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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife absolutely loves the Rav4 and after reading reviews and looking up the car it seems there is a very good reason they are so popular. So we both became fans pretty quickly and are hoping to get one in the next few weeks.

We are looking for a V6 4WD, but I have a few concerns and research that I'm trying to do and looking for some help in all areas.

I have seen a 2008 with 167,000 miles. It seems very attractive from a price point considering we are looking for a more premium model. But not sure what I'm getting myself into... There are some cars that will run forever if well maintained, I can deal with replacing clutch, brakes, rotors, tires etc... but what is more worrying is engine rod failure or worn piston rings etc... What would your thoughts be on that mileage?

I had a look through the forum and couldn't find a buyers guide sticky so apologize if these threads pop up a lot.

What sort of worries would you have buying a Rav4 in general? The Toyota Hilux is known for being bullet proof... I get the impression Toyota make strong bullet proof cars with the success of the Prius? This is obviously a case by case basis. I'm hoping the Rav4 is everything I hope it is!

Thanks
 

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2008 RAV4 Limited V6
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I recommend you get a 2009 or later Limited V6 model. The 2008 V6 is fine, but there was a facelift in 2009 which added a lot of nice little features that I wish I had. It's a very reliable machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I recommend you get a 2009 or later Limited V6 model. The 2008 V6 is fine, but there was a facelift in 2009 which added a lot of nice little features that I wish I had. It's a very reliable machine.
Yeah I was reading about some of the earlier issues on the V6 from this link

Should I buy a Used Toyota RAV4? » AutoGuide.com News

My price range is really limited and would love a V6. I'm really hoping to get one for around 8-10k if I can. If something really special came up I might push it to 11 or 12 but would be really pushing my budget.

Am I right in thinking the 2009 model came with a V6 option? I read an article that specifically recommended the 2010-2012 V6 which made me think there the 2009 was not available or something... Does a 2009 V6 have a lot stronger reliability if it exists?

What are your thoughts on this?

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...09&searchRadius=100&listingId=409274011&Log=0
 

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After you read this recent 4 cylinder engine post, you'll want to keep looking for the right v6 model, in years 2006-08. http://www.rav4world.com/forums/96-4-3-general/200658-oil-issue.html

To me your upper budget is fair, for a v6 2008-09 Limited v6 - but I shy away from dealer vehicles all together.
- instead, I will take up to 6 months, looking for a vehicle and not just 2 weeks & I buy private (always)
- I wouldn't even look at a used vehicle with over 120,000 Km or like 75,000 miles & like to stay under 100,000 Km (if can)
- why pay good money for someone else's wear & tear, considering an extra 100,000 more miles

With patience, we purchased a 2008 Limited v6, leather/PS/heated, moonroof, etc. for similar money, and only 89,000 Km / 55,000 miles....bought off Kijiji (Canadian Craigslist), from a Doctor and fully maintained at Toyota dealership.
- we saved approx. $5,000 Canadian, by not buying from a business and got a low mileage cream puff, in the end...still like new condition, and not half wore out.

But I enjoy the hunt in searching for good used vehicles, and not in a hurry to purchase, unless the right vehicle comes up.
- I try and find the best SUV, fully loaded (options depreciated already) - and don't worry much about exterior color
- I would have never bought a black one new, but buying used is a different story
- I'm flexible, if everything looks mechanically sound, interior is near mint, and price is attractive
Don't be too quick to purchase / taking extra time, can be your friend...$$

2009 Toyota RAV4 V6 LIMITED LEATHER PACKAGE
- 145,000 Km = 90,000 miles // $14,600 Cdn = $11,000 USD
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/london/2009-toyota-rav4-v6-limited-leather-package/1100057941
^^ Find one like this, before its traded in, save even more.
 

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I would skip looking for the limited...you're gonna pay more than you would for a sport or base and most items on the limited can be added to a base and many will come on the sport...I would prefer to spend my money for a lower mileage rav and add what options I want later...
 

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There are some features on the Limited that would be prohibitively expensive (not really possible?) to add later, if they're important to you.

Most notably:
- Dual Zone Climate Control
- SmartKey (push button start)

Possibly:
- 110V outlet in the rear seats

But many of the features that come standard with the Limited can be added, such as turn signal mirrors, fog lights, etc.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice guys, I think a 2009 V6 looks spot on what I'm looking for. It would be great to get a limited but not really required. The Base or Sport will do just fine. I probably wouldn't pass on a 2008 though, this oil leak everyone mentions just seems to be a pipe. Those can easily be replaced. I suppose its more of a worry if someone had this happen to them and drove the car until it overheated badly.

