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#1 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 10:34 AM
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Yet more MPG questions....

Hey all, new here and pretty sure I am purchasing a Rav4 V6 (new or 2009/2010 used.) Test drove a used V6, LOVED it as I am use to my 1.8T Jetta (gobs of driveable power with the 1950 rpm peak torque.) Wifey wants to go when she tells it to go pulling into traffic, onto highway, etc (replacing her totaled Mazda Tribute that wouldn't go.) Moved to another dealer and test drove a 4 cyl Rav4 and CRV. I stepped out of the CRV and right into the 4 banger Rav4, so it was a good comparison (Rav4 I found adequate, the CRV was useless in power as it had to drop 2 gears and rev like mad to maintain 50 mph on the bit of hill I drove. Rav4 just motored right up the same hill.)

Unfortunately someone at work threw a monkey wrench into the works and reminded me about the supplier discount I get with Subaru. Thus, now a Forester is in the mix and being cheaper outright than the Rav4, would be significantly cheaper with my discount. Significant enough to possibly sway me. I definitely like the Rav4 V6.

We live out in the middle of nowhere. We literally drive no city driving at all. City driving consists of driving through a shopping center parking lot after driving 60mph for 30 minutes every day for work or for where ever she would be going. Her Tribute EPA was 21 highway and she consistently averaged 22-23 mpg. I beat the crap out of my Jetta (LOVE the turbo and I USE it! I definitely do not drive for gas mileage,) which specs at 28 highway and I consistently average 28-30 mpg.

Thus, my gas mileage question on the V6 pertains to those who drive mostly long distances (not specific 4 lane highway cruise control type driving as we are up and down hills the whole time commuting on 2 lane roads.) I want to get a sense of what I could expect out of the V6 given that we average in excess of the highway rating in our cars now.

One thing that is weird with my wife's driving is, before she worked first 3 years we owned the Tribute, she ran for grocery shopping and such, typical SAHM stuff once or twice a week and averaged 18-19 mpg on the same roads she drives now (we are 30-35 miles from everywhere.) Since she started working, she has become a far more aggressive driver and increased the average mpg she gets by 3-4.

As for comparing the Rav4 with Subaru, as I said, I definitely would want the V6 and I am concerned with the 4 cylinder only on the Subaru. I also am curious on mileage and it seems Subaru rates the particular 2.5L engine with no regard to the car it is in since it is rated 21-27 no matter if its in a little car or the heaviest Forester.
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 10:51 AM
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To compare against the V-6 RAV4, you would have to compare against the Forester XT (turbo) for comparable performance.

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 11:36 AM
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^ That's what I was going to say, too. When it was time to start looking for a small SUV for my wife it quickly came down to the Forester XT and the Rav4 V6. She was already concerned about MPGs so I was quick to check out the stats on both of them. Here is a quote from an Edmunds test of the 2009 Forester XT:

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We paid the price for this plucky performance at the pump, as our Forester managed a decidedly SUV-like 18.1 mpg over 871 miles of mixed driving. The EPA rates the Forester XT at 19 mpg city/24 highway — by comparison, the aforementioned RAV4 V6 is rated at 19/26, and we managed a cumulative 21 mpg with our long-term RAV4
Also keep in mind the Forester XT requires 91 octane or higher where the Rav's 3.5 V6 only requires 87, so there's an additional cost as far as MPGs go.

My wife just purchased her Sport V6 4x4 two weeks ago and so far she's averaging 19.2 MPG, but that's in stop and go traffic and running around town, no real highway cruising.

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
.... Since she started working, she has become a far more aggressive driver and increased the average mpg she gets by 3-4.

.....
May be that's because when you are aggressive you get out of the lower gears faster, which is not necessarily bad. Plus you might be getting the engine warmer faster.

Did she start working in the summer/warm weather so weather is just helping the numbers

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#5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 12:34 PM
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I was suspecting mrogers meant to say she increased her fuel consumption ...

