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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm in the process of deciding between the Sport vs Limited. I know this topic has been discussed previously, and most of it comes down to the suspension preference/leather/seats/bells & whistles.

I have only test-driven a 2009 Limited and it seemed okay. I've looked through autolist and noticed two that could be contenders that are within a reasonable driving distance.

I would prefer one in the Magnetic Gray Metallic, but currently there aren't any <50,000 miles/, reasonable driving distance, etc. Most of the Sport trim that I see in that color have been with the SAP. The SAP looks great, but I would prefer not to deal with the run-flat tires and no spare.

Limited:
2012 Toyota RAV4 for sale - Autolist

Sport:
2012 Toyota RAV4 for sale - Autolist

From reading other threads on this topic I've made a list of pros/cons. Of course, this is entirely in my opinion.

Limited Pros:

  • More bells & whistles
  • Typically has leather
  • 8-way adjustable seat (Helps with the back)
  • Low miles
Limited Cons:

  • Appearance - (Mainly the 18-Inch wheels make it look better IMO)
  • Cost
  • Push-Button start/Keyless (I've read some negative responses on it)
Sport Pros:

  • Appearance
  • Cost
  • No run-flat tires/has full spare
Sport Cons:

  • Fewer bells & whistles
  • Cloth and no 8-way adjustable seating
  • Stiffer suspension?
  • Higher mileage
Tell me what you guys think. Looking at the two is there anything else I should be made aware of?
 

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In spite of the price difference the Limited appeals more to me. For me the Sport with 18" wheels has a brutal ride, strictly my opinion. The Limited certainly isn't a 70's Buick cruiser but the ride is less abrupt over bad pavement.

If you want a bit more comfort and goodies then the Limited is the way to go. If you like sharper handling and a bit better steering response then the Sport will suit you well.

Drive both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In spite of the price difference the Limited appeals more to me. For me the Sport with 18" wheels has a brutal ride, strictly my opinion. The Limited certainly isn't a 70's Buick cruiser but the ride is less abrupt over bad pavement.

If you want a bit more comfort and goodies then the Limited is the way to go. If you like sharper handling and a bit better steering response then the Sport will suit you well.

Drive both.
Thanks for the input. I'll see what I can do about finding a Sport trim locally and giving it a test drive.
 

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Chipping in: We have a 2012 sport and the 18" wide wheels are a mess when there's any slush on the road. I'm apparently on the other side of the lake from you and we see a lot of lake-effect stuff. I definitely wouldn't buy anything with run flat tires on it. Also, this particular vehicle has some severely tinted windows that make problems at night. I was told that it's oem from Toyota. The suspension is more like a jeep than a luxury vehicle but frankly, I prefer it that way. You might not. I test drove a 2015 (model unknown) at the dealer and absolutely hated it as a wallowing mess - nothing alike.
 

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We got our low mileage 2008 Limited, last summer...the v6 is addictive.
Simply love everything about it, except one.
- without running boards, wet snow & slush can freeze on the rocker panels & bottom door edges
- my older 4Runner has running boards, and the door bottoms are protected from the winter elements

We have a doberman, and the leather seat interior with moonroof, were on our must have list.
Heated seats (driver powered), and heated mirrors & heated wiper blades make winter driving most enjoy & 4x4 traction is great with winter rubber.

I like the alloy 17x7" Limited rims for winter driving and now have newer 17x7.5" Highlander rims for the summer tires.
- new 17" tires, also cost less than the 18" version

Sorry I don't know enough about the 2012 Sport, but our Canadian Limited came with 3500# tow package standard (minus the hitch)...140 amp fuse / bigger alternator & radiator plus oil cooler.
- I've never had a automatic transmission fail, running a factory cooler

However $4,500 premium for Limited is a lot, for only 25,000 miles less...over the Sport.
- as much as I like our Limited, the 2012 Sport (you linked) is far more affordable / tough call there
 
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LIMITED . . . the suspension is plenty stiff , leather, bells - whistles, resale value, less miles
DOSOME HORSE TRADING ON THE PRICE ! !


