A couple of weeks ago I tweeted this picture with the words “Look what I’ve been sent to review.” Of course it wasn’t strictly true – as I wasn’t getting to keep this one but I did get a really fun test drive experience. It was the chance to see how the car fairs with my slightly larger than average family of 5. I am not a car expert (far from it) but I know what I’m looking for in a family car
The Toyota RAV 4 is being used as a fun project by Father and Son blogging team, Dan and Seb called Route 125. They are travelling around the country in the car and really putting it through it’s paces and having lots of amazing adventures (125 to be exact) along the way. This is in partnership with National Geographic who are celebrating 125 years anniversary.
To start our adventure we were sent a very delicious picnic full of tempting treats. I’m afraid to say the chocolate crispy treats didn’t make it to the car!
We were also sent a wonderful travelling pack of goodies to take on our adventures. There was everything you need to have a comfy journey including a thermos, a monkey cushion and a game to keep the little ones entertained. My favourite thing was the scratch map so you can mark everywhere you visit.
I have never really thought of a Toyota when considering a family car and had very few preconceptions except for the idea that it would be a reliable car. The lovely man at the Toyota garage said that his job is very easy working there as most of his sales come from returning customers. This is a make which people return to.
My main criteria for choosing a family car are: safety, reliability and size – it has to comfortably fit 5 people. Of course the price is a factor too. Starting from £25K these are a little out of our budget at the moment while I am working part time but in a price range I would consider for when we have two wages coming in.
The size of the Toyota RAV 4 is just right for our family. I was really surprised I would think that as I thought we would need a seven seater for a long time to come. There is a lot of room in the front and the back feels even more spacious. There is enough room for an adult in the middle seat which is what we need and enough space in front so their feet aren’t squashed. The interior looks good, and the leather seats were very comfortable. I liked the modern touches of an integrated SAT NAV (although this isn’t standard) and iPod docks. The dash was quite understated and IO have to admit I would prefer something which felt a little more deluxe.
Another essential criteria for us is boot space. Although we don’t use a pram all the time there still needs to be room for one and lots of shopping. The boot was impressively large and we wouldn’t have any problems fitting everything in.
The Toyota RAV 4 was very easy to drive. Usually I stop and start a lot when I’m driving but this time I picked it up very easily. It is a very high car and this meant there was a really good view of the road. It also had very large wing mirrors which made visibility very good. Along with the parking sensors I think this would be a great car to drive with children as they help to make it so safe.
We took a spin down to Stratford to test it out. Although the main thing about the car was the safety it still felt like a fun car to drive, with a nice turn of speed on it. We had a lovely time visiting the Mary Arden’s House in Stratford – a great destination for all the family with plenty to do. Visiting a real working Tudor farm was a strange contrast to driving the brand new RAV4. It was a bit like we had taken a visit in a time machine.
We had a brilliant time testing the RAV 4. I was impressed with the feeling of space and safety in the car and the visibility on the road. It is definitely a car I would consider buying for our family as it would fit in with our lifestyle. It is a car to have adventures in.
Disclaimer: We were given a test drive and entrance to the farm at Stratford as well as a picnic lunch and National Geographic travel pack.