- A Buyer's Guide to All Wheel Drive Cars

Under $20,000 | $19 - $21,000 | $20 - $23,000 | $22 - $25,000 | $24 - $27,000 | $26 - $29,000 |
      $28 - $30,000 | $29 - $31,000 | $30 - $33,000 | $31 - $34,000 | $32 - $35,000 | $34 - $38,000 |
           $36 - $40,000 | $39 - $42,000 | $41 - $44,000 | $42 - $45,000 | $44 - $47,000 | $45 - $48,000 |
               $46 - $51,000 | $49 - $53,000 | $51 - $57,000 | $55 - $60,000 | $60 - $69,000 |
                        $66 - $73,000 | $69 - $79,000 | $78 - $92,000 | $88 - $125,000 | More than $120,000 |

  All Wheel Drive Report
2011 Highlander


This year, Toyota has added a section to their website to suggest that you and I can influence the future product development cycles, and "build a better world". I got an idea, Toyota.... How about you stick to building cars that don't have electronic throttles that stick open? That would be a better world for all the current Toyota owners. I would be real happy with a car that simply worked well as a car. One that moved driver and passenger from A to B, with alacrity, firmness, comfort and style. I don't need a tin hat placed on my head to sense my alpha waves and anticipate that I MIGHT want to use a personal area network communication appliance; or, what we used to call a PHONE.

I can't help it... every year, I really honestly TRY to do Toyota without getting mad, but it never seems to work. It's not that they are bad cars or bad people, its just that they use their power for distractions rather than essentials.   

For example, they run this disclaimer; " Toyota strives to build vehicles to match customer interest and thus they typically are built with popular options and option packages. Not all options/packages are available separately and some may not be available in all regions of the country.". Ordinarily, I would think this is just stupid. Of course manufacturers strive to build products that the public WANTS TO BUY. But here is where my cynicism creeps in... They can also use this statement for cover when NO ONE can find any vehicle on the lot anywhere for the publicly released price. I'm not saying thay have done this. I just wouldn't put it past them. Funny, though... After I tried to "build my Venza", I couldn't find a single car available in my quadrant of the country for less than a grand OVER MSRP...

Toyota AWD Choices

2009 Matrix S The 2009 AWD equipped Toyota Matrix S will include standard power door locks and windows, intermittent rear window wiper, AM/FM/CD with MP3 capability and six speakers. It comes with a 4 speed automatic instead of the 5 speed connected to the same 2.4 liter engine of the base Matrix. 2009's Matrix with AWD can only be had as a 4 speed automatic. Toyota also supplies the Matrix to GM where it is sold as the Pontiac Vibe. I think GM got the better deal. The Vibe is much more appealing, visually. Pontiac's Vibe will also get the AWD option, have caused Toyota to drop some std. equipment to bring Matrix in at
2009 RAV4 The Toyota RAV4 is in its second generation, after essentially spawning the mini-ute market several years ago. For 2009, Toyota's RAV4 tag line is, "Too intelligent to be categorized". What they really mean is "We got so many variables in our build sheets, we don't know what to call them all so we settled for Base, Sport and Limited, and then built 4 configurations of each." The BASE AWD RAV4 with a 4 speed automatic gearbox is still called the 4432 model. But this year they do a better job of humanizing the variants. The BASE AWD version starts at $22,900
2009 Sienna LE There are so many Toyota Sienna minivan models to wade through that I will only talk about the entry level AWD version, called the LE AWD 7. The Sienna is a true minivan, but is also available with AWD. If a traditional minivan is more your style than a flashier crossover, this is about the only game in town. Figure on shelling out
$29,235 and up.
2011 Highlander There are 5 Toyota Highlander trim levels; Base, Limited, Hybrid, Hybrid Limited, and the SE replaces earlier SPORT versions. Full-time 4-wheel drive is also an option; it is not standard equipment on any Highlander. Hybrid drive versions are also available with hybrid 4wd, but it is NOT an off-road oriented version. The base AWD equipped Highlander, which rides on the Camry/Avalon chassis, comes equipped with the 270 hp 3.5L V6 motor. Highlander's second-row seating features captain's chairs with armrests that can be converted to a bench seat for 3 passengers. A "Center Stow" seat, when not in use, is hidden in a compartment under the front center console. You can snap in the provided center stow console or leave the area open as a walk-through to the third row. The second row also slides forward and back 4.7 inches and reclines. Now THAT's smart. Prices for the entry level AWD Highlander start at $29,995
2009 Venza The 2011 Toyota Venza ia a "crossover sedan". You can get an AWD Venza with a 4 or a 6. Initial reports find fault with mushy brakes and steering, but that's about all. The 4 cylinder version comes with a 6 speed automatic transmission and starts st $27,925
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