Thursday, 5 September 2013

Test Driving Toyota RAV4 on #Route125 and a Giveaway - CLOSED
































This year really has proven to be a Year of Travelling for us. After my previous post about where we've been so far, we also went to Butlins in Bognor Regis (more about this later), and the most recent trip to test drive the brand new Toyota RAV4 on their #Route125 that National Geographic explorer Daniel Raven-Ellison is travelling on with his son Seb!


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car




















When hubby came home in the new RAV4, my first expression was "Whoa! That's sexy!" As a "Look over Function" driver, I've given it a very high score already by just looking at the colour (I fell in love with this pearl white!) and style! I risked further delay of our tour to have a good look around. Although a new driver, I have sat in enough cars to know more or less what I think is useful for a family.


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car






































The RAV4 Invincible comes with a Smart Entry & Start System, allowing drivers to enter and start the car without using the key. As long as the key fob is within range, drivers can unlock the car simply by touching the car handle, and start the car by pressing the Engine Start Stop button on the right hand side of the dashboard. I think it's a fascinating feature, and without the key fob being in range, the car will not start up, hence preventing a lot of security issues. However, as we didn't quite understand how to make sure that the car is locked but not unlocked straight after by accidentally touching the door handle again, we decided to play it safe and used the key fob to lock the car instead.


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car
































Toyota, RAV4, Family Car

Toyota, RAV4, Family Car
























First thing I noticed when I opened the door was how nice and comfortable the leather seats (standard with RAV4 Invincible) were! I have been having shoulder stiffness problem when I sat in our car (still love it though!), but I was mostly fine (slight discomfort after not stretching for a while) throughout the whole journey in the RAV4. I was also excited to see that the front passenger seat has a non slip shelf on the dashboard, which is great as I have always been having problem finding space to put my mobilephone in our car! The designers has certainly considered every passenger's need and not just the driver's.

I then noticed that the back seats' seatbelts can be monitored from the front (on top of the Toyota Touch & Go located in the middle of the dashboard), where a red light will come up (while on the move, just like the pinging noise the front seats make) under the relevant seat, stating that its passenger is unsecured. The side back seats are also ISOFIX ready for children car seats that has the same feature to lock securely to them.

Features seems to be fairly basic at the back in the first glance, and they have a smaller holder on the side of the doors to hold bottles as well. However, we discovered 2 more cup holders hidden in the back seat arm rest, and because the surface is flat and sturdy enough, it can even hold the odd bits of snacks while they take a drink from their cups (you take your own risk for mess at the back of course). The leather seats seem to be much easier to clean than fabric seats as well.


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car

Toyota, RAV4, Family Car

Toyota, RAV4, Family Car


















The next essential feature for a family is of course boot space. You can never have enough boot space! Push chair, perhaps a double, space for extra clothing, picnic stuff, weather changing essential stuff, and much more for a family who enjoys their sports or are always on the go! The new RAV4 has 30% extra boot space than its previous model, and it really is massive! I really love the mesh basket on the top, and with the extra hidden space underneath, organising your cargo can be made so much easier! The included emergency tyre sealant replaced the bulky spare tyre to create extra space and hence maximised the boot's usage. That's the way forward!

Did you notice the first 2 pictures? The RAV4 Icon and Invincible features a power back door, and it only takes a light touch on the button inside and out to close and open the car boot! We were told that the sensor located on the door will stop it from moving further when it senses any resistance, making it safe for when a child suddenly appear underneath the closing door. It will also memorise the preferred opening height, which is very thoughtful of the designers as the car is fairly high and for a short person like me, it is a must feature!


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car






































The Toyota Touch & Go (an upgrade to the Toyota Touch that comes standard with RAV4 Icon and Invincible) mentioned earlier is a 6.1" colour touch screen with multimedia capabilities that displays vehicle information, with an added navigation system and many more functions (for full specs please visit Toyota RAV4 website). Underneath the temperature control settings, you can also find a USB port, making the RAV4 compatible with almost any gadgets. Instead of a multi-CD player (it still comes with a CD player of course), all you need is a smartphone or tablet to play all the songs you like!


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car

Toyota, RAV4, Family Car

























Before I write about the drive, I want to write about our #Route125 adventure first.

After checking RAV4 out, I snapped a few more pictures (more throughout the journey of course) before we finally set off to our destination, adventure 120 - Geocaching in the Forest of Bowland. We have been looking forward to do this ever since I read about adventure 120. A real treasure hunt! Now that makes hiking that much more fun, even for an unfit person like me!


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car






































When we reached Dunsop Bridge, it was time for a quick picnic to restore some energy before the walk. We immediately found a beautiful spot across the car park, right next to the river, where lots of ducks were swimming past, waiting for us to feed them our lunch (courtesy of Toyota, thank you!). The kids were really keen in getting wet, though we weren't, so we quickly packed up, fed the ducks some crusts and checked the Geocaching app for the nearest Geocache. I couldn't quite believe my luck as the app told us that we were only 12 metres away from the exact location. I thought that, as we didn't have any network signals, and the app's accuracy at that moment was about 6 metres, it must be mistaken. It was just too good to be true! I decided to use another compass app for help, which took us over 300 metres away from the spot before telling me that I was using the wrong metrics. No one told me that a compass uses different metrics for locations!


