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The deed has been done! After much researching, debating, flipping, flopping, hemming and hawing, there is now a 2006 RAV parked in front of my home! :D :lol: :D

A V6 of Limited origins driving all four wheels and Nautical Blue be its hue -- I'm getting the autodim mirror with compass and leather seating done at a future date via dealer IOU (they use Katzkin/SureFit -- YAY BECKY! :D ). Very much love the darker blue, though my initial thoughts of Pacific being too light were unfounded -- it actually might have been a color to consider if I didn't like Nautical, Silver and Mica so much. I saw the Barcelona Red, and although I'm sure plenty of people like it, it wasn't for me -- very close to candy apple red with a slight lean toward orange -- the metallic effect was very hard to see until you were up close, and this was on a very sunny day.

Had all my price research from multiple sources (Edmunds, KBB, ConsumerReport, competing dealers), free-and-clear title and loan authorization letter in-hand and was ready to make or break a deal if they weren't too receptive to my haggling. All in all, I saved just shy of 5% under MSRP and Toyota Finance couldn't undercut the rate I got from my bank.

Accelerator pedal is a little twitchier than my old RAVs, like it could use a touch more resistance against foot pressure. But step on that pedal and hey! You move, baby!!! My '01 was zippy enough for low speed maneuvers, but always flailed at high RPMs when negotiating highway speeds, especially when uphill grades were involved. I don't forsee that being a problem at all anymore! :twisted:

First thing I noticed sitting in the drivers seat is how much smaller the instrument binnacle seems -- I think I'd prefer it a little higher and larger with a deeper cowl coming over the gauges. Second thing I noticed was when I looked right to check the traffic from that direction -- the A-pillar is huge! Seems about twice as wide as the 4.2's, though I didn't crack out the ruler to verify. I definitely feel the larger interior just sitting in the drivers seat -- the older RAVs always felt "cozy" and borderline "snug", but that was comforting in a way. Now the armrest on the door is a little farther away and the interior just feels more expansive.

All the doors slam shut with a sound thump, where I was used to a noticibly hollow and overly light swing, especially from the rear passenger doors. The rear door actually feels lighter and swings effortlessly -- I know there's probably a little less material since it no longer reaches the absolute bottom of the vehicle, but it's a noticible perception.

The larger of the two underfloor storage areas is huge! It was able to accept every bit of safety gear and tools I had riding in various compartments of the old RAV and even swallowed up a cane-style umbrella and a folding aluminum dolly that I previously had strapped to the back of the rear seats! :shock: And there's still more room!! One thing I will miss from the old RAV is the grocery bag hooks that were on the backs of the rear seats -- why did they have to go away?? :?

More personal observations, comments and pictures soon to come!
 

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The grocery bag hooks are still there but in a different location. When you open the back gate, there is one on either side right near the back. The increased length would probably have made the old location too hard to reach.
 

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No, those were in my '01 as well -- the ones they took away were across the backrests of the rear seats and flipped down when you needed them... snapped in somewhat flush when you didn't. There were four of them spaced somewhat evenly across the width of the seats.

 

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Congratulations, Tony! Sounds like you got a pretty good deal on the price.

When I first saw the Nautical Blue, it looked almost purplish until I got a little closer. I really like the darker blue and would have been my choice if I had gone with the Limited.

I would ask what color interior you got but instead, I'm going to wait until you get the Katzkin and ask for pics!
 
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karrock said:
Second thing I noticed was when I looked right to check the traffic from that direction -- the A-pillar is huge! Seems about twice as wide as the 4.2's, though I didn't crack out the ruler to verify. I definitely feel the larger interior just sitting in the drivers seat -- the older RAVs always felt "cozy" and borderline "snug", but that was comforting in a way. Now the armrest on the door is a little farther away and the interior just feels more expansive.
Congratulations!! I can definitely tell you're excited!

I came from a '96 to a '06...and, believe me! I felt a HUGE difference when sitting in the driver's seat. I never sat in a 4.2...so, I don't have that to compare it to. I also noticed the A-pillar almost immediately...that baby is huge! But...I got used to it! :)

Congrats again!
 

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No, those were in my '01 as well -- the ones they took away were across the backrests of the rear seats and flipped down when you needed them... snapped in somewhat flush when you didn't. There were four of them spaced somewhat evenly across the width of the seats.
I jumped right from a 1997 base model to a 2006 V6 Limited so I had no idea that these had been introduced in earlier years. Good thing too because I can't miss what I never had. Of course now you have ruined by ignorance, I am no longer in bliss, and I want more bag hangers too.
 

