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#1 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 12:31 PM
Max
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Best 3Gen Model Year

My daughter wants a used small SUV. Based on Consumer Reports Mag, 3rd Gen RAV4 is one of the most reliable and will last 200,000+ miles. After reading these forums, I’m not so sure. She wants a RAV4 V6 AWD/4WD. Do all 06-08 develop the steering clunk, or just a small percent? What is the oldest model year that has most of the bugs worked out? Thanks, Max
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 12:46 PM
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I would say 2009?

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 12:51 PM
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I did a great deal of research, and went with an 2008 Rav4 sport with the I4 engine with 150,000km on the clock. Picked up the Rav last Thursday.

2008 Rav4 2.4L I4 Silver
2006 Ford Ranger 4.0L V6

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 01:19 PM
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I'm with veliksam in saying 2009 but that's from the gut, I have no proof to back it up. Having said that we have two '08 V-6 front wheel drive RAVs bought new. Her's has been as trouble free as one could ask for and mine was an absolute nightmare for about three years. Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw. Neither one had or has the steering clunk.

Just a word of advice......the V-6 is a VERY potent powerplant in this little box. I don't know your daughter's age but make sure she is up to it. It can get you in serious trouble very quickly.

Old Bird......sometimes wise
2008 Base V-6 front wheel drive
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 02:20 PM
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Thanks for the replies. She is 22; just graduated with a degree in Parks and Recreation. She wants the 4WD/V6 because she may do so light off road driving around camps, and possibly some towing of canoes. From what I have read, the V6 is much more powerful and gets roughly the same gas mileage.
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 03:03 PM
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I would go with the 2009-2011 model years.

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Max View Post
Thanks for the replies. She is 22; just graduated with a degree in Parks and Recreation. She wants the 4WD/V6 because she may do so light off road driving around camps, and possibly some towing of canoes. From what I have read, the V6 is much more powerful and gets roughly the same gas mileage.

For what she wants to do, just get a 2009 (or more recent) I4 RAV4. It has the 2.5L engine but it pulls really well compared to the 2006-2008.
The ride of Sport is stiffer than the Base or Limited. So you might want to take this into consideration as you would not like the Sport feel when off-roading.

check if she wants BlueTooth. Many of the Base Rav4 in the earlier have less technology.

If you plan on doing serious towing get a V6 with Tow Prep Package. You will still need to add your harness, hitch, ...

2008 Base Rav4, 4 Cylinder, 4WD
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Max View Post
My daughter wants a used small SUV. Based on Consumer Reports Mag, 3rd Gen RAV4 is one of the most reliable and will last 200,000+ miles. After reading these forums, I’m not so sure. She wants a RAV4 V6 AWD/4WD. Do all 06-08 develop the steering clunk, or just a small percent? What is the oldest model year that has most of the bugs worked out? Thanks, Max
When I bought my '12, my dealer and I were talking about the 2013 and the subject of their new "dynamic torque control" in the AWD models came up. Part of that system uses accelerometers in the front and rear of the vehicle to compare to the input from the steering wheel. If the vehicle isn't going where the seering wheel tells it (the vehicle is "yawing") then power is applied automatically to the wheels (front or rear) that will help counteract the yawing.

My dealer told me this feature has actually been in the 4WD RAV4s since the 2010 model year, and I did remember reading about that as far back as 2011.

So that would be one additional safety feature available if you went with a 2010 model or later.

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

Long live the RAV4 V6!
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 04:54 PM
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Thanks again for all the good information. I'm not seeing too many used RAV4s with the tow prep package. She is not in a hurry so we will continue looking. But since her towing needs are lite (not "serious"), we will most likely have to add a hitch later. Nice to know the 09+ has a powerful I4. Sounds like we can go with the I4 or V6 which gives us more to choose from. Thanks for the information on 10+ AWD having dynamic torque control.
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 04:57 PM
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It's a difficult call for obvious reasons. Generally speaking, the older models have had more owner use and mileage than the newer ones with the resulting possibility for more problems to turn up, but that also means less service life remaining. The newer ones as a class will have fewer miles and some improvements over older models but generally will not have had as much use as older models during which problems may develop.

Perhaps a solution would be to purchase a vehicle which has some sort of transferable warranty or extended service contract in effect.

Jim
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