Originally Posted by Blogson
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.