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About HectorG

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    RAV4 Hybrid
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  1. Thanks for that Jay. That encourages me to keep going. Regarding annoying ‘sales executives’ the ‘Customer Consultant’ I dealt with today was called Jazzmin - you couldn’t make it up 😂
  2. Or should that read “non-buying experience”. As I’ve reported in an earlier post, I’ve been actively looking to buy a used PHV with a lowish mileage and I’ve been struck by how poor and even unprofessional many of the main Toyota dealers are. As noted previously, the cars are often presented in a dirty condition, covered in bird (and seagull) muck and uncharged or barely charged. Apologies if I’m repeating some of my earlier observations. One car I was interested in was dirty, uncharged had at least one kerbed alloy wheel (peremptory check before I left the site) and when examining the service history, it turned out it had missed its first service by 2 months, possibly seriously compromising the warranty. However, it was being sold as Approved Toyota Plus. It was very difficult to elicit much about the car’s history. The dealer was hiding behind the new GDPR regs and the fact that the previous ownership was now omitted from the V5. However, I could see from some of photos of the car on their website that it had previously had number plates with a different dealer’s logo. When pressed they admitted it had been bought in, but it was like getting blood out of a stone. A car I enquired about today, with a view to driving 160 miles to see it, had been sold to a taxi driver in January and then bought back by the dealer in July. It was showing just over 9,000 miles on the odometer and they assured me it had never been used as a taxi 😂 With nearly half a million clocked cars on the road in 2016 and presumably many more since then, I decided not to risk it, particularly as ‘mileage correction’ is a viable diy project these days. Many other cars seem grossly over-priced to me, or perhaps it is because they are ‘genuine’. Anyway, I think I’ll avoid anywhere within 50 miles of London. Another thing I’ve noticed (it may not be a pattern) that some cars are going up in price, perhaps due to the appearance of the 5-seater meaning the supply of ‘cheap’ 4-seaters will now be eventually reduced and lead to the prices hardening before 5-seater ex-demos appear. We’ll have to see how long my patience holds out!
  3. Before I bought the Rav4 I tested a Lexus NX because of the claims of 'near silence'. Like you, I was disappointed and subsequently went for the Rav as I felt it was no worse. The Lexus was of course a bit posher, but at the cost of worse mpg figures and a higher price.
  4. I recently posted on the Prius club about noisy tyres as a prospective purchaser. My current car is a previous gen (2016) RAV4 Hybrid. If I don’t replace it with a Prius in the next 2 or 3 months I will need new tyres. It came with Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus tyres which I find very noisy on most road surfaces in rural areas. Any advice on alternative quieter tyres without adversely affecting mpg too much?
  5. My only experience of using winter tyres was with a 2013 Subaru Forester XT which had a very harsh rise on 55 profile tyres (18” wheels) so I acquired a set of 17” wheels and fitted 65 profile winter tyres. Surprisingly little difference in either noise or ride quality.
  6. I’ve now had test drives in four different PHV’s on different tyres - Toyo Nanoenergy J61 and Bridgestone Ecopia EP150. Unfortunately, I didn’t look to see what each car was shod with before driving them as I was unaware of the debate as to the best tyre, particularly in relation to road/tyre noise. I know that I noticed some quite pronounced tyre roar at times and was wondering if this an unavoidable feature of 15” tyres, particularly if they are of the ‘energy saver’ variety and whatever the manufacturer. My current RAV4 Hybrid runs on Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus tyres and I often find the road/tyre noise on the dreadful rural roads around Dorset almost intolerable - the whole car seems to resonate - possibly made worse by my tinnitus. I find it difficult to evaluate a car on a limited test run which is all I have been able to manage so far. In fact, only one dealer allowed me to drive the car unaccompanied. I appreciate the lovely ride on 15” tyres with fat sidewalls and the fact that Toyota seems to be unique in not forcing you to have ultra low profile tyres on the higher spec cars. Also, I definitely felt that the PHV is generally quieter inside than my RAV4, apart front the tyre noise, which could of course appear more noticeable because of the the lack of noise from the drive train, wind etc. Any thoughts from anyone who has experience of using both the Prius and RAV4 Hybrid over a reasonable length of time would be appreciated. Also, any advice on the merits of the Toyo 15” vs the Ecopia 15”? I know noise is in many ways very subjective (although you can of course measure dB), but I may be better off looking for a nearly new PHV with one tyre rather than the other if there is a noticeable difference.
  7. My last demo was at Snows Exeter. The car was fully charged and I was able to go out unaccompanied which I have found is often a problem with Toyota dealers. Also, the car was clean and they provided a gen 4 Prius for me to try as well. Maybe it helps that I have my Rav4 hybrid serviced there.
