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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m sure I’m in the minority here but after a month with my new car, there’s nothing really inspiring.
While shopping for it vs others, I considered all the usual: value, resale, reliability, economy, etc.
Finding a good vehicle w/o a CVT or DSG transmission narrowed my choice a lot!
My LE has so many rattling, hard plastic snap-in panels, road & engine noise…! Toyota has great stuff but this generation is really constructed lightly and cheaply. IMHO. The performance and handling is kind of medium too. Yeah, I know, the hybrid is better but out of stock and my budget.
I’m adding sound deadening mats this week to help hush up this tin can.
Just rambling, venting with buyer’s remorse In this worst of all times for auto shopping. So, not much to to consider swapping for..
go ahead, roast me
 

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Sell/trade the car in when you can.

Next vehicle, ask if they have a test drive car you could use for an hour or two, or a long term loaner you could have for a day or two. If they don't, rent that car you want from Enterprise/Avis/Hertz/etc for a day or two. Spending $100-$200 and knowing you LOVE/HATE/OK with the car is much cheaper than your situation.

Toyota is the only manufacture I am aware of that has a vehicle rental program. Most dealers participate in this; you would have to check. Don't know if the other auto makers have a similar vehicle rental program at the dealer lot.

Good luck w/ next vehicle replacement.
 

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If people all had the same tastes and expectations the world would be pretty boring with little variety lol.

I'm not sure your complaints are limited to the current gen... IMO it's a little more of just being "Toyota's way"... Toyota has always seemed to be a reliable brand, and I've known dozens of folks who've owned one model or another over the years, and they all were generally satisfied. But I wouldn't say they were known as much more than that - it seems Toyota has always portrayed reliability as it's top attribute. My first Toyota was a base model '04 Corolla 5 speed that served me well. I remember picking it over the Civic of that year because the Civic had a timing belt and the Corolla had a timing chain (I buy newish and drive them into the dirt). Then we moved into the sticks and needed an SUV type vehicle... I don't remember why, but we picked the CRV over the Rav4 in '09 - I think they were the same $ OTD and the CRV was more comfortable. Impressed with the CRV, the wife got a Pilot in '15. Neither Honda ever gave us any problems, but when the CRV turned 335K this year, it was time to get a refresh while it still had trade value. Honda had gone CVT, so I picked up my '18 Rav4 LE before the market went totally nuts. The last of gen 4, it seemed to have all the bugs worked out and still had the tried and true drivetrain, so once again, reliability.

Here's my 2c - the Rav4 may be reliable, but it does lack in the materials and fit & fitness depts... It has more road noise than my old CRV and a lot more plastics. Probably more a fuel standards thing than anything else, but the body panels and paint on my Rav are so thin I dare not lean on the car in fear I'd leave a dent. Basic level feature set is ok, but things like no intermittent wipers seems silly in this day and age. Still, it seemed the most reliable option available to me and so far I've been satisfied with it, but only time will tell if all this modern complexity proves durable or the next replacement goes back to Honda.

Edit - my decisions are based on long term ownership. If I were the "average" consumer turning over every 5-7 years, a CVT with a decent warranty wouldn't bother me (well, I wouldn't like it, but I wouldn't pass on it simply because of reliability concerns). And I'm with you on the sound deadening...
 

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It's your vehicle and so you obviously are entitled to vent your reactions and feelings about it. Did you have a thorough test drive before buying? Before buying ours I told the sales person that I wanted a longer than usual test drive, and over roads of different surface qualities and speed limits. Good luck with your RAV4 or whatever you might decide to replace it with.
 

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I’m sure I’m in the minority here but after a month with my new car, there’s nothing really inspiring.
While shopping for it vs others, I considered all the usual: value, resale, reliability, economy, etc.
Finding a good vehicle w/o a CVT or DSG transmission narrowed my choice a lot!
My LE has so many rattling, hard plastic snap-in panels, road & engine noise…! Toyota has great stuff but this generation is really constructed lightly and cheaply. IMHO. The performance and handling is kind of medium too. Yeah, I know, the hybrid is better but out of stock and my budget.
I’m adding sound deadening mats this week to help hush up this tin can.
Just rambling, venting with buyer’s remorse In this worst of all times for auto shopping. So, not much to to consider swapping for..
go ahead, roast me
CX5 is the answer in this price/trim range.
 

