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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. After my Jeep Grand Cherokee broke down twice in two weeks and has a dead engine and dying transmission, it's time to move on. I test drove a 10 V6 RAV4 limited and really liked it aside from the climate control arrangement, rear visibility, and the spare tire / side swing back door, so I'm looking at buying one. I also test drove an 08 I4, I liked the manual climate controls better but decided I didn't like the vehicle itself as soon as I tried to accelerate up a freeway ramp. I decided the only things I absolutely have to have are the V6 and alloy wheels. I thought I'd ask a few questions from owners:

1) Where there new model year bugs in the 06 and 09 models or are they all essentially the same as far as reliability?

2) Can the powertrain go 250,000 miles without needing major engine or transmission work (about the time the body starts to fall apart anyway in Minnesota.)

3) Are there any notorious problems with these?

4) Did the Base, Sport, and Limited use different wiring harnesses, so you couldn't say purchase and plug in heated mirrors or a navigation system on a base model?

5) The seats weren't the most comfortable thing compared to say a Ford Explorer, but tolerable. Do they hold up on a long road trip.

6) Are the automatic climate controls something you get used to after owning it for a while? Can you set the blower manually on high and still have it regulate the temperature to the set point.

7) Are the red and white "stripes" in the 09-12 tail lights supposed to serve a function or did some designer just decide it looked nice?

8) How long do the parts that typically go bad and strand the vehicle- alternators, starters, water pumps, serpentine belts, etc typically last?

Thanks for any answers.
 

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Suggest that you do a search on this forum in the 4.3 section, and browse through it as well. One place for some answers: Toyota RAV4 Forums - Search Results for 2006-2012 V6 RAV problems


In general a '10 V6 RAV with proper maintenance having been done should be a reasonably good vehicle. You could have whatever you are considering checked by a competent mechanic. Also you could go to www.toyotaowners.com, register, enter the vehicle's VIN, and get a report on maintenance, repairs, and recall work done by Toyota dealers.
 
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In brief 06-08 had the most problems and recalls. Also the four cylinder engine in those years have a piston ring defect and most guzzle oil, that was changed in 09 forward.

I'd have no problem with a 2010 V-6 Limited assuming it had been properly serviced along the way. The water pump was a problem area for some of the V-6 engines.
 

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The Climate Control works absolutely perfect on ours, much better than on my Accord where I have to fiddle with the temperature. Yes, you can put it on Auto set the temp and then manually adjust the blower speed with the center up & down arrows w/o canceling anything else. My wife regularly does.

If the '10 V6 is in your budget I'd buy it. All the other issues "rear visibility, and the spare tire / side swing back door" would be the same on the '08 I4.

Ours just turned 135,000 miles with the only major work being the muffler and rear coupler, both replaced free under warranty.

Yeah, the rear taillight design is a downgrade IMO. They went from LED to regular bulbs.

The seats are very good IMO but then I've never had that issue with virtually any of the probably 30+ cars I've owned.
 

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1) Where there new model year bugs in the 06 and 09 models or are they all essentially the same as far as reliability?
They are all reliable--the 09-12 have been even more so.

6) Are the automatic climate controls something you get used to after owning it for a while? Can you set the blower manually on high and still have it regulate the temperature to the set point.
Yes, and yes. At first I found the controls confusing, but it didn't take long to get used to them. They were improved slightly in '09 by adding red and blue dots on the temp control and Front and Rear labels on the defrost buttons.

7) Are the red and white "stripes" in the 09-12 tail lights supposed to serve a function or did some designer just decide it looked nice?
They changed the tail lights from 9 LED's to 12 LED's in '09. In 2013, they got rid of the LED's altogether. You can find all the year-to-year changes here:

4.3 Assorted PDFs

New RAV4 Features: 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012
 

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They changed the tail lights from 9 LED's to 12 LED's in '09. In 2013, they got rid of the LED's altogether.
Correct, I forgot they didn't eliminate the LEDs until the 4.4s. Makes me wonder if I could turn my '06 into a '12 with eBay taillights. But at $150 each (just checked) maybe not.
 

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Correct, I forgot they didn't eliminate the LEDs until the 4.4s. Makes me wonder if I could turn my '06 into a '12 with eBay taillights. But at $150 each (just checked) maybe not.
I'm pretty sure somebody on the forum did it at the time. But it wasn't exactly plug 'n play.
 

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I think the common consensus is to stay away from the 2.4L 4cyl before 09 due to the possible oil burn issue, but 09 and up with the 2.5L 4cyl is better... V6 are all great, just need to watch for the 06-07 and some 08 with the hose problem, and ensure all the recalls are done.

The V6 is a beast, Fastest SUV made by Toyota for a while... 0-60 in under 6seconds means you can spank a lot sporty cars while taking your groceries home or the kids to school comfortably afterwards, lol. Also towing capacity with the V6 is 3500lb.
 

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Sorry, 0-60 mph in under six seconds is not even possible in a RAV. Under seven seconds is. 6.3 to 6.4 seconds is realistic and quoted in many magazines and road tests.
 

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The correct statement is "0-60 in the sixes" which could mean 6.99s.
 

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The V6 is a beast, Fastest SUV made by Toyota for a while... 0-60 in under 6seconds means you can spank a lot sporty cars while taking your groceries home or the kids to school comfortably afterwards, lol. Also towing capacity with the V6 is 3500lb.

For a stock V6 RAV to achieve that acceleration would require a supplemental rocket engine booster , , , ,but Motor Trend quotes a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds, which is rather close . . .
 
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In general a '10 V6 RAV with proper maintenance having been done should be a reasonably good vehicle. You could have whatever you are considering checked by a competent mechanic.
This.

At this point, looking to buy a 7+ year old Rav (traded my wife's '04 at 11 years and 150k), what has happened in the last 7 years is what will more determine whether you can get 250k out of it without trouble.
Particularly with a V6 that has been used for towing, transmission service is always a concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the advice. Two more questions:

9) I searched this site and it seems there's all kinds of threads of people wanting to turn off the DRLs of the Canadian models. But if I want them turned on for a US model, is it just a matter of adding finding and adding the missing relays?

10) Are there any difference between the "Made in Japan" and "Made in Canada" models as far as quality or any actual component diffferences?
 
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