Last post on Dec 03, 2011 at 7:50 AM
You are in the Toyota RAV4
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Toyota RAV4, SUV
#1192 of 2127 Now a two Toyota family....
Jan 19, 2004 (8:47 pm)
I just acquired a 2004 RAV4 to park beside my wife's '99 Solara SLE V6 coupe. We got the Solara in Sept.99 and it still has only less than 50,000km on it. It has been one of the best cars we have owned - solid, quility-built, powerful enough, comfortable and dependable. We bought it out of its lease and plan to own it long term. I was driving a leased '02 Subaru Impreza 2.5TS wagon, and although I liked it, it was not the vehicle I wanted long term and I knew, once the lease was up in 2 more years, I would give it back; also I wouldn't have any equity there as I had structured it that way on purpose. I shopped the RAV4 against the Honda CR-V, the Jeep Liberty, the Subaru Forester XT and looked a bit at Mazda Tribute and several others. Wanted a smaller car-based SUV or wagon that would be reliable, have good resale, reasonably fun to drive and be able to carry a 120# dog in rear with rear seats up (not folded flat). Also, wanted to use regular gas and have reasonably inexpensive cost to operate. Eliminated the Liberty first (reliability issues, gas pig and poor resale, plus did not need true 4x4). Next out was the CR-V; a reasonably nice package but did not like the "real-time AWD" vs the Toyota and Subaru AWD systems. Also, I favor front leg/seat room over rear and the Honda gives great rear room at the expense of the front. Seldom will be carrying more than 1 or 2 people. The Forester XT almost got me - that turboed 2.5 engine is a stormer, but requires premium fuel and eats it up (probably my heavy foot). In Canada also, comparing MSRP on the RAV4 w "C" package (most everything but leather and moonroof), the XT was about $7500 Cdn more (even a RAV4 Limited with leather and moonroof was MSRP about $5000 cheaper than the XT). Truth is, I did not need as much vehicle as the XT offered and there was no sense paying for it in higher purchase price and higher operating cost. The RAV4 won me over because: 1. new 2.4L engine (would not have bought RAV before, not enough power); 2. love the styling (wife hated the staid looks of the Forester), 3. Toyota quality, reliability, and good resale values, 4. have a good relationship with local dealer from owning the Solara, 5. lower operating costs than many in this group, 6. it's no sports car, but is reasonably fun to drive, and 7. colors - got the Spectra Blue Mica w grey interior, added side step bars and black hood deflector. It looks great, although I'm running 4 winter steel wheels with 4 Continental Winter Contact snows for the next 2 months (the mags are so much nicer looking!!). Only got it last Friday so no real experiences yet. Will post updates in the future. Hope I don't inherit the dreaded dash rattle, but, hey, I'm an optimist. Sorry for the long post.
#1193 of 2127 Two Toyota Family
Jan 19, 2004 (10:36 pm)
Thank you, thank you, I too have been shopping, I've looked at some of the same vehicles you have and will probably purchase the RAV4, Honda jerked me around, "sure, we'll sell you a car, OOPS, sorry we don't have the color or transmission you want. It'll be a 2 to 3 month wait" Subaru liked playing the normal dealer games. I needed the car last week, so now I will go get the Toyota.
Jan 20, 2004 (7:24 am)
The "dash" rattle is really the cowl in front of the windshield, under the wipers. I am amazed that some still have the problem, because my dealer fixed it two years ago and I have had no rattles since, even in the extreme cold.
#1195 of 2127 RAV 4 AWD MT
Jan 20, 2004 (8:19 am)
I just spoke with a salesman who told me that the RAV4 (AWD) version is not available with both the 5-speed MT and a leather interior. This dealership (unfortunately the only one within 50 miles of me) has a spotty local reputation, known for guiding customers to the easiest models for them to get and sell. So, I went to the Toyota website to build my own and discovered that I can only build from an automatic transmission model. Very annoying!
Ideally I want a RAV4 AWD MT with moonroof and leather seats and premium sound. Is this even possible?
Second, I am comparing the RAV4 MT (which I have not yet driven) with the Forester XS MT (which I have driven). I did not like the Forester's lack of assertivenes at 40-55 on open, back roads with curves and rolling hills (this is 70% of my driving). Would the RAV AWD MT be peppier in this range?
#1196 of 2127 Dash Rattle???
Jan 20, 2004 (4:09 pm)
mcdawgg stated "The "dash" rattle is really the cowl in front of the windshield, under the wipers. I am amazed that some still have the problem, because my dealer fixed it two years ago and I have had no rattles since, even in the extreme cold."
Mcdawgg...could you ask your dealer how he fixed...I would assume he put some type of rubber spacer in the plastic cowl that may vibrate agaisnt the metal hood region???
