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Discussion Starter #1
I finally was near a dealer today and had an hour to spare so for those 4.2 owners who haven’t yet driven a 4.3 here is what I have to say.

NOTE:
Comparison 4.2 - 02 - 2 liter L. 4WD VS 4.3 - 2.4 L. 4WD Both driven with OD off.
(4.3 tested has a slightly narrower tire 225 VS 235)

ERGONOMICS & INTERIOR:

- Overall arm to wheel, leg to pedal, and their angles felt almost the same as the 4.2.
- Seat felt bigger, higher and I was not as snug. (Mind you I wish the 4.2 had softer seats with more sport support than either.)
- Seats where similar with a fairly flat, not to comfortable and not too soft. This did make for easy access and exiting.
- There where side supports on the seats but my body frame (5.8 – 140) did not fit in them. As for lumbard i did not notice much.

- Back foldable seat just puts the seat in a different location than having them fully up and creating a barrier. Did not bother me then again I never have the rear seats in.

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- The Dash and Finish is more sophisticated and linear than the 4.2. However, I don’t like the middle indentation. I also prefer a high extruding easy to reach stereo, instrument cluster, and glove box like in the 4.2.
- I did forget to look at the coffee cup holder. :roll:

RIDE & HANDLING:

- Was stiff and fairly responsive.
- Steering is no where near as smooth, light, responsive or crisp as the 4.2.
- 2.4 engine hasn’t got the kick for this larger RAV even compared my 2.0 on the 4.2. The 3 will be a totally different story.

Conclusion: (40 minute test, so I may have missed details)
- Esthetic Design is less sporty and more sophisticated. Won't commet on how good it is. :)
- It is newer so there must be some technological advancement in efficiency, materials and design construction of some components.
- It is bigger and feels bigger
- The 4.2 Handling feel is not there.

I will still test drive the 3 liter engine. Can’t wait to put my foot down to see and hear what happens.


Walt
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I forgot to mention it was good to actually see the instrument panel for a change on the 4.3. However I do like the 4.2 Orange backlit display better. I am very happy with the small steering wheel size on the 4.2 and I like it low. Unfortunatly it gives me very poor instument visability.
Sometimes it is actually dangerous when i to scan and tilt my head to get a reading which takes my concentration off the road.
I would actually see the speedo better above the top of the wheel.
Overall the 4.2's dash design is very nice but when getting back in it felt a bit to rounded and small even though there is room in the vehicle.

Walt
 

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I don't know if RAV 4,3 is the same as the 2006 year model, but as per test by a car magazine here in Sweden the 2006 model DOES NOT have a permanent 4 wheel drive. It has something that resembles Haldex coupling as in Honda CRV (essentially a front wheel drive with a rear wheel kick in when needed, 60:40 split) and that is certainly a deviation from the original idea so popular in older RAVs. I don't know if that is a disadvantage. Would like to hear your opinion on that?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Our 4.3 Rav I believe is the same as yours in the AWD respect.
I drove on dry pavement and did not really hammer the pedal on accelleration around any corners. I could already tell by the salesmans voice he was nervous about how i was accelleration, braking and throwing it around.
I think it would be interesting to do a test on snow/ice and see how she re-acts.
However the only thing about the 4.3 that really interest me is the new V6.
As for my opinion on the AWD I do know the basics but have not done that much research into it.
From what I do know and have read I prefer the 4.2’s system for I am an aggressive driver.
With the 4.3 Toyota is probably looking at a broader market with more regular folk driving their vehicles, fuel effeciency and they opted for the present solution.
 
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