A wise man once wrote that, but I only started to understand it once I grew old.
Old age is not for the faint-hearted – and not only because each day takes one 24 hours closer to the Grim Reaper.
It is one’s unwitting behavior changes that are scary.
In this writer’s youth, I relentlessly chased wild, desirable things of speed – cars, bikes, good booze and bad women.
Now, between physical fragility and dire financial impediment, all of the above, apart from the occasional car, are beyond reach.
And, even when we drive cars, these days I tend to go for durability rather than pace, fuel-efficiency rather than adrenaline.
Which made me the ideal person at Citizen Motoring to test the new Toyota RAV4 2.2 D-4D Automatic.
My two colleagues flit all over the world to drive multi-turbo Porsches, plus the latest Ferraris and McLarens, with the odd Lamborghini and Supermodel thrown in.
The arrival of an automatic transmission in a local diesel-powered MPV does not register on their scale.
It did on mine, considering that my regular transportation is an old, battered, diesel Mazda bakkie with a zillion kilometers on the clock.
I happily swapped it for the sleek RAV4, which was propelled by a 110 kW, 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine that develops 110 kW of power, plus 340Nm of torque.
Using Toyota’s Dynamic Torque Control system, the vehicle employs front-wheel drive in normal, dry road conditions.
Then, utilizing various sensors, the system continuously controls the torque transfer between the front and rear wheels.
Front-to-rear torque distribution can vary from 100/0 to 50/50, depending on the lack of traction encountered.
Driving in Johannesburg traffic, we never encountered a lack of traction, and thus only drove the RAV4 in front-wheel drive mode.
An average fuel consumption figure of 7,4 litres per 100 kilometres did not come as a surprise.
This was mostly achieved because the vehicles’ enormous torque reserves made it possible to lounge around in sixth gear at anything over 20 km/h.
Put foot and it would seamlessly change down through the gearbox.
Ah, yes, the gearbox – the main reason for this road test.
What can one say about a gearbox?
This one was smooth to the point of being unnoticed, always on the correct cog as required, and, well, yes, it changed gears.
Faultlessly, as it were.
We can add that the test vehicle boasted roof rails, 17-inch alloy wheels, Daytime Running Lights, front and rear mud flaps, power retractable side mirrors, a moon roof and High Intensity Discharge headlamps with a cleaning system.
Standard indoor fare included power windows, remote central locking, climate control, touch-screen Multi Information Display, retractable tonneau cover, rear Park Distance Control, a reversing camera display, cruise control and a keyless entry system.
The vehicle is equipped with seven airbags as standard.
The RAV4 2.2D AWD GX costs R365 300.
It benefits from a three year/100 000km warranty and comes with a standard five-year/ 90 000 km service plan.