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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I am having a very hard time deciding whether to get the original small RAV4 which I really really love, or get a new bigger RAV4. Let me explain.

I had a 2001 RAV4 manual transmission for a year and a half, and miss that car dearly. I recently found a 2005 RAV4 S manual with sunroof, it looks really sharp and has just 7000 miles on it. They want $21,000 for it.

The dilemma is this: I can get a 2006 RAV V6 Sport with moonroof for just under $26,000. Gas mileage is very similar between the two. They are both 4wd. So I dont know what to do. I can afford both, but I feel the 05 is a little expensive and the 06 is a good deal.

Any advice would be great!

I miss my RAV4!
 
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You are going to have every 4.3 owner telling you to go 2006.
And, they will be correct for the most part. It is a better vehicle for several reasons and they can (and will) explain.

I assume you can get the $21K price down some more on the used 2005? That would be the only reason to get it instead.

I would prefer a little more cargo room length than our 4.2 can give. And, I personally need the V6 power. But, I'm not the primary driver. And, you should find that the used 2005's 2.4 liter motor has more power than your 2001's 2.0 liter motor.

Take those thoughts with yours and anybody elses and take the plunge! Happy RAVing.
 
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Thanks. I actually prefer the smaller size of the 4.2...it's SO much more practical here in Boston. Plus, it's really fun to drive. The 4.3 is a smoother, more refined vehicle. And it would have side airbags.

The place that has the 4.2 is not negotiating at all. But I think if I go in with a check for $21,000 they will knock 1000 off the price. If not they can shove it.
 

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1'd go for the 4.3. You say the mileage will be about the same, but you'll have much more room. Also, I would bet that you lose less in depreciation down the road, with the 4.3 holding it's value better, and I assume within a few years it will be easier to sell than a 4.2. With the price of gas headed in one direction, I'd be willing to bet the 4cyl 4.3's are gonna be good as gold within a few years. I'd go for the '06, that is.... unless you absolutely gotta have the manual tranny. :ponder:

OC
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Our 4.2 has side curtain airbags.

But, if that used one doesn't, you should go for the new '06.
And not having to shift in Boston traffic sounds like a plus.
 
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I figured this thread would generate all responses saying to get the 4.3. No surprises there. I really do want a manual tranny, and the look of this 4.2 is great in particular.

The 4.3 is nice, but I feel like it's too big. It's fast, but big. Driving the stick in Boston is actually quite fun. What fun is a stick if you spend all your time on the highway never rowing the gears?
 
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$21K for the used RAV is high. You can get a new 2006 Subaru Forrester X for a lot less than that (they still have the $2K rebate going for the X model). I priced an automatic for $19,300, and a manual would be even less. If you want a smaller size and a manual, that would be a good choice.

BTW, side airbags are standard on the Forrester, but it does not have the side curtain airbags that you can get on '06 RAV4.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice, but a Forrester is just ugly. I suppose I know what my answer is, I just wanted to get some thoughts from you guys.

Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
It figures when someone posts on the 4.3 RAV forum, their mind is made up! :wink:
 
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Well, I drove the 2005 and 2006 back to back yesterday and the 2005 with manual is SO much more fun to drive than the new V6 Sport. It's really sad, honestly, that Toyota turned the RAV4 into what felt like a bus. I felt like I was driving a bus. Best of luck to all of you gen 3 owners. I am going to try and find a better price on a 2005.
 
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Bus? Maybe...people usually over dramatize to make a point. It’s all a matter of perspective. The two previous generation RAV4’s were a completely different breed and the 4.3 target audience is now also a different breed.

You have to understand that <lem144> is making a personal choice that many 4.3-generation folks can’t agree with. Your 4.3 is a product of broader appeal and you might even call it a mini version of the very sales-successful Highlander. The short and snub-nosed 4.2’s & 4.1’s appealed more to a niche crowd. It is preferable in the tightest of spaces and traffic congestion.

I’m not the primary driver and I don’t really like ours. But, I can appreciate the things it can do better than the 4.3. The back seats are more comfortable, the cup holders are superior, the 6 grocery hooks work better, it’s easier to park, and it’s way more cute.

Parking ease, manual shifting, and cute factor don’t interest me in the least. But, that’s not to say they aren’t valid reasons for somebody else.

I would never buy a 2-wheel drive SUV. But then, that's a very valid choice for someone in Florida.
 

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lem144 said:
Well, I drove the 2005 and 2006 back to back yesterday and the 2005 with manual is SO much more fun to drive than the new V6 Sport. It's really sad, honestly, that Toyota turned the RAV4 into what felt like a bus. I felt like I was driving a bus. Best of luck to all of you gen 3 owners. I am going to try and find a better price on a 2005.
Best of luck to you! I hope you find what you want, I know I did...
 

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One other thing to consider is will you be holding on to the RAV4 for a while? If you will be trading in the RAV4 in a few years, the 06 might be much better at trade in time.

Size and a manual transmission is a plus for the 05, and if you like the looks of the 05, it might be a better fit for you. You should be able to get the price down on the 05 - maybe some other dealer will have an 05 so that you can play each dealer off against each other, or use the fact that the 06's are available, which should lower the price on an 05.

Let us know what happens & good luck.
 
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