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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Share your Rav4 - Help me choose

Hello there, I have been looking at 3rd generation rav4's for over a year, and I am now at a point in my life where I will actually be looking to purchase a rav4 instead of just longingly checking the classifieds. I know most of the differences between each trim and engine having viewed many threads on each. I live in Utah, and my driving is split about 50/50 city and highway, and would most likely "off road" (uphill dirt road) a few times every summer, so do with that what you will.

But I would love to hear about what everyone else has, so maybe share a short reply with what year, engine, trim, color, modifications, maybe a picture, whatever you like. What would you change if you could go back to before you bought? Problems? What do you love? Not asking for anything too long, just your quick 2 cents would be greatly appreciated. Any maybe everyone can have fun comparing Ravs and getting ideas.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 08:20 AM
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Go with the 2009-2012 model. If you have the money best years are the 2011-2012. The 2.4 litre engine had high oil consumption problems with 2006-2008. Toyota introduced the 2.5 starting in 2009 that did not burn oil. If you enjoy going very fast I am sure you read about the 3.5 V6.

2009 RAV4 Sport V6 4WD
2005 RAV4 Base 4WD -sold
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryry_dix View Post
................
But I would love to hear about what everyone else has, so maybe share a short reply with what year, engine, trim, color, modifications, maybe a picture, whatever you like.
^^ 2008 RAV4 Limited v6, AWD...bought off Dr. 3 years ago & always dealer maintained.
- purchased with 89,xxx Km / now has 165,xxx km...virtually trouble free
- saved $5,000 Cdn or $4,000 US, buying private (off Kijiji)


What would you change if you could go back to before you bought?

^^ I always buy close to mint used, with low mileage / so this does not give me a color choice.
- I would never order black paint, if buying brand new
- but overall used condition is far more important


Problems?

^^ Aluminum heat shield over top of muffler, started to rattle / friend has a hoist, so I fixed it.
And a rear axle stabilizer link broke / $90 part & half hour labor, to change.
- the previous owner had a 2 year extended warranty, on RAV4...I never had to use it


What do you love?

^^ v6 performance / heated lower windshield (wipers) & side mirrors (in winter) & heated leather seats / perfect size for us / and a tank in snow and SUV is stable on icy roads...feels safe.

Not asking for anything too long, just your quick 2 cents would be greatly appreciated.
Any maybe everyone can have fun comparing Ravs and getting ideas.

^^ Pre 2009 v6 RAv4's are excellent buys / same motor with a 5 speed auto...and used SUV, nicely depreciated.
- best upgrade I made, was the summer alloy 17" rims / off a 2013 Highlander
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 02:08 PM
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As a rule I always look for vehicles in the last 2 model years for that particular generation. After driving 3 Camry station wagons from 1993 to 2015 for over 1,000,000 kms. we bought a used 2011 V6 Limited with 70,000 kms. (43,500 mi,) in Aug 2015.

Very first thing I did was to change the tranny for free per the TSB (technical service bulletin) and have all recalls caught up. I've only added extendmyseat, hood and window air deflectors. We love this car, enough power to quickly get yourself in trouble, only marginally worse on gas than the 4 cyl. Camry wagons and a pleasure to drive and park.

Love the upgrades like heated seats, AWD, locking diff, auto lights, defrostable & signalled side mirrors, remote start, JBL stereo etc. The best optioned vehicle we've ever owned. Nothing we really don't like although the cargo space configuration was better in the Camry wagons and the back up display embedded in the rear view mirror is almost useless.

No major issues yet (133,333 kms.) but have replaced most consumables ... tires, brakes etc. I'm also a maintenance fanatic so I don't expect to be surprised by anything in the future. FYI - we try to keep our cars for 400,000 kms. or 15 years before switching them out ... if possible.

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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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 04:53 PM
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When I was looking for vehicles back in 2015 to replace my Chevy HHR (great little car but I needed more cargo capacity) the Rav4 wasn't even on my radar. I just happened to browse through Carsoup and saw a 2012 V6 4WD base with 20,000 miles, a sunroof and I thought why not take a test drive. The V6 power was intoxicating and I liked the 4WD which is a helpful during Minnesota winters. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles (no power/heated seats) I'm thoroughly happy with it. Even though the gas mileage isn't the best I'm going to (hopefully) drive it past 200K.

2012 Rav4 V6 4WD
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 05:10 PM
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Get a 2012 if you can. V6 more power but uses more gas. On paper only a 1 mpg hit for the v6 but in reality it is more. 4wd if you need/want. I would not get the Sports appearance package (SAP) that does not have the spare tire on the back hatch. It uses run stop tires and no spare. Even my wife thought that was a bad idea. 3rd row seating. Very nice to have IMO. But some fat people say it is worthless. Nice to drive one car to busy events when the grandparents are in town, and for shuttling kids classmates around. But if you don't need it then don't get one with it as it eats up all the under floor storage.

2012 4wd i4 3rd row
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 05:15 PM
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I vote for a V6 4wd based on what you said. Mine is an 06 and has been super reliable. Get the newest and lowest mileage you can for the price range you are looking in.


No reason not to get the V6 in my opinion because mpg is almost as good as the 4cy.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DL175 View Post
Go with the 2009-2012 model. If you have the money best years are the 2011-2012. The 2.4 litre engine had high oil consumption problems with 2006-2008. Toyota introduced the 2.5 starting in 2009 that did not burn oil. If you enjoy going very fast I am sure you read about the 3.5 V6.
THIS or buy a Honda.....
The V-6 is also my choice, see below...we have two. Smooth effortless power with decent MPG means a lot to me not to mention the ability to blast around a slowpoke quickly & safely.

2008 Base V-6 (Hers)
2008 Limited V-6 (His)
Tow Prep & front wheel drive (both)

Last edited by RTexasF; 03-31-2018 at 09:48 AM.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 01:46 PM
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I had a 2010 v6 with Sport Appearance Package. I did not want the goofy spare tire on the back LOL. I did tons of mods, too many to list. I swapped out the 18s for 17s with 235/65-17 A/T style tires. I did carry a spare in the back on long trips, but really, who ever gets a flat LOL. The 2 biggest dislikes were the side hinged rear door and the instrument cluster. Was a great car, now I'm driving a 2016 and waiting to drive the 5th gen.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-02-2018, 07:21 PM
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2008 v6 sport.

so far pretty good. its got 176km on it. rack an pinion is loose and needs new front struts.

did some basics like swaybar links.

if i were to do it again id go for a 2009 or newer as they have the vsd kill switch which would be useful in the winter. heeh montreal...

things to look out for...

transmission whine at about 5o to 60k per hour. apparently a lot of our ravs suffer from that. mine does. trans seems okay apart from the noise.

vtti oil line some have rubber line that can fail and kill tour motor. mine had the line. upgraded to solid metal.

water pump prone to failure at about 160km cost a fair bit to change.

v6 plugs not as easy as 4cyl. need changing at about 100k miles i think it is. bit labour intensive.

happy hunting.
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