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So I have been looking tirelessly for a nice reasonably priced V6 Limited with no luck. I have found the exact car Im looking for in the brown paint in flawless condition but its the I-4. It has 133k but a perfect service record. Should I wait and continue my search for the perfect V6? All opinions welcome.
 

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Hey there. What are you looking to do with the vehicle? The I4 does have a power deficit, but in AWD form it’s still sufficient for most uses that people will demand of it. The only real difference in capability between the two is towing capacity (and acceleration if that’s your thing).

We were introduced to the RAV with a drive of my cousin’s 2006 3.5 Sport, and I admit the power was intoxicating! By the time we bought ours as a 2012, it was the last one available and had a 2.5. We were coming from a 2007 Mustang GT and it was a drastic change. Day to day, I’d like the V6 but the gas mileage would be a big difference. I do use my 2.5 for towing and the V6 would make a functional difference for me, as I’d use its capability. But with upgrades I’ve found the 2.5 to be enough for most of my needs.

If you want to tow a camper over 1500 lbs loaded though, you should consider the V6 right away.
 

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It's obviously your choice about what to do. The V6 is somewhat of a road rocket with a smooth as glass engine for highway driving, wouldn't swap ours for a 4 cyl. but the 4 gets better fuel mileage especially in city driving.
 
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I mean I enjoy the zoom zoom of a capable vehicle. But Im starting an electrical apprenticeship that will require some commuting to different locations. I like having passing power as much as the next guy. And the ability to tow a pop up or a jet ski would be cool no doubt. But Id like to be able to at least be able to haul some mountain bikes on the hitch rack. Some kayaks on the roof and my snowboard gear in the winter which it sounds like it will. Im using an in between car currently that is horrible. But my last car was a turbo four cylinder chevy cruze that only had 156hp but had no problem passing on the highway. But was by no means fast.
 

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I mean I enjoy the zoom zoom of a capable vehicle. But Im starting an electrical apprenticeship that will require some commuting to different locations. I like having passing power as much as the next guy. And the ability to tow a pop up or a jet ski would be cool no doubt. But Id like to be able to at least be able to haul some mountain bikes on the hitch rack. Some kayaks on the roof and my snowboard gear in the winter which it sounds like it will. Im using an in between car currently that is horrible. But my last car was a turbo four cylinder chevy cruze that only had 156hp but had no problem passing on the highway. But was by no means fast.
Fyi I do tow a 1500 lb (gross) pop up and get 10.3 L/100km on the highway. Also frequently tow 1/2 yard if gravel or soil, or load of lumber. My 2.5 FWD has never complained

Also got a 4 bike hitch rack that we use frequently.
 

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Keep looking but if there is not much choice in your area then expand your search outside your state. Another option is a Highlander or RX350. Both have the same V6. Not as fast but certainly more comfortable. The Highlander 2008 and up can tow 5000 lbs vs the RAV4 V6 with tow package 3500 lbs. If you do a lot of driving the Highlander is a good choice since they have good seats and a very good soft ride.
 

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Keep looking but if there is not much choice in your area then expand your search outside your state. Another option is a Highlander or RX350. Both have the same V6. Not as fast but certainly more comfortable. The Highlander 2008 and up can tow 5000 lbs vs the RAV4 V6 with tow package 3500 lbs.
I have considered both but Im partial to the styling of the Rav4. I dont like 2008 and up highlanders as much. And the RX350’s kinda scream soccer mom. Not to be overly picky but Im pretty much set on the 2010 or newer Rav4.
 

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It's all about the $$$. And how much you want the feel that the car is moving under you.
I had the opportunity to test both 4 cyl and the V6 before purchase. My last commuting car (now passed to my daughter) was a Mercury Sable (Ford Taurus) with their DOHC V6 3.0L engine that makes 200HP.
I could not bear to drive the 4cyl RAV4, it was so slow and jumping to high RPM's quickly (at least with my driving expectations). But on the other hand, it was much, much, cheaper than the V6 that I choose.
I paid in February $11k for a 2011 Limited, 70k miles, spotless and with NO RUST. I have lived with a Ford Explorer that had rust issues, being used for 3 years in the rust belt of US, so I swear to myself never again. Makes every maintenance so much more complicated and time consuming. Example: That car still has a strong engine (V8) and good transmission, AWD... but recently the rust poke a hole in a brake line, pedal goes to floor. I cannot trust my life to something like that, not without replacing the whole braking plumbing.

The no rust and low mileage was worth for me more than just the money, because I am at a point in my live/career that I can appreciate more my time than the money. And for the same reason, I don't have that much of a priority to save money on gas. The 22 MPG (10.7l/100km) average combined (city/highway), or 24 MPG (9.8L/100km) highway, that I get with the V6 is fine with me. Actually that number for highway is obtained only if I drive at or under 70mph. At 80MPH it drops back towards 22...
 

