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Rocks703

Ordered before Seeing

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This weekend myself and my wife went to have a look at the Rav4. I ordered a dynamic back in July before seeing or driving it as I liked the look and it had a mpg I was happy with.

It came down between the Rav4 Dynamic, xc40 D3 R Design or the Tiguan R line. The Rav4 topped the list as when you started to spec the other two to be the same as the Rav4, the price soon became too high for me.

Was just wondering if anyone else had ordered one on specs without test driving? 

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Ordered off plan 6/12/2018 when new model was first available for ordering as my existing 2016 Rav4 PCP was about to end with a good lump of equity. Took delivery of obsidian blue excel pan roof on 1st May without ever having had a test drive. One of the first few to arrive in UK. Not dissapointed - love it and feeling very smug when I see current delivery waits.

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Did extensive research last year, but couldn't see exactly the SUV that I wanted. Then the 2019 RAV-4 Hybrid  came along this year so I did more research and concluded that this was the car for me. Tried some dealerships in April for discounts and delivery etc and was stonewalled for discount and delivery was being quoted back to October. Then out of the blue I found a new discounted AWD for immediate delivery. I couldn't take the chance on not getting it so I placed an order in April for May delivery. (I think this one of the first batch of AWD over here) Then I suddenly realised that I hadn't ever physically driven one, so I went to a dealership for a test drive. I was somewhat relieved to find that I had chosen correctly.

Now, seeing the current delivery dates, I am so pleased I took the plunge. I've had the car the whole summer. The best bit was taking all the camping gear to Silverstone Classic and finding that not only did I not need a top box, but the car was begging for more gear! It swallowed everything inside and then gave me 55 mpg on the journey.

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I waited until I'd driven a 2WD RAV4 before ordering, and had planned to wait for a test drive in an AWD, preferably in Excel trim (which is what I wanted), but when it become obvious that lead times were extending and it might be a while before an AWD demonstrator arrived, I took the plunge (in March), and no regrets (got the RAV 21st June).  Plus, I needed one urgently - more later.

After a bad experience in the 1990s with a Volvo, I was nervous about ever ordering again without driving the exact model.  The car had just been launched and was factory order only if you were fussy about the spec (I was) - I wanted a V40 1.8 auto, and was only able to drive a 2.0 auto and 1.8 manual.  I thought I'd be ok, but the 1.8 auto was a very different beast.  It was actually worse on mpg than the 2 litre (much worse at 23 mpg!), and gutless until the revs reached 4,000 (28 mph in first) then went like a rocket.  It was a liability pulling into traffic, and very noisy above 50 mph as they'd tried to balance the gearing of the 4-speed auto box with the poor low end power and relaxed cruising and got it horribly wrong on both counts.

My last (4th Gen) Prius was ordered in Feb 2016 before a demonstrator was available (that came a month later), but the dealer gave me the option of cancelling if I had major problems with it.  After having all three previous generations, I was fairly confident, and my initial impression when I got it after a 4 month wait was that it was the best car I'd ever driven.  A lot of Gen 4 Prius owners say they feel the same way.

Unfortunately, I later discovered that its amazingly low drag factor was partially down to a very low ride height and started having problems with my hips that became so severe I had no choice but to switch.  The RAV4 was the nearest I could find that drives like a Prius, had most of the features I wanted (but very, very, VERY unhappy at losing the Head Up Display that Prius had since 2009), and the fuel consumption (though good for a large, heavy vehicle with the aerodynamics of a house-brick towing a parachute) is a shock after getting over 80 mpg on a cross country run (best in RAV 58).  In a number of ways, the equipment on the 2019 Excel RAV4 is not as good as on the cheaper 2016 Excel Prius.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very impressed with the RAV, but wish I could have managed with the Prius.  I even started to look at getting it fitted with air suspension with adjustable ride height, but it was too complex, and would have meant sacrificing the spare wheel.

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Done this twice before and had a nightmare.

I liked the Audi A4 2.4 V6 many many years ago went to test drive it. I loved it, put an order in and was told they had changed the model to a totally different spec. Mine was one of the first to come in the country. I hated it, gears 1 & 2 were almost identical leaving a big ratio gap between 3rd gear. Suspension failed after one year and I was told this was not in the warrantee and had to pay £800. They put rubbish tires on that were awful going round corners, I couldn't even ware them out so I change them way before their end time to Pirellis solving the issue. I kept the car for a long time but hated it. Incidentally the EU fined Audi many millions or euro's for forcing drivers to pay for maintenance that should have been a recall. Nice that the EU get all that money and none of it comes back to the car owners.

Did the same for an Astra for my wife. She already had 2 previous Astra models and she loved them, I ordered a high end spec new one for her, again a totally new model again I was one of the first in the country to get one. Vauxhall had decided to add a new small car to their range and so made this Astra bigger, longer than previous models. My wife was furious with me it was too big for her. She hated it. Plus the gear box was a real dog while I loved the gear boxes on the older versions. How can you mess up something that was working really well in the first place.

I now hate Vauxhalls and Audi's

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Ordered mine after a very short test drive which is unusual for me as I spend so much time in it, it has to be right. Our fleet company usually arranges for us to borrow a prospective car for a few days to fully test it. I had already done so with the Honda CR-V hybrid and liked it a lot. Then the RAV started appearing.  Through our fleet the wait for a demo was months! obviously popular. Its a pain being a fleet driver as understandably dealers are not interested in you as there is nothing in it for them, the lease company will buy from its nominated dealer only.

I tried Toyota head office, not much help. Tried a local dealer who initially said they would lend me one for couple of hours then backed out.

In the end I went to another dealer as a Joe Blogs 'buyer' and got a retail test drive. Very short but I did my usual trick of distracting the salesman at the right moment and 'accidentally' taking a wrong turn onto a route I knew would stretch it out a bit.

Ride felt good, quick enough, quiet enough, comfortable enough, flung it round a roundabout quickly and it gripped fine (sorry salesman!).. job done. Everything else I needed to know I could get from documentation and the web. Ordered later that day.

 

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I've not driven driven the new Rav4

Sat in the one in the showroom whilst having mine serviced it felt good so i ordered one (company car).

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I had a 2hr test drive from a very helpful dealership that were fully aware I would be ordering through lease company as opposed to them... Which was good of them as demand was high.. I liked it enough on the basis of that and my daughters demands to get it.... Order in delivery due Monday. 

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One would hope it would occur to at least some dealers that if you're going to them for a test drive you might use them for servicing etc. if you get the car.

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Very true Pete, I will use them for servicing and tweaks and also get mudflaps put on, shortly after collection, with them.... 

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15 hours ago, PeteB said:

One would hope it would occur to at least some dealers that if you're going to them for a test drive you might use them for servicing etc. if you get the car.

Exactly, same here, I do a lot of miles so servicing comes around pretty quick, which one will I use?  the one that messed me about or the one that was very helpful... hmm let me think.... 😁

Reminds me of the scene in Pretty Woman where they refused to serve her in the posh dress shop, Richard Gere takes her to another shop and they spend an obscene amount of money. On her way home she pops back in the first shop and says you wouldn't serve me today.. you work on commission don't you?...big, big, huge mistake"

 

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