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Discussion Starter #1
I have to say that I took it off-road and maybe I'm one of the first to do that on here with the new RAV. More later.

Well, where do I start? First of all I want to clear up some myths that are on here about the new RAV. Topics that I've been involved in with some misinformation floating around.

1. The 4wheel drive lock button is not bad. It may cut out at a certain speed but it does not turn off when you hit the brakes.
2. The front seat with manual controls goes back the same as the one I have. No leg room problem here. (by the way, love the telescoping steering wheel)
3. All the extra length they added to it is not behind the back seat. The leg room is awesome in the backseat and there is loads of more room in back as well.
4. Steel wheels are 17". Alloy are 17 & 18. There is no 16" option. Not even mentioned here at all.


I'm sure there is more but lets get on with it.

First off I have to say that I really liked the new RAV and think that Toyota has made an already good vehicle, great! More quite on the road and handles well, as expected. I don't like the absence of side mouldings and fender flares at all. The flares only come with sport and that sucks because I find mine save the paint very well. Too bad for all those out there that will have dinged-up doors and rock chips down the side of their new RAV's.

The styling will grow on you but the biggest thing I would have to get used to are the ugly taillights. Everything is layed-out well but my wife and I both disliked the automatic climate control and prefered the manual controls. While driving they were a distraction and a little confusing at first glance. I guess when you own it you can "set it and forget it" just like one of those infomercials proclaims about a chicken cooker. Unlike a chicken cooker though, sometimes you need that quickness in adjusting the temp or direction of flow and if on the highway in traffic, you need to accomplish this, its a bit confussing at a glance and dangerous for others. It can require about the same attention as a cell phone and we all know how good they are in vehicles right?

Tires will be expensive period. Good-luck with all that. 17" didn't add alot the the ride for me. With the same circumference it just adds harshness to the bumps and a little more road feel but not enough to pay more each year for tires.

RPM's with the new tranny are only 400 RPM lower than my '01 at 110 Km/hr (approx. 70 mil/hr). This may save a little fuel on a long trip but I was expecting more since it has a whole 18 Hp more than mine. Then again 18 horses are not much. At highway speeds you really don't want anything over 2200 RPM otherwise the millage suffers. Highway noise was about the same as '01 except for the stereo that adjusts the volume so you don't notice it as much. Pretty tricky Toyota but you didn't fool me.

I did take it off-road wife my wife and two kids with me. They go with us quite a bit on these types of outtings and they liked it too. I went to a place with still some snow on the ground and first climbed a hill maybe 30 degrees or so and it had about 8" of snow on it. Was about 150 feet long and climbed it without the 4x4 lock on, no problems. Messed around for a while with some bumps and more snow then tried the 4x4 lock.

We decended the hill and about halfway down I stopped quickly and threw it in reverse. Mashed the throttle and it went back up without any trouble at all. The big difference using this feature is that there is no hesitation as there is without it on. There seems to be a hesitation before the back wheels grab as the front wheels spin quite a bit before you get rear traction. '01 wins for me off-road hands down mostly due to the predictability of the old system. You know its there and don't have to anticipate the awd traction, hoping it will show up when you need it.

I tore up trail pretty good with only 12 miles on it. Didn't damage it but definetley put it through its paces. The V6 will have hill decent for off-road situations. That will be a good option.

One item I would have hoped to see improved and its the item that disapointed me the most was the ABS. On ice its not the best and has been that way forever on all RAV's. Sorry guys but the brakes is where you lose me. They don't cycle fast enough for a smooth, short stop and we find them a bit dangerous to tell you the truth.

We also drove a Highlander and the brakes on the same road stopped at least 20 feet shorter. No Kidding. Pittyfull is all I have to say. This is one item that needed to be improved and I am so upset that they overlooked it.

Loved the Highlander. Its our next vehicle. Will keep the RAV but the new one will be our cruiser for long trips.

Good luck to all the new RAV owners out there. You have a great vehicle. Get out there and enjoy it. Long post but had to get my two cents in.

Later. M.
 

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thanks for the review but you must have gotten a defective Rav,, The brakes as C&D noted as good as the BMW X3. Excellant. And I find the same on ours. I have owned over 20 cars in my life of 45 years and these are without a DOUBT th every best brakes that I have ever felt.. Period.
 
