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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Purchase thoughts for 17 year old daughter.

Our daughter recently totaled her 07 RX350. She t-boned a jeep that ran a red light. All parties walked away without a scratch.

We are now in search of a replacement vehicle for her. I have heard mixed reviews of the Rav4, but she seems very set on the vehicle.

I am looking for some input from owners regarding which years and trim levels to look at. The biggest concern I've heard was that it's not great at highway speeds with only one person in the car. Meaning that it's light and bounces around? We will be driving a few this weekend.

Here is our current criteria:
2013 or newer
Mileage under 75K
Price under $20k
Limited trim level if possible

Looking for your input and thoughts regarding the vehicle. We certainly know the brand and will be sticking with Toyota or Lexus.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 11:02 AM
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I’ve had a 14 xle and now a 16 hybrid limited and haven’t experienced any bouncing around on the highway. I will say though that with the 2016 refresh the suspension has been improved. My limited with bigger wheels still rides better than my 14 did. Some safety features were made standard in 2017 that were options on 13-16.I’d look for a 2017+ if possible for those reasons alone.

And glad your daughter and everyone was ok after the crash!

2016 RAV4 Hybrid Limited
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 01:52 PM
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Stop by Carmax and drive one or two of them in different configurations. Quick search on Autotrader resulted in many choices using your specific criteria. Even found some CPO (Certified Pre Owned) options that include 2yrs road side assistance, an extended factory warranty and some reconditioning.

Adding to what Nodnerb said, in 2016 upgrades to suspension and NVH took place. Toyota Safety Sense added as standard in 2017. The hybrid models weight more and offer an even smoother highway driving experience.

And thinking outside the box, you could probably get a brand new 2018 XLE FWD for about 20K-21K. 5K off MSRP should be doable as they make room for the 2019's.

2018 Rav4 Hybrid SE 4WD


2017 Prius
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 02:46 PM
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I wouldn't call the suspension on any RAV4 sophisticated but bouncing all around? Nope.
It won't compare to the Lexus but the year models you are considering are certainly better than previous ones.

2008 Base V-6 (Hers)
2008 Limited V-6 (His)
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 05:37 PM
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With that crash it certainly is reason to be thankful that no one, including your daughter, was injured. About the RAV4, it's not exactly a lightweight as even '13 and following years' models retain some SUV characteristics. Have never heard anyone complain that their RAV4 "bounces around" on highways. Of course going on unpaved roads or off-roading are different from normal highway driving and any suspension will then have "bounce around" characteristics.

Jim
2011 Upgraded Base V6 4WD
2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 07:04 PM
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RRaedeke - glad your precious daughter, walked away unharmed / the Lexus, did its job.

My take on her replacement vehicle...coming from a 2008 RAV4 Limited v6 AWD, in our driveway (trouble free with 102,xxx miles currently) & our son bought a new 2015 RX350, v6, AWD...that wife will likely get, in a few years.
- the 3.5L-v6 simply spoils Toyota & Lexus owners / a 2012 RAV4 v6 low mileage, are under $20K
- would she be really happy, with a 2013 4 cyl.?
- the Lexus has zero road noise with BMW/Mercedes/Volvo comfort / RAV4's aren't bad, just a step down overall
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018, 11:50 PM
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..if getting a 4.4,... drive in "sport" mode.
..if passing power is needed... flick shift lever to "s" mode ("manual" shifting)..drop to 4th gear... you can easily reach 80 mph in just a few seconds.

i think tires make a big difference too.. replace OEM tire with General Altimax RT43.

leave the car all by itself in "sport" mode and it should be more than enough for most driving purposes, even for a little spirited driving around curves. (maybe not for racing uphill against the v6 4.3's though. )
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 12:04 AM
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...further on the 4.4.. if it's just the daughter in the car most of the time... remove all headrests on the 2nd row (i guess you can leave the center one)... also the front passenger's. And if it's ok with you, have her flip (backwards) the headrest on the driver's seat.

this gives better visibility for looking back via rearview mirror, and for looking over shoulders at 7/8 o' clock and 4/5 o'clock angles.

the 4.4 went with "form over function" windows... looks good aesthetically, but hampers viewing outside quite a bit.

if you can wait for the 4.5 (go rental for a few months)... that new one has bigger windows. (will be over budget of course)...

regarding highway speeds, i believe someone made a comment before that on the 4.4...."90 is like 60"...i.e.,it is actually rather stable... i myself sometimes don't notice i'm already running 80....
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
..if getting a 4.4,... drive in "sport" mode.
..if passing power is needed... flick shift lever to "s" mode ("manual" shifting)..drop to 4th gear... you can easily reach 80 mph in just a few seconds.
Great advice for a 17 year old driver

2008 Base V-6 (Hers)
2008 Limited V-6 (His)
Tow Prep & front wheel drive (both)
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prechierav View Post
... if getting a 4.4,... drive in "sport" mode.
..if passing power is needed... flick shift lever to "s" mode ("manual" shifting)..drop to 4th gear... you can easily reach 80 mph in just a few seconds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTexasF View Post
... ^^^ ... Great advice for a 17 year old driver ... ^^^ ...
Totally agree with you here RTexasF. Last thing I want to encounter on the road is a 17 year old commandeering a 4,000 lbs., very quick & fast sledgehammer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
RRaedeke - glad your precious daughter, walked away unharmed / the Lexus, did its job.

My take on her replacement vehicle...coming from a 2008 RAV4 Limited v6 AWD, in our driveway (trouble free with 102,xxx miles currently) & our son bought a new 2015 RX350, v6, AWD...that wife will likely get, in a few years.
- the 3.5L-v6 simply spoils Toyota & Lexus owners / a 2012 RAV4 v6 low mileage, are under $20K
- would she be really happy, with a 2013 4 cyl.?
- the Lexus has zero road noise with BMW/Mercedes/Volvo comfort / RAV4's aren't bad, just a step down overall
Wow, we're talking about a 17 year old here ... IMO significant vehicular power is the last thing you want to introduce to anyone with such minimal driving experience so early in their driving career. It's obvious there is a world of difference in parenting philosophies and strategies at play here.

RRaedeke, I am glad your daughter survived this major accident unscathed ... and may that good luck stay with her throughout her driving career.

2011 Blue RAV4 AWD Limited V6 (133,000 km.)
2001 blue Ford F250 Lariat SuperCab 7.3 diesel
2007 Adventurer 90FWS truck camper
2005 titanium Honda Silver Wing maxi-scooter
2004 blue Suzuki Burgman maxi-scooter
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