I have 2012 Limited v6 . . ... my neighbor has a Sport . . . Try for the Limited ! :)
 

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Just purchased a 2009 Sport V6 this weekend. Will pick it up in a week once they powder coat the alloy wheels. The V6 sure feels nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We got our low mileage 2008 Limited, last summer...the v6 is addictive.
Simply love everything about it, except one.
- without running boards, wet snow & slush can freeze on the rocker panels & bottom door edges
- my older 4Runner has running boards, and the door bottoms are protected from the winter elements

We have a doberman, and the leather seat interior with moonroof, were on our must have list.
Heated seats (driver powered), and heated mirrors & heated wiper blades make winter driving most enjoy & 4x4 traction is great with winter rubber.

I like the alloy 17x7" Limited rims for winter driving and now have newer 17x7.5" Highlander rims for the summer tires.
- new 17" tires, also cost less than the 18" version

Sorry I don't know enough about the 2012 Sport, but our Canadian Limited came with 3500# tow package standard (minus the hitch)...140 amp fuse / bigger alternator & radiator plus oil cooler.
- I've never had a automatic transmission fail, running a factory cooler

However $4,500 premium for Limited is a lot, for only 25,000 miles less...over the Sport.
- as much as I like our Limited, the 2012 Sport (you linked) is far more affordable / tough call there
Thanks for the input. The limited has running boards, which sounds like a plus from what you stated. Are there any issues with this generation of Rav4 and rusting around the wheel wells? It seems like a lot of the newer SUV's and crossovers have plastic trim moldings around the wheel wells and bottom edging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
LIMITED . . . the suspension is plenty stiff , leather, bells - whistles, resale value, less miles
DOSOME HORSE TRADING ON THE PRICE ! !


I have 2012 Limited v6 . . ... my neighbor has a Sport . . . Try for the Limited ! :)
Any idea on what I might shoot for? I would prefer not to drive 150 miles and then have to worry about haggling and then it falling through. Would $20,500 or $21,000 be out of the realm of possibility? It's a Ford dealership and not Toyota, so I'm not sure what kind of wiggle room they would have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My only other concern with the Limited is why do you think each of the two owners would have the Rav4 for less than 2 years each? Perhaps they both had money to blow and wanted something newer/updated etc, but it still seems odd. Maybe I'm just odd, but I've had my current Honda Prelude since '01 and maybe I'm biased. The plan is to keep this for the long haul again, at least 10+ years. Is there anything I should be on the lookout for when I test drive it? Is there a potential whine issue with this '12 model v6?
 

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My only other concern with the Limited is why do you think each of the two owners would have the Rav4 for less than 2 years each? Perhaps they both had money to blow and wanted something newer/updated etc, but it still seems odd. Maybe I'm just odd, but I've had my current Honda Prelude since '01 and maybe I'm biased. The plan is to keep this for the long haul again, at least 10+ years. Is there anything I should be on the lookout for when I test drive it? Is there a potential whine issue with this '12 model v6?

When I bought mine one day ago (2009 Sport V6), the Car Proof shows there were 2 owners. First one had it over 5 years and the second just over 2.5 years. That does not bother me. There are many reason why someone sells a car but not everyone will keep a car for over 10 years like yourself. Your main focus is the condition of the car and how it is maintain along with price.

If you enjoyed the Prelude for 10 years then the RAV4Sport model will be the best pick. They don't make any V6 after 2012 but I heard a turbo may come in the future. I also had a Prelude long time ago also and it was the most reliable vehicle I every owned bar none. (84 - 5 speed).:smile
 

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I got a sport for a few reasons...
Black interior is only available on the sport...
I do not like the push to start or the automatic climate controls...
The S.A.P. has no rear spare, has a symmetrical rear door and red badges vs the black...
Since I replaced the stereo to my desires I did not have a need for the jbl system either...
The sport I am very pleased with and would not have bought a limited even if it was the same price...
 

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Thanks for the input. The limited has running boards, which sounds like a plus from what you stated. Are there any issues with this generation of Rav4 and rusting around the wheel wells? It seems like a lot of the newer SUV's and crossovers have plastic trim moldings around the wheel wells and bottom edging.
I'll probably put running boards on our 2008 Limited, this summer...$173/pair.
For 06 12 Toyota Rav 4 5 25"Aluminum Running Board Rail Step Nerf Bar Light Kit | eBay

No areas use more road salt, than in S/W Ontario and our '08 RAV4 is still totally rust free.
It has the smaller profile plastic wheel well flares.
- they shield a lot of winter elements, off the factory paint / factory flares do prevent rust from starting
- and prevent stone chips, on the fender lips / all good

