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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to add a new RAV4 to the garage. Our first one was a 2007, which was a oil burner. We traded for a 2012 4WD Limited that we love and have had no problem with. We plan to keep it and add a new(er) 4.4. I know nothing about the new generation RAVs so am looking for any models/trims/engines/etc. to avoid.

Ideally I'd like to find a Certified Pre-owned model with less than 40k miles, but I see Toyota is running 0% interest for 60 months on new RAVs as well.

Our only *must haves* are Leather/SofTex seats and 4WD. It seems that it's a rather hard to find combo for some reason. I've looked at the hybrids but not sure the small mpg gain is worth the risk of such a complicated system. Also, not sure how it will last over 100k+ miles.

Anyhow, are there any year models or anything to avoid? Any quirks I need to know about the 4.4s?

Thanks!
 

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Not sure why you can't find softex and awd. Should be lots of them. Only models with softex are the limited and the SE, but there are plenty on the road with awd. Strange that there aren't many in your area.
Overall, the hybrid system is more reliable and many of the components simpler. The transmission has way fewer moving parts than a standard 6 speed for example and uses a planetary gear system far superior to the belt driven "rubber band" cvt. Almost all of the engines' usually belt driven components are solid state, again less belts, pulleys and bearings etc to wear out. But, since the hybrid was only introduced in 2016 it may be more than you want to spend and very very hard to find a used one. I had the same fears about hybrids until I did some extensive research on them. The fears of batteries constantly dying are false and the hybrid system including batteries have an 8 year/160,000km warranty. The fears of reliability are also null since toyota hybrids have proven to be at least, if not more reliable than a gas only.
 

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I wouldn't use the EPA fuel economy for comparison, there's considerable better to be had by the Hybrid than the gas model, I'm averaging 34-35mpg combined right now, others get even better. When you consider the AWD gas model gets 24 city and the Hybrid gets 34 city, that's no small difference. Highway economy with the Hybrid is ~36MPG, again a significant improvement over the gas models, the Hybrid has more power also, 0-60 in the 7.4 to 8.1 secs, tow rating is 1750lbs as well, more to consider. My 2016 Limited Hybrid rides softer and is quieter than my 2015 Limited was, another plus for the Hybrid to consider.


http://www.rav4world.com/forums/109...world-mpg-your-hybrid-rav4-7.html#post2020065


http://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/rav4/2016?engineconfig_id=288&bodytype_id=&submodel_id=


http://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/rav4/2015
 

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In support of 'no small mpg gain',I can add my comparison of gas vs hybrid mpg, as I own both - a 2011 Base 4 cyl and a 2016 Hybrid. My 2011 real world city mpg is close to 21 mpg while my city mpg on my 2016 Hybrid is 39+ as recorded on Fuelly.com. In terms of hybrid battery durability, just google Toyota Prius Taxi battery life. There are many hybrid taxi's running around in major cities due to their durability.
 

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Hope I didn't steer your thread into a hybrid pushing thread op. I didn't mean to. Just wanted to point out that most, if not all, of the fear people have abut hybrids are misconceptions. Do some research if you're interested in the hybrid, if not, the gas model is fantastic too. I had a 14 xle and had no issues with it either. Biggest problem I had with the rough ride which has been improved for 2016.
 

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In support of 'no small mpg gain',I can add my comparison of gas vs hybrid mpg, as I own both - a 2011 Base 4 cyl and a 2016 Hybrid. My 2011 real world city mpg is close to 21 mpg while my city mpg on my 2016 Hybrid is 39+ as recorded on Fuelly.com. In terms of hybrid battery durability, just google Toyota Prius Taxi battery life. There are many hybrid taxi's running around in major cities due to their durability.
Your 2011 has a 4-speed transmission, whereas the 4.4s have the 6-speed transmission, so I'd suspect real world MPG comparisons between them wouldn't be very valid.

The OP didn't say if their 2012 Limited had the I4 or V6, so we can't be sure where they're coming from, presuming MPG is a high priority for them in the first place (they didn't mention MPG at all).

In regards to the OP's actual question, it's my understanding that the 2015s and later did better in front crash tests than the 2013-2014s. That may be something to watch out for.

.
 

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I researched the hybrid vs non-hybrid car recently when we bought our 2016 RAV4.

I concluded that getting a hybrid probably won't save you any money. It's basically a wash if you drive a car as long as we do.

Most hybrid batteries die somewhere between 100k and 150k miles. Since we usually keep a car for about 200k, that would mean we would have to replace one hybrid battery. The replacement cost....$4000! Yep, $4000, so there goes all your gas savings over the years all in one big bill.

Also, hybrids are more expensive to work on. Many smaller shops don't want to touch them due to the complexity. This means you are forced to go to bigger shops or the dealer, which is almost always more expensive. Just getting your brakes done costs more because it's all tied into the battery and charging system.

So getting the hybrid you basically end up robbing Peter to pay Paul. While saving money every time you fill up makes you feel good, in the end you will make up for it in maintenance costs and if you keep your car long enough, battery replacement.

Now if you are only going to keep a car for a few years and put few miles on it, it might be worthwhile to get the hybrid. Maintenance is usually a non-issue early in a car's life and if you get rid of it well before the battery dies, you might come out ahead.
 

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Avoid NAV

I would avoid the NAV system, there are many that have it that really don't care for it and I understand that the dealer has to update the maps and that costs $150 to $200 for each map upgrade. When you can buy a Garmin with lifetime maps, a NAV system doesn't make a lot of sense.
 

