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Hello, considering buying a '09 RAV4

Hello,

Your forums are very informative. We're trying to do our homework as we consider buying a used RAV4 for our daughter. We've been very happy with our '02 and '09 Siennas.

If we do buy this '09 RAV4 v6 Limited with 74K miles, we'll be sure to check this forum for all your knowledgeable opinions and info.

Any opinions on what to look out for or if anyone has a 2009 RAV4 V6 Limited, we'd love to hear from you!

Also, we like the power of a V6 but does anyone think we should also consider the 4-cylinder instead of 6? Fewer problems with either one or the other?
 

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As usual, with the V6, check for the whining transmission. Some V6 have it. Check the forum for exactly what the symptoms are.
Check the vehicle history for recalls. Maybe you will find that the transmission has already been replaced?
 

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As usual, with the V6, check for the whining transmission. Some V6 have it. Check the forum for exactly what the symptoms are.
Check the vehicle history for recalls. Maybe you will find that the transmission has already been replaced?
Thanks for your quick reply.

According to Carfax report, no transmission replacement made. Will try to check for whining noise. We have until tonight to return it and our mechanic will go over it in a few hours.

It's listed in the Limited Service Campaign for ECM to be updated with Smart Stop Technology. Previous owner didn't do this and campaign expired December 2015 for dealer to do this for free.

There's a recall on rear outboard seatbelts that just came out but Toyota is working on getting remedy parts available so we can take care of that.

I understand there was also a Limited Service Campaign in 2010 for VVT-i Oil Line in 2009 RAV4's with 2GR-FE (V6) engine where the hose needs to be replaced with a newer designed one. Doesn't appear previous owner addressed this either.

Not sure if these are all big enough concerns not to buy the car.

Is the whine only with V6's?
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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Thanks for your quick reply.

According to Carfax report, no transmission replacement made. Will try to check for whining noise. We have until tonight to return it and our mechanic will go over it in a few hours.

It's listed in the Limited Service Campaign for ECM to be updated with Smart Stop Technology. Previous owner didn't do this and campaign expired December 2015 for dealer to do this for free.

There's a recall on rear outboard seatbelts that just came out but Toyota is working on getting remedy parts available so we can take care of that.

I understand there was also a Limited Service Campaign in 2010 for VVT-i Oil Line in 2009 RAV4's with 2GR-FE (V6) engine where the hose needs to be replaced with a newer designed one. Doesn't appear previous owner addressed this either.

Not sure if these are all big enough concerns not to buy the car.

Is the whine only with V6's?
After April of 2008, all V6 RAV4's had the metal oil pipe installed instead of the hose, so that LSC doesn't apply. Go to toyota.com/owners and enter the VIN. You can look at all service records relating to work done at any Toyota dealer.
 

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UPDATE: Still considering RAV 4 but may expand search to include 4-cylinder.

Our trusty mechanic just discovered, within 30 seconds, that the front driver end was in an accident, so we're not buying it.

The search continues. I'll post any questions as they come up to the appropriate forum thread.

Again, many thanks for having such a great forum!
 

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I realize you are not buying this one but my question is this......how old is your daughter?
The V-6 is a serious sleeper and should not be considered for a new driver in my opinion.
It is quite powerful and there is a bit of torque steer to deal with for front wheel drive models. A new driver would have no experience dealing with the immediate acceleration or the torque steer. It will spank an older 5.0l Mustang V-8 so think about it.

The only four cylinder to consider is the 2.5l from 2009 forward. Previous years have oil guzzling four cylinders (2006-2008) and should be avoided.
 

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I echo RTexasF's warnings about the V6 RAV. It can blow the doors off many other vehicles and by the same token can be a potentially dangerous handful for an inexperienced driver without at least a couple of years under their belt. It also has a hair-trigger throttle on takeoff from standing stops which takes some getting used to.
 

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I realize you are not buying this one but my question is this......how old is your daughter?
The V-6 is a serious sleeper and should not be considered for a new driver in my opinion.
It is quite powerful and there is a bit of torque steer to deal with for front wheel drive models. A new driver would have no experience dealing with the immediate acceleration or the torque steer. It will spank an older 5.0l Mustang V-8 so think about it.

