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2019 Toyota Rav4: Review and Commentary

The new 2019 Toyota Rav 4 is the best Rav 4 since its introduction in 1995.  It has state-of-the art technology, a better quality interior, an array of safety features and the most comfort and convenience features ever in a Rav 4.

The new Rav 4 is slightly shorter, a bit wider and has a longer wheelbase.  It is available in front-wheel drive or all wheel drive.  Its standard engine is a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder, and, a new hybrid model will be arriving soon.  The new Rav 4 is slightly lower than last year’s model.  An 8-speed automatic is standard on all models.  The hybrid version will have a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

  • New Exterior Styling

Exterior Styling is more aggressive and edgy – more truck like.  There is a strong resemblance to the 4 Runner and Tacoma pickup.  Because of its longer wheelbase, it has a shorter front and rear overhang.  It has more “rugged” styled roof-rails.  The new Rav 4 has higher ground clearance.  Some models have a contrasting roof color.

 

  • All New Interior

*  The Rav 4 interior has higher quality materials, and it too has more “edgy” styling

*  7″ touchscreen is positioned on top of the dashboard

*  8″ touchscreen is included in an upgrade package.  The 8″ screen has an infotainment system with built in navigation

*   A digital display rear view mirror switches from a conventional mirror to a rear view monitor

*   Other upgrades include a panoramic roof, ventilated seats and hands-free power lift gate

  • Technology

*   Rear camera with a wide angle picture in the rear view mirror

*   7.0″ touchscreen is standard and comes with:

  • Apple Car Play
  • Amazon Alexa connectivity
  • Wi-Fi antenna

*   8.0″ touchscreen (optional and/or as part of upper trim levels) has

  • JBL audio system
  • Up to 5 USB ports and charging pad for Qi compatible devices
  • Higher trim levels have a 7.0 inch TFT display in the instrument cluster (driver’s line of sight)
  • Climate and comfort controls are located below infotainment screen
  • A control knob for different off-road drive modes is positioned next to the transmission lever.  This is a standard feature on all Rav 4 trim levels

*  Engine

  • Engine has been revised to produce 15% more horsepower than last year
  • The hybrid model will be more powerful than the standard 4-cylinder models
  • Expect considerably higher MPG than 4-cylinder models

*  Transmission

  • 8 – speed automatic on all 2.5 liter 4-cylinder models
  • Continuous variable transmission (CVT) on hybrid models

Note:  As of this writing, there are no specifics as to the different trim levels, and, there are no specifics as to which features go with each trim level.

*  Safety

All new Rav 4’s come with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 that has a bevy of safety features including:

  • Forward collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian detection
  • Advanced adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keeping assist with lane-trace assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Auto high-beam headlights
  • Traffic sign reader
  • Optional blind-spot monitors, surround-view camera and rear cross-traffic braking

*  All-Wheel Drive System

  • New, all-wheel drive system features a rear drive train disconnect that deactivates the rear wheels when demand is low

– Benefit:  Improved highway MPG

Note:  Available on upper trim levels

  • The Hybrid All Wheel Drive model will feature its own all wheel drive system that sends more power to the wheels than the 4-cylinder (gasoline) models.

What Do We Like?

  • The new technology and safety features
  • The overall smoothness of the engine, transmission and ride quality
  • The terrific hybrid model’s MPG
  • The better quality interior materials and improved interior layout
  • The new multi-terrain control knob select system
  • The more rugged styling
  • The outstanding quality, fit and finish and reliability
  • The new all wheel drive system
  • More luxury features
  • One of the largest interior volumes in its class

Overall, the new 2019 Rav 4 is improved in every aspect.  It has a myriad of safety and comfort features.  It has more power and increased MPG.  It offers a new, top-of-the line hybrid model that incorporates all the new features and the highest MPG.  Above all, it is a Toyota:  highest reliability, high MPG, high resale value and equipped with an assortment of comfort, convenience and safety features.

Bottom line – You cannot go wrong with a Toyota.  Check out the new Toyota Rav 4.  They should be in Toyota showrooms now.

Happy Motoring!

Remember for your auto parts, please shop online from Amazon.com, Tirerack.com and Vividracing.com.

Thank you.

Kreativecars.com

Hybrid Cars: A Brief History – How They Work – Advantages

The Toyota Prius Hybrid, introduced in Japan in 1997, was the first mass produced hybrid car.  Honda’s Insight Hybrid came out in the United States and Japan in 1999.

A hybrid car is an automobile that combines an internal combustion engine and electric propulsion drive train.  Most hybrids employ a conventional 4-cylinder gasoline engine and electric generator.  This  combination is more efficient system in delivering power to the drive wheels.  The electric motor is superior at supplying torque,  that is, getting the car moving quickly.  The gasoline engine is best suited for maintaining the car’s momentum at higher speeds.  The combination of the two propulsion systems yields better fuel economy and cleaner emissions.  This “hybrid” system “switches” the two motors at optimum speeds to maximize fuel efficiency and performance.

Initially, hybrid cars were not that popular because they were priced considerably higher than conventional gasoline powered cars and production capability was limited.  Toyota and Honda had very few factories dedicated to producing hybrids.

I sold the Toyota Prius between 2000 and 2007 and the typical buyer was a high income customer who liked the idea of using less gas and expelling lower emissions.  The Prius was usually three to six thousand dollars more than comparably equipped, 4- cylinder gasoline Toyota Corollas.

But, the hybrid cars gained popularity as gasoline prices went up and down.  The hybrid cars became more comfortable to drive and came better equipped;  The idea of much better fuel mileage “caught on” in the eyes of the consumer.  The hybrid batteries are more compact in size and more powerful and, prices have moderated in that they are more “in line”  with non-hybrid cars.

