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SteveStod

Off Road

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Just wondering how many of you use your RAV off road, and what your experiences have been. I brought my RAV XT4 last Nov and have been very pleased with it. I have towed a 16 x 8 foot trailer and a 2 berth caravan with no problems- the Rav is a very underated tow car. Off road excursions have been limited to pulling the caravan on and off wet, muddy fields (plenty of those this year to make up for the lack of snow). So has anybody got up to any other type of off-roading or are we all hairdressers (Land Rover owners comment - if you hadn't guessed)

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Well I've only had mine for a week so haven't, but I don't intend to either. :P We get snowed in easily in the winter months so needed a 4x4 and it seemed a good to replace the old one; tax due on the 1st July, MOT in August etc.

The dealer suggested they're surprisingly handy off road and I've no reason to disbelieve him, but I wouldn't expect it to be a match for many of the other soft roaders out there. I'd be intrigued to hear others views who have got off the black stuff in their RAVs

And as for the Land Rover brigade, of which I know many, hardly any of them get muddy in their "daily" Disco / 90 / Freelander :D

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I've been using our 2003 4.2 D4D daily since new for a fair quantity of "off tarmac" - which includes mountain dirt roads, steep rural tracks, rocky sections, and - in the winter - a good dollop of mud up to 20cm deep, and rubbly river fords. At least 30% of my mileage is this sort of thing, which explains the trip-computer's average overall readout of 21mph, but still managing 33mpg (real) despite loads of 2nd gear work.

Have 145,000km on the clock, and in that time the only suspension components to be replaced have been all four dampers (fronts were probably OK, but replaced anyway), the rear trailing-arm main rubber bushes and cheek-washers, and, more than once, front anti-roll bar main bushes.

On the ARB bushes, the originals lasted fairly well, but the replacements (genuine Toyota) lasted just 8 months before "hollowing out". They're now replaced with a pair of polyurethane bushes, which are now almost three years old, and show no sign of a problem.

Tyres are still Bridgestone Dueler 687's (as per original fit), mainly due to sheer lack of choice for the alloys! They seem to cope with everything (except sidewall gashes) and got me out of 200m of axle-deep riverbed of mud when I took a wrong turn last winter.

First gear is usefully low (although a bit of a wide gap between it and 2nd). The DMF was ditched ages ago, in favour of a Blueprint SMF, which feels and behaves like a proper clutch.

Ground clearance is a bit disappointing on the 4.2 where the exhaust pipe ducks under the rear axle. My pipe has been bottom-flattened several times, and now boasts a welded-on skid-plate at this low point. (The pipe should never have gone under the axle.)

Brakes are "soft" but always work well enough, and have never over-heated or faded, even on long descents.

The RAV is certainly a competent soft-roader, but not for 1-in-1 forest or mountain work, where it will surely get "stumped". It is, though, amazingly tough, and despite oddles of rough roads, everything important is still in place and working.

Chris

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The dealer suggested they're surprisingly handy off road and I've no reason to disbelieve him, but I wouldn't expect it to be a match for many of the other soft roaders out there. I'd be intrigued to hear others views who have got off the black stuff in their RAVs.

Can I ask why you think it would not keep up with the other soft roaderrs in this class? I can see no reason why it shouldn't be at least as capable as the tiguan, kuga, vitara, Volvo xc60, x3, q5 et al. Maybe not the freelander, but the rest certainly...

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The dealer suggested they're surprisingly handy off road and I've no reason to disbelieve him, but I wouldn't expect it to be a match for many of the other soft roaders out there. I'd be intrigued to hear others views who have got off the black stuff in their RAVs.

Can I ask why you think it would not keep up with the other soft roaderrs in this class? I can see no reason why it shouldn't be at least as capable as the tiguan, kuga, vitara, Volvo xc60, x3, q5 et al. Maybe not the freelander, but the rest certainly...

