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Discussion Starter #1
2009 Japan built Black Forest Pearl and Tan V6, 80,000 miles, Base with Alloy Wheels and Extra Value Package. Water pump already changed at 50,000 miles. My stepfather has a salvage title 2008 Base I-4 with 120,000 in black on his lot that he would have let me have for what he paid for it, $7500, but I wanted something a bit nicer. I found this one listed for $12,000, my stepfather negotiated a dealer to dealer sale for $11,000 then immediately sold it to me for that.

Due to my back issues and occasional need to haul cargo I needed an SUV, but wanted one that was not overly large and very reliable, so a RAV4 seemed to be what I wanted.

Impressions:

I wish it were a little bit more "connected" to the road, but on the other hand it's not unacceptably bouncy like and old Buick. The suspension feels a lot like a full sized car like a Impala but the handling is more truck like. Seems it will be comfortable enough for long road trips.

I like how easy it is to flip down the rear seats.

It must be a new thing were dashboards are illegible without backlighting during the day now. The 04 Accord I was borrowing from my stepfather after my Jeep blew and engine and tranny was like that to.

Sightlines are great.

I wish I had gotten one with a sunroof and leather, but looking for a relatively low mileage one you can't be too fussy, I got the four things I absolutely couldn't live without: Alloy Wheels, V6, Privacy Glass, and a color I like. I do miss the dimming side and rearview mirrors I had on my old Jeep too.

I like the two tone tan and grey look on the interior.

My sister noted the climate controls are identical to her 2009 Corolla.

Startled and thrown back into my seat by how much power the thing has if you push your foot down a bit far starting out. I would have been fine with an inline 4 except for the 4-speed transmission they came with, it seems dumb to not have put a 5 of 6 speed in during the refresh.

Plans:
Since I live in Minnesota, I plan to try to put fog lights and the heated turn signal mirrors on it. I ordered a copy of the wiring diagram and am pretty handy with electrical stuff.
 

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The '08 model your father has guzzles oil like there's no tomorrow. Got thing you steered clear of it. I feel sorry for whoever buys it.
 

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I wish it were a little bit more "connected" to the road, but on the other hand it's not unacceptably bouncy like and old Buick. The suspension feels a lot like a full sized car like a Impala but the handling is more truck like. Seems it will be comfortable enough for long road trips.
You might appreciate its traction control under stressful circumstances such as turning on a road suddenly iced or rained over. I do, and I had been driving old tech for over fifty years.
 

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v6 RAV4's are worth a premium $$, for good reason / a +300K mile motor.

Wife has the '08 Limited v6 and we live in snow country.
- besides the heated leather seats & heated side mirrors
- heating elements are embedded into the bottom of the windshield / to stop ice buildup, on the wiper blades...nice feature to help improve visibility, during a winter storm

^^ Keep that in mine, if you have to replace your windshield...don't know what else is involved, to make it work
 

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v6 RAV4's are worth a premium $$, for good reason / a +300K mile motor.

Wife has the '08 Limited v6 and we live in snow country.
- besides the heated leather seats & heated side mirrors
- heating elements are embedded into the bottom of the windshield / to stop ice buildup, on the wiper blades...nice feature to help improve visibility, during a winter storm

^^ Keep that in mine, if you have to replace your windshield...don't know what else is involved, to make it work
Am not certain, but I believe that the heated lower windshield was installed only on Canadian RAVs. It's not a feature on my '11 RAV, which was intended for the Washington State market and for an area which has winter snow.
 
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I've looked into it before as well and it seems the heated side mirrors and heated windshield were Canadian market only. Not sure why but there you have it. I was tempted to order the side mirror glass when I found out and do the wiring for them.
 

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I read some of the previous threads on the topic saying there was wiring missing for the heated turn signal mirrors on the base model, and was prepared to add it but to my surprise I took the door panel off, and the appropriate pins on the mirror connector were in fact powered with the turn signal and defroster. So it's just a matter of getting the appropriate mirrors from a junkyard. Looks like the fog light wiring is there too. The 120 volt inverter and heated seat wiring is not, on the other hand.
 

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I read some of the previous threads on the topic saying there was wiring missing for the heated turn signal mirrors on the base model, and was prepared to add it but to my surprise I took the door panel off, and the appropriate pins on the mirror connector were in fact powered with the turn signal and defroster. So it's just a matter of getting the appropriate mirrors from a junkyard. Looks like the fog light wiring is there too. The 120 volt inverter and heated seat wiring is not, on the other hand.
On a RAV4 supplied with heated side mirrors the switch to turn them on also turns on the rear window defroster.
.
 
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