Mercedes Vs Toyota

Guard the VAN

Don't Focus on the title of the Article, it genuinely sounds cool while I am writing this. Now let me share my thought process for writing an article. It all starts with the car, I source it and once I have a unit, I check it out. Look around the whole thing, try and find something that will get my attention or something that will stand out. After this, I start it up and go for a drive. Now, this part is pretty important because I don't write about cars I haven't driven. I run around with it for as long as I possibly can then note every single detail on the experience. Once I am done, I take a few pictures then head back to the laptop. I then research on the unit I just tested. I try to understand what does what and compare that to my experience. That's where I research any detail I didn't understand about the car then once that's done, I start writing about it. The aim at the end of the article is to make sure you get entertained and informed.
Today we have a Toyota Vanguard in our blog. Now you may be wondering why I gave that long pep talk before I got to this. I have two reasons, one It felt like the right thing to do and now to the second reason. On researching details on this car, I could not find much any online. I mean this car is just the long-wheelbase version of the RAV 4. (its why you could never tell them apart). They are one and the same thing. So somehow talking about this car should somehow cover the RAV4 too?
Let's break it down
The unit I got to test was the Third Generation which ran from 2005 to 2012, on deeper checking, the data I am getting shows that the Vanguard started production in 2007 and was terminated in 2013 (yeah, apparently they ditched it for the New Harrier). The Car was a 2.4-litre I4 engine that sits 5. Here lies my first issue with the car, given the Vanguard is the long-wheelbase version, why are they selling a 5 seater variant? That said, this car offers a lot of room and was surprisingly more comfortable than I expected. The extra length gives you a lot of room both at the back and the boot space. Okay maybe if that extra room is what you are after, the 5 seater variant makes sense.
On to the business of driving, this engine surprised me. I will have to admit this is not the fastest car you will drive nor is it the most exciting but it is not boring. Not one bit! The engine in this car gets the job done. It is a perfect fit because you can definitely get moving fast but at the same time stay within the confines of safety. A disclaimer, I am not a fan of big cars going fast. I hate it so much when I see someone in a Landcruiser VX trying to move around like they are in an F1 car (even physics will not support that). They are not meant to drive like performance cars, so remember, they may be able to hit 200kph +, but that doesn't make them sporty, STAY SAFE!!!!! In terms of the driving feel and experience, this car makes a lot of sense and that makes me like it, especially for family use.
These cars have both a 2WD variant and an all-wheel-drive version. My second issue, Why would you make a 2WD version of a car this size? huh? And to you the buyer, DO NOT buy a car like this in 2WD, it genuinely makes no sense. Do you know how humiliating it will be if you ever get stuck at the same muddy spot with a Toyota Premio? (You with your big car getting stuck, like every other car). So don't, just don't.
This car spots a semi-automatic transmission which I feel should not be there. For one, most people considering this car would never shift the gears manually and also like I stated earlier, this is not a particularly sporty car. Honestly, It doesn't make much of a difference, I  feel you will be okay just sticking the lever into Drive and going about your business.
The Bells and whistles department felt understaffed. The one thing that caught my eye was the DAC button, in full it means Downhill-Assist Control. What this does is it ensures the car descends slippery slopes in a controlled manner. It ensures the car is kept in the direction you want it and controls how fast it goes downhill. Now, this might be a good feature, Might come in handy, so you make what you will of it.
Ladies and gentlemen let us wrap this up, This car is very practical. I mean compared to the RAV, I feel you get more car with the Vanguard. If you are considering this car, you are definitely on to something worth your hard earned cash. My only advice is that you go for the 4WD variant, you will get even more utility. Just before I wind up, I will have to say that this car's production has been discontinued and I would advise you to consider that before making the purchase.
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Comments

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