#1197 of 2127 mt and leather and, Forester
Jan 20, 2004 (6:20 pm)
"I just spoke with a salesman who told me that the RAV4 (AWD) version is not available with both the 5-speed MT and a leather interior. This dealership (unfortunately the only one within 50 miles of me) has a spotty local reputation, known for guiding customers to the easiest models for them to get and sell. So, I went to the Toyota website to build my own and discovered that I can only build from an automatic transmission model. Very annoying!
Ideally I want a RAV4 AWD MT with moonroof and leather seats and premium sound. Is this even possible?
Second, I am comparing the RAV4 MT (which I have not yet driven) with the Forester XS MT (which I have driven). I did not like the Forester's lack of assertivenes at 40-55 on open, back roads with curves and rolling hills (this is 70% of my driving). Would the RAV AWD MT be peppier in this range?"
I was told the same thing by a dealer today: No MT and leather without ordering from Japan. I'll bite it and get the car w/o leather. I also checked out all the vehicles listed by rbleland. With regard to the Forester, I looked at the XT. However, I found 2 problems: I was uncomfortable in the seat and, much more significantly, there is currently a NHTSA investigation of Subaru for ABS failures (specifically the '02 WRX). In my own investigation on forums, people are reporting the defect on most models including Foresters. The defect can reportedly cause near total brake failures extremely intermittently and unpredictably; perhaps once every few thousand miles. Having experienced the same type of problem on my '97 Toyota 4Runner, I don't want to risk it again. So, that brought me to the Rav4. The '04 improvements made it worth a look IMO so, I gave it a test drive and was really impressed. It's fun, safer (with all the airbags) and quicker. I actually really liked it and was surprised. I plan to place an order this week! Good luck.
Jan 21, 2004 (4:30 am)
I just picked up a manual transmission mica blue Rav4 with AWD, airbags, L package, and a bunch of other things. I'm not picky about color and if you get one off the dealer's lot, they're easier to bargain with. I'm having the moon roof installed today by an aftermarket company. It cost a little more than the factory one, but it comes with a life time guarantee and closes automajically when the ignition is turned off. You can also have the leather interior done after market, but here in Pittsburgh, it's either too cold or too hot for leather so not a big deal for me. I also feel kind of funny loading up from Home Depot into a leather interior!
#1199 of 2127 Two Toyota Family
Jan 21, 2004 (10:53 am)
Congratulations on your purchase. I'm also looking to buy an SUV and I'm having a hard time deciding between the RAV and CRV. In my case we need to have good cargo space and decent rear seat room for trips to the cottage 2 adults a teenager and our gear/groceries. It's a tough decision. I had a long test drive in the CRV and a short drive in the RAV. The space in the CRV is tough to beat....I did'nt get a chance to get the RAV up to highway speeds etc... What are you folks seeing with respect to RPM's at 60 mph? What about NVH? Is the engine that big a diff. this year? How would you compare it to the CRV?
I really would have liked to get the traction Control, and VSC the U.S. folks are getting. I wonder if this will be brought in next year in Canada and hurt the depreciation of the 03 model?
#1200 of 2127 ittybitty...RAV vs CR-V
Jan 21, 2004 (3:42 pm)
Well, both are excellant choices and the differences are not that great. I agree that if rear seat space and cargo room are #1 with you, the CR-V is probably better for your needs. This is not that important to me. The RAV front room is as good, if not better than the CR-V, but the rear is better for sure in the Honda.
I do believe that the '04 RAV 2.4L engine is a big step up from the previous '03 and earlier RAV engines, which were 2L and tended to be "buzzy" at speed. My '04 RAV is not fully broken in yet, but it seems that 60mph is about 2300-2400rpms. For a small car-based SUV (or wagon if you prefer), I find the '04 RAV is very quiet (better than the previous ones). I have driven a friend's '03 CR-V and don't think it is appreciably different in NVH from the new RAV. I feel that the new RAV feels lighter to drive and is more "sporty". The RAV is about 200lbs lighter than the CR-V. You might check a few threads on CR-V engine fires for '03 CR-Vs but maybe just internet nonsense. Apparently, about 7 CR-V engines have caught fire after oil servicing in the U.S. in past few months. As to the VSC, traction control (and rear disc brakes I might add), I doubt it would hurt existing '04 RAVs much as the future model (if it got these things) would have to be priced higher (which is why I'm told the '04 RAV doesn't have rear discs in Canada). The '03 RAVs (you said '03 above) have to deal with being the last year of the 2.0L engine and if that will hurt their future value (I have no idea!!)
Both '04 RAV and CR-V are very good choices - you have to decide what things are most important to you and then pick.
#1201 of 2127 DIY "dash rattle" fixes??
Jan 21, 2004 (3:55 pm)
My 2004 RAV4's "dash rattle" came back. Unfortunately, my dealer could not reproduce it (it's a long story). Instead of wasting my time at dealer's service waiting room, I plan to fix it myself, if it is not too complicated.
If you know of ways to locate the problem area and perform the fixes, please share the info with me. Thanks for the help.
(Since the dealer had performed the rattle fix once, I felt that there is probably no financial incentive for them to fix it again under warranty.)