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Discussion Starter #1
I last had a Rav4 in 2014, having enjoyed my 2007 Rav4 V6 for seven years. I would have stayed in a Rav4 but as you know the V6 option disappeared. I've been in a Jeep Cherokee since (two actually) and while I like many aspects of the Jeep their inept dealers, the annoying 9-speed ZF transmission, unfixable problems with the XM radio and steering wheel heater, small cargo space and low gas mileage have nailed that coffin shut. The Cherokees were leased because I remain wary about the long-term reliability of FCA vehicles. My lease expires in July and I'm looking at coming home to the The Rav4, with the Hybrid.

I really like almost all aspects of the hybrid but have two concerns. I've read all the reviews and watched the Youtube videos but I would appreciate comments from actual owners (or lessees) on the following:

1. Road/wind noise at high speed.
2, Speed off the line and passing power at high speed.

Thanks for any comments.
 

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Will try to give you my opinion unbiased.

1. Define high speed? I go 70-80mph often. Wind noise is ok IMO, compared to the other SUV like the CX-5, Escape, Rogue that I tried it was about the same. The Cx-5 was a little ahead. The best IMO was the CR-V for that part.

Road noise, from the factory, well it's awful in my opinion. The only SUV that was as loud as the Rav was the Rogue. You can definitely fix that if you are handy. I've personally added sound deadening material to the entire rear of the Rav4 and it made an ENORMOUS difference. With only that, the sound is lower than the CX-5. How I know this? I often drive my brother in-law CX-5 and I find his CX-5 more noisy now than my RAV where before it was the opposite.

Another aspect to think about is engine noise. The hybrid is much quieter than the Gas version for multiples reason, but if you are someone with an heavy foot, the engine is more noisy than the competition, but under normal operation, it's amazing lol. There are time that I even I have to look on the indicator to know it's on.

2. Passing power at highspeed. Again, define highspeed. 60-90 is quick for an SUV this size. I absolutely love how it comes alive instantly when you floor it. The battery power reminds me a bit of how turbo boost work, but there is no lag. Coming from a v6 and lighter platform, you might find that it's slower since you are used to faster but I know for me, it's in the perfect range of power for my usage.

Off the line, it's the same. Power is instant and it's somehow quick to 60mph IMO for an SUV of course.

I'd say take an extended test drive or hell even lease one for a weekend if you can and try it out your-self. It's an amazing SUV in my opinion but it has it's issues. Read the fuel tank issue thread, it might be something you cannot deal with. I personally do not have this issue, but I had both of the front struts replaced due to squeaking and I had to fix a lot of interior trim rattles (I am a freak when it comes to rattles).

Also, there are rumours about an upcoming PHEV version that according to the article will have the highest HP in the RAV history. Maybe by July some specs will be out?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the detailed response. I did a quick test drive of the Rav4 Hybrid and the CX-5, and was not impressed with the CX-5. A bit cramped inside, power ok but not great, and more tire noise than I expected. I enjoyed the Rav4, the power seemed adequate, and I did not feel the noise was bad, but I never trust my first 10-minute impressions. I'm handy, but would not have the patience to install sound deadening material. Do you know if there is there any difference in sound levels between the trims, or any sound improvements for 2020?
 

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Thanks for the detailed response. I did a quick test drive of the Rav4 Hybrid and the CX-5, and was not impressed with the CX-5. A bit cramped inside, power ok but not great, and more tire noise than I expected. I enjoyed the Rav4, the power seemed adequate, and I did not feel the noise was bad, but I never trust my first 10-minute impressions. I'm handy, but would not have the patience to install sound deadening material. Do you know if there is there any difference in sound levels between the trims, or any sound improvements for 2020?
Unfortunately I don't but I remember reading somewhere here from an employee that worked at a plant saying they are now adding a padding in the pillars compared to last year. One thing I know is that I had an early production Gas LE that was made in 2018 and when I got my Hybrid in August 2019, there was some spray on deadening under the Rav that the gas model did not have has well has mass loaded vinyl under the rear seats that the gas version did not had as well.

If you want a good idea of what the Rav4 acoustic is, look at my sound deadening thread. It was on the Gas version, but it would apply to the Hybrid as well.