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its probably the tires... what kind of tires did it have?
Plus highlander is a bit heavier, should like ice better....
 

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Glad you had a chance to put the new RAV through the wringer, so to speak. I always wondered how many people thrash test drives like a rental car! :lol: :wink:

Great writeup though! I'm not sure I'd have the same experience with what you've discovered testing out the brakes and 4WD systems, but at least one constant thread I've seen from anyone reviewing a Limited is the confusing automatic climate control, and that somewhat concerns me in my on-again-off-again dance between choosing a Sport or a Limited.
 
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I was under the impression that all ABS systems are not good in snow. Audi used to have a ABS defeat switch just for snow purposes. I have yet to drive a decent ABS car in the snow, but I haven't driven that many in the snow either.
 

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karrock, believe me when I say the the auto hvac is NOT confusing. It does everything the manual does, If you do NOT push the 'auto' button it work as a manual system. Put on the fan, adjust the temperature and pick where you want the air to come out...



karrock said:
Glad you had a chance to put the new RAV through the wringer, so to speak. I always wondered how many people thrash test drives like a rental car! :lol: :wink:

Great writeup though! I'm not sure I'd have the same experience with what you've discovered testing out the brakes and 4WD systems, but at least one constant thread I've seen from anyone reviewing a Limited is the confusing automatic climate control, and that somewhat concerns me in my on-again-off-again dance between choosing a Sport or a Limited.
 

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I concur, there is nothing complicated about the climate control. If you push the button to enable auto, it handles things for you. As soon as you push a button on your own (like, say, you change the blower from your feet to the windshield), it turns off the auto climate control and it works like any other climate control would.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"Flyingn" on dry pavment the brakes are great. Very responsive but on the ice and hard-packed snow.......horrible!. I campared these to the '06 and '03 Highlander the same day. Highlander is like night and day when it comes to stopping on the same stretch of road. Thats what surprised and disapointed me about the RAV.

Dual Zone Climate Control. ITS ONLY BIG ENOUGH FOR ONE ZONE! I don't get why there has to be extra gagets on there. All controls should be simple and somewhat universal. The rest of the controls are the same as the last generation because they worked with ease and no confussion. Why not these? Could make the system with a better lay-out, thats all I'm sayin'. "Toyota, don't make it more difficult than it has to be."

With the ABS.......Some ice tires or real-good winters would help but I'm reffering to how quick the system pulsates and no tire is going to fix that. A quicker system gives a smoother, shorter, safer stop.....period.

Later. M.
 
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dual zone is very simple, you would get used to it in a sec. My wife likes 2C warmer cabin and it actually works great in other toyotas, even smaller ones!

as to the quicker abs doing better - actually, thats not how it goes. older toyota's had too quick abs which made their brakes perform worse. new ones are tuned to engage abs less. ABS is actually made to let you avoid the accident by going around possible problem while braking hard. ABS will not actually lower your braking distance, it will make it longer in most cases. However, without ABS, you would slide when you wanted to turn your wheels, which is what the main benefit is.

was there an difference in tires between highlander than rav4? I bet thats where the main difference was...
 
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I have to agree about the ABS. Its function is to have steering control under most conditions rather than increased stopping efficiency.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Enough about the climate control. Like I said if you owned one you could get used to it. I'm not a "fan" thats all.

Do you guys know anything about brakes? Doesn't sound like it. If you are unsure just say so instead of spreading misconception. I'm telling you that if you put those brakes in a Mercedes, everyone who paid that much would return it. I guess most of you will never understand what I'm talking about because you don't have an icy climate. You'll probably defend it but it is one of the worst systems I have ever owned when it comes to stopping on slippery surfaces. I have the same system and I know brakes.

Just one item I thought they would get right this time thats all. Highlander 1 had Bridgestone. Highlander 2 had Toyo. RAV had Bridgestone. All very similar tread. And get this, Highlander 2 had 100,000 kms (60,000 mi.) on it. It felt as good as the '06 right out of the box. All A/S nothing special but the Highlanders, even with the added weight, still stopped 100% better. I'm not imagining things. In the RAV, my wife also noted that fact right-a-way. We both looked at each other with disbelief and said aughhh at the same time. It felt like it was falling apart...no joke! Took us by surprise. Otherwise awesome vehicle.

