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Hi guys,

I am looking to purchase a new 2017 rav4 in Canada but I am torn between the SE model and the XLE model. This is going to be my wife's vehicle as we are expecting our first child however I know I will do most of the driving if not all of it when we travel as a family.

My main concerns with the XLE is the lack of features like leather seats, satelite radio, push button start, 18 inch rims, led lights...

For the SE my main concerns is the harsh ride a lot of reviews are mentioning due to the tighter suspensions. This after all is going to be our family vehicle so I'd like to know if the SE is family friendly.

If anyone has the SE or have test driven the SE, can you discuss the harsher ride aspect and if this is a deal breaker. I'm trying to avoid getting the limited model due to the higher cost.

Thanks for your input!
 

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can't you try both? I have the XLE and it has XM Radio is that what you refer as a Sat radio. The only thing I want from the SE is the rims and the LED's..LOL.
 

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If you haven't driven one at all yet, some people complain that the rav in general is a bit stiff riding. And the Se, which I've never driven, even more so. Although many people complaining came from plush sedans or large SUVs. I had a 14 xle with 17" wheels that was rather rough but the updated suspension in our 16 limited hybrid with 18" wheels is much more compliant.
FYI, if it matters to you, the ravs "leather" seats are not real leather. They are softex imitation leather. Supposidly easier to clean, stronger, and better breathibility. For us, no complaints or problems so far. Looks and feels like leather.
As posted above, the xle can be equipped with sat radio and navigation.
If you want push button start you could get the hybrid xle. Cheaper than Se gas only? Not sure. Probably cheaper than limited gas only though and permanent gas savings. The hybrid toyotas have proven to be at least, if not more, reliable than the gas only models. Depending where you are in Canada though, your mileage may suck(basically same as gas only model in very cold temps) as ours does in Winnipeg right now being so cold. But in spring/summer/fall the mileage is amazing. 36 mpg in 90% rush hour city driving.
 

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You may want to consider the RAV4 XLE or XLE Hybrid (for smart key access), which would give you everything you're looking for, except Softex seats. I never test drove any models with 18" wheels, but I can say the XLE with 17" wheels rides like an Avalon.
 

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Suggest that you test drive whichever models you're interested in for at least part of the test over the roughest pavement you normally expect to encounter, and with a couple of passengers to approximate the weight of your family.
 

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If you enjoy a very reliable engine and transmission, good gas mileage and decent cargo space, buy the Rav4.

If you enjoy a noisy, rattle filled interior, a stiff ride over bumps and lackluster tech package, buy the Rav4.

This info was brought to you by a 3 year gen 4 Rav4 owner; where experience counts!
 

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The must haves on my RAV4 are the softex seats and push button start. The seats are very easy to keep clean and not have to fumble for keys to start the car is a great feature. Toyota's NAV is terrible, I use WAYZ on my phone when I need directions or want to avoid traffic. The ride on the RAV is more firm than most, but that is why I bought mine. Your wife needs to drive both the XLE and SE first to see if she appreciates how they ride.
 

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Toyota's NAV is terrible, I use WAYZ on my phone when I need directions or want to avoid traffic.
Very true. I'm not sure how different the system is in the regular Rav4, but I started a thread in the Rav4Hybrid forum regarding using the poor audio/navigation system in price negotiations. There are many threads across Toyota forums about it.

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/109-4-4-electric-rav4-hybrid-ev/246506-buying-new-rav4-refuse-pay-premium-audio-if-installed.html
 

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I would recommend the XLE... As you mentioned, it's a family car so have a slightly more comfortable ride. Also, I live in Chicago, wouldn't you rather have cloth seats? I absolutely hate sitting on cold weather in the winter and hot leather in the summer.
 
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