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#1 (permalink) Old 02-02-2013, 05:25 PM
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Life With RAV

Thought it might be interesting to do an on-going "long term test" blog. I actually wanted to start this at the 5,000 mile mark, but I'm just about at 15k now.

No mechanical issues, outside of the exhaust mod (see my post on this here) V6 Exhaust Modification

No trips to the dealer except for free oil changes.

A few, faint, very intermittent creaks have come up (mostly from somewhere in the rear), but no major rattles yet...

List of likes and dislikes that I had about the RAV when I decided to purchase it are unchanged:

LIKES:
Good acceleration
Decent handling/ride
Decent mileage
Good cargo capacity

DISLIKES:
Swing out rear door
Small gas tank
Lack of manumatic shifter option
On-off control for heated leather seats
Interior design by Mattel

REVELATIONS:
Rear camera is pretty much useless, especially when it rains
Spare tire does not get in the way of rear vision, as I had worried
Torque steer on hard acceleration

Purchase regrets? No. I was in between this and an Outback 3.6R. Still think it was a good decision, although both cars have different personalities.

More to report at 20,000.

2012 Sport V6 4x4, Magnetic Gray, AP Exhaust

Last edited by Valenti; 02-03-2013 at 05:23 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 04:09 AM
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Small gas tank IS ALSO WHAT I COMPLAIN
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#3 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 12:35 PM
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Just about 39K miles

Life with my 2010 sport V6 has been good. I have had one warranty issue related to the 4WD / VSC system. From the get go, there is an occassional rattle type noise coming from the interior rear when i have the sun-roof open. I have replaced my RFT with regular tires and have no regrets - the ride is improved along with the driving dynamics. I have enjoyed this car so much that it will be the first one I will purchase at the end of the lease (9/2013) and because of this, I purchased an extended warranty. This car just fits me - fast, powerful engine, on demand 4WD, plenty of room, it is just the perfect balance of utility and sport. What would make it even a better fit for me? A rear pop up window, better front seat cup holder position, and less plastic on the dash.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Valenti View Post
Thought it might be interesting to do an on-going "long term test" blog. I actually wanted to start this at the 5,000 mile mark, but I'm just about at 15k now.

No mechanical issues, outside of the exhaust mod (see my post on this here) V6 Exhaust Modification

No trips to the dealer except for free oil changes.

A few, faint, very intermittent creaks have come up (mostly from somewhere in the rear), but no major rattles yet...

List of likes and dislikes that I had about the RAV when I decided to purchase it are unchanged:

LIKES:
Good acceleration
Decent handling/ride
Decent mileage
Good cargo capacity

DISLIKES:
Swing out rear door
Small gas tank
Lack of manumatic shifter option
On-off control for heated leather seats
Interior design by Mattel

REVELATIONS:
Rear camera is pretty much useless, especially when it rains
Spare tire does not get in the way of rear vision, as I had worried
Torque steer on hard acceleration

Purchase regrets? No. I was in between this and an Outback 3.6R. Still think it was a good decision, although both cars have different personalities.

More to report at 20,000.
Just shy of 20k now, and the RAV has been remarkably consistent. What's been great continues to be great, what's not continues...

OEM tires are getting a bit noisier now, but still have a lot of life in them.

New Likes:
Gas mileage continues to amaze me. I suspect part of it may be due to the modified exhaust, but I'm consistently getting more than 25 in commuter traffic--even higher when on trips without traffic.

New Dislikes:
Interior noises seem to come and go like phantoms. The good news is that they never stay around long enough to become infuriating. Bad news is that they're impossible to track down. Seems to be a family: one lives somewhere in the rear cargo area, one lives in the B pillar behind the driver's door, and 2 different ones live in the dash. They don't seem to occur at the same time, which is a blessing.

Goes into the dealer for its free 20k oil change soon. We'll see if there is anything else to report.

2012 Sport V6 4x4, Magnetic Gray, AP Exhaust
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Valenti View Post
New Likes:
Gas mileage continues to amaze me. I suspect part of it may be due to the modified exhaust, but I'm consistently getting more than 25 in commuter traffic--even higher when on trips without traffic.

.
Excuse my ignorance... but what is a "modified exhaust?" Is it expensive? Something one needs to do by themselves? Is it difficult?

2009 RAV4 Sport V6 AWD Barcelona Red Metallic
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 11:37 PM
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While only having my V6 for... let me see (counting on fingers, adding with eyes rolled upward) two days now... here are my observations.

LIKES
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.

DISLIKES

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.

2009 RAV4 Sport V6 AWD Barcelona Red Metallic
Listens to MOTLEY CRUE, Dwight Yoakam, Lynyrd Skynyrd
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROLLTIDE View Post
Excuse my ignorance... but what is a "modified exhaust?" Is it expensive? Something one needs to do by themselves? Is it difficult?
Click on the link he provided in the very first post.

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#8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 09:55 AM
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Rolltide, You can buy some cheap chrome handle covers and paint them if you wish. I do not like the black BASE handles either.
You could still use your hubcaps on the steelies in winter.


2008 Base Rav4, 4 Cylinder, 4WD
My upgrades Allen Spare tire Bike Rack
Currently listening to "Def Leppard - High N' Dry". I love Ol' School Lep!
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by RTexasF View Post
Click on the link he provided in the very first post.
Hi
Check out this thread for more information about the muffler project . If you wade through the (long) thread, you'll discover I ended up with a different muffler than I originally started with, but am quite happy with it.

V6 Exhaust Modification

2012 Sport V6 4x4, Magnetic Gray, AP Exhaust
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 11:39 AM
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My V6 AWD 2010 Sport-Sport with Sport package, etc. 57K miles

I think this has got to be the most amazing engine/tranny/body combination Toy ever made. It is a ball to drive around town with acceleration that can throw your head back and roar with torque while it is effortless on highway trips with out the annoying desperate high revs I get in most other economical 4 cylinder cars while trying to pass or make it up long hills.

A few Likes I can think of off hand:

  • Amazing power with out giving up decent gas mileage. 26-27/16-18 mpg
  • The transmission shifts transparently and there is hardly any torque steer, even under full acceleration.
  • Handling with the sports package is pretty amazing for a SUV.
  • Much quieter than my 4.2 2002 RAV4
  • Sport look, Body and finish quality and the color
  • Blue Logic
  • Most dash controls
  • Fog Lights
  • Moon roof
  • Interior volume
  • Sliding back seats and fold down control from rear
  • Huge storage under back deck
  • Side heated mirrors and built in turn signals
  • Back door - when open I can stand in the back to reach the roof
  • Lots of other things, hill assist, down hill assist, etc.

Some things I don't like:

  • The lower fan speed controls are two slow and don't push enough air
  • The stock radio/multi disk unit is very hard to read in bright light
  • The back wiper arm can not be folded away from the glass for cleaning
  • Back door - very occasionally someone parks to close and I can't open it.
  • The suspension is a bit stiff and jarring on very rough roads
  • The accelerator is too sensitive starting from a stop - (I'm used to it now)

2010 Toyota RAV4 V6 AWD Sport-Sport, Magnetic Grey/Charcoal, Extra Value Pkg, Sport Appearance Pkg, Tow Pkg, BlueLogic hands free
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