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Discussion Starter #1
Guys, Gals I need your help deciding......
I presently drive a 99 Corolla with over 125,000 miles on it (never had any problems whatsover with it) but since my son needs a car I will pass it on to him.
Took a 2005 Rav4 for a test drive and liked it! The other car/truck I am considering is an '05 Explorer.
I got 2 problems with the Rav:
Rear door opening to the side (why Toyoya does this?)
My first impression of the Rav4 is that is a "ladies truck"am I wrong to assume that most of the Rav4 owners are ladies???
Any help that I can get in making my decision will be greatly appreciated!
 
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I bought a RAV4 because of its size and capabilities. I live in the city, so the RAV's size is very convenient for parking, but I mainly drive on highways or back-country and bad dirt roads and in fields.

I changed the tires (to 225/75/16 Revos) and find that with the torquey low end (and a stick shift), the RAV is one tough little bugger, ladies truck not withstanding.
 
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not for ladies only

I sold my 98 Corolla and bought a new RAV. I thought the side-swinging rear door would bother me, but I've ended up really liking it. It gives great access to the rear compartment without any need to duck your head, and has no flip-down tailgate to get damaged by cargo loading. I've always bought Toyota, this is my 4th one, so I didn't even look at a Ford or any others. You can't beat Toyota reliability. And the great vehicle size and gas mileage are also unbeatable.
Like me, most of the RAV drivers I know are male (3 on my block so far). I don't consider the RAV a "ladies truck", it has handled all the hard work it's been given so far and has also made a comfortable car for long road trips or trips to the building supply yard.
 
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I've read that over 63 percent of Rav4 buyers are women.

Concerning the rear door, this is my biggest complaint about my Rav4. The rear door design is terrible for an SUV and too cheesy. First, it's too weak for the additional weight of the spare tire attached to it. Just open it and push on it like a gust of wind would or if it slipped out of your hand opening it on unlevel ground. You can see the pillar flexing from so much weight pulling on the door stop. Even worse, there's no way to keep the door securely open when the vehicle is parked at an angle or anything but level ground. It can slam shut suddenly and injure you or a child that is near it loading or unloading the vehicle. I use my Rav for camping and fishing and many times it's hard to find level ground to park on and the rear door is a big pain because of it's poor design. I remember reading a thread here before Rav World closed about someone's rear door getting blown by a gust of wind and the hinge bolts breaking causing the door to crumple into the bumper resulting in $2000 in damage. I can see that happening because the attachment points look weak to me. This door at the very least needs a piston like the CR-V has, a device to hold it open for safe and load anywhere use. Toyota really blew it when they designed this door for an SUV. The side opening method doesn't bother me, but the overall weakness, cheesyness and poor design and function does. I just wish I noticed it before I bought it.
 

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Definitely a vehicle more appealing to women. Has a solid soccer mom image. But it's not like you're coming out of the manliest vehicle in the first place....

What do you think those side lift gates are all about? Ease of opening for short women like my wife who couldn't reach a lift gate. :)
 
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Thanks a lot for the fast responses to my post. I am leaning to the Rav4 but still haven't made up my mind....
Need to buy in June, so I have a month to decide.. Let's see if there are any good rebates coming up in June.
Keep your responses coming...Please
 

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I've had my RAV4 for 3 months and like it a lot. You're driving 21,000 miles per year, so I'd think that MPG would be one deciding factor. The Explorer won't get as much miles per gallon as the RAV4! The side-opening door is really not bad. I'd rather get bumped in the side or back by it, than on the head by an overhead door. The seat bottoms could be a little longer front to back, but they are comfortable.
I got this to replace my second Ford Taurus wagon that had a bum transmission (not to mention a lot of other little problems). The slogan around my house is "No more Fords!".
Good Luck!
 
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Our RAV4 NRG D4D is 2 1/2 years old now and has proven to be very good, the only issue was with a few blisters of corrosion on the wheels which were replaced immediately, the only other times it has been to the garage was for routine servicing.

The issue of the rear door seems a little nonsensical, you either like it or you dont. It works for us. Regarding the flexing, well even the Eiffel tower in Paris flexes in a stiff breeze, and it hasn't fallen down yet, such is the skill of the engineer.

Park any vehicle on a steep side slope and one door will be tricky to open where as the other side will be tricky to shut, both passenger doors will be caught by a strong wind if you don't hold on to them, so again I would say that the back door catching in the wind is not too much of a concern.

As for the RAV being a ladies car, I would suggest that most ladies buy cars with their heads, men buy their cars with their tesosterone. My BMW 525 iX usually only gets driven when I cant have the RAV, it is just a better car
 
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Here's a clip from RAV World on the thread concerning the RAV's rear door along with a fix. This owner found out the hard way that it isn't nonsensical at all. If you actually use this vehicle as an SUV it looks to me like this modification is necessary.



