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Decision time.

I was set to buy a 2015 LE, automatic without the AWD, or even a 2wd model(if there is one, dunno).

When I retired a few years ago I found I just drive my AWD Subaru around town, 6-20 miles, and home, and losing 2mpg a gal. to have AWD I never use. But being USED to that and knowing here are hills and grades here on the N Coast I am wondering if I am making a mistake to get the 'weaker' LE model?

It is not a price issue. When I test drove the LE it seemed a little gutless..I learned all Rav4's now have the Camary engine (Corolla?) anyway, not the older v6..which I dont need either.

Do I need to go back and drive the AWD to compare if it is the same engine?
What is the difference?

5-8 years of 2mpg wasted in AWD on local streets adds up in fuel cost...opinions??

If I drive cross country will I have trouble thru the Rockies in a non-AWD?(assume summer driving)

The XLEs are loaded, moonroof, nicer features..but...$2K higher price and lower gas mileage forever.
 

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Those were my thoughts too. No need for 4wd. Front wheel drive have served me well. No need for additional gearbox and drive shaft to lug along and cost in maintenance. T H E N the Hybrid comes along and I bought it. No regrets. Look it up and I'm sure you'll like it. Owe it to ourselves to spend some of our children's inheritance. Ha ha. We deserve it.
 

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One situation which needs evaluation is that if the major consideration is gas mileage and the main reason for replacing the AWD Subaru is to obtain two miles more per gallon, how many miles would need to be driven in a vehicle which gets two miles more per gallon in order to make that pay off, including in the mix depreciation in the new RAV vs. that of the older vehicle? And given the number of miles driven annually, how many years would it take for that payoff to occur? Also, your profile indicates that you have a RAV now, but the vehicle you are thinking of replacing is a Subaru, so that is confusing. Any RAV which you might buy should be able to cope with normal roads in NorCal including Humboldt County, unless you are thinking of off-roading.

But the V6 RAV which I have is a genuine blessing when passing slower vehicles in limited-space uphill passing lanes on US 101, for example between Eureka and Crescent City. With the V6 no longer available all current RAVs apart from the hybrid have the same engine and transmission and produce the same effective power.
 

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If snow and slick roads are not a concern then I would go with the cheaper front wheel drive. I live in NW Arkansas and I bough the AWD just for those times that we do get snow and for the Christmas trips to Colorado to see our children. This is the first AWD that I have owned and this last trip to Colorado it came in very handy. It was March and we had 40" of snow in two weeks.
 

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The 4.4 models that are AWD normally stay in FWD mode until AWD is called for. So, for normal around town driving, it will be like driving a FWD-only vehicle.

If the vehicle detects tire slippage as in the case of rain or snow, loose gravel, sand, dirt etc, then AWD mode is activated.
 

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I'm not as familiar with the 4.4 model lineup as I am with the 4.3s but I expect all trims are available in both FWD and 4WD, and all except the Hybrid have the same drivetrain with the 2.5L engine.
Since MuddyGurl apparently has no need for 4WD there's no reason to pay more for it or haul around the extra weight 100% of the time. So, with fuel mileage being the deciding factor, is the premium price for the Hybrid, all of which are 4WD I believe, worth it? Probably not as Consumers often concludes long term.

Personally I bought my Hybrid Accord not for mileage but because it has the V6+electric and goes strong :D like my wife's RAV4.
 

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The 4.4 models that are AWD normally stay in FWD mode until AWD is called for. So, for normal around town driving, it will be like driving a FWD-only vehicle.

If the vehicle detects tire slippage as in the case of rain or snow, loose gravel, sand, dirt etc, then AWD mode is activated.
The in-car display in the 4.4 awd model would disagree with that. This is a bar graph in the gauge display which indicates which wheels torque is going to. Mine indicates that a significant portion can go to the rear under even medium acceleration on the street and with sport mode engaged a notable torque increase is sent to the outside rear tire, much like torque vectoring. In normal "brisk" driving, I see power being delivered to the rear wheels in many situations, and I am not talking about acceleration that would spin the tires.

In fact the only situation in which I see power consistently being delivered only to the front, is in continuous, light throttle, freeway driving.
 
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