I have some favorite words that I like to use whenever I have the chance. Bloviate, myopic, psyched (yes, I know that dates me), segue, and Nerf. What does one of my favorite words have to do with the 2007 Toyota RAV4? When the RAV4 first came out I thought it looked like a Nerf car. You know, it had those black plastic runners all around the bottom of the door panels, and the shape was all roundy like a Nerf car would be, if one existed. I'm happy to announce that the 2007 RAV4 is as far from a Nerf car as you're going to get. It has smooth, sophisticated lines, nothing plastic-looking about it.

With all the airbags in the 2007 RAV4, you'll feel all safe and cushioned as if riding in a Nerf car might feel. There are standard driver and passenger front and side airbags, and second-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags too. Cush!

I enjoyed my test drive of the RAV4 almost from the get-go. Aside from the usual hiccup about not being able to fit a third kid in a car seat in the back, this vehicle really wins me over. As you may or may not know, here in Colorado we've been getting a LOT of snow over the last year. Well, it's really only been about a month and a half, but still... The RAV4 is a champion in the icky ice, snow and slush. Small enough to handle like a car, the acceleration, grip, and steering are great. I don't do my usual freak out about the less than perfect road conditions while driving the RAV4.

The 2007 Toyota RAV4 is a nice little SUV. I like that there are heated leather seats, but that it doesn't require some sort of luxury package to get them. The idea of adding features a la carte is such a plus for Toyota, in my opinion. Maybe I want leather, but not a sunroof. Maybe I want heated seats but not fog lights. Maybe I want a sunroof, but not all-weather floor mats. Maybe I want plantation shutters but not bamboo flooring (oops, lost my train of thought). Don't be fooled, the RAV4 isn't exactly the budget vehicle you may think it is, but because you're not obligated to get a package for just a couple of upgrades, it makes me feel a bit better. Toyota could borrow a tag line from another well-known company, "Have it your way."

You know what else I get to have my way with (Nice segue, huh?)? Good gas mileage in a peppy 4-cylinder. My sticker tells me I'll get 23 miles per gallon in the city, 27 on the highway on average. I enjoy driving around doing all my errands and not seeing the gas gauge plummet with each and every press on the accelerator.

The cargo space in the RAV4 (5 seater) is sufficient, handling a moderate trip to Costco with ease. There are bins under the cargo space in the back too. I just love that manufacturers are doing this more often. Stashes for emergency road kits, snacks, diapers and wipes, and the like are fab-o. The glove boxes are worth a special mention here. There is a lower glove box that houses the manual and all the assorted paperwork that comes with it. Higher up on the dash is a secondary glove box with one-touch open and close. It's perfect for pens, paper, snacks, and all the things I wish I could fit in any glove box but typically can't. The center console has a top level for CDs and the like, and a larger lower compartment to fit bulkier items. The lower compartment also has a jack for my MP3 player. Nice! Props to Toyota's website, by the way, for an awesome 360-degree tour of the interior of the RAV4. If you're considering the RAV4 at all, this tour will psyche you up.

I have one thing I'm not psyched about, however. While the LATCH connectors are fairly easy to use, I can't seem to find the top tether anchors (except for the center one, which is the tiniest of seating spaces EVER). The manual tells me the anchors can be found on the backs of the seats, but when I go to locate them, the backs of the seats are covered with upholstery. I try to look under the upholstery, under the cargo mat, on the ceiling, on the sides, everywhere the manual tells me and beyond, but still can't manage to find them. Guess you have to be smarter than the average bear for this one.

No, it's not a hybrid. No, it's not a giant SUV that will accommodate every week-long camping trip you take. No, it's not an ultra-budget vehicle. What the RAV4 is, is flexible. It's great that this car gets me and mine around just marvelously in our day-to-day lives. Add the optional third row and carpooling is a cinch. After all, isn't that what we want? A jack of all trades? Forgive me for bloviating, but I think a little bit of everything wrapped up in a neat package is brilliant. Just ask Tiffany's.

*For more information on the 2007 Toyota RAV4 and its safety features visit Cars.com.


LATCH Connectors: 2

Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5/7


Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair - Ample

Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample


Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great

Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times