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I currently own an '04 4Runner...thinking about trading it in for a new 06 Rav4. I love my 4Runner but I'd much prefer the Rav's size/gas mileage and I'm impressed with the amount of cargo space that the 06's have now.

Question: Does the rear window finally go down? My wife owned a 97 Rav4 and that was one of her biggest complaints about the Rav. If it can't go down, any reason why Toyota engineers keep ignoring this? (or are we the only ones who care?) How would y'all load a bunch of 8ft 2x4s from Home Depot?
 
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Hey,

Unfortunately it does not. That was one thing I was very interested in when comparing the Rav4, Highlander, and 4Runner. Currently, the 4Runner is the only one that has the rear window that declines (and you can open it via the keychain too!). The 4Runner and Highlander both have rears that open upwards.. while the Rav4 opens like a giant door, to the right (not sure how the old one works).

I think that they didnt really consider folks who are into the Rav4 as the "bringing 8x4s home from home depot" crowd. Unfortunate, as Ive brought home 8x4s in my 01 Celica. I swear, people always laughed but that damn thing was like a Pickup!

Kinda neat that its a giant door, rather than lifting it over your head.. taller people Im sure could have issues bumping their head etc.. while opening it like a giant door is less cumbersome and easier to handle.
 

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I was afraid of that...bummer! I'm very suprised that Toyota didn't add that feature to the 06.
 

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If you have just a few 8 ft. 2x4s and no passengers, remove and/or lower the seats and you can fit the lumber in by aiming one end for the front passenger floor. (Yes, I've done that a couple times. :wink: )

If you have more lumber, tie it on to the roof rack and use lots of rope to fasten it down.
 

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theres no real need or demand for a rear window that goes down. toyota would rather spend money on bringing out a rav4 with a v6 engine which is what people are more interested in.
 
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jkat said:
Currently, the 4Runner is the only one that has the rear window that declines (and you can open it via the keychain too!). The 4Runner and Highlander both have rears that open upwards.. while the RAV4 opens like a giant door, to the right (not sure how the old one works).
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Kinda neat that its a giant door, rather than lifting it over your head.. taller people Im sure could have issues bumping their head etc.. while opening it like a giant door is less cumbersome and easier to handle.
I suspect the door opens like it does because the the spare tire is mounted back there. Having that weight on the door would make the door too heavy to open upwards like the Highlander.

The CR-V design is the same. However, at least the CR-V glass opens upwards. Would have been nice to see a similar setup in the RAV4. That CR-V's opeing glass gives you the possibility of carrying something long enough to stick out the back.
 
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Mohit said:
theres no real need or demand for a rear window that goes down. toyota would rather spend money on bringing out a RAV4 with a v6 engine which is what people are more interested in.
The engineering cost to design the door with opening glass would have been minimal.

I would guess that this was a compromise to keep the manufacturing costs down.
 

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Mohit said:
theres no real need or demand for a rear window that goes down. toyota would rather spend money on bringing out a RAV4 with a v6 engine which is what people are more interested in.
That may be true but I'd be awfully surprised to hear that most people don't want this feature. Why wouldn't you? Maybe the lumber example wasn't the best but I'd bet that most people from time to time would like to haul something that's just a little too big to stick in the back. The trick of fitting your stuff between the driver and passenger seats works sometimes but then you run the risk of scraching up your center console or glove compartment area, and you could tie it up on top I suppose but that doesn't work for everything and it's a PITA. Also, it's just nice to be able to roll it down in the summertime, especially if you have dogs in the back. Oh well, maybe my wife and I are the only ones who think this is an important feature.
 
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you wold have to raise the load about your shoulder in order to put it in through that window. Maybe with the dogs it is different, but you can also open rear window for them.
 

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Regardless of the cost, there is hardly any demand for a rear roll down window. Sure it would be handy to have sometimes but there are other features that are valued more by consumers.
 

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Buzz said:
The engineering cost to design the door with opening glass would have been minimal.

I would guess that this was a compromise to keep the manufacturing costs down.
Not sure where you get the idea that the cost to engineer would be "minimal"...