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CX5 is the answer in this price/trim range.
Doesn't Mazda have that cylinder deactivation scheme on the base engine? That combined with engine start/stop "feature" makes me worry... Which is too bad, because that's about the only questionable thing I can think of to say about it... The "feel" is more driver oriented and the interior is a tad nicer...
 

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Doesn't Mazda have that cylinder deactivation scheme on the base engine? That combined with engine start/stop "feature" makes me worry... Which is too bad, because that's about the only questionable thing I can think of to say about it... The "feel" is more driver oriented and the interior is a tad nicer...
The turbo models don't, the gas models do, as I recall.
 

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Think what you will about Toyota, but their EFI / DFI combination is probably going to prove more reliable than any DFI only engine... Hopefully the competition comes up with their own designs that mitigate the carbon buildup issues plaguing DFI only designs...
 

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LE certainly feels cheap and stripped for what you pay. I mean a key for the ignition in 2021, really??? I went through this last year with a Passport vs Highlander. You would have to go up a Toyota trim level to get what you do in the Honda. Still, I tried to buy a CRV this year but when they said sticker, I decided to try another brand and stay away from a CVT/turbo.

What I'm hoping for is trouble free and low cost ownership something Honda hasn't been able to do with my last 3 Hondas. I mean 17" wheels and tires are a huge saver right there, you don't need as many specialized fluids and some intervals are longer. So hopefully, when the RAV is 7 or 8 years old I can think of selling it when I want not because of a huge looming repair bill.
 

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Think what you will about Toyota, but their EFI / DFI combination is probably going to prove more reliable than any DFI only engine... Hopefully the competition comes up with their own designs that mitigate the carbon buildup issues plaguing DFI only designs...
No issues with my 2015 CX5 at 106K miles when traded in, or my 2019 CX5 turbo with 80K miles when traded in, related to carbon buildup.
 

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What I'm hoping for is trouble free and low cost ownership something Honda hasn't been able to do with my last 3 Hondas. I mean 17" wheels and tires are a huge saver right there, you don't need as many specialized fluids and some intervals are longer. So hopefully, when the RAV is 7 or 8 years old I can think of selling it when I want not because of a huge looming repair bill.
Exactly. It's the reliability factor. But you might be reminded of that every day when you pull out your key or listen to those 17" wheels droning down the highway lol.

Everyone has different priorities.
 

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No home link I can live with but the key and lack of the door opening when I touch the door handle is problematic. Lack of USB ports kind of a joke too. When I had to change the lighter fuse last week and went under the dash, gosh cheap and cost cutting all over the place. Even my wife's XLE doesn't have Homelink. I also find the rear hatch setup kind of a PITA with no standard way to open from the inside. Just another excuse to get a Prime.
 

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I had a 1992 Mazda pickup. It just slowly rotted, rusted and fell apart over the years. Exhaust system was made from scavenged gum wrappers. Brakes were mostly just imaginary (you step on the brake pedal and imagine the truck would stop). Valve cover gasket had to be replaced twice. Main computer had capacitors filled with a liquid which ate thru them and then ran down the circuit board, eating it as it flowed.
I look longing at Miatas when I see one. Then, I think about the truck. No thanks.
I had a 2004 Nissan Sentra for a year and a half. Fool me once . . . .

No more Mazda or Nissan vehicles for me.
 

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I’m sure I’m in the minority here but after a month with my new car, there’s nothing really inspiring.
While shopping for it vs others, I considered all the usual: value, resale, reliability, economy, etc.
Finding a good vehicle w/o a CVT or DSG transmission narrowed my choice a lot!
My LE has so many rattling, hard plastic snap-in panels, road & engine noise…! Toyota has great stuff but this generation is really constructed lightly and cheaply. IMHO. The performance and handling is kind of medium too. Yeah, I know, the hybrid is better but out of stock and my budget.
I’m adding sound deadening mats this week to help hush up this tin can.
Just rambling, venting with buyer’s remorse In this worst of all times for auto shopping. So, not much to to consider swapping for..
go ahead, roast me
Why roast? You are already in living hell with your LE. Shudda bought an EXL. I did, two years ago. Still have it today. Still satisfied. There are enough gizmos to keep you busy for a long time. Have not yet figured out everything, just the important stuff. It's not a luxury truck, but has all the features I like.....and more that i do not need.
But don't beat yourself up, enjoy the truck-like engine sound and think of the reliability, fuel economy and resale value that you originally considered. Maybe change your tires to get better handling and drive in "SPORT" mode. That would cheer you up!
Please read my post from two years ago "RAV4 2020 first impressions".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Why roast? You are already in living hell with your LE. Shudda bought an EXL. I did, two years ago. Still have it today. Still satisfied. There are enough gizmos to keep you busy for a long time. Have not yet figured out everything, just the important stuff. It's not a luxury truck, but has all the features I like.....and more that i do not need.
But don't beat yourself up, enjoy the truck-like engine sound and think of the reliability, fuel economy and resale value that you originally considered. Maybe change your tires to get better handling and drive in "SPORT" mode. That would cheer you up!
Please read my post from two years ago "RAV4 2020 first impressions".
I like “put it in sport mode” It helps! I took it out and beat it up on washboard today. It did ok just like it does everything ok. At least no additional noises developed. Guess it really does feel truckish w/o the XLE amenities!
 

