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Way back when city-sized SUVs were literally the size of small cities, Toyota launched something that had never been seen before: a small, compact, urban-focussed SUV called the RAV4. That was back in 1994, introducing the world to the idea of a high-riding city cars that would change the new car market forever. These days, of course, the RAV4 is much bigger, having grown into the medium-sized SUV category where it competes against cars like the Mazda CX-5 and Mitsubishi Outlander. Available in front- or all-wheel drive and with a choice of petrol or diesel engines, the RAV4 is a handsome and capable player in the urban SUV segment.
My 2005 Toyota RAV4 won't stay in gear
Flushing a transmission is a practice that mechanics around the world just can't agree on in terms of its benefits. Either way, it would be pretty dangerous to do it with something as flammable as petrol. Also, unlike transmission fluid, petrol is not a lubricant so internal damage would possibly occur if you ran the car with only petrol in the transmission.
Most transmission flushing is done by using fresh automatic transmission fluid (ATF) which displaces most of the old ATF. A fluid change is the other service option, but this will usually only replace the ATF in the transmission's pan. A flush, meanwhile, will replace the stuff in the pan as well as in the torque converter and the transmission lines.
Your problem, however, sounds more like a lack of fluid in the first place. The inability of an automatic transmission to select gears and/or produce any forward movement is often down to depleted ATF rather than dirty or old fluid. Check the fluid level on the transmission's dipstick and, if it's low, add some more. The job then is to work out where the ATF is going missing, because the transmission is a sealed system that shouldn't need topping up. You may have a leak somewhere. And definitely check this first before spending lots of money on repairs when a quick ATF top-up will bring the car back to full health.
Would you buy a 2023 Toyota Yaris Hybrid GXL 2WD or a 2018 Toyota RAV4 GXL?
These are quite different vehicles in terms of their physical size. While older generations of the RAV4 were known as compact SUVs, the current model is resolutely mid-sized. None of which is to say that the Yaris is cramped but it is a size-division smaller, so if you often carry people in the back seat or your family is growing, the RAV4 might be a bit more future-proof.
However, in driveline terms, the Yaris is the one that is truly future-proof thanks to its hybrid driveline. If most of your driving is around the city and suburbs, you might be surprised at just how efficient a modern hybrid can be. On the highway, there's less to be gained form the hybrid layout, so take that into account, too.
The other thing to consider is what happens a few years down the track at trade-in time. The RAV4 is question is already one generation older than the Yaris, and the hybrid Yaris is almost certain to be worth more as a second-hand proposition five years from now. Which means the latter will probably be the cheapest to own over that time in a wholistic sense.
Advice on buying a hybrid car
Not really sure what you consider a normal sedan's length to be, but I'll presume you have a relatively short parking space to deal with. Also, your minimum height requirement suggests you're sick of climbing up out of cars and want something with a higher seat to make entering and leaving the car easier. With that in mind, something like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid springs to mind. It's high enough at 1685mm (with decent seat height) and at 4600mm long, it's quite a bit shorter than the Toyota Camry sedan (4885mm long).
But, really, there are plenty of choices out there with just about every mainstream manufacturer offering an SUV of similar size, and many of them in a hybrid format. Which is great, because the big catch with the RAV4 is that it's so popular, there are long waiting lists. What you really need to do is invest a little shoe leather and visit some dealerships where you can try the candidates on for size. Or check out this website for the latest mid-sized SUV comparison tests.
* Price is based on Glass's Information Services third party pricing data for the lowest priced Toyota RAV4 variant.The Price excludes costs such as stamp duty, other government charges and options.
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