Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: Comfort, visibility, responsiveness
Cons: Many options should come as standard. Packaged options are strange combinations.
Advice: If you're looking for a great little 'do everthing' runabout. This your car!I took my time and read all the reviews, test drove 5 of the top rated SUVs and found the RAV4 was the best quality and comfort for my specific needs. Being a petite female ruled out many of the SUVs because of access, comfort or visibility. The RAV has great styling, looking so much like a Lexus, that people are always asking if it is. The seats fit perfectly..AND move up so my short legs can reach the peddles. The auto is much smoother than the standard that I drove. The engine is peppy, merging into freeways well, and 'kicking in' to pass while cruising at about 80. I don't need a gas guzzling speed demon for my 'runabouts' and trips. Steering was responsive and firm. The ride was car-like with very little sway or tilt in the test. Just all around...fun to drive. Seemed to have more punch and pick up than many of the higher priced or more powerful(Including CRV and some V6s).
Pros: Handling/Ride quality
Cons: Initial cost
Advice: Take the vehicle out for a long period of time to really appreciate it.An exceptional handling vehicle, particularly for its size. The ride is firm but not rough. And, it corners without any tilt. Much better quality than Ford, Chevy or Land Rover ever thought about producing!! Plus, it is not one of those sissy SUVs that BMW and Mercedes are pushing off on consumers - these are nothing more than jacked-up station wagons. Also, looking at the stats, the LandCruiser beats the Lexus LX - and you don't have all the cheesey cladding.
Pros: Separate front/rear temp controls, even with sunroof. Competition does not have separate rear controls available with a sunroof.
Cons: For my wife, the primary driver of this vehicle , it's that darn blindspot caused by second row outboard headrest .
Advice: Look at the Yukon/Tahoe, then compare overall with this vehicle. This should have better resale down the road, and has a greater level of safety features.Fit, finish, and function are excellent! The ride is not as soft as our Suburban, but is not far off the Yukon we test drove. Driver blind spot resulting from the oversize headrest at the 2nd row passenger side is a problem for shorter drivers. Solution may be to remove this headrest until needed to carry a taller passenger in that position. Young children will not require the headrest. Shoulder belts at all seats a big plus, with outboard adjustable shoulder harnesses in the 1st and second rows great for kids and shorter adults to prevent harness from strangling them. Storage bins throughout, cupholders. Cloth is the seat material of our choice for passenger all weather comfort. Outstanding safety features include Vehicle Skid Control, ABS, limited slip control for 4WD. Bigger than the Yukon, more cargo room, better seatbelts, front, side, and sidecurtain airbags, yet
Pros: The tinted windows.
Cons: The third row seating.
Advice: I suggest you get the most expensive the XLE because the minivan would be alot better if you had leather and more options than the CE.I like the Sienna very much, but it also has many bad qualities. The steering is alittle rough and the third row seating is very hard to get into. However, the minivan drives very smoothly and and the quality of the car is just amazing.
Pros: I love the GPS Navigation and heated seats.
Cons: No multi-disc CD changer.
Advice: Buy itMy Wife and I recently bought a 2002 XLE V6 with all the bells and whistles, it's like being a kid in a candy store! The car is exceptionally quiet and very very comfortable! I recently had a 6'+ passenger in the back seat and he commented on the leg room and comfort. Plenty of power too! If I could only pry the steering wheel from her hands long enough so I could drive it!
Pros: The drivers seat its like setting in a airplane cockpit.
Cons: The Brakes
Advice: Learn the feel of the Brakes outside of that it is the best vehicle I ever ownedDrives and rides very smoothly and is great for making tight turns is narrow places. I have the V-6 and it gets great gas mileage for its size (17 mpg) around town. The side airbags are a great item to have on the Highlander makes me feel safer as I drive down the road. I also have the traction control for driving on slick roads. The Highlander is well equipped and a pleasure to drive. The Radio,CD Player & Tape player are perfect sounding and easy to play. It has quick speed when you step on the accelerator for passing. The seats are very comfortable and you can haul a lot of cargo if need be there is plenty of room in it for 5 passengers + cargo. The Highlander is as solid and built as good as any (SUV)$40,000 & up vehicle you can buy, and its reasonably priced in my book.
Pros: Automatic Lights that come on when its dark and go off by themselves.
Cons: The cupholder is a little flimsy.
Advice: If you are looking for an economical family-sized car with nice features this is for you!It is good acceleration. Smooth handling, and can park on a dime.