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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm looking to replace my 2003 Matrix Xrs with something a little newer. Ex-wife has a 2004 Rav4 base that I really liked, so I'm leaning towards something similar. I like the body style of the 08-12 because I prefer the swinging rear door as opposed to a lift gate. Here is my list of preferences.

1. White or Barcelona Red (didn't like the "red" at first, but the color grew on me.
2. Prefer 4 cyl., but would consider the 6 cyl. if the price was right
3. 4WD
4. Cloth interior
5. OEM Moonroof
6. <40k miles

I'm in no hurry to buy. My Matrix is holding strong with the exception of an intermittent cruise control issue that I'm having looked at next week. It's got 97k and I'd like to get it replaced within the next year. Prices for the Rav4 seem to vary all over the place with dealers. Some prices are where they should be, others seem to thing they are worth their weight in gold, and I refuse to over pay for one just because the dealer thinks it's worth more than it is.

So, my question is this. Is there anything that I should be concerned about? Engine issues? Transmission? Drive train? I appreciate any input you might have. Gonna be tough to let go of my Matrix, but I think it's time.
 

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The 2006-2008 models with 2.4l have high oil consumption problem which you should try to avoid. There is the white paint peeling issue. The V6 may have the transmission whine which does not lead to failure but can be annoying to some. Almost any model may have the differential whine. There are also others you may want to Google and do a thorough research. For the most part the Gen3 are fairly reliable but they are way more recalls and problems then the Gen2 models.
 

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I have a 2009+ I4 going 150K miles and had no issues apart from routine maintenance and some expected stuff like shocks, a hub, O2 sensors that I can think of. I do routine oil (synthetic) and ATF drain/fills. I believe the 2009+ I4 is pretty reliable.
 

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With a moon roof AFAIK that means a Limited but most are gonna have leather.
I have your car, an '06 Barcelona Red V6 4WD cloth seats, but it has 147K.
Anything in the 40K range is going the a tough find unless it's from some place like NYC where many folks drive mostly short trips and I'd rather buy a road trip car.
 

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I have the 2012 base fwd 2.5 with 115 k km. It has the start up rattle caused by the cam gears. It goes away almost instantly so not too worried about it. Surprisingly, i also has the transmission whine but whatever. I have had 1 CEL cause never determined, it was dealing with the position sensor of the damper in the intake manifold. It was investigated and reset by the dealer and never came back. I find the vehicle a little rough around the edges, somewhat harsh ride and some road/wind noise. I drove a 2018 a while back, it was quieter and a little smoother. Still really like it, roomy, great visibility peppy at low speeds, for it's size and weight good on gas. I expect it to be reliable for years to come.
 

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I don’t know where you are but I would go for the new car. While I was looking my my car, I noticed the 2010 had a lot of rust underneath, I can’t imagine what the 08 are like without proper rustproofing. Where I’m rust will kill the car before anything, I ended up with a 2012 V6. I drive a lot and I hate filling up the small gas tanks.
 

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A really good-condition 08-12 can be found, but you will have to work hard. Also crawl underneath with a flashlight, etc.

Stay on top of listings and the day weather is total shit, go into the dealership to buy.

Trust me on this.
 

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Avoid the blizzard white paint as it peels and sheets can and do fall off. Some people can't even wash their car without losing paint. Toyota USA is slowly rolling out a recall program, no word from Toyota Canada.
 

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Avoid the blizzard white paint as it peels and sheets can and do fall off. Some people can't even wash their car without losing paint. Toyota USA is slowly rolling out a recall program, no word from Toyota Canada.
Not just the Blizzard Pearl but the Super White as well. My daughter's Super White Camry has started peeling on the front fender.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the replies so far. Didn't know Toyota was having the issues with the white. Honestly, the more I see the barcelona red, the more I like it. To answer just a few of the questions, I've been looking thru autotempest, autotrader, and cars.com. I've found quite a few that fall within my preferences, but the prices they are asking are way out of sync with places like kbb and nada. Like I said, I'm in no hurry. When the right one comes along I'll know it.

Thanks for all the input guys. Love forums like this. So much better than Facebook!
 

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Thanks for all the replies so far. Didn't know Toyota was having the issues with the white. Honestly, the more I see the barcelona red, the more I like it. To answer just a few of the questions, I've been looking thru autotempest, autotrader, and cars.com. I've found quite a few that fall within my preferences, but the prices they are asking are way out of sync with places like kbb and nada. Like I said, I'm in no hurry. When the right one comes along I'll know it.

Thanks for all the input guys. Love forums like this. So much better than Facebook!
One more recommendation. If you don't absolutely NEED 4WD, look at the 2WD RAV4's. Folks up North mostly insist on 4WD because of the snow. But when I drove my 2WD through Ontario and Quebec in January 2011, it performed just fine--even with the OEM tires! The 2WD RAV4 drive train is much simpler. No transfer case, u-joints, drive shaft, electromagnetic coupler, rear differential, etc. I see folks on this forum having problems with this stuff all the time and I'm glad I don't have to worry about it.
 

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The 4wd also adds around 100kg to the weight of the vehicle. I use the LSD feature when extra traction is needed, seems to only work if you engage it at a stop, push on the gas then let off and push again. It allows the engine to rev more while still letting the traction control do it's job. In Quebec snow tires are mandatory from Dec. 1st to March 15th(?), good snow tires make a huge difference. I've gotten stuck once in 5 years but it was my bonehead maneuver that caused the issue.
 

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I think extra 4wd weight is good for the v6. It’s light and with a lot of power, the end loves fishtailing. 4cyl fwd is fine with winter tires.
 

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AWD generally exempts drivers from being required to use tire chains in snowy and icy mountain driving with all season and winter tires, at least in Oregon, but don't know about Kansas with generally more level terrain. Our '11 V6 AWD has great acceleration with some torque steer in lower gears with WOT. FWD RAV4 V6 owners are somewhat rare here but some have said that they have annoying torque steer under the same conditions. Have never heard of a FWD or AWD RAV4 fishtailing - is a property of RWD cars. My 300 alleged HP Ford RWD V8 would fishtail with heavy throttle..
 

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Here in NYC, 2011 Rav 4 V6 with 45K miles. Car garage and driven on weekends. Was involve 2 accident and repair by a shop that provide lifetime warranty on the repair. A year later, the car is running fine.

The years I have own the car, I didn't have any issue other than the rear differential. It was leaking and repair under my extended warranty.
 

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My 06 base AWD with 217,000 miles is doing great but if I have to get another vehicle in the next couple years, I’ll probably look for a 10-12 AWD 6cyl or non-oil burning 4 cyl just because the vehicle has been reliable and is well known to me. Also I have new snow tires for it and want to use them on my next vehicle! I do burn oil but it’s no big deal to put 1 quart in every 300 miles. It does really well in the snow and surprisingly well on true off road conditions - not sand, but rockfall, small streams, and road slideouts - I think because the approach angle is good and the ground clearance solid (9 inches I think). I wish the locked 4wd would hold above 25 mph but it is a very rare circumstance where that is an issue.
 
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