Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering replacing our '03 Matrix with a Rav4. We're leaning toward one with the third row seating and I definitely want AWD. I'd also like a few more creature comforts than our 'trix sports. (It has no power windows, door locks or cruise control.)

If you were looking for a used Rav4, what kinds of things would you look for to avoid buying trouble? Are there any years that I would be wise to avoid or any options that have proved troublesome? (Please don't say power door locks, windows and cruise control ;) )

What options would be important to you? Yes, I understand we're all different but something you like might interest me as well. Or let me know what options you think I want and why.

Also, is there anything that would drive me toward a fourth gen? The one thing that moves me toward the third gen is the third row seating, but that's not an absolute requirement. We can always steal the kid's Highlander if we need to carry all three grandkids. :D

Hmmm... I should probably use the search function too. If you know of any epic "buying a used Rav4" threads, please post links!

Thanks!

Edit: Heated mirrors and seats would be very cool too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
The basics:

If you want a 4-cylinder (you don't >:D), absolutely go with 2009 or later models. Before that they used a different 4-cylinder engine that was often known for large amounts of oil consumption.

I believe heated seats and mirrors only came from the factory for the Limited models, though it's conceivable they could have been ordered on the Sport models.

The Sport models never came with the 3rd row seat, and had an extremely stiff suspension, which some people don't like. The SAP version of the Sport ("Sport Appearance Package") came with no spare tire, and used runflat tires instead. Runflat tires are significantly more expensive and add even more to the stiffer/harsher ride.

3rd-row seat versions are hard to find, and were only at all suitable for small children.

The 4th gen has more electronic toys and a significantly better transmission vs. the 4-cylinder 3rd gen (6-speed vs. 4-speed, the 3rd gen V6 had a 5-speed), but the 4th gen loses the V6 engine option :mad:, 2,000 lbs of max towing capacity, the full-sized spare tire, almost 1.5" of ground clearance, sliding rear seats, an inch of headroom front and back, the 3rd-row option, big underfloor storage bins in the rear (2-row models), and a few other things.

Here's a more comprehensive list JuneBug put together of gains and losses between the 3rd and 4th generation RAV4:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/123-4-4-general/96545-features-added-dropped-2013-2014-rav4.html#post976777

.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HankB

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
2009 and up and you should be good!

options I would not pass up on : V6 ;-)
 
  • Like
Reactions: HankB

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
As said 2009 and up...
Heated seats were available on the sport if it had the leather seats....
All 2009-2012 sport models have heated mirrors with integrated turn signals...
I would decide what's important to you...
If you don't need or want the v6 I would go for the 4th gen...
Decide your budget and things you want....the stock stereo on the 3rd gens are terrible...
I bought a sport SAP cause I wanted a black interior, v6 and no spare tire on the back...very happy with mine...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,505 Posts
There is one 2012 Limited V6 4WD for sale here in town. It has everything you want except the third row. (Not listed, but it also has the heated side mirrors and rear windshield de-icer.) Barcelona Red. I was thinking of getting it for my wife, but the color.!!! :) Kidding. (I'm ribbing one of our premier members here.) We think nothing of driving to the Chicago area from here, but I don't know where you live. Illinois is a long state!

Link to it here.

This is a great dealer, Dahl Toyota. ! I've been a customer for a few years and they are honest and super-service oriented.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,447 Posts
My 2012 sport model does NOT have heated mirrors, nor integrated turn signals. It was an option but not standard.
Well I stand corrected...I had thought they all had them, but looking thru the rav4 brochure it seems only the SAP version could get them...learn something new everyday LOL...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
V6.
End of message.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HankB

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I understand your thinking on the 3rd row. Its small but gives you some flexibility, but costs in lost underfloor storage. Only available in the 4cyl I believe.

BUT....... we had an '07 V6, no 3rd row. My wife was rear ended by a F150 with both kids sitting in the regular back seat. They were shook up, covered in broken rear window glass, but mostly OK. RAV was wrote off by insurance. Seeing the damage in the rear of the RAV it could have been entirely different if they had been sitting in a 3rd row. There is just not the crumple zone to be safe in a rear collision.

