Originally Posted by brockeverly
I am not saying buy a Tundra or 4Runner, buy what works for you.
He did. The point is, he can't any more (at least not from Toyota, without spending significantly more money).
Softroading has never been about taking a vehicle where you would otherwise be burying a 4Runner or Tundra. Meander never said it was.
Many think the 7.5" ground clearance was just barely enough to do some softroading, and dropping the ground clearance by about 20% will end that, or at least end that without fear of getting stuck and/or inflicting damage to the vehicle in their favorite spots where the 4.3 was proven able to handle it.
For me, the ground clearance loss is more often about when we get several inches of snow at a time where I am. A 20% loss of ground clearance is significant.
The 3rd gen RAV4 *did* serve markets that the 4th gen cannot. Be it softroading without sweating as much as you would in a 4th gen, or towing, or having the confidence to pass quickly and more safely, or more affordably hauling extra kids around with the 3rd row than having to buy a Highlander, or utilizing the underfloor storage bins without the 3rd row, or having more comfort with a full sized spare tire available, or whatever.
While Toyota will do whatever they think will make them the most money or gives them the most sales bragging rights, we who bought the 3rd gen for those features that Toyota threw away like the trash have been left out in the cold, unless we can pony up lots of extra money for a Highlander, which is what Toyota says we must do if we want to own a vehicle with a Toyota badge that can meet our wants and needs.
One of the questions for each buyer will be: How much is that Toyota badge really worth?
The answer for me is: Very significantly less than it used to be. I don't want a vehicle that is larger and gets worse mileage. The size and feature balance in my 2012 RAV4 is just right for me.
I will giggle my butt off if 2013 model RAV4 sales in the US are not noticeably better than 2012 model RAV4 sales in the US were. Toyota gave up about 15+% of the RAV4 market (dropping the V6 and 3rd row) and expect to not only make up for that but get an extra
15% on top of that to clear 200,000 units in sales for 2013.
It's gutsy, I'll give them that. At the very least it will be interesting to see if their marketing department was right.
I'm kind of hoping they were wrong, myself, but one would assume they do have market research and statistics on their side.