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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,

New here. I just recently had to trade in my baby, a 2010 VW GTI for a 2006 base RAV4. We have a kid on the way, and our projected finances are a little strained. So I did the responsible thing and got an inexpensive reliable car with lots of room, good gas mileage, and good consumer reports ratings. Ugh, I just threw up in my mouth a little. Kidding. Not really. I'm having a bit of an identity crisis right now. I'm sure I'll get over it.

Anyway, as much as I always swore I'd never own an SUV... or an automatic, here I am. I'm a huge car guy, so even though this wasn't on my list of dream cars, I'm sure I'll be doing lots of tinkering with it. I already have a heated seat kit in the mail, and a belkin bluetooth adaptor, feet for my Thule roof rack, and some Wade vent visors. I looking forward to a prospect of reaching high mileage (my last 2 VW's gave me major trouble at 135k), and having low maintenance costs ($4k in maintenance in the last 5k miles in my GTI). I'm also going to enjoy buying 87 octane for a change (I've been buying premium fuel for 11 years now). This car may actually outlast my payments.

I've already had a few "ah ha"s from lingering on the forums, like the headlights going off after parking. I went from being super annoyed that there was no buzzer, to being really stoked, and wondering why VW never did that.

I do have a few questions that I haven't been able to solve by reading here.
1) Stainless Brake Lines, I need some and have no idea where to find them. I'm hoping someone sells them so I don't have to custom order, but I will if I have to. Coming out of a GTI, this thing feels like I'm trying to stop Fred Flinstone style. I'll probably upgrade the pads for stopping power, but more important is the lines and fluid for "feel".
2) When stopped at a light, the car has a bit of a low idle (about 500), if I kick it into neutral, it goes to 750. I wouldn't care but it makes the car lug. Is this normal, or should I have it looked at? I've never owned an automatic so I don't know if this is just a thing they do.

Looking forward to foruming with you all.
 

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For someone on a strained budget for the car you sure are putting a lot of money into it...LOL

Welcome to the forum!

The brakes on the Rav are known to be soft, good idea on the brake fluid although I don't think the stainless lines are going to do anything to assist.

The RPMs going down at a light on an Automatic are normal, think of it sort of like having your clutch engage just enough that it would slip with the brakes on but let them go and it slowly pulls away (I know this is not what happens but it is the best reference I can come up with, driven both manual and auto).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you got the V6 you will not miss the VW.
Never driven a GTI huh?

For someone on a strained budget for the car you sure are putting a lot of money into it...LOL
Just trying to replace the conveniences I had to give up. The damn Thule feet were the worst, almost $200 for those. Heated seats are only $90, but it looks like they're going to be a ton of work.

My strained budget means I need to get this, and not this. Which, by the way, I just installed, and I'm really impressed with. I put the mic/button right next to the mirror switch, and it picks up my voice very clearly. It doesn't automatically connect when you turn the car on, you need to press it once, but thats the only downfall.

The vent visors were a bit of a splurge, but the GTI had small dark tinted windows, and a black interior, for a nice cozy feel. This thing feels like a pope mobile. I'm hoping the vent shades give me a slight enclosed feeling, they do in my buddy's old blazer.
 

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At least you didn't get a minivan. ;)
 
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I feel for you brother. I had to trade in a 2010 VW CC Sport for a 2009 Rav4 Limited last year, for the same reasons as you. Except the cost, my payment actually went up with the Toyota, but I am fairly happy with it. V6 is not bad, another poster saying you won't miss the VW with it is not entirely correct. It's powerful, sure, but it's not the same feel as a turbo 4 that VWs use. I still miss the CC every time I drive, it's not an easy transition, but I keep telling myself that soon enough we'll need a second car, and it'll be my "fun" car, for now we're all about practicality. Maybe it's not a huge SUV, but I've been able to fit anything I need inside, drive through bad snow like there was nothing and go camping in the middle of nowhere where only select off road cars can go (and was pleasantly surprised by the little Rav 4's off road capabilities). It's a good reliable vehicle, it gets the job done. And as a family with a 2 year old in the back, we definitely feel much safer in a slightly bigger Toyota.

dp
 

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The SUV versatility may grow on you, did on us / and I don't see the attraction of a sedan any more.
- we bought a 1989 Nissan Pathfinder that was 3 year old / close to perfect, for our family needs
- and kept it 14 years / wife drove for several years, I drove for five years, son used throughout HS

Currently, our son has a 2015 Lexus RX350, Mom has the 2008 v6-RAV4 and Dad just got a mint 2000 4Runner SR5 3.4L-v6...all SUV's finally and autos.
- we have had fast cars from an original GTO Judge, Nissan 350Z, Trans Am GTA with factory 5.7L Vette motor, etc...2 where standard trans.
But never a VW - I'd sooner jump in one of our Toyota, any day and 4x4 is the added bonus.

