Join Date: Nov 2012
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It seems obvious to me that the lack of a V6 / the inability to tow anything heavier than a Radio Flyer in the 2013 RAV4 is purely an attempt to increase Highlander sales. Toyota representatives practically said exactly that at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show.
Toyota knows full well how to get a good V6 package into a vehicle. They have simply chosen not to offer anything like that for the 2013 RAV4, in addition to the mommy-mobile versions being offered.
However, the Highlander is significantly more expensive than the RAV4. At least on the upper end you'll pay about 30% more for a Highlander than a RAV4 V6.
So...we're supposed to pay a lot more to get back that functionality (power, towing, 3rd row, etc.), and on top of that deal with a vehicle that is bigger, heavier, harder to park and gets noticeably worse mileage?
As much as I love Toyota, if I were in the market next year, knowing what I know about the 2013 RAV4, I would absolutely check out other manufacturers first, probably starting with Subaru.
For me, brand loyalty does NOT justify the significant purchase cost increase and cost of ownership increase for desired functionality offered by other manufacturers in a package similar to the RAV4 V6 that can be delivered by them at a significantly lower price than for the Highlander, both up front and ongoing.
One would think a high percentage of other future "RAV4 V6" customers would feel the same way. It will be very interesting to see if the configurations of RAV4 V6 competitors (those compact SUV configurations with more power/towing ability similar to the RAV4 V6) increase in numbers of units sold next year more than any increase in Highlander numbers of units sold.
If that happens, it will also be very interesting to see what, if anything, Toyota chooses to do about that.
Silver 2012 RAV4 Limited V6 4WD with Tow Prep, OEM Hitch, Remote Start and Dashcam.
Long live the RAV4 V6!
Best. Vehicle. Ever.
Last edited by DVS; 12-24-2012 at 12:27 AM.
Reason: Fixed a typo