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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, just want to give a shout out to everyone at RAV4WORLD. I haven't seen too many, if not any, recent posts from Japan but I'm a new RAV4.3 owner based in Nagoya, which is right next to Toyota City (where Toyota HQ is located). So naturally, most cars around here are Toyotas - it's been stated as high as 70% and I wouldn't disagree either.

Anyways, I originally had my mind set on getting the Forester STi (which is only available in Japan). This car is seriously a blast to drive with turbo-addict power, an infectious boxer engine sound, and Subaru's renowned 'symmetrical-AWD' handling. But on the day I was to make an offer at the Subaru dealer after the test drive, I decided to head over to the Toyota dealer next door to check out the new RAV4, just for the hell of it....yeah, this was supposed to be part of my 'bargaining strategy'. However, to make a long story on impulse buying short, I'm now happily cruising around in a Pearl White RAV4 G model with the 2.4L engine (only engine available in Japan) and CVT. The factory order took only 3 weeks and the options I got were: Moonroof, Side/Curtain Airbags, S-VSC, LED Interior Illumination, and 'Pearl White Crystal Shine' paint. In Japan, most new cars are 'radio-less' so I added a Pioneer HDD Navigation System w/ Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.

I'm sure we could go on forever with the 'RAV4 vs. Forester' debate, but what it basically came down to was that I was unexpectedly impressed with the RAV4 overall after driving both cars back to back. Sure, it's apples-to-oranges when comparing the performance, handling, and price (STi model only), but the fact that the RAV4 is completely brand new whereas the Forester is likely in its last production model year before being re-designed for 2007 was a major deciding factor.

I don't intend to enter my RAV4 in any impromptu stoplight races as I would have with the Forester, but since the JDM RAV4 has the short wheelbase (and I presume a lighter vehicle weight), the 2.4L engine and CVT combination works really well, giving it more than adequate acceleration with or without passengers. The CVT or 'Super CVT-i with 7 Speed Sports Sequential Shiftmatic' takes a while to get used to because the engine RPMs seem to 'hover' in one area even though your speed is increasing. It feels strange at first but you soon realize the benefits: instantaneous acceleration at any speed without the need for a 'downshift', lower RPMs during highway cruising (barely any engine noise), and better overall fuel economy than the conventional 4 speed automatic. The 7 Speed mode is fun to play around with during aggressive driving but usually I just keep it in 'D'.

I'm sure most of you already know the major differences between the JDM/EU and NA models, but here is my shortlist of unique features for the JDM model:
1.) Aforementioned CVT
2.) SmartKey Entry & Pushbutton Engine Start/Stop System (this is same as Lexus)
3.) HID Projector Low Beam Headlamps w/ Auto-Leveling
4.) Clean Air/Dust/Pollen Filtration w/ 'Plasmacluster' minus ion cabin air enhancement
5.) Clear Front Turn Signal Lenses w/ Parking Lamps
6.) Clear Side Turn Signals on fender
7.) Front Left Fender Mirror (to better see curbs)
8.) Power folding 'rain clearing' coated side mirrors w/ water repellant side windows (does the NA model have this???)
9.) Unique 17" 5-spoke alloy wheels (225/65R17 Yokohama Geolandar G91 tires) for G models w/ full size spare and matching alloy wheel
10.) Adjustable Stub Antenna on roof
11.) Different rear bumper reflectors (w/ optional rear fog lamps)
12.) Aero-style wipers

UPDATE: i've posted some more pics in my album.

If I've missed any other features, please feel free to add to the list!!!

Hope to see other JDM RAV4 owners online!!!

Cheers, RAVJ :)
 

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Welcome RAVJ!! It's about time that we get someone in the forums with the RAV we've all been curious about :D, well i can't speak for everyone but i was very curious about the japanese version.

Please don't forget to post pics of every angle if possible to see your new adquisition :D
 

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Welcome!
Nice looking RAV, and impressive options.....especially the CVT 8) Sure beats the US and CDN options, or lack thereof, in NA.... :cry:

What part of the "Great White North" are you from.....???
.........and, hope I'm not being too personal, what are you doing in Japan..........teaching or hockey or combination of both??? :wink: :wink:

.......and lastly, how's the beer???...compared to CDN beer?? :wink:

Cheers!!!....eh!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bluenoser said:
Welcome!
Nice looking RAV, and impressive options.....especially the CVT 8) Sure beats the US and CDN options, or lack thereof, in NA.... :cry:

What part of the "Great White North" are you from.....???
.........and, hope I'm not being too personal, what are you doing in Japan..........teaching or hockey or combination of both??? :wink: :wink: !!!
i'm from the 'wet' coast....van city 8)
seems every other cdn here in jp is teaching but i'm in intl. M&S

Bluenoser said:
.......and lastly, how's the beer???...compared to CDN beer?? :wink:

Cheers!!!....eh!!!
well, can't say i miss labatts blue too much!!! :lol: jp beer is pretty good, but i still have the occasional yearning for okanagan spring 1516 or sleemans honey brown lager
 

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LOL
I'm sure jpn beer beats that other infamous wet coast beer "Lucky"......visited my son in Campbell River and tried it....UGH!!! :roll: :lol:
 
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