Posts Tagged ‘ Toyota Tundra ’

2013 Toyota Rav4 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

3 years.

Dear Jack,

Last Tuesday when the nice man came to take back the Toyota Tundra (which we used for your monster truck road trip in to celebrate your 3rd birthday), he randomly replaced it with a new 2013 Toyota Rav4. I was totally not expecting that!

But, I’ve learned that sometimes in life, it’s just best not to question things…

With that being said, for the past week now, our family has got to drive around in our 3rd Toyota. (The 1st was the Sienna minivan.)

Therefore, I suppose, by default, I am becoming a car reviewer; analyzing cars from the dad’s perspective, as I see how the vehicle works for the whole family, not just the driver.

I will start out by saying this, the Rav4 is definitely my favorite Toyota I have driven so far in my small list of reviews. The Rav4 is a perfect physical and pscyhological fit for me.

At 5’9″, which happens to be about the height of the average American man, I found the vehicle to have the ideal amount of space for me. If I were an SUV, I think it’s safe to say I could very easily be a Rav4.

Small SUVs have always been my personal preference as far as the actual car I drive: My first car was a 1988 Ford Bronco II and my current is a 2004 Honda Element.Basically, I love a good “commuter SUV.” I don’t need a big engine or a lot of power, but I do like a little more cargo room and height that an SUV offers compared to most cars.

Plus, most importantly, getting good gas mileage is very crucial to me. The 2013 Rav4 gets 24 miles per gallon in the city and 31 on the highway, for an average of 26.

Something else I should point out about the new, 4th generation, 2013 Rav4 is this: It’s feels plenty masculine enough for me. I had always tagged Rav4s as a “girl SUV,” like the Nissan Xterra. (I don’t know why that is, but that’s what I’ve always thought.)

But this newest rendition of the Rav4 looks a lot different than its predecessors, so I want to say “good job” to the people who designed this one. I would very proudly continue driving the Rav4; again, it’s a perfect fit for my lifestyle and personality.

So, what did you, the 3 year-old little boy who is obsessed with cars think about the Rav4?

Well, you said out of the 3 JToyotas (Sienna, Tundra, Rav4), your favorite was actually the Sienna minivan.

You didn’t give me a reason, but I think it’s because the Sienna is “all windows” and you were better able to see all the other cars on the road during the drive to and from school each day.

But of course, you were satisfied simply because of the fact that the Rav4 is an SUV… and that our model has a moon roof. (You love SUVs!)

The Rav4 was our vehicle for Thanksgiving weekend so we definitely had a lot of family fun in it.

Mommy got to drive us to Starbucks on Thanksgiving to buy the newspaper with all the ads in it. She accidently wore your bear hat inside the store and didn’t realize it until she came back to us in the parking lot.

Plus, the Rav4 became the 1st vehicle to transport you “diaper free” to a public place, where you successfully didn’t have an accident. More on that tomorrow; I’m not completely finished talking about the Rav4 yet.

Okay, so, tomorrow the nice man is supposed to pick up the Rav4 and take it back to Atlanta. We’ll either be back in my Honda Element… or we’ll both be surprised and I’ll end up writing another car review about a different Toyota.

Maybe I’ll do this car reviewing thing enough to where people actually start seeing me as a serious family car reviewer?…





Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.


P.S. Here’s a collection of my Toyota reviews so far; just click on title to read the full story:


Dad Gives 3 Year-Old Son A Monster Truck For Birthday… Sort Of

Nashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music

3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Build-A-Bear

3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL

3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving

3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Land Park

3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Mouth Park


We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!

It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now


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3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

3 years.

Dear Jack,

So the whole idea behind “getting you a monster truck” (a Toyota Tundra) for the week of your 3rd birthday was for you to actually get to go for a worthy ride in it. For your monster truck road trip, it was important to me that we didn’t just see cool stuff, like Little River Falls, but that we also got to take full advantage of driving an awesome truck in between in each stop on our tour.

I remember the last time I took this trip, it was challenging and a bit scary to drive up and down some of the roads along the canyon. I mean, incredibly steep and narrow passages.