A sealed, flush-mounted glass panel is easier to integrate and has a lot less effect on aero- and aquadynamics. First of all, making it openable -- whether it retracts into the door or flips up like a hatchback -- would reduce the visible framing size of the opening, due to inherent design needs. This, in turn would require a complete redesign of the rear door -- the RAV4's wiper has always been mounted through the glass and the panel stretches across the entire width of the rear door, edge to edge.

A retracting window, like a door window, requires a certain amount of space in the door cavity to house a completely lowered glass panel, an electrical motor, as well as all the mechanical parts necessary to motivate the glass up and down and still provide power to the defrosting grid and stay clear of the rear wiper blade (or mount it on the glass). In the meantime, it still has to be weatherproof and be able to withstand a lifetime of a large and hefty rear door slamming shut, no matter what position the window is in. With a retracting window, I'd expect that the spare tire would no longer be able to reside on the rear door, owing to the ease of catastrophic damage in even the slightest accident and the need for additional structural framing and reinforcement.

A hatch type of window needs room for exposed or hidden hinges and gas assist struts and locking mechanisms. An all-glass design leaves exposed mounting rivets and must also contend with the rear wiper, door slamming, additional weatherproofing difficulties and wind noise.
 
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karrock said:
Not sure where you get the idea that the cost to engineer would be "minimal"...

A sealed, flush-mounted glass panel is easier to integrate and has a lot less effect on aero- and aquadynamics. First of all, making it openable -- whether it retracts into the door or flips up like a hatchback -- would reduce the visible framing size of the opening, due to inherent design needs. This, in turn would require a complete redesign of the rear door -- the RAV4's wiper has always been mounted through the glass and the panel stretches across the entire width of the rear door, edge to edge.
I still don't think the engineering portion of the costs would have been significant. A flip up window is certainly not a complex design element and the door could have been designed with that in mind from the beginning. The Honda CR-V and Ford Escape (and others) have it. I don't see a reason that it would have been impossible for Toyota.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Maybe I'm wrong but I'd be surprised to learn that there's hardly any demand for such a feature. In our family 2 out of 2 people think this is important, for different reasons. For me this might actually be a deal breaker, which is too bad because I really like the new Rav4 otherwise and it's really the only car that I'd consider trading in my 4Runner for at this point.
 

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Buzz said:
I still don't think the engineering portion of the costs would have been significant. A flip up window is certainly not a complex design element and the door could have been designed with that in mind from the beginning. The Honda CR-V and Ford Escape (and others) have it. I don't see a reason that it would have been impossible for Toyota.
I didn't say it was impossible, but it goes against Toyota's general design philosophies. I'm not sure there's a single Toyota vehicle that has (or maybe even ever had) a hatch-style hinged rear window. Whether it's asthetics, safety, cost or a simplicity of design issue, I'm sure they have their reasons.

Honda's CR-V does have (at least in its current incarnation) the RAV4's element (no pun intended) of a side-hinged rear door with spare and hatch window (with edge to edge glass), but the CR-V also doesn't have a rather large integrated spoiler.





The Escape is a hatchback rear door and window -- the window is entirely surrounded by metal and that method would greatly affect the appearance of the RAV4's rear door.

 

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karrock said:
I'm not sure there's a single Toyota vehicle that has (or maybe even ever had) a hatch-style hinged rear window. Whether it's asthetics, safety, cost or a simplicity of design issue, I'm sure they have their reasons.[/color]
The Toyota Matrix has a hatch-style hinged rear window. Gotta say... it would be a nice touch for the RAV4, though the bottom would have to be designed to clear the spare tire, similar to the CR-V.

 

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Ahh, OK... I was trying to think what model might have had a hatch window and nothing immediately came to mind.

Also, the Matrix/Vibe is a hatchback door, vice side-swinging.
 

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Right... plus as you said... it would be difficult to design a hatch like this that would clear the rear spoiler. Possible to do... but would it be worth the added cost :roll:
 

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Well, if Toyota takes Honda's CR-V rear door and crosses it with the Matrix's -- sheet metal and spoiler integrated and attached across the top of the glass, which also hides those ugly hinges -- it could be done with the RAV4.

I'd certainly expect it add cost to design, engineer and manufacture, which would in turn pass along to the consumer.
 
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