As for the dealer vs private, they are literally the same cars. Someone selling it by themselves and another who traded it in. I would trust a private seller just as little as I trust a dealer :p Its understandable dealers also ramp up prices, but its not always the case. a 2009 V6 is listed on KBB at $11,500 from a private seller and $12,100 from a dealer. Not as much difference as I expected. That assumes it has 88,000 miles also. I think if I can find one with 80-100k milage I would be happy paying around $9-11k price range.

In my experiences 120,000 miles seems to be the point where a car falls of a cliff in value and maintenance. Its usually the time your having to do major maintenance like timing belts etc... But it wouldn't bother me if the owner can prove all maintenance has being done at the correct times.
 

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Also keep in mind that Sport version has a very stiff suspension. You may feel every bump in the road.

So a good road test should be in order, paying attention to ride quality, particularly over roads that may not be very well maintained.

.
 

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Yeah you definitely want to drive different models around....keep in mind that tires play a big part in the feel of the rav...you should list the things that are important to you and use that list as a guide...2 of the "must haves" on my list was v6 and black interior....and the sport is the only model with all black interior so that's what I got...
 

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Yeah I was reading about some of the earlier issues on the V6 from this link

Should I buy a Used Toyota RAV4? » AutoGuide.com News

My price range is really limited and would love a V6. I'm really hoping to get one for around 8-10k if I can. If something really special came up I might push it to 11 or 12 but would be really pushing my budget.

Am I right in thinking the 2009 model came with a V6 option? I read an article that specifically recommended the 2010-2012 V6 which made me think there the 2009 was not available or something... Does a 2009 V6 have a lot stronger reliability if it exists?

What are your thoughts on this?

Cars for Sale: 2009 Toyota RAV4 4WD Limited V6 in Santa Ana, CA 92703: Sport Utility Details - 409274011 - Autotrader
As for the AutoGuide article on problem areas, just be sure to keep RAV reliability in perspective. That is, look at its reliability in the context of other comparable vehicles. In comparison the RAV's few issues are minimal. For practical purposes it's bulletproof. Look at Consumer Reports. Get info on a vehicle's prior service from Toyota.

On a related matter, I noticed that the V6 in the Autotrader ad has a rear view mirror backup camera. It looks like a stock item. Does anyone know about this?
 

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On a related matter, I noticed that the V6 in the Autotrader ad has a rear view mirror backup camera. It looks like a stock item. Does anyone know about this?
My 2012 Limited has a rear view mirror backup camera. I think in the last few years of 4.3 production the Base model with Upgrade Value Package may also have had the backup camera in the rear view mirror, but I confess I'm not 100% sure of that.

It definitely was a factory option on at least some models, though.

.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A stiff car with a lot of feel is for sure a very attractive offering. My current daily is a Mazdaspeed Miata and really love the driving experience. One of the main drawing points to the Rav4 was the reviews saying it offers much more feedback than traditional SUV's. Its great to know the sport has stiffer springs or shocks.
 

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Keep in mind that the Sport model has really stiff suspension. Some owners love it while others hate it. Drive one first over lousy roads to see if you can deal with it every day.
 

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A stiff car with a lot of feel is for sure a very attractive offering. My current daily is a Mazdaspeed Miata and really love the driving experience. One of the main drawing points to the Rav4 was the reviews saying it offers much more feedback than traditional SUV's. Its great to know the sport has stiffer springs or shocks.
I have the S.A.P. sport and with the stock run flat tires it handled like it was on rails...these fools in their lowered imports couldn't figure out how this thing accelerated and handled so well...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have good news! I'm now part of the club! I didn't manage to get a AWD or a V6, I test drove a lot but just couldn't strike a deal with anyone for a good number. None the less I'm really happy, we ended up stumbling across a 2010 with 120,000 miles on it. KBB rated the value of the car at $9200 so we made a deal on that number. Its in pristine condition so everything worked out great. I think both parties where happy, didn't get it super cheap. But also didn't cost me an arm and a leg.

My wife is super happy, she loves the dam thing. It was a joy to drive home and looking forward to getting it registered and serviced and go on some road trips!
 

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I have good news! I'm now part of the club! I didn't manage to get a AWD or a V6, I test drove a lot but just couldn't strike a deal with anyone for a good number. None the less I'm really happy, we ended up stumbling across a 2010 with 120,000 miles on it. KBB rated the value of the car at $9200 so we made a deal on that number. Its in pristine condition so everything worked out great. I think both parties where happy, didn't get it super cheap. But also didn't cost me an arm and a leg.

My wife is super happy, she loves the dam thing. It was a joy to drive home and looking forward to getting it registered and serviced and go on some road trips!
Good luck and many happy miles!:smile
 
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