AdultingSucks - did you end up getting the v6, in your 2006?
 

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What I'm thinking when reading this topic: Is it possible to compare a Golf GTI with a RAV4?
Both are different cars in driving, handing, size, looks, etc. etc.
Then it's easy to name all better properties of the Golf GTI, which the RAV4 does n't have.
But turn things around then, what better properties does a RAV4 have, and those are plenty too.

I'm also a former Golf driver, and I do know what I miss, but I also know what I've got now.
Driving in the snow or mud, or going on holliday with the family by car, nope, no GTI for me. ;-)
 

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im keeping as many cars as i can but i really love my v6 rav4. driven gtis before including mk6 and mk7, wasn't THAT thrilled by them
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I feel for you brother. I had to trade in a 2010 VW CC Sport for a 2009 Rav4 Limited last year, for the same reasons as you. Except the cost, my payment actually went up with the Toyota, but I am fairly happy with it. V6 is not bad, another poster saying you won't miss the VW with it is not entirely correct. It's powerful, sure, but it's not the same feel as a turbo 4 that VWs use. I still miss the CC every time I drive, it's not an easy transition, but I keep telling myself that soon enough we'll need a second car, and it'll be my "fun" car, for now we're all about practicality. Maybe it's not a huge SUV, but I've been able to fit anything I need inside, drive through bad snow like there was nothing and go camping in the middle of nowhere where only select off road cars can go (and was pleasantly surprised by the little Rav 4's off road capabilities). It's a good reliable vehicle, it gets the job done. And as a family with a 2 year old in the back, we definitely feel much safer in a slightly bigger Toyota.

dp
You get me. We're gonna be friends lol.

The SUV versatility may grow on you, did on us.
AdultingSucks - did you end up getting the v6, in your 2006?
Yeah, It's got it's perks. I picked up a huge dresser for the kids room yesterday, didn't need to take it apart or put it on the roof. Just plopped it in the back. Right now I have 5 sheets of concrete board in it, normally I would have used someones truck.
I got the 4cyl. I kind of wish I got the v6, but at the same time, I'm kind of impressed by the 4. It's much better than I expected. This car would be much improved with a 5spd manual transmission mated to this motor though.

What I'm thinking when reading this topic: Is it possible to compare a Golf GTI with a RAV4?
No it's not. I'm really just having a personal crisis comparing what I WANT with what I NEED. I want everything a hot hatch offers. I need everything a RAV4 offers. What I want used to be more important than what I need. That just violently shifted in my life.



Thanks for the welcomes and the pats on the back everyone. The thing is growing on me, and I'm going to be making a lot of little mods to it. I didn't join here to just complain, so I'll be doing write ups as I make modifications.
I will be putting in heated seats, maybe homemade heated side mirrors. I'll me integrating my garage door opener (ghetto homelink). Installing a remote starter (no bypass needed), hard wiring my dash cam, and installing my sub and amp to the factory head unit. I'll be doing all this the correct way with relays and fuse blocks, so look forward to that. Aside from the heated seats and mirrors, I've done all these installs on other vehicles, so I have experience. It should be a treat working on this vehicle though as it is so easy to take apart, and there is so much space everywhere.

I already installed my roof rack, we'll see how the wind noise is compared to the stock crossbars (it was really bad in the vw). I've also got the Belkin bluetooth adapter running, and it's really impressive. I'll do a little write up on that tonight.
 

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I'll be doing write ups as I make modifications.
I will be putting in heated seats, maybe homemade heated side mirrors. I'll me integrating my garage door opener (ghetto homelink). Installing a remote starter (no bypass needed), hard wiring my dash cam, and installing my sub and amp to the factory head unit. I'll be doing all this the correct way with relays and fuse blocks, so look forward to that. Aside from the heated seats and mirrors, I've done all these installs on other vehicles, so I have experience. It should be a treat working on this vehicle though as it is so easy to take apart, and there is so much space everywhere.
There are already detailed threads on at least most of those mods. You may be able to add good additional info to the existing threads, but I think it would be preferred not to start a whole new thread when there's already a good one out there.

The search tool is your friend.

.
 
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