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 01:33 PM
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To compare against the V-6 RAV4, you would have to compare against the Forester XT (turbo) for comparable performance.
Absolutely, but I'm not comparing the 4cyl vs. the V6 in terms of power. I know I absolutely want the V6. I am curious about what to expect in gas mileage with it. I'm not comparing to the Subaru, I am just thinking about compromising over getting an undesirable 4 cylinder at a significant price difference with a supplier discount. Don't want the turbo as I want to gain over what the Tribute got ($150/week gas is killing me.) That's why I stated cheap enough to sway me, as in cheap enough to sway me from my definite V6 to an undesirable 4 cyl.

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Also keep in mind the Forester XT requires 91 octane or higher where the Rav's 3.5 V6 only requires 87, so there's an additional cost as far as MPGs go.

My wife just purchased her Sport V6 4x4 two weeks ago and so far she's averaging 19.2 MPG, but that's in stop and go traffic and running around town, no real highway cruising.
Yeah, already use to premium (93, can't get 91 around here) with my VW. As I said though, not interested in the turbo and not comparing the performance of the Subaru and Toyota engines. As for the city driving, the biggest complaint of the Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute when we bought it was 19 city rating and everyone getting 16 mpg. I was like because I beat the snot out of a car when I drive it and I was getting 21 when I drove it for a while. That's the other reason I sat scratching my head was Wifey was averaging 18-19 (before she was working,) then my car broke down and I start driving the Tribute to work and I averaged 22.

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May be that's because when you are aggressive you get out of the lower gears faster, which is not necessarily bad. Plus you might be getting the engine warmer faster.

Did she start working in the summer/warm weather so weather is just helping the numbers
I think it is the fact that there is more momentum making it up hills. We have a lot of fairly steep and lengthy hills we travel on. I notice when traffic is on the roads, people can't hold their speed on them. They are put putting around at 50 mph, then when they get to a hill, putting it on the floor to try to hold speed. Then again, I may be running 65 mph normally, but I can't stay out of the throttle in my VW when I hit the hills because I love the pull from the torque just rolling the throttle in sticking with 5th gear and hauling some you-know-what up the hills

Wife working, she's been working for 3 years. Drove the Trib 3 years back and forth doing mom stuff, then these last 3 years commuting to work further than I do. Not a quick look at MPG, this is 6 years of numbers (we had a stupid 6 year loan, had 1 payment left when she rolled it from the ice last week in the freak flash freeze we had here in western PA.)

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I was suspecting mrogers meant to say she increased her fuel consumption ...
Nope, definitely decreased fuel consumption/increased MPG.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by vanib View Post
May be that's because when you are aggressive you get out of the lower gears faster, which is not necessarily bad. Plus you might be getting the engine warmer faster.

Did she start working in the summer/warm weather so weather is just helping the numbers
A little off topic, but I had a 91 camry with a 2.0 I4, it semed to get better hwy mpg when driven 74-75 vs 70-72. I think it kept its momentum better and didn't have to downshift as much.
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 07:24 PM
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I don't think anyone's addressed your original question, maybe because fuel economy seems to vary drastically between different drivers. Our 2010 Rav seems to be on the top end. Pure freeway driving at speeds around 70 MPH net us between 28-30 MPH. Around 60 MPH, I'd expect 30 MPG or more.

Last year, I think it was, we took a loaded trip over the Oregon Coast range of mountains. We had three people and a couple of hundred pounds of stuff, so maybe 800 pounds total, and averaged 26 MPG or so driving as fast as being ticket-free would let us feel comfortable. This did include "keeping momentum" up when climbing the coast range and going around the corners!

Others have experienced really poor mileage and I have no explanations for that. The modifications we've made to our 2010 Rav V6 have been to use Mobil 1 5w30, remove the crossbars, up the tire pressures to 36.5 PSI front and 35 PSI rear, and to get a zero-toe alignment. I recently purchased an older Miata that has much smaller tires and a zero toe alignment netted me 2 MPG on the freeway, so there's a significant benefit here that I don't think every owner has looked into.

