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Researching Rav4

1668 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  q445187
Hello, I'm currently looking into purchasing a newer Rav 4 hybrid. I'm not quite sure what packages I should be looking for, or if there's anything I should know about these vehicles before purchasing? Any help or input is greatly appreciated!
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First thing you need to decide is if you want ICE, hybrid, or Prime (plug in Hybrid). Finding inventory is a different matter.

People that own the hybrid or prime will tell you that you absolutely must buy one like they have because of whatever reason. However there all the same size, will haul the same passengers and gear, and go to the same places, so buy based on your own needs or preferences not what someone on a board like this tells you. Having said that, with current gas prices the ROI on either is type hybrid is likely much better than when I bought mine in 2019.

I always found it easier to simply write down all the options I "must" have - and just buy the package that meets those needs, rather than trying to justify "its only $2K more and you get all these extra things. If you weren't looking for those extra things up front, you likely won't miss them if you don't have them.
I'm always thinking in this way but than I start thinking about extra costs of hybrid and cost of battery replacement in future...
What I really like from hybrid is it's bulletproof and easy to service transmission.
Yes, everything is a trade off. Transmission is likely better in the Hybrid. However as mentioned you do have the battery and associated electronics to contend with, although historically Toyota hybrid batteries have done quite well - if that is an indication. Hybrid mileage in the city is much better. Mileage on the highway is not that much different, so how you drive matters as well. You might find a small discount on an ICE model. You likely won't get anything off for a hybrid - or possibly even a above MSRP surcharge.

A lot of people will say drive the hybrid you will love it, but I didn't think it was much different. The ICE model has a learning transmission, so a lot might have to do with the particular model you drive. Ours was slightly jerky at purchase if you tried to make it do so - I had read all the problems on this board prior to buying. After a couple hundred miles it smoothed out even more and it shifts as well as any automatic I have owned. Others have different luck so?
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Naturally take this for what's worth but I watched a video on youtube the other day where the guy (A Toyota sales/tech/?? guy) stated they'd never replaced a hybrid battery since he worked there since 2007 or 2008. They replaced one that the customer had tried to rig something up and destroyed theirs. IDK if that's true, but it was on youtube so it's gotta be right, right!?
There are all kinds of places selling refurbished hybrid batteries for Prius / Camry / Highlander. If there was no market they wouldn't be promoting them. Even hundreds of youtube videos on how to change the battery yourself. Probably no one is dumb enough to pay the Dealer for a new battery on a older car - so they go elsewhere - so the toyota guy you mentioned may not technically be lying - no one comes to him :).

Having said that - the batteries do seem to last longer than most think they will, and a refurb battery isn't all that expensive anymore: Toyota - 2nd Life Battery
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