Modern women, modern wheels!

August 9 is Women’s Day. As such, now is the time to celebrate women! It’s also the perfect occasion to pay tribute to the vehicle that is the first choice of hundreds of thousands of women, namely the utterly exceptional RAV4. CHARLEEN CLARKE celebrates a vehicle that has crept into the hearts and driveways of women the world over!

The RAV4 and women go hand-in-hand – much like fish and chips, or mascara and eyeliner! Irrespective of which international market one considers, the RAV4 has a very strong female buyer bias.

There are numerous reasons for this – some logical and some emotional. We’ll kick off with the emotional reasons first (because, after all, they’re just so much fun).


Styling is, of course, a totally subjective matter. But show me a woman who doesn’t like the sassy looks of the RAV4 and I will eat my Jimmy Choos. In its first incarnation, the RAV4 was kind of cute and cuddly. Now it’s all grown up, and it’s more chiselled and angular. It even offers features such as full LED headlights and taillights. This sleeker, more sophisticated styling never fails to raise a perfectly plucked eyebrow.


Modern women love the idea of owning a RAV4 because it’s kind of butch (but definitely not too butch, mind you). It conveys the message that we’re all beautiful and fearless Lara Crofts. We own a car that will help us save the world! Also, while the RAV4 is great for transporting mom, dad and three kids, it definitely doesn’t have a mom’s taxi label. Instead, it’s viewed as funky, hip and cool. Things like this are important when anyone buys a car – not least of which with women.


The RAV4 offers an elevated seating position. That means a great deal to women (especially in South Africa). We feel safer and more at ease when sitting high up. This visibility is just one of the reasons why compact crossovers are taking over the world.


Women want an interior that marries luxury to practicality. The seats, for instance, need to be comfortable and visually appealing – but they should be easy to clean too (forget about light interiors!) Storage is also important to women (I have no clue why but, for some strange reason, we have a LOT of stuff). The RAV4 delivers on all these counts – and more! There’s even a storage area for sunglasses, for instance. One of the RAV4’s finest interior features is the seven-inch Toyota Touch 2 touch screen multimedia system, which is such a pleasure to use. The screen is high-res, so it’s easy to see too (the images are bright and sharp). iPods and MP3 players can be connected via USB or Bluetooth in a matter of seconds. Naturally, Bluetooth also means hands-free telephone calls (and we all know how much women love to natter).


Women take safety very seriously; the RAV4’s many safety credentials will continue to ensure that it’s a favourite of the fairer sex. Take the new Lane Change Assist, for instance, which is now standard on the top-of-the-range VX model. It works with Blind Spot Monitoring, which is housed within the exterior mirrors, to keep drivers safe on the road. There’s also the Cross Traffic Alert function, which warns the driver of approaching vehicles when “alley docking”. It’s an awesome feature in busy shopping malls. Additional safety features include nine airbags, ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Assist Control, Trailer Sway Control and Downhill Assist Control on 4WD models. Also, women are a firm favourite of the auto door lock system, which allows doors to automatically lock once the vehicle reaches a specific speed.


Three engines (two petrol and one diesel) are up for grabs, and they’re all extremely economical. Choose between a 2.0-litre petrol powerplant (available with a six-speed manual or CVT), a 2.2-litre turbodiesel paired to a six-speed manual transmission or the super refined 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.


It’s a Toyota – which means the world to women because this is a trusted and reliable brand. Women abhor the thought of being stranded next to the side of the road. Furthermore, women are quite logical buyers. Toyota is renowned for delivering exceptional aftersales service. The resale value of the RAV4 is terrific too. Also, the RAV4 is a tried-and-tested model (more than 5.5 million RAV4s have been sold around the world). So it’s a zero-risk proposition.


Value for money is also important for women, and the RAV4 is a star performer in this department too. Not only does it come with a very reasonable purchase price, but it also comes with a five-year/90 000 km service plan and a three-year/100 000 km warranty.

So, there you have it. The RAV4 is undeniably the modern woman’s most important accessory. It’s even more significant than lipstick! How dare we say this? Well, lipstick fades; that will never happen to a RAV4 …!

DEKAT motoring editor Charleen Clarke is one of the most well-known automotive writers in the country. A former South African Guild of Motoring Journalists president and Motoring Journalist of the Year winner, Charleen writes about cars and trucks for a host of South African magazines and websites. Furthermore, she is the South African judge for the Women’s World Car of the Year and she is also an associate member of the World Truck of the Year jury. She is the only journalist on the African continent to have achieved this honour.
By |2017-07-31T22:15:32+00:00July 10th, 2017|Motors|