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Discussion Starter #1
I've had a V6 Camry for probably the past 10 years now and I'm looking to get a Rav4. I can't afford a brand new one but I also want a V6 so it looks like the 3rd Gen would be the best fit for me?

I started looking at 2007-2009 Rav4's and just want to know what should I look for when checking out a car. Any known issues with these years? Would going for the V6 Sport be better then the Limited?

Would it be better to pay a little more for a 2010-2012?


Thanks
 

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I would look for a 2009-2012. The 2011 seems to be the sweet spot for reliability and fewest recalls.
 

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If you're used to the ride of the Camry you might find the ride of the Sport on the firm, even rough side. Altho I've never driven a Sport, just my BIL's Base and our Limited, they both ride about the same as our Accord.
 

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If you're used to the ride of the Camry you might find the ride of the Sport on the firm, even rough side. Altho I've never driven a Sport, just my BIL's Base and our Limited, they both ride about the same as our Accord.
So would you say the suspension is probably the biggest difference? Some googling says that some Limited's may come with push start, sunroof etc but those are all cosmetic and don't effect the car's ability to drive.

And by firm you mean the Limited will give a more comfortable ride then the Sport?
 

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The ride of the Sport is brutal to some of us, myself included. None of them ride like a Camry but the Sport is the stoutest suspension of them all. Drive one prior to buying it on less than perfect roads. I absolutely confirm what JuneBug says in post #2.
 

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The ride of the Sport is brutal to some of us, myself included. None of them ride like a Camry but the Sport is the stoutest suspension of them all. Drive one prior to buying it on less than perfect roads. I absolutely confirm what JuneBug says in post #2.
I'll definitely give both a test drive before I buy. I don't like the body roll of the Camry so that's why I was leaning toward the Sport.

Anything else I should look for? I read there may some issues with a transmission whine in higher gears and that Toyota would fix this if you brought it in?
 

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if 07-09 is your bracket look for a 2009...that was the mid cycle refresh and i think they look better than the 06-08 years...i have a 10 sport SAP (no spare tire) and will give you my rundown...the sport handles great and the SAP with the run flats handles even better...before i took the 18 inch wheels off i easily held my own with many sport sedans and coupes...the sport most likely will have a power sunroof and the v6 will most likely have the tow prep package (i say most likely cause not a one that i looked at didnt, but it is possible)...the sport has a regular ignition key and regular turn dial hvac controls...the sport is the only model to have blacked out headlights (look at a 2009-2012 sport and limited/base model and you will see what i mean)...the sport has the nicest looking stock wheels by far lol...the sport has fog lights and the SAP comes with body color mirrors that are heated and have integrated turn signal indicators...available on the sport are black leather seats, automatic headlights and backup camera (though these are pretty rare to find)...
the limited/base models come with gray or brown/tan interiors (no black)...the limited 09-12 have push button start...the limiteds also have automatic climate controls while the base has manual...the limited will have a nicer stock stereo, but they are all crap anyway lol...was the first thing i replaced on mine...the base/limited will ride softer...
i drove several before picking the one i wanted...i love the black interior and the extra touches the sport SAP has over the other models...if you like a nice and soft cruiser then limited/base is the way to go...if you like to push limits then the sport is your ride...drive them all
 

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There again........two sides to every story. I found the Sport model unacceptable while others love it. It's all up to individual taste and choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What's an easy way to know if the Sport also has the SAP (Sports Appearance Package)?

And how do the run flats work exactly? Can I still use regular tires instead, it's just that I won't have a spare tire?
 

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The SAP has no rear tire on the door...that is why they use run flats...look at my avatar pic...and yes you can use regular tires on those rims...
 

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The SAP also has red emblems instead of black...a special shift knob...also has body colored side mirrors that are heated and with turn signals...
 

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I'll definitely give both a test drive before I buy. I don't like the body roll of the Camry so that's why I was leaning toward the Sport.

Anything else I should look for? I read there may some issues with a transmission whine in higher gears and that Toyota would fix this if you brought it in?
I just bought a 2010 Rav4 V6 sport 4 days ago. I test drove a 2012 rav4 v6 and 2012 rav4 4 cylinder before buying my 2010 (i went with 2010 over 2012 because the pricing was better).