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I think the issue with the Rav is that it is a mid $20K car. When I purchased my XSE, a mid $20k car with $10K of options, I was expecting a higher level of quality. The issue for me was that I did not realize that a mid $20K car is now just above entry level. I thought spending $35K for my XSE would get me a mid level car. While I was not expecting wood veneers or extensive sound proofing, I was expecting a water tight design and body hardware to last the duration of a cars useful life (150K+ miles and at least 10 years). This should be easy stuff today as my 1995 Tercel met these standards.

While I like my XSE, if I had it to do all over again I would research the Highlander to see if the quality is better. It probably is as it on the Avalon/Sienna platform. Also, perhaps the Lexus car based SUVs make up for the Ravs shortcomings, a 2 or 3 year old leased turn in with a Lexus vehicle service agreement may be something to consider.

All in all, I will deal with my XSE as I already own it and am mostly happy. Learning about its shortcomings here on Rav 4 World and the ways to mitigate them helps a lot. I just did not know I was buying a 1970s GM product when purchasing a 2020 Toyota.

At least the drivetrain should be reliable and close to 40 MPG (hybrid) in a vehicle this size, height, shape, and weight is pretty amazing. My 2010 Prius gets about the same MPG.
 

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Mid / entry level SUV's have been mid $20K for quite a while now. I think I paid $23K for my base model awd CRV in '09. I actually paid less than that for my Certified '18 Rav4 LE awd with 13K miles, which is practically "new" for a Toyota.

Looking quickly at SUV's in the Rav4 category, it looks like both Kia and Hyundai's offerings are more expensive than than Rav4. But I'm sure your expectation is that Toyota is the better vehicle nonetheless. What if they were just equal? You might be underwhelmed. As you point out, options don't change the foundational build quality, they just add more features. Your expectations may have been a tad too high.

I'm happy with my LE because to me, what Toyota does best is dependability, and adding options won't do much to improve that. For a commuter car, base models offer more than I really need - it sure beats pulling over to reach back and try to roll down the rear windows, and A/C in the summer sure beats sweating to death. All the safety stuff is just icing on the cake. People are spoiled today imo.

BUT - understanding that the market has changed, and base models now include so many things that used to be optional, I still say that Toyota could use better materials and a bit more build quality compared to the the competition. In my mind, I'm hoping that I'm trading that for money invested into a better and more reliable powertrain, rather than "flash" - because "flash" doesn't get me to work every day. Still, it's going to be hard to beat the 335K trouble free miles I got out of that '09 CRV... That may have been the pinnacle of my ownership history.
 

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I had a 19 Trail that I traded in on a 21 SE Nightshade HB the pic in my avatar. But then I did miss exploring a little bit so I also bought a 17 Le awd and well I find it a much nicer quieter ride than the 19 was.
 

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I had a 1992 Mazda pickup. It just slowly rotted, rusted and fell apart over the years. Exhaust system was made from scavenged gum wrappers. Brakes were mostly just imaginary (you step on the brake pedal and imagine the truck would stop). Valve cover gasket had to be replaced twice. Main computer had capacitors filled with a liquid which ate thru them and then ran down the circuit board, eating it as it flowed.
I look longing at Miatas when I see one. Then, I think about the truck. No thanks.
I had a 2004 Nissan Sentra for a year and a half. Fool me once . . . .

No more Mazda or Nissan vehicles for me.
That was 30 years ago, and back when Ford had a 25% stake in the company. Modern Mazdas are excellent cars, and are statistically matching or exceeding Toyota in terms of reliability and low maintenance costs
 

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Remember folks, LE doesn’t stand for Luxury Edition in the Toyota world. It stands for Low End!
 
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