New tow vehicle possibility? Toyota RAV 4? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-05-2005, 07:03 PM   #1
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The Jan. 2006 issue of Car & Driver summed up their article on the new Toyota RAV 4 this way. " Toyotas can be so benign, so vanilla, that they'll slip right through your hands without leaving an impression. Not the new RAV 4. This is such a handsome, useful, and startlingly competent driver that it's hard to imagine a do-it-all vehicle that does more with such aplomb. We still don't know exactly how to classify the RAV4, except as fairly marvelous."

http://toyota.com/vehicles/future/rav4/

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With the V-6 and towing package its towing capicity is 3500 lbs.,
269 bhp, 246 lb-ft torque, 0-60 6.3 seconds, 1/4 mile 14.9 seconds,
EPA city- 20 mpg, EPA highway- 27 mpg, 3880 lbs curb weight,
104.7 in wheelbase, roadholding 0.83 g, $25,000
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Old 12-05-2005, 09:57 PM   #2
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Thanks for the link, Tom. I do want to buy one more car before I fully retire, so it is nice to keep up with what is out there.
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:19 AM   #3
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It looks like the RAV-4 has gone from being built of Corolla/Celica parts to being built of Camry/Highlander/Sienna parts. This is a good thing for available power, and explains the increase in tow rating to the same as the Highlander and Sienna; however, it also means this is a bigger vehicle, with more weight and presumably more fuel consumption. It's only slightly lighter than an Sienna, with much less interior space, so it may not be a great compromise. In particular, the wheelbase is much shorter than the Sienna, so unless the shorter rear overhang makes up for the lack of wheelbase, it may not be as stable in towing or able to handle hitch weight as the Sienna.

I doubt I would tow our B1700 (3,000 lb loaded) with it, but the new version could be a tug for smaller eggs with serious grade-climbing ability (269 HP!).
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Old 12-06-2005, 07:29 AM   #4
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I keep hoping that a hybrid that can tow 5500 lbs comes out before my next purchase.
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Old 12-06-2005, 09:31 AM   #5
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I keep hoping that a hybrid that can tow 5500 lbs comes out before my next purchase.
Me, too. I know they are in the works. Prototypes out and tested. All they gotta do is put 'em on the market.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:03 AM   #6
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I keep hoping that a hybrid that can tow 5500 lbs comes out before my next purchase.

Me three! But, I want a pickup...not an SUV
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:50 PM   #7
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Me three! But, I want a pickup...not an SUV
Desireable, but not likely. A pickup is more likely to be used at continuous high power demand (while towing or seriously hauling) than an SUV, which is not what the hybrids are designed for. More importantly, auto manufacturers are doing a lot of hybrid SUVs so that consumers can buy them and believe that they are not doing an environmentally bad thing, to address the current image problems of SUVs. Pickups don't suffer quite the same image problem, for some reason.
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Old 12-07-2005, 08:09 AM   #8
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Good points, Brian.
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:07 AM   #9
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Desireable, but not likely. A pickup is more likely to be used at continuous high power demand (while towing or seriously hauling) than an SUV, which is not what the hybrids are designed for. More importantly, auto manufacturers are doing a lot of hybrid SUVs so that consumers can buy them and believe that they are not doing an environmentally bad thing, to address the current image problems of SUVs. Pickups don't suffer quite the same image problem, for some reason.
Ah, Brian, I wouldn't bet too much on that theory. While not in quite the same hybrid category most of us think, they are here and they do save a little on gas. Especially in stop and go traffic:

GM's hybrid trucks improve fuel economy without sacrificing the performance that customers expect from a full-size pickup. For example, both the Silverado and Sierra can tow up to 7,700 lbs. and are available with a heavy-duty suspension package. Gross vehicle weight rating is 6,200 lbs. for the 2-wheel drive model and 6,400 lbs. for 4-wheel drive.

From this website:
GMC Hybrid trucks
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:12 AM   #10
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We've kinda hijacked Tom's thread. I'm sorry, Tom. Perhaps we should start another one.

... but I did have to add this one thing. This is really interesting. It has an onboard generator.

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For example, in the event of a power outage, the hybrid Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups could power tools or appliances for up to 32 hours nonstop on a single tank of gasoline.
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Old 12-07-2005, 11:38 AM   #11
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I had discounted the GM truck effort as not having any meaningful hybrid component. They do have some clever features, but are not seriously hybrids. They are designed to save some fuel and support the heavy non-propulsion electrical demands of commercial users, but I think they were only done so GM could say they had hybrid trucks. Nevertheless, they may be good tugs.

This GM design captures energy in braking (regenerative braking) and supports auto start/stop engine operation (which has been around for many years), but does not significantly smooth the flow of power as a normal hybrid does. When you accelerate your rig, you're not getting any more power than the engine can deliver by itself; or to look at it another way, you need just as big an engine to achieve acceptable performance with this setup as you would without the hybrid feature. Established hybrids such as the Toyota Prius use the hybrid design to get conventional performance from lower-output engines (and thus better fuel economy), while recent models such as the Honda Accord use it to get higher performance from a normal-output engine (thus without a fuel economy penalty).

There are serious hybrid commerical truck chassis, now being produced by International, but they are new to the market and not really applicable to the consumer pickup application.

Back to the original topic, as I said earlier the RAV-4 appears to have become a member of the Highlander/Sienna family, which also includes the Lexus RX-series SUV. That series includes a hybrid variation, first offered in the Lexus and now in the Highlander, with the Sienna coming. A hybrid RAV-4 appears technically trivial to produce, and likely to appear.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:15 PM   #12
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I dunno - I've yet to be suitably impressed by any of the hybrids. The ONLY reason their milages look so good is because most people have spent the last decade buying cars that get worse milage than a typical muscle car from the early 70's. Just how much car do you really need to move one backside to work and back?

Aside from a mild boost from the hybrid technologies - most of the hybrids get the majority their milage boost the honest way: lightweight cars with small, efficient engines. I'm not shocked.

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