Drove an XSE today. Or do I want extra features in a Limited? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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Drove an XSE today. Or do I want extra features in a Limited?

We are not buying for at least a month due to an in-process home refinance. We sold our 2012 Subaru Outback last month and are "coasting" on my Camaro (been my daily driver for almost 10 years now) and Nissan Frontier truck until we replace the Subaru as my wife's daily driver and family vehicle.

My wife and I drove an XSE today. 2nd drive of a 2019 RAV4 Hybrid for me and first for her. I drove an XLE a month ago, so I couldn't really compare the suspensions between them. We both really like the XSE and how it drove and rode. I think we could be happy with it "as is". The one we drove was set up just about how I would order it: Blueprint, Tech, Weather, Entune packages plus Pano roof and rack cross bars. The sticker price was $38,283.

The Limited does have a few features I/we would like to have, but I'm not sure if we'll regret not having the Sport Tuned Suspension of the XSE. Another purchase candidate for us is Mazda CX-5, mainly due to the sporty handling.

What we would like out of the Limited are the Adaptive Headlights, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats and hands-free back hatch. I also THINK I would like the fully-SofTex seats in the Limited.

So I guess it really comes down to "How sporty is the Sport Suspension in the XSE"?

I have read some of the recent threads about XSE vs Limited, but not really fully answered the suspension question. I'm in WA so we do get a little bit of snow most winters and we will take it on some gravel and or dirt roads occasionally, but mostly it will be on road and often wet out.

Thanks for any thoughts!

Rob
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:35 AM
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Full disclosure, I have never driven an XSE so I have no basis on which to form a direct comparison. I did test drive several gasoline powered and Hybrid RAV4's while I was waiting for my Hybrid Limited to be built.

I'm certain of two things:

1) I'm glad that I got a Hybrid. With 220 miles on the odometer I still have over 1/2 tank of gasoline, the computer shows an average of 39 MPG and it's not broken in, the ECVT is impressive. The constant shifting of the transmission in the gasoline powered models was noticeable to me during test drives, and the rough shifting issue that some RAV4 owners are experiencing is not a concern. The ECVT delivers power smoothly and seamlessly with good acceleration on hilly terrain and when merging into traffic even in ECO mode.

2) I am extremely happy with everything about my Limited so far, the ride, handling, comfort, tight turning radius and options. My Limited has every option with the exception of the panoramic moon roof. I am very impressed with the adaptive headlights, they are better than the HID headlights on my 2008 Acura TL. While I wouldn't necessarily classify the Limited ride as "sporty", it's definitely very satisfying to me. It's solid and there is absolutely nothing that I find annoying or lacking. I didn't expect a whisper quiet luxury, or a sports car ride.

My biggest concern so far is that I don't find Toyotas technology interface to be intuitive. I'm having trouble making adjustments and the manuals in many cases don't walk you through step by step clearly. Not to mention the fact that there are over 950 pages between the owners and navigation/mulitimedia manuals, combined with the fact that I am not especially tech savvy.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 12:16 PM
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I struggled with this choice for weeks. There are a few reasons I went with the Limited, here's the top three.

If you want to upgrade the sound to the JBL's, much cheeper with the Limited. Although folks have complained about the JBL implementation in previous Toyotas, the general agreement is that they got it right this time. I'm certainly very happy.

PKSB, aka rear cross-traffic braking/Intelligent Clearance Sonar. This keeps you from backing into stuff, also applies to forward motion. I use to pooh-pooh these safety features in my wife's Avalon, I've reconsidered.

I'm not a fan of the black roof in the XSE. But, I live where the average July high is 96 F. I also think the exterior black plastic components look better unpainted (Limited). Those on the XSE look a bit cheapened IMO.

You also get the advanced navigation on the Limited but I think my iPhone does a better job.

Also, agree on liking the full Softex seats. So far, I've not slipped down in them nor found them hotter (but still only in the 80's here) like a salesman intimmated.

P.S. You do know there's a thread dedicated to this question a couple below this one.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bpedit View Post
I struggled with this choice for weeks. There are a few reasons I went with the Limited, here's the top three.

If you want to upgrade the sound to the JBL's, much cheeper with the Limited. Although folks have complained about the JBL implementation in previous Toyotas, the general agreement is that they got it right this time. I'm certainly very happy.

PKSB, aka rear cross-traffic braking/Intelligent Clearance Sonar. This keeps you from backing into stuff, also applies to forward motion. I use to pooh-pooh these safety features in my wife's Avalon, I've reconsidered.

I'm not a fan of the black roof in the XSE. But, I live where the average July high is 96 F. I also think the exterior black plastic components look better unpainted (Limited). Those on the XSE look a bit cheapened IMO.

You also get the advanced navigation on the Limited but I think my iPhone does a better job.

Also, agree on liking the full Softex seats. So far, I've not slipped down in them nor found them hotter (but still only in the 80's here) like a salesman intimmated.

P.S. You do know there's a thread dedicated to this question a couple below this one.
The cross traffic is available on XSE, not sure where you got that its limited only? Black is actually BETTER for heat absorption, the entire light colors etc thing is a myth. Google why black is better in the heat, either way its kinda moot point since its a car, and its metal and the color won't matter.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 06:07 PM
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I went with the limited mainly for the ventilated seats that comes with weather package on the limited. XSE only has heated.

2019 Limited - Weather, Technology, and Panoramic Moonroof
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Slavik Petrakov View Post
The cross traffic is available on XSE, not sure where you got that its limited only? Black is actually BETTER for heat absorption, the entire light colors etc thing is a myth. Google why black is better in the heat, either way its kinda moot point since its a car, and its metal and the color won't matter.
I got my information from the Toyota website. If by "available" you mean you can get it as an added, money extra package, you're correct. But it comes standard on the Limited and justifies some of the premium price. The standard XSE has RCTA, it will beep at obstructions in reverse. The PKSB adds braking to that and extends the safety system to the front of the vehicle as well.

You are most definately wrong about the color not mattering. Controlled scientific studies have shown a white car to be, on average 5.5 C (10 F) cooler than an equivalent black car. You are correct about heat absorption, but that's just what you don't want. That extra heat that is absorbed by the black roof is re-radiated, much of into the interior. The opposite of heat absorption is reflection. That's what you want, reflect it back away from the car. Here's just one study:
https://phys.org/news/2011-10-silver...rs-cooler.html
You can find other studies of this as well, the Myth Buster guys got similar results.

PS: I'm a retired Physics teacher, this is pretty basic stuff to me. Yeah, I saw the article to which you are referring.The salient feature of this article is that it's about clothing on people, whos bodies are also radiators, not to cars.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bpedit View Post

P.S. You do know there's a thread dedicated to this question a couple below this one.
Thanks. I did see, and read, that thread before posting. I didn't see it as "dedicated" to the question though.

What I was hoping for was info specifically about the sport suspension and whether I would miss it or not. Hard question to answer, I know, as everyone is different and looking for something different. Even driving them back to back, it might be tough to really tell.

We can let this one die and I'll ask my next question in that thread.


Rob
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 09:31 PM
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What I was hoping for was info specifically about the sport suspension and whether I would miss it or not.
Fair question, it was a factor for my consideration too. I'm not sure where but folks have addressed it in a couple places in the forums. My take was that it was not a big concern. Perhaps it will make your Rav4 10% more like a CX-5. One reviewer, who test drove both, said if he had a slight preference it would be the regular suspension. I suppose it might make a difference if you were to drive a substantial portion of your miles on rough roads or you like to corner at high speeds. My Limited seems more than just fine for regular driving.
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