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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone here know if the 5-speed automatic in the 2007 RAV4 is the same unit which has been causing the problems for Avalon owners reported in a number of recent articles?

I have also been reading of sloppy interior assembly or bad fit and finish in the 2007 Camrys. Has anyone here noticed problems with the RAV4?

Does anyone know if Toyota did anything to correct the problem which caused the dummy's head to hit the steering wheel in the NHTSA's frontal wreck test?

Don't misunderstand, my wife and I are very positively impressed by the new RAV4. I drive 35,000 to 40,000 miles per year for business, and it seems ideal for my needs. The plentiful and useful interior storage (door pockets, bottle holders, little slots/pockets, dual glove boxes, and large under-floor compartment in the rear), the powerful V6, and the excellent Car & Driver braking, interior noise level, handling, and acceleration test results, the tight turning circle, and the easy to park & maneuver size are all very appealing. However, I have only bought one other "foreign" car, a Toyota minivan, and I had to sell it at a large loss after only 4,500 miles due to the severe neck and upper back pain which the crooked steering column caused, so I am going to be very cautious before writing a $30,000 check to a Toyota dealer for a RAV4.

We are considering a Limited V6 with
four wheel drive
leather
heated seats
sunroof
curtain & side air bags
CD-6, 9 speakers
floor mats
Sirius (the dealer here is now adding it to all of them for $100)

I would add Bluetooth or a cradle kit for my cell phone and an aftermarket mirror which dims, has a compass, and has Homelink.
 
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Can't answer alll your questions and don't own a Rav. Considering buying a very similarly equiped Rav as you.
As far as I know the 2006 Rav did well in crash test with 5 star rating for driver in head on collision.
Also very concerned about avalon problems as it is getting a lot of press and Toyota does not appear to be addressing it.
 

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I can tell you without a doubt that there are no such issues with the Rav. If your worried about the 5 speed, take a look at the 4 cyl/4 speed combo. We have one and its a wonderful combo,. Plenty fast enough for every day drivng. 0-60 in the high 8's. Don't be afraid of the Rav. Its a perfect suv. oh and th eRAV did excellant in the crash tests.. no head and wheel issues.. BTW- we get 30 mpg on the highway ... yes 4wd..
 

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What everybody is complaining about is the transmission hesitation in certain situations. I believe that Toyota went the economical way with having the V6 run very low to save fuel. That is reflected in great mileage (the tranny tries to keep the RPM low).

If you need power, get used to step on the gas more than usual to force the tranny to shift down rather than gradually increase the trottle. In this case the tranny tries to preserve fuel with accelerating in the low gear. If you need more power and push the pedal deeper it will downshift, but with the "hesitation" of trying to keep the lower gear at the beginning. Something you need to get used to.

Now, I firmly believe that it is all in SW and that it could be changed easily. But of course that would spoil the great mileage you get with these things. I rather have it the current way (with knowing the way around) than spending more money at the gas station.

Other than that the car performs great, at least mine does.

:D
 

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Nope, no sloppy interior assembly or bad fit and finish as found in the 2007 Camrys. The RAV4s are built in Japan, thats one of the reason why I bought a 1st year RAV. Not to put down anybody, but the Japanese built a great car, almost as good as the Germans.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
i would not read too much about cars and believe all of it - good or bad. Go and check it out yourself.


btw. What would Camry interior (which I read many people simply love) have with Rav4? Or some crash test of other car with Rav4? That makes no sense.
 
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Oops, IIHS, not NHTSA crash test

Oops, I typed NHTSA instead of IIHS. If you go to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's web site, you will see the results for the 2006 model, showing that the dummy's head hit the steering wheel through the air bag, a concern to me because I am 6' 1" and weigh 191 Lbs. :

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=654

Also: there is only a four star rating for the passenger side (my wife) on the NHTSA's frontal wreck test:

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Cars/3813.html

The excellent handling, braking, and acceleration (V6) are all featuures which would help to avoid a wreck in a situation in which a lesser performing vehicle would crash, so those factors also have to be considered.

Thus far, I have driven two RAV4s (a V6 Sport and a I4 Limited) and have not observed any assembly defects. The fact that they come Japan may be a real feature.

