Dinghy Towing
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Small Toyota SUV gets "best buy" ranking

Thinking about buying a small SUV to pull behind your motorhome? Consumer Reports published its test results of 2008 model year small SUVs in its December issue, which you may wish to read before making a purchase. When the testing was done CJ put the Toyota RAV4 Limited (V6) at the top of the “Best Buy” category. Small SUVs, Consumer Reports noted “can handle some light off-road duties and light towing, and they get significantly better fuel mileage than larger SUVs." At the bottom of CJ’s ratings, in the 17th position, was the Dodge Nitro SLT (3.7) which the magazine reported had poor reliability even though it was among the highest priced of the vehicles rated, which ranged from roughly $21,000 to $30,000 as tested. Photo: 2008 RAV4 Limited V6.


  • The 2007 Toyota RAV4 is not on Motorhome magazines list of towable vehciles. Has that changed for 2008?? If not why are you recommending a vehicle that you can't tow 4 wheels down?

    Thank you,


    By Blogger Al & Sharon Florida, at 4:25 AM  

  • This is a ranking of small SUVs, not a ranking of "best dinghy" as the title suggests. Unless stock Toyotas are now towable four-down with automatic transmissions, which they have not been through 2007, this seems a strange choice. For less money, the HHR and other GM small vehicles are towable four down right out of the factory. That seems to be a very important consideration. Why buy a dingy that needs a pump or stick shift to tow when out-of-the-box automatic shift dinghys are offered? It's expensive enough just getting the baseplate, hitch, wiring, etc done without also having to buy and install a pump.

    By Anonymous Coachpotato, at 5:39 AM  

  • It is my understanding that none of the RAV4s with A/T are towable 4wheels down and I suspect that the 2008 is not available with a manual transmission. We tow a 98 5-speed RAV AWD which is an excellent tow and will go anywhere that my wife will allow me to drive it! Too bad that Toyota messed up a good thing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:46 AM  

  • I haven't read the article but the ONLY "small" SUV I found that could be towed off the dealers lot (4 wheels down) was a Suzuki Grand Vitara. The 4WD models have a transfer case that can set to Neutral disengaging the entire drive train. Just add the tow bar and away you go. Toyota who?

    By Anonymous Steve, at 7:51 AM  

  • The Honda CR-V can be towed 4 down with either 4wd or 2wd up to 65mph with no special requirements. Stated in the owners manual. That is why you see so many CR-V toads.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:18 AM  

  • Toyota does not have a four wheels on the ground towable in the 08 Rav 4. mickey / toyota sales. P.S.But we make a great small SUV.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:04 AM  

  • Toyota says the RAV4 2WD with 5-speed manual transmission can be towed with no restrictions. The 4WD does have some limits. The last RAV4 with a manual transmission in the US was 2005 -- but we just bought one in May 08, with 32000 miles. Look on the Toyota web site for certified used cars. We're about to order Blue Ox Aladdin towbar and baseplate, and plan to use the Unified Tow Brake.

    Phil J.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:36 PM  

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