While only having my V6 for... let me see
(counting on fingers, adding with eyes rolled upward) two days now...
here are my observations.
1. the speed. Sure the acceleration is awesome (compared to my former I4), but even while just driving the whole engine feels like its functioning at a different level.
2. Sport suspension. Prefer it over the bouncy Base.
3. Sound proofing. The cabin noise in the 09 is significantly reduced compared to the truck sounding cabin in the I4 Base '06.
4. The display button feature showing gas consumption.
5. Great handling. Better than my 2006 I4 Base.
6. So far... good mileage. Done an hour of highway driving and multiple short hauls about town and the needle has only just past the FULL line.
7. The two color scheme (black plastic and gun metal about the radio / temp control area) around the dash area is much more appealing and classier looking than the odd three color scheme on the grey interior dash. (FYI.. I have no qualms about all the plastic. If I did.. I wouldn't have bought a RAV4)
8. Cabin space and design, and the overall feel it gives me, makes the RAV light, open, and sporty. In contrast, my sister's Santa Fe (cabin) makes me feel like I'm sitting in a tank, and lends the vehicle an unnecessarily heavy and clunky feel to the drive. And the front window doesn't rise as high as the RAV's.
9. Fog lights. Nice. Much more attractive than black plastic vents.
10. Red door handles. I HATED those black plastic handles and their surface that dulled over time and need to be "Armor All plastic polished" every few days just to make them look attractive and fresh. And the red handles blend nicely with the red body.
1. Not a fan of black interior to begin with (hidden by red seat covers anyway), but the cloth choice seems cheap, and with a dull lustre. A slight shimmer to the fabric would have given it a much classier, inviting look.
2. Alloy wheels means I can't use my chrome hub caps. Arghh... I loved my chrome caps on my 06 steel wheeler. But alloy is nice too, I guess.
3. Those black plastic triangle panels beside the side mirrors on the driver and passenger sides. Like the black plastic door handles, those triangular wedges lose their lustre quickly and look like the surface of a school blackboard over time. Really dislike those. A shiny or semi gloss black panel - to match the surface of the side mirrors - would have been preferred.
Overall, my likes
heavily outweigh my dislikes