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Well, last night we made the plunge...we purchased a brand new 2006 Toyota RAV4...and, traded in our beloved 1996.

I LOVE the ride...much smoother than the '96, and SO much more quieter! The perks are nice as well (can we say, cup holders?...and 10 of them to boot!). We haven't driven it much yet (planned for today)...but, here are some of the pros and cons we discovered last night:

Pros:
Smoother ride
Quieter
Perkier acceleration
No leaning on quick turns (whatever that is called...I'm a girl...get over it)
Low Maintenance
Better gas mileage (our '96 got great mileage...28 mpg on highway...the '06 is supposed to get even higher mileage than that!)
Better headlights
Keyless entry (I like that only the driver's side opens on one push, and the other doors on two)
Alarm (well, we could have purchased this for our old one)
Lo Jack (again, we could have gotten this with our old one)
Remote seat latches to lower back seat (FANTASTIC!)
Tonneau Cover and cargo nets
Hidden trunks
MP3 Stereo/speaker system (6!)
Auxillary jack for my iPod, and hidden out of the way!
(3) 12V power outlets...GREAT for that portable DVD player!
Cup Holders
Outside Temperature Gauge
Sturdier Visors with pull-out shades
Lighted vanity mirrors on the driver's and passenger's sides
Front seats much more comfortable
Dual Gloveboxes
Dashboard and all of the interior lights in the front end

Cons:
Glovebox not lighted
No overhead light in cargo area
Gated shifter (but, this is minor...I'm sure I'll get used to it)
Doesn't look as sporty and "stand-out" as our old RAV4...it is not as unique

This is all I can think of...we're going for a ride today and have some fun breaking it in!

Here is a photo of our old baby ...she will surely be missed:



Here is a poor photo of our new baby...better photos to follow soon:



p.s. we walked into the dealership, and in about two hours we were proud new owners.
 
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Congrats! What color is that? What options did you get? Is it a 4x4 Base? How much did you pay? Thanks!

Tom
 

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Ahh... Now you're making me reminisce about my old Prussian Red Pearl '97 (where do they think up these color names?!? lol)... Brings a tear to my eye...

But then I think about how the RAV has gotten more refined with each generation. Many of the pro qualities you listed for the 4.3 probably could have applied to the 4.2, and I fully expect it to be another step up. So now I'm looking forward to taking a V6 RAV into my hands... As long as the RDX or CX-7 doesn't steal away my heart (and likely a larger chunk of my paycheck) away. :wink:
 
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Thank you all! We are very excited! Just got back from zooming about town...and, what fun it is to drive (and ride).

Here are some better photos we took today...unfortunately, being that it is winter...everything is dead, so the landscape isn't the most colorful:















puttputt...I'm with you on the back light! They could have taken out those two cup holders in the back and put in a light! LOL! Maybe there is some kind of "touch light" I could put back there that isn't too ugly and will not destroy anything it is attached to. I use the cargo area every day!

purduealum91...in answer to some of your questions. We purchased the base 4WD. We would have gotten the limited, but I didn't want leather seats, and the price played a factor as well. The color is stated as Savannah. We paid about $23,000. As far as options...what I can think of off the top of my head are the following:

Cargo Mat/Floor Mats
Tonneau cover and multi-purpose cargo net with support poles
Some other net that I have no idea how to use
Black roof rails and cross bars
Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
First Aid Kit
Electronic on-demand 4WD with 4WD manual lock switch
HAC and DAC

karrock...surely you're not going to become a traitor and abandon the Rav4s...

Have a great night![/img]
 

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Well, I said it half-jokingly, if you noticed the wink...

Don't get me wrong, I love the RAV4 and I've loved every single generation. I am among a small minority that actually saw a RAV face to face back in 1994. It made such an impression on me then that I bought one in 1997 -- why not 1996? Because I had made the tragic mistake of replacing a dying Hyundai with another in 1995 and didn't know that the RAV was headed to America some two years after I met it in Japan. I still took a hit to the wallet privately selling my old car so I could buy my first RAV.

4.2 naturally came along and turned my head in its direction -- so much so that I bought a first year new model the day I visited the dealership. Granted, I had previously done my research, knew what options I wanted and even had an eLoan check in hand. As with the 4.2, I had eagerly been anticipating 4.3, following every rumor, clue, spy photo and red herring along the way. Despite the loss of some of a unique exterior personality, 4.3 has been a decidedly positive event for me and I'm in love all over again.

But, as many, including myself have said on and on... I don't see how Toyota can attempt to push the RAV both broader and upmarket in the US without some key missing elements that are available in other RAVs around the world (and a few solely from competitors). It's been covered many times over, some of them more important than others, but here we go again.

What's missing? Namely: DVD Navigation, satellite radio, spare-free rear door, run-flat tires, smartkey entry/start, manual transmission, tiptronic or paddle style "manumatic" shifting, CVT transmission, turbo-diesel engine, hybrid powertrain, shorter wheelbase model, rear view camera, backup sensors, HID or projector headlamps, 110v power outlet.
 
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I should have added a *wink* to mine...I responded in light as well! :)

As far as what is missing? I wonder if what you mentioned in your post were added, if the price could still remain affordable for every-day Joes like myself? I have a feeling you would be adding greatly to the sticker price.

p.s. What about adding air blowing windshield "wipers?" *wink* I am giggling as I type this because I just HAVE to see how those work!
 

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Well... My point is, nearly everything I listed should be *available* as an option. Doesn't mean that they need to be standard equipment with the Base model (except for maybe a manual tranny and the 110v outlet, which is even in the Matrix). Sure, it'll raise the top end by a thousand $$ or so, but compared to the CX-7, RDX and X3, it'll be a relative bargain.

