I do like the new design of the RAV4. And honestly, it was a smart business decision by Toyota to remove the V6. I wish it the opposite were the case, but it's not. Complying with increasing CAFE standards and emissions standards is a big issue. Also, V6 sales were probably a small minority of the sales. There are so many V6's on this forum because people on boards tend to be enthusiasts, and enthusiasts tend to prioritize power. Most people, if were only offered the 4-cyl, will just take the 4-cyl, even if they would prefer a V6 if it were available. Also, it's main competitors don't offer V6's (Rouge, CRV, etc) and they're doing just fine.
Yes, it sucks for people who care, but most people don't, and that's the sad reality.
Originally Posted by DVS
No, I don't normally drive around with 3 grown men in the vehicle. Certainly not "all of the time."
But sometimes I do. Heck, sometimes there's even four of us.
Just by having 3 men in the 4-cylinder 4.3 RAV4 during my test drive, some of which was going up a normal freeway entrance ramp from an underpass under dry, daylight (read: ideal) conditions, more than proved to me that the 4-cylinder version didn't have enough power for its weight plus even moderate occupancy to be able to be operated in what I considered to be a manner that was safe enough.
It can be hard enough to merge with traffic even when you do have enough power to achieve the same speed as existing traffic.
But not having enough power to get to traffic speed makes it worse, or at the very least more complicated and thus more dangerous, for everyone in the vicinity.
Agreed. Although if you've got it floored (as I did) and still can't keep up, what could the driver possibly do to operate it more safely? (Heh...toss someone out? ;-) )
That's why I'm thankful my test drive was under more-than-minimal load conditions, and they weren't much more than minimal and were by no means extreme.
It taught me what I needed to know in order avoid picking a vehicle that was clearly underpowered. I belived the 4-cylinder 4.3 RAV4 was borderline dangerously underpowered, at least under some very reasonable conditions. Toyota puts the same basic engine power in other vehicles, but I think at least most (all?) of those vehicles are significantly lighter than the RAV4.
It was (is) unacceptable to me to purchase a vehicle that even, say, 10% of the time would put my safety and the safety of my passengers and even strangers (other drivers) at higher risk due to lack of power to perform adequately on the road.
Maybe the new 6-speed transmission in the 2013 RAV4 4-cylinder will greatly improve that situation. And maybe the 2013 model will be noticeably lighter than the 4.3's, too.
I'd sure love to know what the 0-60 mph time in the 4-cylinder 4.4 is, particularly compared to the 4-cylinder 4.3. It would at least be indicative of improvement, which is what I'm hoping for, and expecting.
They use the 2.5L in the base Camry as well, which weighs about the same as the RAV4, but the Camry has a 6 speed transmission, and a better aerodynamic profile.
I find the achilles heel to the 4-cyl RAV4 4.3 is it's 4-speed transmission, not its engine. At lower speeds around town, it's fine. Nice and torquey for what it is. But when speeds get higher, the lack of suitable gear ratios becomes more of a disadvantage, pushing out of it's increasingly limited power band. Once the speed is over say, 70 MPH, the engine is like, "I think I can I think I can"