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I've just started the search for my first Rav4 and browsing around this forum has been a huge help.

I am looking for a 2011/2012 model with the V6 and less than < 50k miles. Other than that, I'm not too picky with options but would tend to prefer non-leather interior.

I had a few questions that I was hoping those with more experience can help me out with:

Does anyone have any insight into the Toyota Certified program beyond the marketing/sales material they have online? Is the inspection actually in depth enough to mean much? Is getting warranty work done under this easy, or do they tend to have a lot of push back?

Are there any specific mechanical issues that are known with the 2011/2012 issues that I should have checked out in more detail?

It looks like some models have run flat tires and no spare. I've never had a car with run flat tires. Is there anything to know other than that they are more expensive to replace?

One of the cars I'm looking at online has the tow package. I don't plan on towing, but having the ability to if needed would be nice. I don't know if the previous owner towed much, but I have to assume they got the tow package for a reason. Have there been any issues with Rav4s that have been used to tow? Is the extra stress from towing something to be concerned with?
 

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Are there any specific mechanical issues that are known with the 2011/2012 issues that I should have checked out in more detail?
The only one I can think of is that the 2011/2012 V6 models could get the "transmission whine" problem. Search on that for more info. I haven't experienced it, but it's supposed to be quite noticeable when test driving.

I think the 2011s may have been subject to a rear suspension arm issue as well. The best thing to do is to get the VIN and go to the Toyota owner's site and see if there are any outstanding recalls that haven't been done yet. A new recall has to do with windshield wiper arms, for which a solution (replacement parts) has not yet been released. This would affect 2011 and 2012 models.

It looks like some models have run flat tires and no spare. I've never had a car with run flat tires. Is there anything to know other than that they are more expensive to replace?
This option was only available on the "Sport" trim. It was called the "Sport Appearance Package." All "Sport" models had a much stiffer suspension, which was good for cornering without much body roll, but makes bumps in the road more apparent to passengers. The RunFlat tires make the ride even harsher.

One of the cars I'm looking at online has the tow package. I don't plan on towing, but having the ability to if needed would be nice. I don't know if the previous owner towed much, but I have to assume they got the tow package for a reason. Have there been any issues with Rav4s that have been used to tow? Is the extra stress from towing something to be concerned with?
The RAV4 V6 optionally could come with the "Tow PREP" package, which means a larger radiator, beefier fan couplings, more powerful alternator, special brackets in the back for the OEM hitch, and a 30A wire under the dash for a brake controller for electric brakes.

However, it did NOT come with a hitch or wiring for trailer lights.

Just because it has the Tow Prep package does not mean it was ever used for towing.

I believe all V6 RAV4s sold in Canada had the Tow Prep package automatically. I think many in at least northern states often came with it automatically as well. So just because it has the Tow Prep package doesn't mean it was specially ordered with it, again meaning it's possible the RAV4 never towed anything.

Best of luck!

.
 

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The only one I can think of is that the 2011/2012 V6 models could get the "transmission whine" problem. Search on that for more info. I haven't experienced it, but it's supposed to be quite noticeable when test driving.
Good to know, I'll do some more research on this.

The best thing to do is to get the VIN and go to the Toyota owner's site and see if there are any outstanding recalls that haven't been done yet.
Great advice in general!

This option was only available on the "Sport" trim. It was called the "Sport Appearance Package." All "Sport" models had a much stiffer suspension, which was good for cornering without much body roll, but makes bumps in the road more apparent to passengers. The RunFlat tires make the ride even harsher.
I'll have to keep an eye on this while test driving. In general I don't mind a harsher ride for more control.

The RAV4 V6 optionally could come with the "Tow PREP" package, which means a larger radiator, beefier fan couplings, more powerful alternator, special brackets in the back for the OEM hitch, and a 30A wire under the dash for a brake controller for electric brakes.

However, it did NOT come with a hitch or wiring for trailer lights.

Just because it has the Tow Prep package does not mean it was ever used for towing.

I believe all V6 RAV4s sold in Canada had the Tow Prep package automatically. I think many in at least northern states often came with it automatically as well. So just because it has the Tow Prep package doesn't mean it was specially ordered with it, again meaning it's possible the RAV4 never towed anything.

Best of luck!
For this specific car, the dealer confirmed it has the tow prep package and a 2 inch hitch installed. Still no way to know if, or how much, it was used, but I'm not really sure if its something to be concerned about at all.

Thanks for the help!
 

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I am looking for a 2011/2012 model with the V6 and less than < 50k miles. Other than that, I'm not too picky with options but would tend to prefer non-leather interior.
Good luck with that! Searching this site helps.

Here is a shot cut link. I don't know where you live. Put it in your sig.
http://www.dahltoyota.com/certified/Toyota/2012-Toyota-RAV4-winona-mn-eda4d6f90a0e0a173be2a2200f031db8.htm
and another here: http://www.dahltoyota.com/used/Toyota/2010-Toyota-RAV4-winona-mn-06ec53700a0e0adf42d49e9b1d7045d5.htm

V6, loaded, one of the last you will see for a long time.
 

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Welcome to the Board Kraagen! It would be useful if you posted your location in your profile ... geography matters when it comes to answering certain questions.

Check out the TSB (Recalls & Technical Service Bulletins) section on this site under the 4.3 Gen section. It has tons of information regarding issues with all of the generations and model configurations.

I wouldn't worry if the vehicle has the tow prep and hitch receiver installed. Just do your homework regarding physical inspections i.e. shocks, drive linkages, unusual tire wear, funny transmission behavior etc. etc.

DVS's advice is sound ... follow it. Also, your local Toyota dealer will usually perform a comprehensive "pre-sale" inspection for around $100 - $125. It may be worth your while to invest that amount of money for piece of mind.

When we bought our 2011 from a small, non-Toyota Used Car Dealer with taillight warranty, I did not notice the tranny whine ... it was more of a subtle high pitch noise that I had to listen for .. it was not that loud. Having said that, I determined we had the notorious "transmission whine" and took it into our local Toyota delaer along with a printed copy of the TSB. The Tech agreed and 10 days later I had a new transaxle installed ... no more whine ... at no charge to me. The dealer also replaced my left rear axle seal under the same power train warranty. I was very satified.

They also mentioned one of my rear shcoks was leaking ... a known problem with some of the later 3rs generation years. I have yet to replace those rear shocks and may wait until Spring to do so.

After 7,000 miles ... our RAV has proven to be a good buy. We're happy.
 
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