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When I bought our '06 V6 back in 2010 (wow that's TEN years ago!) it was after test driving a new 2008 RAV4 V6 for my BIL who needed the V6 for trailer towing. He lives in Alaska where the nearest Toyota dealer is essentially a two day trip away and he trusts my judgment on cars. In comparison to our I4 Forester the V6 RAV4 was a delightful rocket, and with the 4WD not even a sanded road slowed it down. Passing power was amazing, from 60 to 80 instantly and effortlessly.

My BIL did buy a new '08 in RI and drove it back to AK and I decided I (my wife, that is) HAD to have one too. It took over a year to get the Forester to run away from home and for me to find the right RAV4. Found it in Melbourne FL, flew there and drove it home to CT.

My own car has always been a Honda Accord, six of them since 1978, so if it hadn't been for the V6 we'd probably have a CRV since IMO w/o the V6 there was nothing in particular, at least at that time, to distinguish the RAV4 from the competition.
 

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I was faced with the same dilemma 5 years ago, looked for a good used v6 at a reasonable price, simply couldn't find one. Most looked like they were abused. Ended up with a fwd 2.5. Very happy with it. Actually find it peppy at low speeds on blvds etc but yea not great power on the highway. I pull a light 1960s soft top tent trailer with no problem but limit speed to 105 km/hr (8 inch tires) , keep it in D3 below 80 km/hr. I had been putting our bikes on the roof of the car, this combined with the trailer really slowed it down, it had trouble staying in OD unless the road was completely flat. I moved the bikes to a rack on the back of the trailer, much better, less drag. Note that the fwd is 100 kg lighter than a 4wd plus in the long term easier maintenace and less potential repairs.
 

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I just bought a 2010 Rav4 Limited 4 Cyl and I've been very happy. I personally feel like it has enough jump for what I need it to do. I don't tow or need a race car and do a lot of highway driving and I haven't had any issues yet.
 

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I have the V6, but don't really NEED the V6. My daughter's Camry has the 2.5, it's fun to drive and has plenty of power. Plus it gets much better gas mileage.
 

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I don’t think there is much of a price difference between an used V6 vs an I4. There are just fewer V6s on the market so you might just have to spend a bit more time until one comes along. As you have read so far some people just prefer an I4 for various reasons.
 

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As you have read so far some people just prefer an I4 for various reasons.
Me being an exception. If the RAV4 didn't have a V6 I would have had no reason to buy one. Probably wouldn't even have given them a second look.

One additional point: Altho two of our other moderators have FWD V6s, IMO you can't really use their power especially at takeoff and low speeds w/o 4WD since any liberal amount of right foot just spins the front tires. With 4WD you're off like a shot, and that even on wet roads. I've experienced the FWD effect when I had a bad rear wheel ABS sensor. It defeated the rear drive and I had to tip-toe on the gas pedal to get going w/o wheelspin. It was kinda fun tho to feel the torque steer.
 
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With 4WD you're off like a shot, and that even on wet roads.
That! I would not had bought an I4 or a FWD either.

Even with my 200HP Sable I can "chirp" the front wheels at the stoplight. On rain I have to be extra careful.
I missed the AWD that I had on my V8 Explorer, that's why on the top of my list was to get another 4WD/AWD vehicle. What's the point to spend a bucket of money on a slug that's not even that much cheaper (used or new)? For me the V6 4WD was non-contest. Maybe others think otherwise, or they just find justifications for their limitations (sour grapes), but that was my choice.
 

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If I’d had a choice it would have been a V6, no contest. But ours was the very last 2012 in the region (Feb 2013, but only two months old as it was built 12/2012) and was heavily discounted before I started talking price, and we needed to get something- it was this or a Santa Fe, and I greatly preferred to choose Toyota. In my case it’s not justifying my choice (as I had none ) but saying that the 2.5 FWD hasn’t really limited me in what I can do with it (what I decide to do with it). More than the V6, I’d have preferred AWD but it wasn’t an option for the price and timeframe for a new vehicle. In other words, it’s not the end of the world if you can’t find a V6 in the timeframe or budget you have, unless you’re looking to tow a larger pop-up or a small hard-sided camper, or lots of gravel!

Side note: in Canada all our V6 models had AWD and the factory tow prep package. All our V6 could do 3500 lbs right off the lot, once a hitch was added.
 

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I have owned both. Currently have a 2015 4cyl AWD. All things considered, I would just as well the 4 banger over the 6. Hwy. mileage might be 1-2 mpg better with the 6, but city driving is definitely worse. The 4 cyl. drive train is so smooth and has all the power I ever want. I have owned 4 cyl. Tacomas and I wish Toyota would have made as smooth and effortless drive train in the Tacomas. Even on the hwy., I find the 4 banger to have enough left in the tank when I need to step it up a notch. Also, the 4 cyl. is pretty much bullet proof from what I understand.
 

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