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Old 01-14-2017, 07:32 PM
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Default Rav4 Advice & Questions

Anyone have a Rav4, specifically the 2005 to 2012 gen? Kirsten is looking at them so wondering if the V6 is worthwhile over the 4 cylinder. Also options to get or things to look out for if anyone is aware of them.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:04 PM
SteveH SteveH is offline
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The v6 delivers rocket-like performance with only a 1 mpg hit in gas mileage. The 3.5l v6 used in some other vehicles had a timing belt until '06 or '07, and a chain after that.

This drive train in my '08 AWD Sienna suffered multiple transmission leaks, some of which are phenomenally expensive to fix (like 20 hours labor). Look for one that is dry on the bottom. My Sienna was US-built and the least-satisfying Toyota I have ever owned due a variety of leaks and issues not seen in other Toyotas in my fleet.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:48 PM
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Like stated the V6 does not pay much of a fuel price for the added power. If it's going to run up I-70 the extra power is desirable. I've never owned one but sold that generation in 08-09. I'd also consider an Subaru Forester in that class of car.
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:48 PM
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The Forester was on the radar, too. Seems they have HG issues. Is that true? Looking at the Rav4 there does seem to be a fair number of them with newer transmissions so I started to assume that they had some issues.
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:27 PM
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Wife has a 2011 base model that she bought new. We are getting ready to sell it for a Sienna. The 4 cylinder does just fine around town and on the highways. If you need to pass someone, it takes a bit of time.

No issues on it besides the aftermarket bluetooth from the dealer.
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:34 PM
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We have a 2010. It's my wife's. it's been mostly a great car. We got the 4 cyl, which has plenty of power but the V6 is a lot better. We didn't get the V6 because we were buying only a year out (in 2011), so the car was only 10 months old, and the V6 was fetching a couple grand premium at the time.

It's had a couple recalls, nothing major. One issue is that it goes through batteries in 3 years. Everything is auto shut off (lights, etc) so they haven't been abused. The first was Toyota and the second was a Kirkland battery (Interstate).

I've tried a bunch of different wipers on it and it doesn't seem to matter in the winter, the wipers ice fairly quickly.
Only other issue was traction control which, thanks to Jackson, is solved (have to hold the button down for something like 10 seconds to actually defeat it).

My wife puts about 25-30k a year on it and we've had no complaints. Pretty solid little car.

I personally won't go Subaru, but I will say this: the Subaru has two advantages. AWD is a better system in snow (handles much better), and the "winter pack" has a big heated area of the windshield so the wipers don't ice up.
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calphi27 View Post
Wife has a 2011 base model that she bought new. We are getting ready to sell it for a Sienna. The 4 cylinder does just fine around town and on the highways. If you need to pass someone, it takes a bit of time.

No issues on it besides the aftermarket bluetooth from the dealer.
That hasn't been our experience with the 4 cyl. It will whip right around people, though the trans doesn't have the fastest response. When it does though, it's like the 22re: you gotta hit the redline on every shift.
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:41 AM
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I have only seen 1 4cyl rav4 of that generation have a problem with burning oil at around 150k. The owner threw a fit and got toyota to rebuild the motor for free. The 3.5 is a good engine, some have timing cover leaks. Toyota didn't put enough liquid gasket in some areas. And yes some toyota trannys leak where the 2 case halfs come together. The trans has to be pulled, split in half, apply fipg, and reinstall. The 3.5 is fast in the sienna and highlander. In the rav it is a rocket.
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:30 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback!

We test drove a 2012 with the V6, otherwise seemed mid grade (steel wheels, etc.). Interesting to see the center diff lock, DAC, VSC. I thought it felt quick but she's hung on up wanting the 4 cylinder for some reason so since the dealer who had the 2012 didn't have any used of that generation he let us drive a brand new one. I thought it was obviously less zippy and know in the mountains she'd prefer the V6. So we'll see.

As near as I can tell the MPG difference is basically negligible so assuming the maintenance and reliability are there I can't see any reason /not/ to get a V6. But it's her car, so it's up to her. At this point the CL price the V6 commands seems to be a $1000 or so. Also notice there's a Toyota tax on these, too, compared to even Subarus and CRVs.
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:22 AM
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Good timing for this thread. We've been checking them out as well for an extra car/teenage special, and considering others like the CR-V, Subaru and the little Mazda's. I did read somewhere that Toyota worked out a few bugs in the early years of that RAV4 generation, and if you can manage to try and find a 2008+.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInDenver View Post
The Forester was on the radar, too. Seems they have HG issues. Is that true?
It's funny how this always seems to be an issue with the various generations of the boxer. Maybe it's just inherent in the design? We had a '99 for about 10 years and 100000+ miles and never had an issue. There are also a plethora of Subaru mechanics around this town that maintenance and fixing are relatively cheap and accessible.
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