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LOL Harold... :lol: Sorry to destroy your bliss... :shock:

*Ponders raiding a local salvage yard for 4.2 bag hangers to DIY into his 4.3!*

Hmmmmmm.....!!! :twisted:
 

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puttputt said:
Congratulations, Tony! Sounds like you got a pretty good deal on the price.

When I first saw the Nautical Blue, it looked almost purplish until I got a little closer. I really like the darker blue and would have been my choice if I had gone with the Limited.

I would ask what color interior you got but instead, I'm going to wait until you get the Katzkin and ask for pics!
Thanks puttputt and RAVishing! I *am* excited! I've been reading, learning and posting about 4.3 for a loooong time and it seems like it's been forever. Probably goes back to seeds of the first rumors flung about a larger redesigned RAV and V6. :wink:

The final price worked out to $1300 below MSRP, but the extended Toyota warranty absorbed that right back. :? I still think I got a good deal, though... Not an awesome deal, mind you, but the V6's are red hot and when you combine it with leather, it seems like they're on preorder while they're still on the slow boat or or still in Japan! My salesman said they could possibly go below invoice with an I4, but not the V6. My particular RAV was only on their lot for a week before I snapped it up.

It's the Ash interior and the salesman told me that the SureFit/Katzkin leather will look exactly like factory. I'll have to see that to believe it, but I'm sure it'll look very nice. :D He said the installer will also be putting in the leather door panels! Be interesting to see how they handle that high detail mess around the rear seatbelt buckles. $1150 for that particular diversion, so it's on par with factory MSRP. He also recommended that I did not get the heating option because they've seen too many problems with it in the past.

I've seen this next bit written up in reviews and here in the forums, but I'll say it again... The center console LCD is very low contrast and hard to see in daylight -- gets washed out and glared out very easily. And when I wear my polarized sunglasses, I can't see either the stereo or console LCD without tilting my head to the proper angle... I wish it had better backlighting or was LED or VFD...
 

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CONGRATS, Tony! Sounds like a real beauty! Looking forward to seeing the pics.

You'll love the leather when you do eventually get it done. Mine fit every bit like they were done at the factory. One of my favorite things about mine is the leather panels in the four doors, it looks really sharp. I went with blue panels (same color as my seat inserts) rather than the grey that would've been standard partly because I like the contrast and partly because I like it colorful (if they had come out with a Rav the color of any of the limited edition xB's (metallic orange, metallic yellow, metallic lime), I would've been first in line 8) ), but color matched ones would definitely look sophisticated.

Anyway, enjoy the new Rav and let's see some pics!

Becky
 
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Congrats, I love our Nautical Blue Rav, and must agree about the grocery bag hooks too, how can they take those away?
 

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A few photos up in the album... I need to take some better ones where the shadow isn't so pronounced toward the camera. :?

Not completely used to the gated shifter yet... Interesting having to rack it around the mini-labyrinth.

I love passing cars now! It's so effortless! Just nudge the gas pedal and give it a push, don't even have to stomp on it and the V6 responds like a beauty!

The electric steering has less tactile feedback than I'm used to, but turns lock-to-lock no longer require so many revolutions of the wheel and steering while parked no longer needs muscle.
 

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Congrats - that Nautical Blue is one of the colors I was considering, takes a nice shine, will look like a 3-D mirror with some polish, you'll turn some heads on the road.

Mine will be ready Tues or Wed - I'll really be an anal oc insomniac until I get it, put on about 3 coats of Zaino, get either a vinyl or film hood protector, cover every square inch of carpeting with vinyl floor mats, get some side moldings, and until the Boss (wife) gets used to parking it in our garage!!

Enjoy.....

OC
 

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OC.. :shock:

:lol:

So that Zaino is good stuff, eh!? I just ordered the Ultimate kit off their website and hope to get a couple coats on my Rav soon after receiving it.. :) Which I hope is sooner than later.. heh.. :)

I also wanna buy the mudguards but want to see if they are coming out with new ones.. :p

And the matched sidemolding will be on order soon!.. :)

Then when I do receive it the car is going in to get a alarm/remote start put on..

YAY!..
 

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Bunch more new photos in the album! Kind of a pain chasing the sun or moving the car in just the right position so it doesn't throw a hard shadow. :p

I think I prefer the stereo volume knob with the notchy detents, but at least you don't have to turn it so much to raise the volume! :)

I wonder if the 4.2 foglamp mod works with the 4.3...? :idea:

Out of the factory, fogs only work in low beam -- you could jumper two points in a junction block so foglamps worked with driving lights, low beam and high beam modes.

Wiring's probably changed though... might need the new Toyota repair manuals! :?
 

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Congrats Tony, three in a row is not easy, keep it up!! I owned two generation Celica, then I switch to Matrix. At least I remain in Toyota. :D
 
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