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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello! I hope I'll have something to add around here and plenty to learn. Look forward to talking to everyone in the forum. :) Included some info below as suggested for newbies.

What I got: 2013 Rav4 Limited in silver with black interior, JBL audio/entune, navigation, luggage rack, and block heater. It has only 8450 miles and is just immaculate.

Why I got it: Tight budget for a used car and big wishlist. I looked for 5 months and there are many reasons other vehicles didn't work out. Bad titles, high miles, uncomfortable seats, drove crappy, didn't offer the features I wanted, had features but wasn't practical (premium fuel/$ repairs), or didn't work for my dogs - which was huge for me. The closest I felt I had gotten was with a 2012 Limited V6 and a 2013 XLE, but I suspected my sweet spot might be a newer gen Limited trim. The only one that came up was a 2015 and way out of my budget. Then, I saw a new listing with vague info. Decided to see it, and much to my surprise left with it! Sounds so very lame, but it felt right. Seat comfort for me worked, even the lumbar support was nice (every other one I'd tried felt like a nasty jab). The audio for me is great, I'm no audiophile but it was clearly an improvement. I really did want the technology package but I didn't feel it was worth waiting and hoping one may come up in my budget. I see a lot of base models, but not used Limited models around here.

My dogs: Two 80lb dogs who run my life. ;) I originally wanted a sportier crossover like a CX5 but it was more cramped and high loading, and I never did see a grand touring in my budget. This Rav4 loads low, and goes so nice and flat with no gap. They jumped right in, and the side doors open wide enough with the flat seats that they can load there just as well. Not something I could say about all vehicles I considered. The power liftgate is very convenient and the beeping doesn't bother them. They've got enough room to really stretch out and be comfy, but I can pop the seats right up and have passengers instead. I do intend to try and track down the Subaru-esque hard plastic seat back + cargo cover combo situation Canada offers - hopefully it's available for a 2013 and not just the current model. I'll also add a fabric liner and/or thin crate mats on top for their comfort. I don't want the dogs in any way ruining the interior, but still give them some freedom and comfort. I often also take my mom's 80lb dog in the mix and finally they'll all fit without smashing each other - yet I still get the comfort of driving a smaller vehicle.

Alaska: AWD was a must. Heated seats for me were a must. I like that the doors go all the way down, so you don't have a ledge where snow and dirt live that you then pick up with your pants as I dress professionally for work. Wipe-able surfaces including the seat material was a pro to me. ABS of course a must. The bummer here is of course I wish it had the V6 option, as driving that really was more fun and came with more features in terms of control in the winter. Also, I am not thrilled with how low this is - genuinely like a car, but I didn't want to write it off because of that. The lights seem good, not pointed too high, and the fog lights are nice too. Auto lights and daytime running lights were a must which I got in the Limited trim. Heated side mirrors aRE a welcome touch.

Overall, I'm thrilled as you would expect for someone who just bought a new (used) vehicle. It has such a chill feel inside to me with the black interior and blue lights - it doesn't feel distracting in the dark (aka majority of my driving). It has every major upgrade I wanted, and even though it's not the most premium vehicle it is more than enough to feel current and luxurious coming from a really old Civic. It drove comfortably for me; not exciting, but not infuriating. I like that it's keyless so much. New to me but I swear after a day I'm used to it and a big fan. It does look like yet another silver crossover mommy-mobile around AK (seriously, they're a dime a dozen) but I'll get over it. Practical is good!
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