Any idea on what I might shoot for? I would prefer not to drive 150 miles and then have to worry about haggling and then it falling through. Would $20,500 or $21,000 be out of the realm of possibility? It's a Ford dealership and not Toyota, so I'm not sure what kind of wiggle room they would have.
For a 2012 - I thought $18,000 US was high, and $21,000 would be hard for me to swallow / for low miles...maybe this is the new market , south of the boarder thing !!
- I bought our mint 2008 Limited v6 for the equivalent of $10K American $$ / with 55,000 miles
- fully certified (with new Le2 tires & rear brake pads) and still had 1 year of extended warranty
- first owner was retired, and Toyota dealer maintained / 2nd owner was a Doctor, on an exchange program, on a 12 month working contract & again all scheduled maintenance at same dealership
- first owner kept it cleaned (with good wash jobs) driving winter months & then back in the garage

^^ But I check Kijiji (Canadian Craigslist) for 6 months straight (every few days, for a private deal), and purchased the first RAV4 I wanted to see & test drive...takes real "patience".
- buy on quality & premium used model, loaded with depreciated options / perfect color choice, is waved here
- purchase the best vehicle, for the money & paint shade is very low on must have list...be flexible
- knew in 20 seconds, I was confidently looking at a good one (true cream-puff)
- crawled underneath in the pouring rain (in driveway) & inspected the floor pans, still shinny black paint throughout
- I always avoid dealers & crazy/full markup profit
- plus I can pick out a well maintained car vs an auction flip, talking directly with private owner/seller...a Key Success Factor

I have never been burned ("knock on wood"), doing this & usually keep a family vehicle for 4-7 years & still have a good used vehicle to sell myself...>> ROI $$.
- son just bought a new 2015 Lexus RX350 and I sold his 2008 Nissan Rogue for top dollar (in 7 weeks time) vs selling at dealership / doubling his trade in value, Dad doing the private sale instead (off front lawn)
All these factors (a lot to consider), clearly impact your out of pocket expenses $$.
- buy the newer vehicle prior to selling the old one / Rule #1
Upgrading vehicles in a systematic & calculating faction, has been real fun for me (over the decades) / the learned experience (skill set) is almost treated like a part time job or hobby.

ApeofDooM - if it was me & I enjoy low pro-rated used vehicle costs, on nicely loaded examples:
I would not be opposed to expanding your search (if your having sticker shock now) - a few years older with a few more miles / if budget is a real factor.
- I should help find your RAV4 up here...:)...our current low dollar, does buy more
Sorry if I rambled, but watching the Super Tuesday Republican Polls today, with interest & killing time / maybe a gem of info. to garnish and $ave some...Good Luck, in your vehicle search !!

In with the newer 2008 (89,000 Km Canadian) / out with the old 2002 (297,000 Km):
- @ minimum investment / take out the middle man, my best used Tip

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'll probably put running boards on our 2008 Limited, this summer...$173/pair.
For 06 12 Toyota Rav 4 5 25"Aluminum Running Board Rail Step Nerf Bar Light Kit | eBay

No areas use more road salt, than in S/W Ontario and our '08 RAV4 is still totally rust free.
It has the smaller profile plastic wheel well flares.
- they shield a lot of winter elements, off the factory paint / factory flares do prevent rust from starting
- and prevent stone chips, on the fender lips / all good



For a 2012 - I thought $18,000 US was high, and $21,000 would be hard for me to swallow / for low miles...maybe this is the new market , south of the boarder thing !!
- I bought our mint 2008 Limited v6 for the equivalent of $10K American $$ / with 55,000 miles
- fully certified (with new Le2 tires & rear brake pads) and still had 1 year of extended warranty
- first owner was retired, and Toyota dealer maintained / 2nd owner was a Doctor, on an exchange program, on a 12 month working contract & again all scheduled maintenance at same dealership
- first owner kept it cleaned (with good wash jobs) driving winter months & then back in the garage

