Auto Stories

The Rare RAV4


We keep hearing about the new Toyota RAV4 EV and are somewhat interested, but our dealer says he doesn’t think he’ll be getting any for at least three or four years. Does that sound right to you?


The highly anticipated, all-electric crossover SUV with a promised driving range of 100 miles will be offered in extremely limited release this fall. According to all the literature from Toyota, they will produce only 2,600 units during the first three years the vehicle is on the market, and limiting sales to only San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego.

No word yet on when the $50,000 vehicle, a collaboration between Toyota and Tesla Motors, will up production and spread availability of the stylish vehicle, which was introduced at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles in May.

Reader Weigh-In:

I recently responded to a question about whether cruise control is safe in heavy traffic. I recommend against engaging it in heavy traffic as a general rule, since it can lead to goofy driving behavior when people avoid tapping on the brake and reactivating the cruise speed.

A reader named Thom asked me to point out that cruise control is one thing, but there’s something else called “adaptive cruise control.”

“I own a 2011 Dodge Durango with Adaptive Cruise Control,” he wrote in an email. “And I have used it in all kinds of traffic.”

For those who have not encountered adaptive cruise control, it’s similar to regular cruise control in that it provides foot-off-the-pedal driving, but it also acts like a radar that detects the speed and distance of the vehicle ahead so drivers can respond accordingly. Its sensors take note of traffic patterns and reacts to them.

At this time, adaptive cruise control isn’t exactly commonplace. In addition to the aforementioned vehicle, other carmakers that offer it (on certain models) are Audi, Mercedes and Ford.

What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.