I was thinking that with a low range box the Grand Vitara would be better and the ground clearance could be an issue on the RAV (as mentioned). Have a collegaue who commutes daily from his farm along dual carriageways into town, and he swears by his X-Trail and it's ability on and off road. That's it really, other tha to add many reviews would place the RAV just below the others in the segment.

I didn't mean to be disparaging, I bought a RAV4 afterall! :D

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Pulled a horse trailer through mud when Discoverys were getting stuck and needed to be pulled out by tractor. May help having the XTR with the traction control toy.

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The big thing to think about here is tyre choice. Back when I had an old Jeep Cherokee (RIP), it came with road tyres and was pretty much useless on wet grass.. but with the addition of Grabber AT2's, it was keeping up with the swb defenders at my local pay n play site.

I've had my Rav for a year now, and it had four new cheapo road tyres on it when I got it. To be honest, they're a bit scary on a wet roundabout and pretty much useless in the mud. I'm looking forward to replacing them with some decent rubber and seeing how far the Toyota can go off the road. My Cherokee was purely a toy, I didn't drive it every day, so it never mattered what parts of it I bent or broke. The Rav however is my daily driver, so I'm a lot more mindful of ground clearance, water etc.

Have a look on youtube to see what other folks get up to in their Ravs.

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Just put RAV4 offroad into Youtube and you will see what they are capable of.

Only problems seem to be low ground clearance and the clutch feels delicate going backwards - more about the driver and tyres than the car in most situations you are normally likely to get into.

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Certainly agree about the choice of tyres (and the route and techniques the driver chooses!). I've seen many a bogged down Disco or Hi-Lux at horse events trying to be "clever" and take a short cut to avoid the exit queue!

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I agree on the tyres and clearance and can't say that I have ever really tested my rav other than last year's snow and the odd beach and farm track on holiday. I just wondered where the idea of rav being behind the majority of the pack cane from as I had always understood it to be top half of the table, over the truly soft roaders like the x3, q5, kuga, tiguan and Honda crv but not quite up with the more rugged offerings of the x-trail, freelander and grand vitara.

Mine was amazing in the snow and with only the standard geolander tyres.

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In the worst of the snow my Discovery lost traction far more often than the Rav especially on cornering. The Discovery has far better ground clearance, low range gearing and a more "mechanical" permanent 4x4 system, great for the rough stuff.

However the Rav excels on the technology and on snow or slippery stuff, it wins hands down!

The Rav is far more luxurious and refined, so if you're not going through deep ruts, the Rav will be smoother, more comfortable and safer every time.

Dave

PS and far less likely to break down!!

PPS re above. The Rav still beats those others-The xtrail is VERY basic like most Nissan's range! Freelanders are as unreliable as the usual LRs. The vitara is nice (drove one round Iceland) but also still quite basic.

NB Saying "only the standard Geolandar" is undermining them a little, they are great Tyres!!

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However the Rav excels on the technology and on snow or slippery stuff, it wins hands down!

Exactly. The RAV has a few tricks up its sleeve that none of the others can play when it comes to getting you out of a muddle on the road where it matters the most.

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I never had an exprience using it, But I think RAV off road is cool I saw it and I really want it.

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This gives some idea of what they can do;

m_ch_0092.pdf

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Our decision in buying the RAV was based on its ability in snow and its comfort on the road. I agree that others such as the GV and Freelander are"better" off road but at a cost; crap cars on road!

I test drove a GV, found it fine but wife hated the utilitarian feel.

Wouldn't touch a Land Rover (Feelander) as the reliable ones are out my budget. The Ford and VWs i didn't even consider, either to purchase or in my initial comment; I don't see them in the same league for some reason, which is possibly unfair, but the reliability issues once again is a concern.

That left the Nissans (Quashqai or X-Trail). Quasqai nice car but hardly ever 4x4 and again the X-Trail just isn't as nice as a car on road.