 

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I'm very satisfied with my RAV4 Hybrid. I bought a limited with every option with the exception of the panoramic moonroof which I didn't want anyway as summers in the mid-Atlantic are hot and humid enough to make a large glass roof impractical. That really wasn't a concern for me though because I wanted the adaptive headlights which move toward the direction of a turn as you steer. The adaptive headlights are the only RAV4 headlights that received high ratings in IIHS tests. Maximizing visibility of the road at night is very important to me, I now miss the adaptive headlights on other vehicles I drive. The limited also comes with other options that I wanted such as the 360 degree camera, an electronic rearview mirror which provides a much wider view which is very helpful when driving on an Interstate, or multi lane highway because you can see a vehicle approaching from the rear in both the rear and side mirrors which reduces the blind spot and the advanced cold weather package.

As far as the driving experience is concerned, I find the ride to be very comfortable, controlled and quiet. It's certainly not a luxury vehicle but I'm extremely satisfied with the comfort level and ride quality. The features available on the limited such as heated & ventilated seats, dual zone climate control, 800 watt 11 speaker sound system, rain sensing wipers with defrosting elements are part of the advanced grade cold weather package are great if you live in an area that experiences snow and ice.

As far as acceleration and performance, I'm very satisfied. However if that's the priority for you I would suggest you test drive the hybrid RAV4. I spent the extra money on a Hybrid because I want to maximize fuel efficiency and still enjoy the benefits of an all wheel drive compact SUV. I would have purchased an all electric plug in if one was available with decent range and AWD at a similar price point as the RAV4 Hybrid. My hope is that as technology improves prices on all electric plug ins with acceptable range will eventually become available at lower price points.

I test drove several gasoline only RAV4's as well as two RAV4 Hybrids before ordering mine and there is no comparison in my opinion. The hybrid is quieter, more powerful and responsive. In summary, I am very satisfied with my RAV4 Hybrid Limited and would highly recommend it.
 

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Thanks for the detailed response. I did a quick test drive of the Rav4 Hybrid and the CX-5, and was not impressed with the CX-5. A bit cramped inside, power ok but not great, and more tire noise than I expected. I enjoyed the Rav4, the power seemed adequate, and I did not feel the noise was bad, but I never trust my first 10-minute impressions. I'm handy, but would not have the patience to install sound deadening material. Do you know if there is there any difference in sound levels between the trims, or any sound improvements for 2020?
Former CX-5 owner, not a RAV4 owner, just a shopper like yourself, but I'll comment on the CX-5.

The base CX-5 is probably a bit underpowered these days, especially, relative to the hybrid, unless you do the 2.5T, which will be faster. It's also a bit tight in there, although, I never felt headroom challenged which I'm pretty close to certain will happen when I finally test drive the RAV4. Regarding the tires, I don't know the brand, but factory tires on Mazda's can be hit or miss.

Regarding the RAV4, you can, sometimes rent them from a dealer, but I found that really hard to do. I'd email the places, no one would respond, or they'd respond a month later. I didn't work too hard at it for my last car purchase but I suspect it will take a bit of work to get a car rented for a test from the Toyota dealer. I certainly intend to do it if I get serious about the RAV4 because my commute won't easily test out against a 15 minute drive.
 

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1. Road/wind noise at high speed.

2, Speed off the line and passing power at high speed.

Thanks for any comments.
I test drove around 2 miles 3x different Rav4 Hybrids, decided I like the XSE more than Limited. It was much more quieter than the gas version. I rented XLE gas version for 4 hours road trip from Houston to Dallas on I-45. Road noise, engine noise, wind noise drive my insane!
1. Road/wind noise at high speed.
On Friday I bought my 2020 XSE from an dealer that is 4 hours away from Houston! Again I test drove about 5 miles around the dealer, was very happy, however when I drive on I-10 at 80mph for couple hours, I can hear the tire noise, wind noise, it really bothers me. I'm shopping around for sound deadening, at Car Toys they wanted $900 for 4 doors, double layers of dynamat, ouch!!
2, Speed off the line and passing power at high speed.
I've been driving V6 Venza, then V6 Highlander for the past 8 years, I'm very happy with the passing power of this XSE Hybrid. I guess the sport mode really helped.
 

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I owned a 98 Jeep wrangler and a 2008 Mazda CX-9 before switching recently to the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid. You are wise not to go with a Jeep.

Compared to both of those vehicles the ride is comparably quiet, and comfortable. It is extremely fast in sport mode up to around 90 mph (I haven't gone much faster than this).

I got to drive as a loaner vehicle the later model CX-5 and CX-3 models by Mazda during the last year in one of the many times getting the CX-9 worked on. They are both very responsive but not as much pickup as the RAV4. I am 6'3" tall and the CX-5 was the most comfortable of all of them and it has nicer user features.