The only four cylinder to consider is the 2.5l from 2009 forward. Previous years have oil guzzling four cylinders (2006-2008) and should be avoided.
I echo RTexasF's warnings about the V6 RAV. It can blow the doors off many other vehicles and by the same token can be a potentially dangerous handful for an inexperienced driver without at least a couple of years under their belt. It also has a hair-trigger throttle on takeoff from standing stops which takes some getting used to.
Excellent points. She's 20 and commuting to college. She's driven our '09 Sienna and commuted with our old '02 Sienna, both V6s (though admittedly heavier cars).

Yes, I noticed all the oil consumption problems with the earlier RAVs you mentioned. Looking at '09 and newer but price is limiting us to 2012 or older.

Our mechanic suggested a Hyundai Santa Fe but we're worried about reliability vs. the RAVs.
 

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Excellent points. She's 20 and commuting to college. She's driven our '09 Sienna and commuted with our old '02 Sienna, both V6s (though admittedly heavier cars).

Yes, I noticed all the oil consumption problems with the earlier RAVs you mentioned. Looking at '09 and newer but price is limiting us to 2012 or older.

Our mechanic suggested a Hyundai Santa Fe but we're worried about reliability vs. the RAVs.

I had a Hyundai Elantra (obviously not a Santa Fe) and it generally was an excellent car - well built, reliable, easy to drive. My only objection was that the suspension was too mushy for me after we moved to an area with lots of twisty mountain roads. Also about reliability, the Hyundai 5 year bumper to bumper and 10 year powertrain warranties are large pluses.
 

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Be scared, be very scared of the Santa Fe especially the V6.

My boss has one with AWD from 2008. Only 90K miles.
Already 3 head gasket changed, tied rods gone, fuel pump changed twice. Now there is another leak between engine and transmission.
Can't believe the crap he has to deal with.

BTW, in Canada, we only get 5-year power train warranty on Hyundais!
 

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Be scared, be very scared of the Santa Fe especially the V6.

My boss has one with AWD from 2008. Only 90K miles.
Already 3 head gasket changed, tied rods gone, fuel pump changed twice. Now there is another leak between engine and transmission.
Can't believe the crap he has to deal with.

BTW, in Canada, we only get 5-year power train warranty on Hyundais!
Ouch, good to know.

So basically avoid RAV4's '06-'08 (oil consumption).

Is there any way to search VINs for accident info that doesn't show up on CARFAX? We already had one dealer try to sell us one with obvious (thanks to our mechanic inspection) front end damage.
 

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According to Consumer Reports the Hyundai Santa Fe (classed as a midsize SUV) has a slightly worse than average reliability record but slightly higher than average customer satisfaction rating. The Kia Sorento EX V6 (made by the same company) is at the top of the reliability and owner satisfaction ratings, closely followed by Toyota Highlanders, hybrid and also V6. In the small SUV category the Subaru Forester is above average in reliability, but we had a Forester which was a build and repair nightmare - worst vehicle we've ever owned. The RAV4 V6 is no longer rated since the last one was made for the 2012 model year, neither is the RAV4 4-cyl. 2006-2012 since the same year. About Toyotas, one can go to www.toyotaowners.com register and enter the VIN, which will reveal service and repair records done by Toyota but may or may not do the same for accident repairs - will show repairs done by Toyota but most likely not those done by non-Toyota shops. As another alternative, my wife likes Honda CR-Vs and her current 2010 EX has been flawless.
 

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So basically avoid RAV4's '06-'08 (oil consumption).
That just applies to the 2.4l four banger.
 

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So basically avoid RAV4's '06-'08 (oil consumption).

Is there any way to search VINs for accident info that doesn't show up on CARFAX? We already had one dealer try to sell us one with obvious (thanks to our mechanic inspection) front end damage.
Yes, the oil consumption issue only applies to the 4 cylinder models and many of our members have never experienced it even tho forums like this tend to highlight problems. Likewise the transmission whine is confined to V6 models, again with relatively few owners reporting it. Mine has none. In each case repairs may have been done by previous owners.

I'd not rely on the various history reports as gospel. Rely on your mechanic instead.

On the V6, the RAV4 is the lightest vehicle Toyota put it in and is the primary reason we own one. A semi-cautious driver can handle one. Somehow I can too.
 
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