However, being in our monster truck changed that.

There was one point where I had planned for Mommy to hop out and run down to the hill to take a picture of us driving down the ridiculously steep (and dangerous) road.

It wasn’t until the end of the road trip that I realized we had already crossed that point a ways back; I just didn’t realize it because of how well our truck handled it.

So, sorry Son. I meant for the trip to be a bit more… scary. I’m sure in a regular car it would have been. But I could tell you didn’t mind.

The whole thing was a dream for you.

By the way, it was so cold that morning. It started out at 32 degrees and ended at 36. This was the first time for me to get to experience dual control heat for the seats. As you can see from these pictures, I kept mine on 68, while Mommy’s remained at 75. Not to mention, the seats had their own heat controls as well. Classy!

Our next stop was the old abandoned theme park, called Canyon Land, then Canyon Mouth Park.

I kept peeking back at you during our ride. You didn’t say much, but you didn’t have to. I could tell this trip meant the world to you.

To be continued…





Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.


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Nashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music

Monday, November 25th, 2013

3 years.

Dear Jack,

When the Toyota Tundra was delivered to me last week to test drive for 7 days, as part of your 3rd birthday gift from me, the SiriusXM radio was set to a jazz station.

In theory, jazz is technically my favorite kind of music.

However, considering the vehicle I was driving, it just felt wrong while going the quarter of a mile from my office to your school.

In fact, I almost think that any new Toyota Tundra should automatically come with a cowboy hat…

So, I changed the station to Country music.

After your intial ecstatic reaction to seeing the truck for the first time and I got you buckled in, you asked me, “Daddy, what’s that music playing right now?”

“That’s Country music, son.” I explained.

It was about that time that we discovered the entire back window behind you rolled all the way down with the simple flip of a switch.

That, combined with the moonroof being up, created the ultimate “pick-up truck convertible” situation as we cruised through the constant red light stops of Cool Springs, TN as Willie Nelson played through the stereo.

The next morning, and every day I didn’t automatically set the station to Country, you simply requested/mumbled:

“Country music, Daddy.”

It wasn’t until this past week that I even realized you had no idea what Country music even was.

Growing up in the same small town as the band, Alabama, it was a given that the first (and main) kind of music I heard when I was a boy was Country music.

Granted, our family lives in Nashville, so it’s about time you know what Country music is about.

You were born in this city.

So maybe I need to do a better job of introducing you to more Southern culture.

I’d say getting to ride around in a huge pick-up truck while listening to Country music the week following your 3rd birthday is a good start.





Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.


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It’s Like Talking To An Actual Human Being…

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

Tonight was the first time I’ve ever talked to you over the phone.

Mommy picked you up from school instead of me today, so I called you both to check in.

When Mommy handed the phone to you in the back seat, I had an actual conversation with you:

“Hey Jack, what are you and Mommy doing right now?” I asked.

“We’re at Whole Foods. I’m gonna eat pizza for dinner,” you replied.

Prompted by Mommy, you ended the call by telling me that you missed me and loved me. I can tell your words were sincere, though.

I mean this in the best way possible, but that was pretty weird for me. I was actually carrying on a legitimate conversation with you… like I would an actual human being!

Without your visual right there in front of me, I was forced to absorb only the sound of your voice.

I mean, I’m used to talking to you during the whole ride to school and back every day, but it’s a whole other thing without any prompts or crutches.

Wow. You and I can actually talk… over the phone.

I heard your voice. I’ve never paid attention to your voice before. Normally, I’m so focused on the circumstances surrounding the conversation that I hear the words you say, but not your actual voice.

Even though it may seem like I’m making a bigger deal of this than I need to, this for me is a bookmark as your Daddy.

Just days away away from your 3rd birthday now, this is a significant moment as I recognize you as a boy; as a fellow human being. Not a baby.

I can talk to you. And not about just superficial stuff like the “monster trucks” (Toyota Tundras) you see as we’re driving down the highway.

But instead, you can tell me what’s going on in your life… over the phone.

Cool, man.




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