  8. It’s good to see other saddos on the forum! When I decided to look for a nearly new RAV4 Hybrid I wanted a grey leather interior and sunroof. I eventually found one (but in Decuma Grey which I had to compromise on) and had to travel 300 miles to get it. Negotiating a deal on my Subaru over the phone wasn’t easy. My son also has my saddo gene - he flew from here in Dorset to Edinburgh to view a Subaru Legacy Spec B as there were virtually none for sale in the U.K. Fortunately he bought it. I’ve also often been a little perverse over the years and insisted on buying non-mainstream cars like the Citroen DS23 Safari and CX (both supremely comfortable) and Saab 900 Turbo 16v S (appalling ride quality). So I suppose the PHV appeals in the same unconventional way. But it’s got nearly everything right, except perhaps the ridiculous boot. We can live with that as we do most of our long journeys in a camper van. incidentally, on the subject of poor dealers, I drove 60 miles to a main dealer for a test drive in PHV and they hadn’t bothered to charge the battery! I did some research on Car Gurus and discovered they’d had the cat for over six months and probably thought I was another time waster.
  9. Like you I had come to the conclusion that it’s white or grey and I totally agree that grey completely fails to show off the futuristic shape to maximum advantage. I test drove a Pearl White demonstrator last week which was very nice, but it’s only 3 months old and probably won’t be available for sale for 3 to 9 months. We saw a Hypersonic Red Prius 4 yesterday with white cloth interior, dash and what my wife described as a ‘lavatorial’ centre tray. Needless to say, she said “no”. BTW, what did you go for in the end?
  10. Many thanks for that - looks like it’ll be a lot harder than I imagined to get a satisfactory deal. Regarding depreciation, I recently worked out what I’d lost in the last 25 years on some great cars as well as some not so good - pretty horrifying - so there’s not much point in starting to worry too much about it now as it’s an unfortunate fact of life. I’ve seen four PHV’s in the last four weeks, all at main Toyota dealers. The experience was mixed: one car badly prepared and a chipped bonnet and for some reason not Toyota Approved (forgot to ask why as I wasn’t taking it further as overpriced); another car very cheap, but a dubious provenance (bought in through the trade) and missing first service by two months which I considered possibly compromising the remaining warranty after speaking to Toyota HQ; the third car most local to me and a well looked after demonstrator, but very pricey. Also in grey which I would like to avoid - I have a grey RAV4, but maybe I should be more flexible on colour if I’m going to achieve a good outcome; and the fourth car was a nice Pearl White example, but too new to be up for sale yet. I visited my nearest dealer today for a touch-in pencil and saw that the grey PHV mentioned above had just dropped by £600 today, having previously been reduced by about £2400 since it appeared for sale. Also, I noticed a couple on the main Toyota website have dropped by £2,000 this week! We live in hope. Maybe I should just decide which colour I like, what maximum age and biggest mileage I could live with and go for it. BTW, any colour I should avoid? Prices don’t seem to indicate any meaningful difference, although perhaps reds are slightly higher at the moment and white interiors don't seem as desirable? As I said in my previous post the PHV ticks all the boxes for me at the moment, but it is very difficult in the fast moving world of electric and part electric cars to know where we’ll be in even the next 2 to 3 years. This partly explains why I don’t want to ‘overspend’. Incidentally Jay, what was it about the PHV that meant you were prepared to go through all that hassle to get one? I take your point about it being a low volume car - I’ve only ever seen one on the road. I suppose the rarity inclines dealers to keep the prices up and, yes, I’ve also seen dealers put their used PHV prices up after a long spell on the forecourt. Maybe it’s a kind of reverse logic to fool people into thinking there is a huge demand for them, or to give them more wiggle room when negotiating. Apologies for ramble.
  11. Thanks. I was at Snows Exeter on Friday and they didn’t mention having one in the group. What colour is it?
  12. Can you tell me which dealer has the 5-seater. I’m in Dorset and was test driving a 4-seater in Exeter on Friday. I don’t imagine I could bring myself to buy a new plug-in, but I’d like to see one ‘in the flesh’. But after nearly 3 years in a RAV4 Hybrid I’m seriously considering a BEV or PHEV. I was mightily impressed with the Prius PHV in terms of comfort, quietness (except the dreaded tyre noise - Eco tyres?), steering, handling and sheer smoothness when in EV mode. I had ruled out the 4 seater because of wife’s concern at lack of flexibility, especially as our only other vehicle is a 4 seater camper van, and the small load space with the rear seats up. However, I had come to the conclusion that it ticks all of the other boxes as far as I am concerned, to the extent that we could live with 4 seats and a small boot. Unfortunately, I was then informed by my local dealer that the 5-seater was due anytime and I started to worry about the effect on the residuals of the 4-seater. I've been looking at the Toyota UK used stock for a few weeks. It’s surprising how long some of the cars have been stuck on dealer’s forecourts - one or two for 6 to 9 months! Despite this prices are only just starting to soften. I’m wondering if it would be better to hang on for a few months in the hope that a good 4-seater will look like a bargain. I can live with the white plastic trim, the badly positioned seat heaters switches and current infotainment system. Does anyone have any thoughts on the likely longer term impact on 4-seater values once the new 5-seater is generally available?