What air blowing wipers do you mean? The ones like in the last Camry? I don't know if Toyota's used them in any other models, but my sister used to work for the company (Bowles Fluidics) that created them and owns the patent on the design. :D Instead of just lamely squirting thin streams of fluid like most cars, without any additional mechanicals or special fluid, the nozzles they engineered provide oscillation and aeration and they spray in a wider fan of slightly foamy coverage. I thought it was particularly amazing when I first found out about it.
 
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I was referring to the Acura RDX...at a website I was reading how the concept car at the Detroit auto show uses jets of air to clean off the windshield instead of windshield wipers. I would really love to see how those work...even in a concept car.
 
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congrats on your purchase. i also bought my new rav4 this weekend (saturday). i made all my dealings through email and phone. by saturday, i just had to confirm everything and sign the papers. i was outta there in 20 min (including the 10 min demo of my car) i had a good buying experience. :D
 
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Thank you both flyingn and so4reelz...we are very excited!

flyingn...the picture is a little lighter than the real color. Not sure why it photographs differently. Did this with two different digital cameras. I knew you could get the limited w/fabric...but the dealer didn't have one in stock...plus, that wasn't the only reason! The cost played a factor as well.

so4reelz...CONGRATS on your purchase as well! Neat that you did all of your paperwork online! Amazing what technology can do for us!

When I listed our options...I missed a *few* things, and added something I thought we had.

Anyway...purdue...here is the REAL list of options on our new RAV. I am taking this right off the Sticker! LOL!

Cargo Area Tonneau Cover with Multipurpose Cargo Net with Support Poles
Black Roof Rails and Crossbars
Federal Emissions (this is under options...lol)
Daytime Running Lights
Carpet Mat Set (5 pc)
Carpet Floor Mats
Rear Cargo Mat
Mud Guards (black)
Rear Bumper Protector
Stainless Steel Exhaust Tip (this is NICE!!)
Cargo Net
First Aid Kit
Fabric Guard
Custom Tape Stripe
No Charge Extra Mile Benefits: Roadside Assistance (3 yrs/36,000 miles) and Extra Mile Extended Life Tires (6 years/100,000 miles).
RS3200 Plus Alarm System

The Elec. On-Demand 4WD/4 WD man. Lock is standard

Ours doesn't look like we have the HAC and DAC. I remember the salesman talking about this...and I guess I thought we had it? But, it is not on the Sticker. My husband knows more about the engine stuff than I do.
 

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RAVishing said:
Some other net that I have no idea how to use.
I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I THINK that net hangs on the two hooks that are located on either side of the rear door.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
The HAC and DAC are standard on V6 models and optional on 4cyl models with the 3rd row seat
 
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karrock said:
What's missing? Namely: DVD Navigation, satellite radio, spare-free rear door, run-flat tires, smartkey entry/start, manual transmission, tiptronic or paddle style "manumatic" shifting, CVT transmission, turbo-diesel engine, hybrid powertrain, shorter wheelbase model, rear view camera, backup sensors, HID or projector headlamps, 110v power outlet.
Hmmm, interesting list. Lots of people on the Sienna boards are cursing the RFT's. Where would you put the spare tire if not on the back? Not much room elsewhere for it with the AWD powertrain and third row seats. I'd love to have a manual tranny, but would want it with the V6 and AWD (NEVER gonna happen). I love the V6/manual tranny combo in our Camry.

Also, the hybrid powertrain is currently available in the Highlander which has comparable specs to the RAV4.3.

The 4.3 version has put the RAV4 on the map, IMHO, and made it a true contender. Small outside packaging, respectable interior space, gobs of power with V6, AWD, third row seating, and 3500 pounds towing... Not too shabby at all.
 
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flyingn said:
WOW RAV that is most loaded RAV that I have ever seen.. And its a base too. very odd for sure.. Whats the roadside assistance? is it a dealer item? And whats the option with the tires???!! did they explain it to you??
Our RAV came with some manufactured optional equipment, then some distributor installed options through a package deal. The distributor installed option package is called "The Extra Mile Option Package A." You can view these at Toyota.com by clicking on "Build and Price your RAV4." (it is interesting...on this site it shows the color as being "Beige Metallic" but on our sticker it says "Savannah Metallic/Oak"). This package is where the Roadside Assistance and Extra Extended Life Tires fall into play. The Roadside Assistance is through Toyota.
 
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flyingn said:
Are you looking to get one??
Undecided. We are still shopping (have been for years, though this year we may actually buy something). So far, the Sienna has been the clear front-runner, but the '06 RAV is VERY intriguing. The small size, potent powertrain (3.5L V6 and AWD), potentially useable (at least for kids) third row, and 3500 lb tow rating are awfully attractive. Plus, throw in a lower purchase price and better fuel mileage than a Sienna. We haven't test fit ourselves or driven the RAV (we would only be shopping a V6 anyway, which aren't on dealers lots out here), but interior dimensions are comparable to a Sequoia (except for width/hip/shoulder room), which I have sat in and been reasonably comfortable in the third row.
 
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CampingColorado said:
karrock said:
What's missing? Namely: DVD Navigation, satellite radio, spare-free rear door, run-flat tires, smartkey entry/start, manual transmission, tiptronic or paddle style "manumatic" shifting, CVT transmission, turbo-diesel engine, hybrid powertrain, shorter wheelbase model, rear view camera, backup sensors, HID or projector headlamps, 110v power outlet.
Hmmm, interesting list. Lots of people on the Sienna boards are cursing the RFT's. Where would you put the spare tire if not on the back? Not much room elsewhere for it with the AWD powertrain and third row seats. I'd love to have a manual tranny, but would want it with the V6 and AWD (NEVER gonna happen). I love the V6/manual tranny combo in our Camry.

Actually, Backup sensors are available in Canada at least as an added accesory.
 
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