I see that some Toyota dealers have a rental program, so I will try to rent one to drive it for a day or two and 150 to 300 miles, although one dealer with a rental program has already ignored my request for a rental reservation. The alternative is going to many dealers and pestering each for as long a test drive as they will allow.
 

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The Camry and the Avalon are now built in Kentucky

First year new models plus new factory adds to the opportunity for problems in my opinion.

This opinion is why this 02 CRV owner is now a RAV4 owner and not waiting for the new CRV to come out.

New CRV for 2007,,,new plant in Ohio to build it.

Will be interesting to see what happens to the RAV4 quality in 2008 when they start making them in the new Canadian plant (no knock on my mother land here but it adds a startup dimension that can need fine tuning).
 
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Thanks for the clarification on the crash test. Yes, the IIHS results are a bit concerning for possible driver head injury.
 

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I have a v6 limited set up with very similar equipment to what you're looking at. I have never experienced any problems with the auto tranny. Believe me, when you step on the gas .. you go. As far as interior fit & finish are concerned .. it's as good as any vehicle I've ever owned. My car included the full compliment of air bags which I didn't see listed in your options. I don't see how you head is going to touch anything other than a pillow in a crash of course if you have a head on with a Semi at 65 mph you're toast anyway.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
From the IIHS crash test:
"A high head acceleration occurred when the dummy's head hit the steering wheel through the airbag, indicating that head injuries would be possible."
 

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summerwind said:
The Camry and the Avalon are now built in Kentucky
Don't forget that Camry production will be shifting to the Subaru plant in Indiana -- the Kentucky plant is gearing up for the new Highlander and is supposed to be taking over all production time there.
 
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The "conservative tranny" issue: This RARELY annoys me, and usually the car (mine's a V6) gives me exactly the power surge I want and need. Occassionally -- if I'm not hitting the gas pedal hard -- it will shift up a little earlier than I would like while accelerating from a stop (say, into freeway traffic from a toll booth), and there is an elegant fix: shift up manually with the shifter. It's perfectly safe, and YOU tell the car when to shift to the next gear. No, it's not quite as nice as a real manual gearbox in this respect, but it's better than nothing, and it WILL prevent the early, "conservative" upshift.

Fit and finish are spectacular on my RAV4. It is, by far, the finest automobile I've ever owned, in every measurable respect. The handling is great, the V6 power is impressive and useful, and if you get the extra airbags (mine does), it's a very safe car. The '06 RAV4 is a very unusual combination of decent ground clearance (and undercarriage design to maximize the effectiveness of the clearance it does have) AND relatively low center of gravity. Among SUVs, it has the lowest rollover risk available, almost as low as a "regular" car (check out safercar.gov). No vehicle is perfect, but this one has a really unusual combination of qualities which I find very appealing.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
RavRob-
what do you mean by manually shifting? I wasn't aware that the Rav had this capability? I've used Triptonic automatics that maunually shift.
 

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KarlZuni said:
RavRob-
what do you mean by manually shifting? I wasn't aware that the RAV had this capability? I've used Triptonic automatics that maunually shift.
It has D-4-3-2-1 in the gate compare with + and - of Tiptronic.
 

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Noticing a little issue, maybe not a problem. When coming to a stop and not stopping completely, accelerate without the trany kicking down to nutrel, the engine starts to rev before engagement is fell. Ever so slightly but its just nagging at me. This doesn't happen 100% of the time but I notice it when it happens. I don't drive it very aggressively. Don't notice it as mush with a heavier foot either.
 
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KarlZuni said:
RavRob-
what do you mean by manually shifting? I wasn't aware that the RAV had this capability? I've used Triptonic automatics that maunually shift.
Just start with the shifter in L or 2, then as you accelerate, move the shifter to 2 (if from L), then to 3, then eventually to 4 and D. It's not as cool as a push-button shifter, but the point is that for any shift position except "D", the position PREVENTS the tranny from shifting up to a higher gear, which helps you maximize acceleration in a similar way you would if you were operating a manual gearbox. The only difference is that with this tranny, we have no clutch.

You can use the shifter in the opposite direction for engine braking as well -- very useful and necessary at times.
 
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