  13. Hi Goncas Regarding driving tips, I don’t do anything particularly out of the ordinary. I pretty much always drive in Eco Mode and use Adaptive Cruise Control a lot, especially in restricted speed zones. Also, I avoid unnecessary rapid acceleration, but that is a normal tip for economic driving in any car. One tip I’ve seen that relates to hybrids, despite what I said about rapid acceleration, is to get to your target speed quickly and then ease off the accelerator so the car goes into EV mode as soon as possible and starts regenerating. I used to drive like an old granny when I first got the car about 15 months ago, to try to get the best possible fuel consumption. I’ve found I now seem to get around 44 mpg (6.4 Litres/100km) driving pretty normally without going overboard on the granny driving. So in practice the improvement in fuel consumption by ‘hypermiling’ isn’t that significant. Although I would say my mpg has improved as the engine loosens up and maybe my driving style has actually adjusted naturally over time to suit the car. I also looked at the Lexus NX 300 as an alternative to the RAV - I was attracted by the modern styling and lovely interior. However, I felt the ride quality of the RAV was better - I thought the Lexus was a bit ‘crashy’ On poor surfaces around town. Also, I wasn’t prepared to pay the signicantly higher cost (even over the top of the range Excel RAV which I bought) for just a nice interior. The clincher was the fuel consumption of the NX was 5 mpg (56 litres/100 km) worse than the RAV according to websites such as Spiritmonitor which details drivers actual fuel consumption and not the wildly inaccurate figures of the manufacurers. I can’t explain why the Nexus is less economical than the RAV when it has the same engine, unless it is down to the extra weight. Overall, I felt the RAV was a more ‘honest’ car and of perfectly acceptable quality for me. I mentioned in my previous post the huge numbers of Toyota’s in general, and RAV4’s in particular, I came across in both South Africa and New Zealand. It struck me in those countries how few Lexus you see - in fact almost none. I think that here in the UK motorists are easily swayed by the perceived quality of fancy interiors and unnecessary gimmicks. My advice - stick to Toyota. I think my audio system is standard, but it’s pretty good and at least as good, and probably better, than systems I’ve had in other Japanese cars I’ve owned. Certainly no complaints from me.
  14. In reply to Heidfirst, the low sales volumes of the RAV4 in Europe don't surprise me because of the domination of German and French car makers despite their increasing unreliability. North Americans (i.e Americans and Canadians) seem to value reliability and cost above perceived status and fashion. On trips to South Africa and New Zealand in the last 12 months I was amazed at the almost total dominance of Toyota in those markets. In New Zealand, in a group of 10 cars passing in the opposite direction, it was not unusual to count 6 RAV4’s! Clearly in those countries reliability is essential, hence the choice of Toyota. I’ve been driving Japanese cars for getting on for 20 years - Toyota, Honda,Subaru and Nissan. The only exception was a Land Rover Freelander 2 (pressure from wife) and that was a disaster in terms of reliability, so got rid and went back to Subaru. I now run a RAV4 Hybrid which I would have bought sooner if it had been available. In reply to Goncas, it’s a very good, if unexciting, drive. Very comfortable, quiet, economical, roomy, cheap to tax in the UK (£20 per annum). As with most Japanese cars, the infotainment systems are a few years behind the Europeans. However, the next model,just announced, looks pretty up to date. I would thoroughly recommend the RAV4 Hybrid. It replaced a Subaru Forester XT which was very quick, but the Toyota seems a much more solid and substantial car. Of course in N. America Subarus are very cheap (unlike in the UK due to the ridiculous mark up of the importers) and seen as almost a budget car, which inevitably means corners are cut with the quality of some items, particularly the interiors.
  15. Looking at the installation instructions for the Touch 2 GO, I'm a bit worried about removing the HU and vents to get access without damaging anything so l can check the leads. Anyone done this and can offer advice? Also, how do you update the maps in the standard GO nav in the Touch 2 system when it becomes out of date? Thanks