In my experience skip the 3rd row and borrow the Highlander, you would never forgive yourself if anything happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,660 Posts
I'm pretty sure the 3rd row was also available with the V6 models.

I'd skip it, too, though, for the reasons mentioned.

.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HankB

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Actually, it may have been a goofy Canada thing that is was only in the 4cyl. Of course that may have changed after '07, or I could be entirely wrong!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
I have a 2008 V6 AWD BASE with 3rd row. It came as part of the "B" package, I think: alloy wheels, heated mirrors, heated front windshield wiper blade area (useless where I live -30 o F).
I have NEVER used the third row seating, despite having 5 grandchildren. It's a dangerous spot to even put your tiny, tiny in-laws. Ferget aboot it. Go for 5 seats and the massive underfloor storage space that I don't have!
Oh, did I mention V6? And the AWD?
I have it oiled at Krown every December, and there's not a spot of rust. It does live outside, though, so it doesn't get the salt build-up and then the thawing in a (relatively) warm garage. Wonderful vehicle, and I've decided not to get the epoxy fix until Toyota can come up with a better solution to THEIR problem. Hard on brakes, though, but my wife was the primary driver before we bought the Venza. She is hard on the Venza's brakes, too. It must be a coincidence. It's a white knuckle ride when I ride with her (my knuckles).
BTW the Venza ceases production 2016. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking. 72000+ km and not a single problem. V6 AWD of course.
:wink
Hank, find a V6 AWD and buy it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HankB and pico

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks all for your thoughtful answers. I really appreciate it.

OK, I'm off the third row seating. I hadn't thought about crush zones and that argument is compelling. And rear end collisions are something that the driver of the vehicle that's rear ended may not be able to do anything about. As a motorcyclist it's one of my most feared accidents.

I started pointing out RAV4s to SWMBO who immediately became suspicious. ;) She still says she wants an Avalon. Our son helped to dissuade by saying "Yeah, it's totally an old folks car." ;) We're 62 but still not old. :D

I'll just need to get her in one for a test drive.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,234 Posts
Once she realizes that you sit up high and the RAV is so easy to get in & out of she will change her tune. I'm speaking as an old bird........Avalon (any sedan) is just too low for those of us up in age. You don't get more spry as you age. Yes, the V-6 will bring a grin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Once she realizes that you sit up high and the RAV is so easy to get in & out of she will change her tune.
In addition to that,if she is a petite lady,she will love the great view she gets from the higher driving position. Being able to see over cars in front of her will win her over very quickly. I know that prying the RAV4 away from my wife will be impossible when it's time to get something newer.(unless it's another RAV4 type vehicle) Not that I WANT to change what she drives...I like the added safety she gets from the improved sight lines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,516 Posts
I have a 2008 V6 AWD BASE with 3rd row. It came as part of the "B" package, I think: alloy wheels, heated mirrors, heated front windshield wiper blade area (useless where I live -30 o F).
{clip}
Just curious.....why would a heated wiper area be useless in Canada?
Florida I could see..but Canada??:confused:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,612 Posts
Agreed. My wife would never let me replace her RAV4 for something lower and slower. She'll only drive my Accord in pinch. And I doubt she'll ever ride in my recently purchased sit-on-the-floor 1968 Volvo 1800S even tho we got married in a '62 P1800 and she drove it all over the place back in her 20s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
I will support the fact to stay away from 2006-08 rav4s

Unfortunately I bought one a few months ago without knowing this knowledge. Mine consumes 1 litre every 2000 kms.

I like the car very much but I will be looking to upgrade to a 2009-12 model.
 

·
Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
Joined
·
16,832 Posts
I will support the fact to stay away from 2006-08 rav4s
That would be the 4 cylinder models only. The 2006-2012 V6 doesn't have the oil burning problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
"Just curious.....why would a heated wiper area be useless in Canada?
Florida I could see..but Canada??"


It's useless because the heating element is not powerful enough to melt the snow/ice at the temperatures we experience. Open up your freezer. That's about 0 degrees F. Now try to imagine -30 degrees F. Dat's cold, man.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top