For us the RAV wins on its softroad ability, comfort on road and a (relatively) efficient cheap to run motor.

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The dealer suggested they're surprisingly handy off road and I've no reason to disbelieve him, but I wouldn't expect it to be a match for many of the other soft roaders out there. I'd be intrigued to hear others views who have got off the black stuff in their RAVs.

Can I ask why you think it would not keep up with the other soft roaderrs in this class? I can see no reason why it shouldn't be at least as capable as the tiguan, kuga, vitara, Volvo xc60, x3, q5 et al. Maybe not the freelander, but the rest certainly...

Like Chris, I also have a Rav that is used a fair amount on gravel, and also used during the worst rain I have ever seen, which caused mud slides a few years ago. It coped well under really adverse conditions. However, the modern "soft roader" is a better car than the current Rav. When What Car did a large group test a few years back the X Trail won the test with the Rav second, beaten only by the X Trails ability off road. Now, the best car is arguably the Skoda Yeti, followed by the Squshedfly, and maybe the Tiguan, it's always going to be a personal choice. My cars do what it says in the bumph, and very well, but if I was buying new!!!!!

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I've used mine on some pretty rough tracks, muddy fields and beaches and never had a moments slip. That's on the standard fit Geolanders.

The newer competition are good, but I still rate my Rav over all comers.

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The dealer suggested they're surprisingly handy off road and I've no reason to disbelieve him, but I wouldn't expect it to be a match for many of the other soft roaders out there. I'd be intrigued to hear others views who have got off the black stuff in their RAVs.

Can I ask why you think it would not keep up with the other soft roaderrs in this class? I can see no reason why it shouldn't be at least as capable as the tiguan, kuga, vitara, Volvo xc60, x3, q5 et al. Maybe not the freelander, but the rest certainly...

Like Chris, I also have a Rav that is used a fair amount on gravel, and also used during the worst rain I have ever seen, which caused mud slides a few years ago. It coped well under really adverse conditions. However, the modern "soft roader" is a better car than the current Rav. When What Car did a large group test a few years back the X Trail won the test with the Rav second, beaten only by the X Trails ability off road. Now, the best car is arguably the Skoda Yeti, followed by the Squshedfly, and maybe the Tiguan, it's always going to be a personal choice. My cars do what it says in the bumph, and very well, but if I was buying new!!!!!

Wasn't that 5th Gear with the previous RAV?

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Really not too sure Don, I know I was impressed with the result of the test, and bought my newer 2007 car on the back of that. Incidentally, I prefer the ride quality of our 2003 car, it is a smoother ride, but that is where the advantage ends. In all other respects, the newer car is much better! We are due to replace our Spanish car soon, and the top contender is definitely the Skoda Yeti, even if I can have the Rav with a spare wheel and sun roof!! :driving:

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I was thinking of this.

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NB Saying "only the standard Geolandar" is undermining them a little, they are great Tyres!!

I merely meant that they had not been swapped for some specific winter tyre.

No offence intended! ; )

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It was 5th gear with the old Rav. Apparently it was on the back of this that Toyota completely reworked the 4x4 system on the Rav..

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I do a fair bit of what I call track work and soft reading for work while towing 1400-1500kg. I'd go as far to say it's a mini LC. I've not managed to get stuck and managed to follow my bosses LC200 to a site which I thought we were both gonna get stuck on near otterburn right on top of a huge ridge but was fine. Coming back down was scary!

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Hi all

Hav'nt been on here for months,glad the discussion about the Rav4's offroad ability still pops up.:)

Mines covered 112'000 miles now,but i hav'nt been off road for ages :(,just don't get the time now.

But i was asked to tow a Merc sprinter ( fully laden with baths,boilers ,radiators)) on fri at work when it refused to start in our good inwards,...i had 30foot of tow rope between us with recovery shackles....pulled it no problem ( gently),for about 100 meters to bump start it...easy.

I was quite surprised :)

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