NEO Car Shopper -- the Rav4

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Tue, 04/25/2006 - 23:35.

It has been a long time since I have blogged about car shopping, but I have n't forgotten that I need a new car. The squeeling bearing, rusted out muffler and check engine light on my car remind me of that every time I drive anywhere.

So I finally went to a dealership to see what's out there. I decided to start with the Toyota Rav4 because I know three people that own them and they all have been very happy. The 2006 Rav4 is not the little sporty vehicle I have in mind though when I think of the Rav4. The 2006 model is so much bigger -- 14 sq. feet -- and the space is used so well. I visited Motorcars Toyota on Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights. I chose Motorcars because they are close by, but, as I found out later, it is also a very nice dealership. My saleman, Jason Soca, knew everything there is to know about the Rav4 and let me test drive one in Everglade Metallic (I think its supposed to be a shade of green) with taupe interior. I think I was only looking at the base model, but it seemed pretty luxurious. There is even a special place for your ipod! They should give free ipods when you buy a Rav4, but Jason did n't mention that being part of the deal. When I drove it down a brick alley in Cleveland Heights and did d't avoid the holes in the road the ride was sooo smooth. And safety -- the 2006 Rav4s are amazingly, ridiculously, safe with science fiction-like features that almost sounded made up (but I'm sure they are real).

I don't think anyone could go wrong buying a Rav4, but I would still like to check out the Honda CR-V and Element. I will be going back to Motorcars because they also sell Hondas -- right across the street from the Toyotas (another incentive for me to shop there). For now, I think I will check out used cars on their website. Jason said that Motorcars keeps a pretty up-to-date inventory online.

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Now you didn't mention the smell of the interior...but that smell was there and it was planned for you!     Isn't it amazing how a bunch of expensive movable metal can grab an adult by their guts?  I was never into cars in much of a way, rather I got off on the "heavy iron"  - stuff that weighed 10, 20, 60 tons  - cranes, drill rigs,  movable Bailey bridges.    I think I am getting over it …slowly.    Resist a bit...tease it out longer!

Ah the seduction of big iron

I see cars moving the way of computers - module little swatch technologies put together by Dells as transportation technology moves to a higher level (now that we have another fuel crisis), and as people change their lives away from the sprawl and waste economy we have been developing over the past many decades, back to a conserve and commune society, where we will live well together, and save the planet together, and cars and iron in general will be used very differently. Already in full swing. While Evelyn is looking for the best small plastic transportation options available new today, she's also exploring converting some old iron, like a diesel MB, VW or Volvo, to all cooking oil - will probably need a combination of the two vehicles... I too like old iron.

I've never bought a new car in my life, but I expect within a few years I will buy one or be part of a car sharing program offering state of the art transportation options, which will have been assembled in NEO - hopefully right down in Cleveland or East Cleveland - and will probably be made of components from companies that do not exist today - and I'll use lots more public transportation (which will be lots better than what is offered to us today), and I'll ride my bike as much as possible - sounds like a good situation... press on.

The RAV4 and I are just friends

Sorry if I gave the wrong impression about my experience with the 2006 RAV4. While it was positive, I actually left disappointed. I have never felt the lust for cars that I have often heard people describe. My test drive was like a nice date but without any chemistry.

How about 0 to 60 in three seconds?

You should get an old Mercedes and run it on biodiesel.  Apparently all you need to do is put one extra filter in.  No complicated conversion process.

I was suprised that a recent search using "biodiesel" on eBay Motors only listed three cars!  There are plenty of old diesels for sale and the sellers don't even realize their biodiesel potential.

On the other hand, would you like to go zero to sixty in three seconds, while getting  102 miles per gallon?  (Yes, one hundred and two mpg.) Then you need a diesel motorcycle.

So biodiesel can be fast

Personally, I'm done with motorcycles. But they are fun and I never considered how fuel efficient they could be. A motorcycle would save a lot of driveway space here in Shaker Heights too.