Tough luck guys. They gave you '01 brakes. :cry:

Later. M. :wink:

P.S. I know now what some on here talked about when they mentioned that the back was not insulated or "sound deadened" like the rest of it. Went over some pebbles on the highway and it was very loud in the back. You could hear it almost too much to the point of distraction.
 

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well I guess Car and Driver don't know much about brakes then.. Do your homework before you make ASSumptions about others. know more about brakes then you care to find out. You don't know me (or anyone here) so you are clueless making those remarks..

You had a truck with brakes that did not work properly so get over it and don't ASSume that all of them are like that.. cause they are not



Marcutio said:
Enough about the climate control. Like I said if you owned one you could get used to it. I'm not a "fan" thats all.

Do you guys know anything about brakes? Doesn't sound like it. If you are unsure just say so instead of spreading misconception. I'm telling you that if you put those brakes in a Mercedes, everyone who paid that much would return it. I guess most of you will never understand what I'm talking about because you don't have an icy climate. You'll probably defend it but it is one of the worst systems I have ever owned when it comes to stopping on slippery surfaces. I have the same system and I know brakes.

Just one item I thought they would get right this time thats all. Highlander 1 had Bridgestone. Highlander 2 had Toyo. RAV had Bridgestone. All very similar tread. And get this, Highlander 2 had 100,000 kms (60,000 mi.) on it. It felt as good as the '06 right out of the box. All A/S nothing special but the Highlanders, even with the added weight, still stopped 100% better. I'm not imagining things. In the RAV, my wife also noted that fact right-a-way. We both looked at each other with disbelief and said aughhh at the same time. It felt like it was falling apart...no joke! Took us by surprise. Otherwise awesome vehicle.

Tough luck guys. They gave you '01 brakes. :cry:

Later. M. :wink:

P.S. I know now what some on here talked about when they mentioned that the back was not insulated or "sound deadened" like the rest of it. Went over some pebbles on the highway and it was very loud in the back. You could hear it almost too much to the point of distraction.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Kelly. I've been giving advise on here for a long time now and this is the crap I have to put-up with?

I DROVE IT MAN! HAVE YOU DRIVEN YOURS ON AN ICY ROAD? NO! THEN WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKIN' ABOUT?

Grow up. Its my test drive and my observations. A faulty RAV with less than 60 miles on it. Yeah right. Then my advise based on Flyingn's oppinion is DON'T BUY ONE THEY'RE CRAP. Only out for a few weeks and I found a faulty one!!!

Get a life. I'm done here.

M.
 
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Marcutio said:
Kelly. I've been giving advise on here for a long time now and this is the crap I have to put-up with?

I DROVE IT MAN! HAVE YOU DRIVEN YOURS ON AN ICY ROAD? NO! THEN WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKIN' ABOUT?

Grow up. Its my test drive and my observations. A faulty RAV with less than 60 miles on it. Yeah right. Then my advise based on Flyingn's oppinion is DON'T BUY ONE THEY'RE CRAP. Only out for a few weeks and I found a faulty one!!!

Get a life. I'm done here.

M.
I am trying to be neutral here, but when someone comes across as an expert or a professional driver, it tends to turn off people who have driven for many years and believe in what they say. I have driven for over 45 years, and have experienced many of the top of the line imports like Lexus and BMW. Everyone has their own conceptions and what is right for them. Don't be turned off by a difference of opinion. We are all here to communicate with each other and learn from others experiences.
 

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I echo etop's sentiments, Marcutio. I'd hate to see anyone in the R4W community walk off as a result of bad experiences in the forums.

Everyone has their own opinion, right or not, it may all come down to individual perceptions and experiences, and as the saying goes... "Opinions are like @holes -- everyone has one" :wink:

I know sometimes people take offense to commentary and vent -- be it a somewhat barbed comment or a fully blown top, setting posts aflame -- but if that's the case, the last thing anyone should do is respond in kind. That sort of behavior will not be tolerated here.

A refresher of the Posting Guidelines may be in order if anyone's not familiar with the rules and regulations of the forums, because I'm sure eeevvveeryone read it word for word when they signed up and agreed to the guidelines, right? :wink:
 
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