Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Toyota Harrier.. long term drive

After owning this baby for one year.. some thoughts..

Build quality - Top notch.. although the paintwork is rather thin.. super quiet inside as well. The pano roof is very cool.. Harry loves it! Opticron gauges are cool.

Engine - very very smooth, although it struggles when pulling a car that weighs nearly 1.5 ton. Needs an extra gear - surprisingly it only has 4 forward gears. Hardly use the tiptronic, except for dropping a gear from third to second sometimes for extra pulling power for overtaking ... although cannot compare to a 6 cyl. Comparing this 2.4l engine with a Corolla's engine or another makes 1.6l engine is like night and day!

Drivability/handling - Despite reviews that it handles like a car (who are these idiots who say this!?), the handling cannot be compared to a non-SUV because of the high ride height and CG. You cannot corner aggressively with this car! Everytime you corner, u can feel the tall tire walls flexing... ok, slight exaggeration here.. however, ride comfort is excellent and the tall riding position cannot be beaten.. the view up here is great!

Practicality - this car is super practical - it can carry a ton of stuff, large items as well if you fold the rear seats. Easy to park and drive. Fuel consumption is pretty good for such a heavy car... we manage to get 9km per litre on average..

UPDATE in 2006 - Batteries died within 1.5 yrs... consequence of all those little lights inthe cabin.. after changing to Michelin tires.. the ride and handling of the Harrier has improved dramatically.. cornering, ride comfort and general confidence has improved... beware the stock Goodyears from the factory!

My baby on zero wheels during her tire change at SE...