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Avoid Premium NAV JBL. Go with basic. With JBL you get almost no gain in sound and very hard to replace with aftermarket audio or even downgrage to OEM. JBL wiring is totally different.
Built in NAV is also junk.
There are 2 options: with NAV and with "Scout GPS Link". "Scout GPS Link" is a phone app based NAV.
Also I wish, I did not have the Power Gate. Slow and annoying. I found out - I don't want to open it in my garage to get a small item from the trunk. You have to get a remote and be precise.
 

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The reason you can't find an AWD RAV4 in Georgia is because the dealerships in the South don't stock many. You will only find FWD here in Louisiana, as well as Texas and the rest of the Gulf South. Snow is the big reason most buyers want AWD, and snow is a rarity here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Both the 2007 base and now the 2012 Limited are I4s. For us the RAV is the ultimate in utility for our purposes. There's a thread on here somewhere about it but I was shopping for a 4.4 to replace the 2007 two years ago when the dealer took in the 2012 Limited with 3,500 (not typo) miles and we bought it as CPO.

It was and still is perfect. I prefer this body style to the 4.4s, though the 2016/17s are a significant improvement. Our '12 has 4WD with low speed locking diff, leather seats, basic LCD screen radio (I agree with the other poster about the NAV and fancy radio screens; I don't see them doing well over 10-15 years), sunroof, foglights, and disc brakes. Pretty much everything I wanted.

I would really like a newer RAV in the same configuration. A simple white or silver exterior with light colored Softex interior, non-chrome wheels, non-sport suspension (our Limited is right on the edge of too rough sometimes), sunroof, and 4WD.

I'll probably stick with standard gasoline, since it will be a very long term vehicle, and I like the more traditional 4WD system over the electric motor setup.

Regarding 4WD - it's certainly not a necessity here in Georgia, but it's great to have for those few snows, and mainly for not worrying when getting off the pavement from time to time, be it the sandy beach or muddy mountain forest service road. Plus, it's such an insignificant MPG handicap that it seems like a "why not" decision to me. I'll probably put BFG ATs on the 4.3 once I get my wife into the 4.4 and may actually give the ol' RAV some off road prowess. :cool:


Anyhow, all that aside, I just want to make sure there isn't some year of 4.4 with chronic problems that need to be avoided. I know the early 4.3s are oil burners but I haven't seen anything on the 4.4s that matter much. The only differences seem to be the updated exterior styling and some creature comforts. Is that an accurate statement?
 

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Honestly, if you are looking for 13-15 years, there were many little features removed from the 4.3's, especially if you have the limited I'd assume. Little things like sunglass holder etc. Someone made a list here at one time of all the omissions. Most of those little things were brought back in the 2016s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's also looking like I'm not going to find a Southern 4WD. Everything I'm finding, even local dealers, is imported from NJ, OH, etc. and I don't want a road salt vehicle.

Then there's the 0% financing Toyota is running right now. It starts to almost make sense to buy new and try to ignore the depreciation.
 

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Most hybrid batteries die somewhere between 100k and 150k miles. Since we usually keep a car for about 200k, that would mean we would have to replace one hybrid battery. The replacement cost....$4000! Yep, $4000, so there goes all your gas savings over the years all in one big bill.
Can't agree with you on this. I sold my Lexus RX hybrid to my lady friend when it had 200,000 miles on the odometer, (to purchase the RAV), and she has put 20,000 miles on it since she has owned it. She also has a Prius with over 150,000 miles. (Both 2006 year models.) Neither has ever needed battery repair/replacement. In the beginning of hybrid technology, there was the fear of the batteries failing, but that had been proven to not be an issue. Toyota hybrid technology has proven itself to be extremely reliable.

OP, if purchasing new, your dealer can order an AWD model for you. I guess I was lucky to find one at my dealer in SoCal. There are not many here.
 
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We have both a 2011 and a 2016. When we purchased our 2016 hybrid, it was for the long term knowing full well that the car will last over 300,000. Trying to talk my wife into trading in our 2011 for another hybrid as I am enjoying it immensely.:smile
 

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I researched the hybrid vs non-hybrid car recently when we bought our 2016 RAV4.

I concluded that getting a hybrid probably won't save you any money. It's basically a wash if you drive a car as long as we do.

Most hybrid batteries die somewhere between 100k and 150k miles. Since we usually keep a car for about 200k, that would mean we would have to replace one hybrid battery. The replacement cost....$4000! Yep, $4000, so there goes all your gas savings over the years all in one big bill.

Also, hybrids are more expensive to work on. Many smaller shops don't want to touch them due to the complexity. This means you are forced to go to bigger shops or the dealer, which is almost always more expensive. Just getting your brakes done costs more because it's all tied into the battery and charging system.

So getting the hybrid you basically end up robbing Peter to pay Paul. While saving money every time you fill up makes you feel good, in the end you will make up for it in maintenance costs and if you keep your car long enough, battery replacement.

Now if you are only going to keep a car for a few years and put few miles on it, it might be worthwhile to get the hybrid. Maintenance is usually a non-issue early in a car's life and if you get rid of it well before the battery dies, you might come out ahead.
After the warranty period, why not go to a Toyota dealership for issues with the hybrid components and go to independent shops for the other issues? The hybrid approach of makes sense and I think the hybrid components are warranted for eight years anyway. This way, there will be fewer gouging by Toyota dealerships, if at all.

Makes a lot more sense to go with the hybrid for me because regular gasoline prices here in Toronto, Canada, are still around $3/gallon. Also, next car, I would like the dynamic cruise control as it is very handy.
 

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This is my first 4WD. Living in Vancouver, BC. there's really no need for it. Having it is comforting for the very occasional snowfall we have. This RAV4H with it's fuel economy and without mechanical 4WD components that need servicing and attention is ideal for me.
 

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If you have long commute ride, hybrid will not save much. The difference is 2MPG on hwy.

~ 2016 Toyota RAV4 Limited Electric Blue ~
 
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