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Speed display and 2WD v 4WD

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Hi All,

I test drove a CR-V hybrid and the RAV4 hybrid today. Both great cars. I have 2 questions and hope you readers can help me out.

1. Can you confiquire the display to show your speed in numbers. ( The Honda CR-V has this) My wife finds this a handy feature. It leaves you in no doubt as to your speed.

2. There is a substantial price difference between 4WD and 2WD is it worth it. I live in town and my driving is urban style.

Thanks in anticipation 

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Hi,

yes, you can have either a digital speed display or an analogue, but not both, unlike a lot of cars these days. I’ve had both in recent cars and I thought I’d miss it, but I don’t. 
I’ve got a 2WD, live in a village with a 1 mile long single track road to access it. I figured that I didn’t need to spend the extra money for the potential of 2 days a year where we might just get snowed in; we’ll cope by working from home and going sledging.  Apart from that, the car is the same so I can pull over onto a verge to give way to other vehicles and still be happy I’m not taking the sump off. 

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There is also a smaller digital speed limit display which turns red when the speed limit is reached but you have to bear in mind that the speedometer overeads by nearly 10 percent.

Four wheel drive has two real world benefits assuming you don't actually need to drive on wet grass, snow, mud etc. Performance and fuel efficiency are slightly better. The driving experience is improved because cornering behaviour mimics rear wheel drive as the rear electric motor cuts in automatically on corners.

If you have no interest in the pleasure of driving as such and usually cruise about using only modest levels of speed and acceleration then its doubtful that 4 WD would be of significance for you. Possibly the answer is to test both and see if you notice any difference.

Speaking personally I enjoy my 4WD and find it gives extra confidence on wet and muddy country roads or come to that suburban roundabouts which could have an unseen diesel slick from the local buses.

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I seriously looked at the CR-V last year before deciding on the RAV4.

This doesn't seem to matter to everyone, but the one thing that clinched it for me was the CR-V didn't have a spare wheel, nor anywhere to put one except in the main boot.  That's something I'm still not ready to compromise on.

The latest Honda Hybrid system as in the CR-V is a big improvement on their previous IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) version and a big reason I looked at the CR-V in the first place was it had a Head Up Display, which isn't available at all on the RAV4.  Before I had it on in my last 2 Prius (which had HUD from 2009) I though it would be an entertaining and desirable bit of tech, but having used it now regard it as something that's such an aid to safety it should be mandatory.

Even after a year and over 9½k miles I still HATE my RAV4 not having it and HATE Toyota for failing to offer something they market as a safety aid for over 10 years!  If the low seat/floor of my last Prius hadn't caused major problems with my hips, knees and back, I'd never have swapped it.

However, I do value the All Wheel Drive, even though I can't say I notice any difference in everyday driving.  I had the 2WD RAV4 demonstrator for a couple of hours on my initial test drive, then for a couple of days before I confirmed my order.  Both versions feel quick off the mark, and although the AWD is supposed to be 0.3 sec quicker to 62 mph, I can't say it was blatantly obvious to me, but then I rarely push my cars hard, preferring a chauffeur style of driving.  (In fact, I let the Cruise Control handle a large part of my acceleration, which in ECO mode is pretty leisurely).  It is also pleasing to see the Energy Monitor showing regeneration power from both the front Hybrid System and rear Motor/Generator heading to the Battery.

Although I may never really need it again, I do value the extra peace of mind the AWD system offers.  I used winter tyres on my last 2 cars, and All Seasons in the winter on the RAV4.  Once the original summer tyres wear out, I'll stay with All Seasons all the time.

I too would stay at home if conditions were bad (even with my AWD - other people can still hit me!), but after being caught out about 10 years ago and fearing spending the night in a car in the middle of the Bedfordshire countryside, the extra peace of mind has risen in importance.  We left home on a Saturday morning to do a 17 mile, 25 minute run to a cemetary for my partner to tidy her parents' plot.  The sky was overcast, no sign of snow, forecast was for slight possibility of a flake or two, nothing more.  Just after we arrived, we had the quickest dump of large flakes I've ever seen (and I saw a few in the 1960s and 70s).  I called my partner back and told her we should head home instantly.  The return journey took 5 or 6 hours, and as the main 7-mile dual carriageway to the town we lived in at the time was closed by the Police, we headed out on some country lanes.  One particular hill was a massive struggle to climb, and at times we were over 3 miles form the nearest main road or building.  When we finally arrived home, the intense concentration for that length of time left me exhausted.

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Thanks to those that replied to my questions.

I decided on an Excel 2WD with grey leather and a sunroof. Ordered it today. Delivery early July.

Having had the MK 1,2,3,and 4 Rav this will be my first 2wd version. There was over £2000 difference between the 2WD and 4WD. It was a case of more toys (excel trim) or 4WD and Design trim. 

The CR-V had a similar price difference between its drive train options. Both cars were great to drive and I would have been happy with either. In the end the spec options and the price decided it.

My petrol CRV which has been absolutely faultless and will be my trade in. Had it 4 years and rate it highly. I will not miss the 33 mpg around town.

 

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I considered and tested both, it was very much swings and roundabouts, either having small advantages and would have been happy with either. In the end it came down to company car tax and lease rates, it was that close.

I tested the 2WD one and found it a little bit easy to push traction to a scrabble, the engine is quite pokey! and the tyres nothing special. So I wanted the AWD to avoid that. But to be honest it doesn't make much difference. The rear electric motor is very weedy compared to the combined motor and engine power at the front so it is still almost as frisky on the front end as the 2WD (if you stoke it or loose surfaces).

As other say, it may keep you out of trouble on the odd snow day but I suspect the Honda AWD system which is still a mechanical 4wd that can shift a decent amount of power between axles would be better.

Enjoy your Excel, I have racked up 17,000 miles in mine since September, the RAV isn't the best for A-Road blasts and isn't very agile, quite a bit of roll too sometimes feels a bit woolly. Its good in town but my fuel consumption always suffers then. It is however an awesome motorway tool, quiet, steady, smooth riding, easy driving, comfortable and great fuel economy, really, really good.

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1 hour ago, Rav Rob said:

...I suspect the Honda AWD system which is still a mechanical 4wd that can shift a decent amount of power between axles would be better...

I'm sure that's right, but having said that a number of YouTube tests of AWD Hybrid RAV4s have found the system considerably better in snow and off-road than one might expect.

This one I found quite interesting, but there are many others: 

 

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The difference between the 2WD and 4WD RAV4 goes unnoticed during normal driving, like it should. It becomes very noticeable during unfavourable road conditions and/or certain ... "hairy situations"!
Last winter, I would certainly have been T-boned by a Van if my Rav4 would have been a 2WD instead of a 4WD.  On an asphalt/gravel road, in a split second decision, the 4WD RAV jumped out of harms way and we escaped by a centimeter! My wife almost had a heart attack and is still mad at the Van driver.
On the bright side, she appreciates my RAV a lot better now 🙂

I've seen these Youtube films on the early RAV4 promo's but I took them with a grain of salt. However, flooring the RAV4 4WD on a wet road really is amazing; from a stand still, no wheel spin, it just kicks off!

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