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 07:37 PM
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We went from a Forester, albeit a 2000, to the RAV4. The Forester was okay until I test drove a RAV4 V6. I did it for my brother-in-law who lives in AK, 250 miles from the dealers in Anchorage. After that the Forester had to go because it didn't go. I don't keep track of mileage religiously like I did years ago but I recall they were about the same, maybe a mile or two more with the RAV4.

I tell people to buy what they really want not necessarily what they can get the best deal on. In the long term you'll forget the savings and remember every day what you could have had. That's especially true in this case as I detect a fondness for "the pedal on the right." What you'll miss like I do is the manual transmission I assume your "sticking with 5th gear" comment indicated.

On my way back east from Sturgis last August with my camper & dyno trailer I a detoured north into Allegheny National forest to do some DRZing. If that's anything like your area, you sure do have some hills especially on the perpendicular-to-the-ranges "shortcuts." Ran max boost on the F-250 many times! That brings up probably the only complaint I have with the RAV4 V6. It downshifts waaay too soon w/o using the engine's torque to full advantage. I think that will disappoint you but no one has yet come up with a work-around for it.

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2006 Accord V6 Hybrid - Dr. Dyno's - quick as the RAV but +8 mpg
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It's the pedal (or the handgrip) on the right!!
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 08:10 PM
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I tell people to buy what they really want not necessarily what they can get the best deal on. In the long term you'll forget the savings and remember every day what you could have had. That's especially true in this case as I detect a fondness for "the pedal on the right." What you'll miss like I do is the manual transmission I assume your "sticking with 5th gear" comment indicated.
Ha ha, you've got me there. I'm not 20 years old any more and instead of chasing around the 20 year old girls for certain activities, I'm chasing around preteen girls to yell at them to stop fighting or to eat their vegetables, LOL, but I do stil have a love of the right pedal.

Transmission I won't miss because I won't drive a whole lot. It's for my wife. She doesn't have the love of the pedal I do, but she does get frustrated pulling out into traffic and not being able to go.

Manual transmission, I had to give up my 99 Tacoma prematurely at around 95k miles. I missed the frame rot recall by a year. I gave it up, bought the Trib for Wifey, and acquired her high mileage Altima with an auto. It literally took me 2 years to stop going for the clutch when starting it or when slowing down to stop. I ran the Altima back and forth to work for 3 years and it was horrible. I do despise automatics as I find they do weird things shifting at the wrong time or not shifting when they should all the time.

Quote:
On my way back east from Sturgis last August with my camper & dyno trailer I a detoured north into Allegheny National forest to do some DRZing. If that's anything like your area, you sure do have some hills especially on the perpendicular-to-the-ranges "shortcuts." Ran max boost on the F-250 many times! That brings up probably the only complaint I have with the RAV4 V6. It downshifts waaay too soon w/o using the engine's torque to full advantage. I think that will disappoint you but no one has yet come up with a work-around for it.
Road trips are a big reason for wanting something with guts. Drove the Tribute to Disneyworld and the following year to Myrtle Beach. Ran through West Virginia and it was painful, very painful. At 200hp, the motor was actually a pretty good motor, the transmission just made it fall flat on it's face. The whole way up the mountains of West Virginia, 70 mph speed limit and I could barely hold 50 mph. Trans kept hunting between 2nd and 3rd trying to keep speed. Would downshift to 2nd and accelerate and die when it changed to 3rd. Cars are flying by me, it was downright worrisome. The trans in an Escape/Tribute is well know as far more than a weak link. I just know the trip through West Virginia was a horrible experience.

I am reading more and more on the forum here. The Subaru is certainly a pretty nice looking vehicle and probably a bit better road handling ability, but then I was sitting waiting to pull out onto a road and a charcoal 3rd gen. Rav4 drove by. Boy did it look good. Last night, ran Wifey up grocery shopping since she is without a car and can't drive my 5 speed and cruising through the parking lot, I see 2 of the Pyrite Mica colored Rav4s which is the color my wife is in love with. Saturday Wifey has off work and I am pretty sure by the afternoon, there will be a Rav4 sitting in the driveway.
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