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car

Toyota, RAV4, Family Car



















After walking allll the way back, we searched through the area again, this time more thorough, and finally found it!  I  We couldn't conceal our excitement and quickly opened it! We took something from the container as a souvenir, and we added something back as well. The container is now back at it's original spot, waiting for the next person to find it.

As it was really fun finding the Geocache, we decided to find the next one nearby. We drove further away but took a few wrong turns as we didn't have signal at all for our map. After about an hour, we finally reached the location, but then realised that we couldn't reach it without stepping swampy puddles and walking through tall ferns and nettles.


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car

Toyota, RAV4, Family Car



















Although we spent quite a bit of time finding our way, which is more or less what you'd do with treasure hunt anyway, we did enjoy the lovely day out. The scenery was absolutely beautiful around Dunsop Bridge, and even though it was a bit windy, the sky was quite clear and it was still sunny. The road we took was proper country road with plenty of sharp bends, long and steep slopes, and bumpy areas, but RAV4 has protected us enough from being shattered into pieces. We felt the bumps yes but the shock was mostly absorbed so the impact to our body was minimum. Abby was having fun going on the roller coaster ride,  while Clay slept through most part of the journey!


Overall, I think that RAV4 is a great and stylish family car for family that require space and are always on the go. For example, if a family lives outskirt or in the countryside, or if they are interested in outdooractivities, then I think it's worth it for them to consider getting a Toyota RAV4. As hubby drives along the motorway a lot, and we only live across the road from the school, our current car is still sufficient for us to use. Perhaps when our children become a bit older and we more active, we will consider a RAV4 for sure (hubby is talking about fitting a canoe in the RAV4 haha!)! From this fantastic experience, I would certainly consider a Toyota for my first car, as I'm really impressed with the effort the designers have put in to designing a car that's fit for the driver and every singer passenger.

As hubby was the driver on the day, I invited him to include his comments on RAV4 as well:

"The first thing I noticed was the upright driving position which enables you to see a lot more, the new RAV4 also has an improved bonnet design (lower in the middle) compared to it's predecessor which gives the driver even better views of the road. The car itself is surprisingly easy to drive considering its size and height and handles well around the corners thanks to it's smart vehicle stability control system. The 2.2L D-4D 150 diesel engine with 6 speed manual gear box is very responsive and makes it effortless and comfortable on all terrain types which makes you feel that you're literally "Invincible" and can go anywhere you want. I am not a big fan of driving on bendy backroads, but with RAV4 I actually enjoyed it. Overall a highly recommended car and a good mix between sporty and executive feel which has definitely given the Toyota badge a new image." 


I would like to use this opportunity to thank Toyota again for organising such a fantastic day out for us. Not only did we get to test drive the beautiful RAV4 (in the gorgeous Pearl White colour!), we thoroughly enjoyed our new sport Geocaching (there is one hiding 122 metres away from our house!), and had a great time at the sceneric Dunsop Bridge. We are definitely going back for a further hike along Dunsop River!


Toyota, RAV4, Family Car
























Toyota, RAV4, Family Car
























To top it up to make our #Route125 adventure easier, Toyota has also provided us delicious and well balanced lunch and a backpack full of goodies. That fantastic thermal flask has kept our coffee hot from 10am all the way till 5pm, and it was still warm at 7:30pm! Abby had lots of fun using the Telescope com Microscope, while Clay liked to sneak the tennis ball away.

The lovely PR at Toyota has also kindly offered one of my reader to win exactly the same travel pack! If you'd like to win the above pack full of goodies, simply enter the Rafflecopter below.


Disclosure: We were invited to test drive the Toyota RAV4, as well as trying out one of their #Route125 adventure. We were also provided some essentials to help make our review smoother and worry free; all opinions are our own


Prize includes:

ASOS Backpack
Skip Hop Zoo Neck Rest
John Lewis Telescope/ Microscope
National Geographic Pen
National Geographic Thermal Flask
National Geographic card holder
National Geographic - The photographs (hardback)
National Geographic - 100 Places that can Change your Child's Life (Paperback)
Scratch Map
Tennis Set
2 Badges

Deadline: Sunday 29th September, 2013 midnight (where 12:01am is Monday)

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to the UK and N. Ireland only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post's comment section to enter the giveaway. Please make sure that you are not leaving a comment as Anonymous, as I would not be able to check whether you've left a blog comment. If you have to comment as Anonymous, please add a means of ID on your comment I can use to link it to your Rafflecopter entry. Unfortunately if I can't, all your entries will not be counted.
  • Please make sure that your email used to enter the rafflecopter is active, and you do check the spam folder in case the email I sent you ended up there
  • Tweet url will be checked. Please make sure you have the correct url entered into the rafflecopter
  • The winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly
  • Winner will be announced by Wednesday 2nd October, 2013 on here as well as Twitter. 
  • Winner will have to respond to my email by Monday 7th October 2013 noon. If I haven't receive a response by then, I will have no choice but to choose another winner.
  • The prize will be posted by the PR. Unfortunately I cannot be held responsible for missing parcel but if you have any enquiry do let me know and I'll try my best to help
  • For a simple guide to Rafflecopter, please read Di Coke's Rafflecopter Guide
  • Please read Rafflecopter's privacy policy as well

Good Luck! x

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