Posts 45
Registered 9/7/2003
Location Victoria, Australia
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posted on 9/7/2003 at 07:05 AM

Rear Door

Recently a mild gust of wind forced the rear door past the fully open position.

Investigation revealed that the bolts installed to secure the check strap to the pillar by toyota were of the general machine bolt type. These bolts which are placed under shear load in this type of incident should have been hardened to provide stregnth to the fixing. $2,500 out of pocket later, the RAV is back to normal.

To prevent this from happening again, install quantity 2 Class 8 hardened bolts and a hardened solid pin in the check strap pillar fixing.
 
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Surly this is just as likely to happen to a passenger door if caught in the wind. The use of stronger bolts and pins simply means that something else will give way first, in this case the bolts could well rip out with their captive nuts still attached and the result would be the same. If the door was only half open when the gust of wind caught it, then the door would have time to accelerate to a speed where damage could be done.

There is always someone who will report a mishap that could happen to anyone of us given the right conditions, but it does not seem to be a major issue other than personal preferance.

Consider the size and weight of the back door on the RAV, and try to imagine the size and power of the rams needed to lift that door and spare wheel if it was made as a tailgate. The length of that tailgate would make it impractical to open up in tight spaces, and a new home would have to be found for the spare wheel which would steal space from an already small car
 

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Here are the pluses with the Rav4

- You get the Quality and Reliability of a Toyota

- Handles great and feels good to drive (you driven it and should know that)
Gas mileage is good

- Design Excellent… Women generally know what looks good

- Is a very stable when I put some heavy loads in it compared to a car.
- Great AWD system for the winter (&Snow Tires). And I use it at the farm just to get around and I have no worries.

Now if you are going to get the Explorer than your needs are going to be a bit different.
-you may take a large family and cargo places
-you may be very large or tall and feel more comfortable in a larger vehicle
-you carry large and heavy cargo loads

-your brother owns a gas station
-you work for Ford
(sorry for the last 2 jokes) :D :wink:
 
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I think RAV4 is way better built than an Explorer as far as the quality is concerned. Think of all the gas you will save in 5 years. I would say atleat 1000 every year. That is 5000 for 5 years. Imagine somebody handing you 5000 dollars 5 years down the road for nothing........
 

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Good points.......

Fuel economy

Decent amount of power for a 4 Cylinder

Not as big as other SUV's, easier to manouvre

Styling

Reiable


Bad points.....

Bad gearing (the engine is screaming at freeway speeds)

Pathetically thin body panels (so easy to dent)

The fact that a lot of ladies drive them (doenst help one's macho image :wink: )

Those are the main points I'ver noticed since buying one a few months ago
 
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Depends on what you use it for...

I have a 2004 Rav. I bought it to replace my aging Celica. When I bought the RAV, I thought I would be able to haul the minor building materials that I sometimes need from Home Depot or Slowes. Not so. I can only fit a 5' long board inside the RAV with the door closed. If the rear window opened, like it does on the CRV, then this wouldn't be a problem. I could mount things on the luggage rack, but mounting stuff there is a hassle, and adds about 20 minutes to the task after you strap stuff down.

My other complaint is that it is difficult to hide stuff which may be attractive to thieves (think about a laptop case and going to the store after work), without bringing a blanket or something. Other than that, it is a fine vehicle.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
And one other problem...

It is difficult to find a comfortable seat position if you are an average height male. The driver's seat does not have that much rearward travel, so if you have legs longer than 32" it may be uncomfortable.
 

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The simple solution is to but a lightweight trailer and put your stuff in it. I am 6'2" and have little problem being comfy in the rav4. :p
 
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I guess it depends on what you call 'average height'.. I'm 5'10" w/ 30" legs and have no problem finding a comfy seating position.

While my wife bought this car, it is our 'main' car. So, I drive it quite a bit... and maintain it.

I love the rear door. It was a selling feature to us. The door moves out of the way, we add groceries, plants, whatever and close it. It's great and we still love it after about 4 months. Just bought an '05 w/ all options except auto tranny.

A few things to consider, the AWD had a quieter interior than the 2wd version... The leather is very comfortable.... The mileage is not even close to the window sticker... and the power is fair but nothing special. It 'feels' like about 120HP and has not gotten better than 23mpg even on the highway. When we first got it it was in the upper teens and now it's maybe 21 most of the time.

I think it's VERY well engineered overall. I love the RAV4 and didn't think I would. It looks good and drives nice. I'm not an SUV guy so I don't like the body roll or handling...
 
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Discussion Starter #19
I downsized from a Nissan Pathfinder and only have a few complaints: really bad stock stereo, only two intermittant wiper speeds and weak heat/air blower. I can still haul around four kids and two dogs if I have to. My work commute is half an hour at 35-45 mph (four stop signs) and I've been getting 28-30 mpg.
 
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