^^ But I check Kijiji (Canadian Craigslist) for 6 months straight (every few days, for a private deal), and purchased the first RAV4 I wanted to see & test drive...takes real "patience".
- buy on quality & premium used model, loaded with depreciated options / perfect color choice, is waved here
- purchase the best vehicle, for the money & paint shade is very low on must have list...be flexible
- knew in 20 seconds, I was confidently looking at a good one (true cream-puff)
- crawled underneath in the pouring rain (in driveway) & inspected the floor pans, still shinny black paint throughout
- I always avoid dealers & crazy/full markup profit
- plus I can pick out a well maintained car vs an auction flip, talking directly with private owner/seller...a Key Success Factor

I have never been burned ("knock on wood"), doing this & usually keep a family vehicle for 4-7 years & still have a good used vehicle to sell myself...>> ROI $$.
- son just bought a new 2015 Lexus RX350 and I sold his 2008 Nissan Rogue for top dollar (in 7 weeks time) vs selling at dealership / doubling his trade in value, Dad doing the private sale instead (off front lawn)
All these factors (a lot to consider), clearly impact your out of pocket expenses $$.
- buy the newer vehicle prior to selling the old one / Rule #1
Upgrading vehicles in a systematic & calculating faction, has been real fun for me (over the decades) / the learned experience (skill set) is almost treated like a part time job or hobby.

ApeofDooM - if it was me & I enjoy low pro-rated used vehicle costs, on nicely loaded examples:
I would not be opposed to expanding your search (if your having sticker shock now) - a few years older with a few more miles / if budget is a real factor.
- I should help find your RAV4 up here...:)...our current low dollar, does buy more
Sorry if I rambled, but watching the Super Tuesday Republican Polls today, with interest & killing time / maybe a gem of info. to garnish and $ave some...Good Luck, in your vehicle search !!
Thanks for the thorough response. I didn't check on Craigslist until just now. I wasn't sure how shady it might be to try and find one. However I put in my search parameters and nothing really around within 200 miles. I'm leaning towards the Limited v6, leather, '09-'12, and with <50,000 miles. I really didn't want to spend more than 18-20 thousand. It would be a miracle if one popped up anywhere near what you paid for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I got a sport for a few reasons...
Black interior is only available on the sport...
I do not like the push to start or the automatic climate controls...
The S.A.P. has no rear spare, has a symmetrical rear door and red badges vs the black...
Since I replaced the stereo to my desires I did not have a need for the jbl system either...
The sport I am very pleased with and would not have bought a limited even if it was the same price...
I like the look of the Sport with SAP, however I'm just not sure about using run-flats. They seem to be more costly and with less mileage warranty. Plus I don't want to be in a position where I do get a flat and for some reason the run-flats don't work as expected.
 

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Thanks for the thorough response. I didn't check on Craigslist until just now. I wasn't sure how shady it might be to try and find one. However I put in my search parameters and nothing really around within 200 miles. I'm leaning towards the Limited v6, leather, '09-'12, and with <50,000 miles. I really didn't want to spend more than 18-20 thousand. It would be a miracle if one popped up anywhere near what you paid for.
Our Kijiji ads and internet Auto Trader, is loaded with expensive Dealer used vehicles.
- wife was still driving our Volvo wagon, so no rush
- she found our black one, on computer / and I knew it was the one, gut feel immediately

A surgeon was selling it, and as a seller / he was also worried about shady buyers and fake money draft, etc.
- wife and I put his fears to rest and we had a very nice 1 hour visit / wrapping up details
- start open communication via initial phone call (left message) & follow up with text, to arrange test drive

^^ Off & On search took 6 months, to yield one private buy / must have time, on your side.
- good deals will pop up rarely / just a waiting game, to save money
- a lot of info. can be gathered off initial phone call
- I could tell, the seller wasn't a shady character & I try and convey the same message
- I explained the whole transaction to him (fully), from safety check, E-test to payment transfer, what garages to use and the pros/cons of his RAV4 (worn out tires to CarFax which I didn't need to see for $25)...and a nice/friendly relationship was formed, and the buying process went seamless

All said and done, internet seller was most grateful for my help and he had Toyota dealer do the annual maintenance that was due end of month, at a cost of $1,090 included...nice surprise.
- I put a deposit on RAV4 and let him drive it for another 3 weeks, so a car rental wasn't needed
- I took a big load off his mind & gave him thousands more than local Toyota offered ($7,000 Cdn, on a cash buyout...LOL), so he could more quickly liquidate assets (on his time line) and go on to accept a prestigious Doctor's position, in the UK
 
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