Today, every manufacturer, including Toyota, Honda, Ford, GM, Fiat/Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and all the luxury brands offer sophisticated hybrid models.

An example of the efficiency of a hybrid automobile vs. a conventional 4-cylinder gasoline equipped car:

  • A 2018 Toyota Corolla LE
    • City:  28 mpg
    • Hwy: 36 mpg
    • Overall 32 mpg
  • A 2018 Toyota Prius (base model)
    • City: 54 mpg
    • Hwy: 50 mpg
    • Overall: 52 mpg
  • Hybrid cars are here to stay because:

(A)  They get far superior gas mileage.

(B) They give off far fewer emissions.

(C) Their batteries are smaller in size and more powerful.

(D) They are very well equipped.

(E) They have state-of-the-art interiors and beautiful exterior styling.

(F) Their pricing is more “in-line” with conventional powered cars.

Do yourself a favor;  Before you buy your next car, check out the new 2018/2019 hybrid models.  I think you will be quite happy in what you’ll find.

Happy Motoring!

 

Remember for your auto parts, please shop online from Amazon.com, Tirerack.com, and Vividracing.com.

Thank you.

Kreativecars.com

 

Save Money When You Buy Your Next Car: Part Two

As a follow up to Part One, I want to make it clear how knowing what you want saves you money when purchasing your next car.

There are basically three reasons why people go to an automobile showroom.  One, they are there solely to look at different models on display.  Two, they are there to gather information, i.e., fact finding, and, three, they have already finished steps one and two and are ready to buy the car, either today or soon.  The trained sales person qualifies potential customers to find out why they are in the showroom, and, since it is this third group of people who are the ones most likely to buy a car, the sales person’s focus is directed exclusively to them.  Customers who are “just looking around” or strictly there to gather information are least likely to get a competitive price from the salesperson because they are not willing, at this time, to commit themselves to purchasing a car today.  The customer who is “looking around”, getting information and asking for prices and not committed to buy, will not get a competitive price: the sales person will quote (and I know this from personal experience as a retired car salesman) an approximate price.  For example, the 2018 Toyota Camry LE is “around” $25,000 plus taxes and fees.  If a customer was not ready to purchase the car that day, some sales people are instructed, by their managers, to not quote prices at all unless the customer disclosed they were ready to buy the car today.  This was the conclusion of Part One:  No customer commitment to purchase equals no competitive price.

Commitment means that the customer tells the salesperson, up front, that they are interested in purchasing a car today; or, that they have already received quotes from other dealers and are ready to buy, now, if your price is competitive.  Note: it is the salesperson’s job to find out what the customer’s time frame is for buying a car, if the customer has not disclosed this.

This brings us to another way in which the customer can save money: get at least three quotes, in writing, from the salesperson at three different dealerships, make sure that each quote has the make, model, trim level desired equipment and/or packages and MSRP of the exact car you are interested in.  By doing this, you are guaranteeing that you get each dealer’s best price on the car that you want.

I also purchased many cars before I became an auto salesperson and for years I didn’t know that this was the best course of action in securing a “good” price, and, as a result, I paid too much for the car.  Being in the car business for many years, I learned that the best way to get the best price from each dealer was to get at least three quotes on the exact car you are interested in.  Many customers purchase from a dealer with the lowest price.  But others, like myself, will compare quotes and purchase the car at the dealer whose price is competitive and whose salesperson I preferred because the salesperson treated me with respect.

In conclusion, saving money when purchasing a car is: (1) a commitment by the customer to purchase the car (2) getting three quotes from three dealers and (3) then deciding which dealership and salesperson you feel the most comfortable with.  If you follow these simple guidelines, you will definitely save money and you will have peace of mind when purchasing your next car.

Remember for your auto parts, please shop online from Amazon.com, Tirerack.com and Vividracing.com.

Thank you.

Kreativecars.com

Save Money When You Buy Your Next Car: Part One

As a former car salesman for over 17 years, I have had a lot of experience with buying and selling cars.  There are many factors involved in determining the actual car you buy, where you buy it, when you purchase it, and at what price you pay for it.

There are two basic vehicle purchase scenarios.  One, is the traditional route of going to an automobile dealership and dealing directly with the salesperson and, two, is the more and more popular method of buying “online” and basically, by-passing the sales person until it is deemed absolutely necessary to visit the showroom.

Let’s follow the traditional route for this article.  Many prospective buyers of this scenario come into the showroom to “look around” , ask a lot of questions, and ask for exact pricing.  At this point in the buying process, this consumer seems to have no idea what they are looking for, whether their selection will be a Toyota, Honda, Chevy, or Ford; whether it might be a used or new car, whether to choose a sedan or SUV, whether they have considered financing type, and when they want to buy the car.

I am mentioning all of this because all salespeople are paid almost entirely by commission, and since they are paid on commission, their income is based primarily, on how many units they sell each month.  Sales managers set monthly quotas for each salesperson.  Therefore, a salesperson is entirely focused on the buyers who have a good idea which car they are interested in and who tell you that they are looking to buy a car fairly soon.

A salesperson’s job is to demonstrate one or two vehicles, and they guide the customer into selecting the “right” car for them, based on their needs and budget.  But, the customer should come into the dealership with a fairly good idea as to which vehicle they would like.  The salesperson encourages the customer to take the car for a test drive and points out the features and benefits of the particular model.  Upon return, it is customary to “negotiate” a “fair price” for both the customer and the dealership.

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