The 2012 4 cylinder base model was horrible. I mean, it was nice for around town, but the way it handled was terrible! I was legitimately scared turning that thing. It just felt like it wanted to flip over. Now, I know with time i'd get used to it and it would probably have been better. But the sport suspension was just so much better. I feel it handles much better, still not able to whip it around like my old celica, but she does offer a lot more confidence in the turns.

Also that V6 engine is awesome! This is coming from someone who rides sport bikes all the time. The V6 has tons of torque and was well worth the extra money. I haven't calculated my mpg's yet but I heard reports of people getting 30 mpg and I believe it.

Now, I'm a young guy. 23 years old and I also commuted in an 03 celica gts for the past 4 years. So please keep that in mind. But the my v6 sport is amazingly comfortable. It absorbs bumps just fine and my back and legs feel sooo much better after switching from celica to rav4. I think you will be okay on that front. But again, any non-sport car would have probably felt great after my celica lol.

If you get a v6 sport I promise you won't be disappointed. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I'll answer all.

Try to go with something 09+ the other years had some problems with oil lines in the v6 and water pumps.

edit: I also have the SAP (with run flat tires)
 

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the sport has fog lights and the SAP comes with body color mirrors that are heated and have integrated turn signal indicators...
Quick question for you, do the heated mirrors work automatically? or do you have to push a button?
 

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I bought the 2008 V6 Sport and love it. I bought it brand new many years ago and its still going strong. Mind you there have been many recalls. The acceleration on this thing is nice for a small SUV.
 

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We bought a 2008 Limited v6, with 89,000 Km = 55,000 miles / private sale off Canadian Kijiji.
- took 6 months searching & bought the first one, we looked at
- always dealer maintained / 2 owner & bought off a Doctor
- even had 1 full year remaining, of free extended warranty
^^ NOTE - only have up to a month, to transfer the extended warranty at dealer.

Except for new tires, AMG 12v battery & oil changes, its perfect.
- saved $10,000 by not purchasing a 2012 RAV4, from a dealer

Likes - incredible performance & easy to park
- 4x4 for winter driving / goes through snow like a knife thru butter
- like the exterior spare tire
- full leather seats & heated / driver's powered
- heated wiper blades & heated side mirrors
- moonroof
- tow package engine & trans coolers without the rear tow hitch (Canadian models)
- HD rad & alternator
- buying smart, the good options are almost free / just don't worry about the vehicle color much
(immaculate condition, trumps all)
Cons - almost none, not a deal breaker
- more road noise & bucket seats are not as comfortable, as our 2002 Volvo v70 wagon

I crawled under our SUV, in the poring rain / the undercarriage & floor still had shinny-original paint...always look for rust & auto body repair sells, when buying used.
- short test drive, the power train & handling was still like new condition
Had it spray wax-oil undercoated, before the first winters snow fall.

Will put another +160,000 Km on it, over next 4 years / than it gets sold to my brother / to replace his wife's 1999 Honda CRV AWD.
- he asked to buy it, the first day I got our used RAV4 home / look for the cream-puff vehicle
Why buy a 2012, for higher money / when one 4-5 years older, can be found, also with low miles.
- just takes more patience, to save big $$

2 weeks I purchased a one owner/original paint 2000 4Runner SR5 v6 4x4, with 80,500 original miles - senior owned & dealer maintained.
- now that ones, the keeper

^^ 2 good used examples, their out there / but the vehicle hunt, has to be the fun part...to get the best ROI.
 

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Quick question for you, do the heated mirrors work automatically? or do you have to push a button?


I don't think there's a button. not sure if it's on all the time or kicks on when you have the defog on, etc.
 

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Quick question for you, do the heated mirrors work automatically? or do you have to push a button?
I don't think there's a button. not sure if it's on all the time or kicks on when you have the defog on, etc.
Yes, there is a button. It's called the rear window defroster. It activates the heated mirrors also.
 

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ohh got it. for some reason I thought you were talking about just the side view heated mirrors. anyway good to know
 

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The SAP has no rear tire on the door...that is why they use run flats...look at my avatar pic...and yes you can use regular tires on those rims...
But it's worth pointing out it's the same side-swinging rear door (it is NOT hinged on the top, like the 4.4 models from the 2013 and later model years).

It's the same rear door, it just has no place on which to mount a spare tire.

.
 
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