Car-based 4WDs vs truck-based 4WDs
I’ve never been a fan of vehicles that look like a 4WD, but do not provide all the capabilities of a 4WD. The Toyota RAV-4 is one such vehicle, with car-like underpinnings and all-wheel-drive. But as I drove it back-to-back with a full-blooded truck-based 4WD, namely the Chevy Tahoe Z71, the strengths of the crossover conundrum became all too obvious.
For example, the Tahoe is much wider than the RAV-4, making the Toyota feel more cramped at the front. But the smaller RAV-4 has obviously better legroom in the back, which is surprising because a truck as big as the Tahoe cannot match it for rear space. It isn’t limited to the Tahoe either. We found the tiny car-like Kia Sportage to have more rear legroom than the truck-based Nissan Pathfinder or even the Range Rover Sport.
At least the new RAV-4 tries to emulate its tougher foes by adding a button on the dash that simulates a locking diff.