That being said the RAV4 has better pickup, mpg, reliability, usability, and better autopilot features. The dynamic radar control on the 2019 CX-5 randomly stopped working during stop and go traffic so that if you were not paying proper attention you would have definitely hit someone. This was a deal breaker for me. I hardly have to drive at all in the RAV4 on the highway which reduces driving fatigue greatly with LKA and a well designed dynamic radar with which I have not had any problems.

EDIT: To answer another one of your questions - I have not noticed any wheel or road noise on the vehicle but I do usually listen to an audiobook or music when driving so that may be the reason!
 

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well designed dynamic radar with which I have not had any problems.
try approaching standstill vehicle at traffic light while ACC is on, you'll be surprised.
but keep your foot ready to press brakes yourself.
disclaimer: I'm not responsible for any damages.
 

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I last had a Rav4 in 2014, having enjoyed my 2007 Rav4 V6 for seven years. I would have stayed in a Rav4 but as you know the V6 option disappeared. I've been in a Jeep Cherokee since (two actually) and while I like many aspects of the Jeep their inept dealers, the annoying 9-speed ZF transmission, unfixable problems with the XM radio and steering wheel heater, small cargo space and low gas mileage have nailed that coffin shut. The Cherokees were leased because I remain wary about the long-term reliability of FCA vehicles. My lease expires in July and I'm looking at coming home to the The Rav4, with the Hybrid.

I really like almost all aspects of the hybrid but have two concerns. I've read all the reviews and watched the Youtube videos but I would appreciate comments from actual owners (or lessees) on the following:

1. Road/wind noise at high speed.
2, Speed off the line and passing power at high speed.

Thanks for any comments.
2019 XSE

1) Road/Wind noise should be better for a new model. But not bad. The worst noise you will hear BY FAR is the damn noise maker the government makes manufacturers put on Hybrids!

2) Get up and go! Turn on Sport mode and you won’t be disappointed! Considering it’s a 4 banger hybrid! Haven’t timed it..but I think it feels just as quick from 60-80 as 40-60.

After 4 months and 6500 miles no problems and has exceeded our expectations!
 

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2019 XSE

1) Road/Wind noise should be better for a new model. But not bad. The worst noise you will hear BY FAR is the damn noise maker the government makes manufacturers put on Hybrids!
Double layer of sound deadening on the noise maker says Hi! Sound is gone.
 

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try approaching standstill vehicle at traffic light while ACC is on, you'll be surprised.
but keep your foot ready to press brakes yourself.
disclaimer: I'm not responsible for any damages.
Yes not as smooth as following traffic but seems to work well if I am not speeding and the distance is set to 3 car lengths.
 

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My point of reference is my wife's plushmobile Avalon V-6. Compared to that, the Rav4 is noisier on acceleration and there is more wind/tire noise at 70MPH. But today I was in a 10 year old Rav4 and mine is much quieter. Quieter than my Prius v. Quieter than a 10 year old CRV.

Re acceleration. Equal to the V-6. And off the line 0-30 equal to Porsche's I've owned. I have no problems merging with high speed traffic or passing at 70+ MPH. Lack of acceleration is just not something I even think about. I don't bother with shifting to sport or even normal, pressing down harder makes it go faster even in Eco mode.

I urge a long demo ride. Only you can judge against your sensitivities. I have taken many 250 mile trips on the Interstates. I'm happy. I don't know another car I'd want and I'm shopping for my wife's next car.
 

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I last had a Rav4 in 2014, having enjoyed my 2007 Rav4 V6 for seven years. I would have stayed in a Rav4 but as you know the V6 option disappeared. I've been in a Jeep Cherokee since (two actually) and while I like many aspects of the Jeep their inept dealers, the annoying 9-speed ZF transmission, unfixable problems with the XM radio and steering wheel heater, small cargo space and low gas mileage have nailed that coffin shut. The Cherokees were leased because I remain wary about the long-term reliability of FCA vehicles. My lease expires in July and I'm looking at coming home to the The Rav4, with the Hybrid.

I really like almost all aspects of the hybrid but have two concerns. I've read all the reviews and watched the Youtube videos but I would appreciate comments from actual owners (or lessees) on the following:

1. Road/wind noise at high speed.
2, Speed off the line and passing power at high speed.

Thanks for any comments.
I know exactly what you mean about those V6 RAV4's. I had a 2008 until very recently, when I was forced to move on after over 200k miles due to a transmission problem. The replacement is the 2019 Hybrid, and I'm happy.

