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#61 (permalink) Old 01-09-2013, 11:25 AM
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Don't know about pickups, though, as that's a different world, apparently
Son-in-law has an '11 F150 with 5.4L V8. It's a work truck used to tow a flatbed with Bobcat with a 15000+lb weight. It has over 65 000 miles and is totally reliable. Considering the abuse it takes (overload towing, extended idling, cold weather starting without block heater in the -30F range) it has had nothing go wrong. He wants to upgrade to a '13 F350 with the Powerstroke diesel, with a MSRP of almost $80k. Good thing he can afford it.
I've owned several Fords including a Ranger and they were all CRAP. My best luck has been with GM. Never had one issue with an '03 Buick Rendezvous, '05 Equinox, and '08 Cobalt. The '11 RAV4 V6 has been reliable, but the smell of leaking antifreeze from the water pump tells me it will need replacing down the road. My lease will be over before that time so I'll let the next owner deal with that.
So far in looking at a potential replacement at lease end the CR-V is my choice. I tested a '13 CR-V and really liked the drive and amenities. My favourite is the 1 pull flat folding rear seats. Even the base LX comes standard with heated seats in Canada. To get that on a RAV I would need to jump to the LTD. Shame. I'll likely drive an Escape soon and then of course both the '13 RAV4 LE and LTD 4wd's when they arrive at the dealers.

Addendum: Toyota Canada has just released the full specs and pricing for the '13 RAV. Our XLE comes standard with heated upgraded cloth seats. No 120V AC accessory outlet for the LTD. Full report after a test drive of both the LE AWD with upgrade package at $1000 (XM radio, 6 speakers, 6.1" display audio, privacy glass, backup camera, tonneau cover, silver painted roof rails) and the XLE AWD. Not interested in the LTD.

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#62 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 01:31 PM
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the reason why toyota dropped the V6 is that it is killing the Lexus brand. Imagine walking into the Lexus dealership and asking what engine is it in the RX350, I want to upgrade my 2007 Rav4 V6. The response from the salesman would be the RX is way more luxury than your rav4, but it has the same engine as your economy Rav4. Or going for a testdrive in RX350 and found out that you can't beat a base Rav4 V6. cheers.
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#63 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 01:47 PM
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Toyota has stated repeatedly that the V6 was only represented by 15% of their customers.

Seems to me like they made the decision based on basic market economics.
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#64 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 07:20 PM
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Toyota has stated repeatedly that the V6 was only represented by 15% of their customers.

Seems to me like they made the decision based on basic market economics.

I'm thinking it reasonably likely that we have the V6 Venza, which debuted in model year 2009, to thank for that more than anything else.

It's extremely similar in terms of number of passengers, cargo volume and MPG.

Thanks, Toyota.

Silver 2012 RAV4 Limited V6 4WD with Tow Prep and OEM Hitch.

Long live the RAV4 V6!
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#65 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 08:58 PM
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I'm thinking it reasonably likely that we have the V6 Venza, which debuted in model year 2009, to thank for that more than anything else.
But I hardly ever see a V6 Venza on the street--they're easy to spot because the V6 has a dual exhaust.

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#66 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:10 PM
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Toyota has stated repeatedly that the V6 was only represented by 15% of their customers.

Seems to me like they made the decision based on basic market economics.
If Toyota's claim that only 15% of the RAVs sold were V6s is true (they also reportedly quoted 30% ) most of them must have been sold here since it appears that about half of the RAVs here are V6s.

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#67 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:48 PM
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But I hardly ever see a V6 Venza on the street--they're easy to spot because the V6 has a dual exhaust.
Up here the ratio is reversed; probably 90% of all Venza's are V6's.
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#68 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 06:48 AM
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If Toyota's claim that only 15% of the RAVs sold were V6s is true (they also reportedly quoted 30% ) most of them must have been sold here since it appears that about half of the RAVs here are V6s.
I'd say about 35-40% of the 3rd Gen RAV4's I've noticed on the road here are V6s. Obviously that's not scientific, just an observation. I'm pretty sure Toyota quoted 30% of RAV4 sales being for V6s were when the RAV4 V6 sales were at their peak, which I'd guess was earlier in the 3rd Gen life cycle. But in recent years, the number has dropped to 15% or so.

Obviously the economy was much better in the early 3rd gen years than in later 3rd gen years, and the V6 is a more expensive option up front and a bit more expensive (~2 MPG) ongoing.

Plus it seems the market for the Compact Sport Utility Vehicles itself has been changing to what I'll call Crossover (car) vehicles, since a different (larger?) crowd have discovered them, and want them for different, simpler purposes, and thus want them cheaper.

So my guess is several of the larger contributing factors in the reduction of RAV4 V6 sales were the economy, market shift and additional other choices (e.g. Venza, bad timing). Plus there's the CAFE factor, too.

I was poking around on Venza forums recently and from what I read I'd say most people who bought the Venza had at least RAV4 and/or Highlander on their Short List (many had CR-V, too). Toyota's own web site places the Venza between the RAV4 and Highlander, so that's to be expected. Between Camry and Sienna would be an equal fit, I think. Again, I've never understood where the Venza fit in, particularly where a revived Camry wagon wouldn't. One reviewer mentioned the Venza was "Toyota's answer to a question nobody asked."

Just like here, it appears most of these enthusiasts went with the V6 for the same reasons most here mention (again, they're the enthusiasts). It was, not surprisingly, eerily familiar reading. I wonder what percentage of Venza sales are V6s? The Venza weighs about 350 lbs more than RAV4, but it's I4 is a 2.7L vs. the RAV's 2.5L (very similar HP) and it also has that 6-speed transmission. There is little doubt in my mind that Venza ate away at RAV4 V6 sales. But by how much, I don't know, as I think Venza sales are still quite low by comparison.

So it appears to me that there were several "external factor" nails in the RAV4 V6 coffin. That's what I think is the saddest part, because it is/was a wonderful vehicle on its own merits.

Silver 2012 RAV4 Limited V6 4WD with Tow Prep and OEM Hitch.

Long live the RAV4 V6!
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#69 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 11:10 AM
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You can find the Toyota sales charts here:

Toyota | December 2012 and Year-End Sales Chart

It looks like in December 2012, the RAV4 sold 14,351 units while the Venza sold only 4,423. One year ago in December of 2011, the score was RAV4-14,107 to Venza-3137.

For the calendar year 2012, 171,877 RAV4's were sold compared to 43,095 Venza's. No numbers for V6 vs. I4 in the charts.

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#70 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 01:53 PM
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Well, whatever the reason Toyota is doing away with the V6, I think it's a shame. I'm inclined to think its got to do with corporate fuel economy, but who knows. Toyota has to do what they think they have to do.

That said, I'll vote with my pocketbook. The ONLY reason we got my wife a RAV4 in 2006 is because it was available with a V6. Before any of you get your drawers in a wad (and you know who you are), I think all RAV's are great cars. Our decision to get a V6 was a PERSONAL preference.

Since it's about time to replace the RAV, we will look elsewhere. An Acura RDX, perhaps?
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