, despite the fact that it will manage around 32 mpg.

Front-wheel drive wasn’t a popular choice, so you might struggle to find one. The standard kit is very decent, including alloy wheels, air conditioning and a CD player. The XT5 trim has the kind of full specs you might appreciate: leather, air conditioning and sat nav.

Check the electricity and plug it into a diagnostic kit if you can. Some get warped brake rotors and sticky clutches under heavy use; also possibly water infiltration via questionable seals. The EGR valve can also be clogged to ruin your day. But that’s as bad as it gets, because this is, after all, a Toyota.

The ones we found

2008 Toyota RAV4 2.0 XT-R, 71,000 miles, £5,350: A three-owner car with low mileage and full history. Future-proof fuel and dealer warranty for added security. The essentials are all in the XT-R specification.

2008 Toyota RAV4 2.2 D-4D XT5, 125,500 miles, £2,995: The top-of-the-line model is hard to find, especially with diesel power, which makes this example less expensive. Part exchange car, it is in very neat condition and has a full service history.

Or try this…

2008 Subaru Forester 2.0 X automatic, 185,000 miles, £3,590: Fresh out of service and a timing belt change and with a one-year technical inspection, it is therefore ready to roll. In very good condition and with an automatic gearbox to make life even easier. Also a warranty.

idol fantasy

Citroen C6, 2006-2012

This is the extreme luxobarge and probably the very last of the very interesting Citroëns. And that’s what makes it an icon. The basic ingredients are a swoopy look, comfort, and tons of kit. Great if you’re the president of France, not so much for us plebs.

The 3.0-litre petrol and 2.7-litre diesel V6s are excellent in smoothness, while the latest 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel and 3.0-litre V6 engines are the economical choices.

Almost everything is standard, including a full-size spare wheel, which is new these days. The exclusive trim adds leather upholstery, heated seats, lumbar support, parking sensors and a satellite navigation system. Linage has partial leather trim as standard.

The C6 also thinks of your well-being but also of your relaxation with no less than nine airbags and, depending on version, a lane departure warning.

The C6 doesn’t have much luggage space, but 488 liters is a lot. Note that the extra-comfortable Lounge Pack prevents the rear seats from folding flat. Failures of ball joints, wheel bearings, ABS sensors and ECUs are just a few of the many things you need to be aware of.

Buy now

Daihatsu Sirion, 2005-2008

Toyota’s inexpensive brand has tuned and styled this tiddler specifically for Europe, ditching the usual chrome finish. It’s an alternative Ford Fiesta for a lot less money and with a ton of standard kit.

The Sirion prioritizes people space over luggage, but you can shop extra in the rear seats, as it’s rarely used with four. Even the base S trim has air conditioning, power windows, central locking and a CD player. SE adds alloy wheels and rear parking sensors for the hard-to-drive.

It has tiny 1.0 and 1.3 engines that will deliver 48 to 57 mpg, keeping costs in check. And best of all is its delivery of impressive levels of reliability. That means many are overlooked, however. Brakes, tires, and high-wear items are dealt with first, then more serious problems if they have not been serviced.

One we found

2005 Daihatsu Sirion 1.0 SE 20,000 miles, £2,595: Selling points are £30 for a year’s tax, 57mpg and a Toyota Yaris engine. Only one ex-owner, 20,000 miles, eight services, recent service and clean inspection. Ice cold air conditioning, alarm, immobilizer and alloys on good tires. Unmarked interior, bright bodywork and three months free…

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This notice was published: 2022-06-13 23:01:23

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