1. The noise at high speed doesn't bother me. It's probably louder than an average car in the segment, but not enough that I ever cared. If you're willing to put in some time and/or money there are ways to add sound deadening materials. It seems there are several comments to help you if you want to pursue this.

2. It's pretty good, all things considered. I don't think many SUVs can compare to the V6 RAV4 -- that was an overpowered engine for a compact SUV. So temper your expectations slightly. But the hybrid comes close. Off the line, the dual electric motors give it lots of acceleration (except when in eco mode, which tempers the acceleration in the name of fuel economy). At highway speeds there seems to be plenty of power left to accelerate. Again, it's not the same as the V6, but it's acceptable in my book.

I would recommend asking to go on a longer test drive that includes highway driving. Avoid rush hour so you can get up to speed. Your questions are subjective, so you'll have to decide for yourself.

Tomorrow, Toyota will be presenting the plug-in hybrid RAV4, and the teasers are that it's supposed to be even more powerful. My guess is they'll do the same thing as the Prius Prime, allowing MG1 to propel the vehicle when in electric-only mode. This would give it even more power off the starting line (though not at high speed, when the gas engine would be running). I don't know if you can wait for the 2021 to come out, but it's something to pay attention to.
 

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Yes not as smooth as following traffic but seems to work well if I am not speeding and the distance is set to 3 car lengths.
Once ACC set to 3 car lengths didn't notice big ass white color 18 wheeler standing on a traffic lights, I had to slam brakes myself from about 50 mph, as ACC seems like didn't sense that HUGE object right in front of the car!
Same is happening with standstill smaller cars and trucks at traffic lights at speeds below 40 mph also. Color doesn't matter or at least I haven't spotted any coincidence between color and ACC inability to recognize vehicles right in front of it. It failed for me so many times, so I don't trust it in city anymore.
However It works just fine in moving highway traffic slowing down and accelerating depending on a flow.
 

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I last had a Rav4 in 2014, having enjoyed my 2007 Rav4 V6 for seven years. I would have stayed in a Rav4 but as you know the V6 option disappeared. I've been in a Jeep Cherokee since (two actually) and while I like many aspects of the Jeep their inept dealers, the annoying 9-speed ZF transmission, unfixable problems with the XM radio and steering wheel heater, small cargo space and low gas mileage have nailed that coffin shut. The Cherokees were leased because I remain wary about the long-term reliability of FCA vehicles. My lease expires in July and I'm looking at coming home to the The Rav4, with the Hybrid.

I really like almost all aspects of the hybrid but have two concerns. I've read all the reviews and watched the Youtube videos but I would appreciate comments from actual owners (or lessees) on the following:

1. Road/wind noise at high speed.
2, Speed off the line and passing power at high speed.

Thanks for any comments.
In short

#1. Not so great... other cars I've tested had less wind noise
#2. Excellent in both scenarios
 

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Once ACC set to 3 car lengths didn't notice big ass white color 18 wheeler standing on a traffic lights, I had to slam brakes myself from about 50 mph, as ACC seems like didn't sense that HUGE object right in front of the car!
Same is happening with standstill smaller cars and trucks at traffic lights at speeds below 40 mph also. Color doesn't matter or at least I haven't spotted any coincidence between color and ACC inability to recognize vehicles right in front of it. It failed for me so many times, so I don't trust it in city anymore.
However It works just fine in moving highway traffic slowing down and accelerating depending on a flow.
That is odd I am sorry it hasnt worked for you.

The mazda one failed twice on the highway in a single day so I was not a fan.
 

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Once ACC set to 3 car lengths didn't notice big ass white color 18 wheeler standing on a traffic lights, I had to slam brakes myself from about 50 mph, as ACC seems like didn't sense that HUGE object right in front of the car!
Same is happening with standstill smaller cars and trucks at traffic lights at speeds below 40 mph also. Color doesn't matter or at least I haven't spotted any coincidence between color and ACC inability to recognize vehicles right in front of it. It failed for me so many times, so I don't trust it in city anymore.
However It works just fine in moving highway traffic slowing down and accelerating depending on a flow.
RTFM also discussed on the forum here, it does not see stopped cars, it sometimes works below 37 mph, but I don't trust it.
 

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All 2019 / 2020 Rav 4's are slow as molases - in car terms at least. 7.5 seconds 0-60 on the Hybrid, 8. something on the gas I can't remember. Both are slower than most pickup trucks sold today. If speed off the line is your thing, you likely need to look in a different category of vehicle.

As for noise, there are a tad noisy at speed - wind and road. I like the noise - drowns out my nattering teenagers :)
 
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