Toyota Rav4’s have long reigned as one of Africa’s favorite mid-size SUV, starting from the first generations of XA10 series (1995 – 1997) till the latest generations. They have long responded to all kinds of abuse, misuse, disuse and hard use with a nonchalant dull-eyed stare and a deep throaty rumble at idle.
For those that need fancy cars, you will always praise their (fancy ones) superiority but this will be before you hit Ugandan roads with a Toyota Rav4. It will be a point at which you will have to say goodbye to the beautiful and welcome something less stylish but more robust, the Recreational Active Vehicle 4WD.
They are smaller practical subcompact SUVs commonly used on Uganda Road trips with a short wheel base that comes with a long wheel base version. It is preferred by travelers in groups of 2 – 4 for different purposes but mainly Self-drive travel adventures.
You can get yourself one in a number of ways. The easiest is through renting a Toyota Rav4 from a rental company. There are a number of them online. The cost of renting a Rav4 ranges between $40 and $50 accordingly to the company you have trusted, length of the rental and other Car Rental extras if needed.
Why you need to rent a Toyota Rav4
- Toyota Rav4’s are practical, smaller with a slightly lower profile that makes it less of a hassle to park in tight spaces while it is easier for the very young and elderly to board.
- It has a bigger on road presence, better legroom and a more spacious interior for three adult passengers, more load space and higher ground clearance for superior light off road ability.
- Has a relative interior noise suppression
- A RAV4 has a simple to use and easy to access instruments, dials and gauges. The entertainment is plain, but offers basic amenities such as dual zone air conditioning and power windows with central locking.
- Modern Rav4’s such as Models 2006 and above offer a convenient keyless entry/push start button system and a backup camera with a small monitor integrated in the rear view mirror. RAV4’s either Hydraulic or electronic power steering is convenient with better steering response.
- The RAV4 offers basic safety features such as dual front passenger airbags, pre-tensioning seatbelts to hold you tighter in the event of rollover or collision and ABS – Anti Lock Brakes to prevent skidding during emergency braking.
- RAV4 offers the smaller less powerful but more fuel economical 2.0 litre engines the 145 horse power 1AZFE and 147 horse power 1AZFSE. More exciting and powerful but less fuel efficient engines. The smaller inline four cylinder engines are cheaper to run and easier to maintain. It comes with RAV4 4WD as well as AWD – All wheel Drive which deliver power to all wheels to improve safety and poor terrain access.
- Its good ground clearance and relatively bigger profile, superior suspension matrix and 16” tyres offer better driver stability on high speed manoeuvrability and handling on road or light off road.
- The three top-tether hooks, allow more comfort for passengers while offloading or in bumpy muddy roads.
Setbacks of a Toyota Rav4
Less Pleasure for Game Viewing
It doesn’t offer maximum pleasure for game viewing while in the National parks like other SUVs such as Land cruisers that have pop-up roofs. Though some Rav4’s come with sliding glass sun roofs, most of them have fully closed tops leaving game viewing while only through the windows.
Not Flexible with Rooftop Camping
Most Road trip travelers these days prefer rooftop camping that is not common with Rav4’s. Their slightly less broad tops doesn’t give roof for a rooftop tent to fit thus camping with this compact SUV remaining possible with only ground camping that sometimes takes long time to set and pack as well.