Last post on Oct 15, 2013 at 8:22 AM
You are in the SUVs
What is this discussion about?
GMC Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Taurus X, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Honda Accord Crosstour, Dodge Journey, Car Buying, Car Comparisons, SUV
#6186 of 7355 Re: Toyota RAV4 vs Lexus RX350 [rli]
Mar 05, 2008 (7:46 am)
Interesting. First, the RX350 has far superior interior quality to that of the RAV, and is much larger. I am not sure if the AWD systems are the same. I do know Lexus / Toyota got some flack for having open center and rear diff's that could only transfer power to the rear once brake pressure was applied to the front wheels, and no torque would be applied over 35-40 mph. Sounds like traction control to me, rather then AWD. However, I do believe after 2005, the RX did get a Viscus Clutch for the center diff. For more info about Toyota / Lexus' AWD system, maybe Edmunds member ateixeira can help you.
Personally, I do believe that the RAV is a bit cheap on the interior. If you are looking for a SUV that is decent in on road conditions, and you need it for light utility, and don't car about brand image or overall quality, go for the RAV. If you want luxury, a nicer ride, more options, go for the RX.
#6187 of 7355 Re: Toyota RAV4 vs Lexus RX350 [aviboy97]
Mar 05, 2008 (8:00 am)
Thanks aviboy97 for your quick reply. Is there any way I could search posts by ateixeira?
#6188 of 7355 Re: Toyota RAV4 vs Lexus RX350 [aviboy97]
Mar 05, 2008 (8:46 am)
I'll second aviboy97's comment on the RAV interior quality. I recently bought an 08 Santa Fe and one of the main selling points for the Hyundai over the RAV was the interior. By comparison the RAV's interior seemed a bit lackluster. I wasn't looking at the Lexus (out of my price range), but I'm sure it would offer a lot more in comfort and features. One positive selling point for the RAV, however is the V-6 engine. It really delivers and I almost bought the RAV based on the engine performance alone.
#6189 of 7355 Re: Toyota RAV4 vs Lexus RX350 [rli]
Mar 05, 2008 (8:50 am)
He is here in this thread quite often,
Hey, Juice, you here?!
#6190 of 7355 Re: Toyota RAV4 vs Lexus RX350 [aviboy97]
Mar 05, 2008 (10:08 am)
Am I being paged?
The RAV4 is a good budget crossover, but I find the interior a noticeable step down from most of this admittedly pricier class. Plus I hate the swinging rear door that opens the wrong way - blocking curb side loading. You also may not be able to open the door if you ever parallel park. It might be OK (to me) if the window opened seperately, but it doesn't. Plus visibility is limited.
For me that was a deal killer. The 2GR V6 is excellent - both powerful and extremely efficient. Plus it's chain-driven so no timing belt changes. In fact I bought that engine, but in a different vehicle.
The AWD system is also not very sophisticated. They basically use open diffs and let the traction control divert power. Believe it or not the RX basically works the same way. If you want a technical explanation head over to a Toyota AWD thread and ask for "wwest" to explain in detail. They stopped using the viscous coupling, even on the RX.
The RAV4 is probably the sportiest of the 3, which may not be saying much, but still. It's very light and the powerful engine really moves it along nicely. I read in C&D that a FWD RAV4 was actually Toyota's quickest car, period. The only problem with that? Torque steer (FWD).
The RX is a lot nicer inside, but it really doesn't feel any bigger. To me it actually feels narrow, for some reason. It's 5" or so longer than the RAV4 on a 2" longer wheelbase. It does have a more user friendly lift gate for the hatch, too. No 3rd row, though. And it's tuned very soft and isolated, which you will either love or hate.
The Highlander falls right in the middle. Nicer interior than the RAV4, not as nice as the RX. Suspension not as soft as the RX but more isolated than the RAV4. Bigger than either. Lift gate. 3rd row doesn't split and was a serious oversight, but perhaps they figure it's not used often anyway.
To me none of them are ideal. I'd want to combine different characteristics from each model.
Give me the RAV4's curb weight, acceleration, and price. Give me the RX's interior materials and lift gate. Give me the Highlander's overall size and nifty 2nd row.
To be honest I'd take my Sienna over any of the 3.
We're now shopping for an economical crossover and once again looked at a RAV4 (4 cylinder), but the visibility issue still creeps up, as does the swinging rear door. We're leaning towards an 09 Forester instead.
#6191 of 7355 Re: Outlook Transmission Questions [albook]
Mar 05, 2008 (10:36 am)
Issue he may be addressing is that the VC can be locked in AWD versus purely on-demand system putting the power 50/50. this will be close to the Subie depending on the engine and transmission you have. This is nice in very poor traction conditions and is preferable to the kick in the pants feeling when the rear wheels suddenly engage in some on-demand AWD systems. The GM system can be really bad for this. The test I use is turn the wheel relatively hard to the right and hit the gas moderately from a stop while on a slippery surface. Many on-demand systems will slip the front wheels and power the rear inducing a sudden jerk and whip the rear end around in a fishtail then the "bitching Betty" VSC light and alarms usually start going off. All in all a rather unpleasant experience. Before you say that's an unrealistic situation, let me tell you I encounter this driving out of my neighbourhood every winter morning as I enter the nearest boulevard. Constant stream of vehicles gunning it to make the gap in traffic and most spinning their wheels make it very icy. The AWD lock on the VC handled this better than the GM system - much more smooth power transition. It was also interesting that the AWD system on the Highlander Hybrid handled it much better than Toyo's regular AWD system.
#6192 of 7355 Re: Outlook Transmission Questions [jasperm]
Mar 05, 2008 (11:09 am)
The GM has full time AWD but it is more like an on-demand system since it only puts 10% to the rear at baseline. The VC has on-demand and AWD lock. This latter shifts and holds a 50/50 front/rear power split which is close to or the same as your Impreza depending on model and transmission. I prefer a more even torque split myself as it tends to be less jerky and obtrusive than the on/off effects many on-demand systems have. Others prefer the vehicle to handle more like a FWD vehicle when AWD isn't needed.
#6193 of 7355 Re: Outlook Transmission Questions [volkov]
Mar 05, 2008 (11:16 am)
I can vouch for the VC's AWD. I can't say enough thus far. Today's a perfect example. Another huge dump of snow and I can't explain it any better than to say the VC is simply walking through and over it without any jerkiness or wheel spin.
Half my street stayed home from work today because of the snow. All types of different vehicles that couldn't get out. And we've already driven over 100km today without incident.
I'm not so mechanically inclined that I can explain the system (I'm sure others here can) but back in late November we tested the other AWD's on our list in some early season snow, and none performed with the same aplomb as the VC.
I have read about the system and it's designer but lots of the tech is lost on me. Just good to know Hyundai has drawn Aces on this one.
#6194 of 7355 Re: Toyota RAV4 vs Lexus RX350 [ateixeira]
Mar 05, 2008 (11:20 am)
I like this "deal killer". That is exactly what I thought. None car is perfect. I could not find the combined car as you mentioned. And would not like to wait 09 Forester. RAV4!!!
#6195 of 7355 Re: Outlook Transmission Questions [volkov]
Mar 05, 2008 (12:28 pm)
It was also interesting that the AWD system on the Highlander Hybrid handled it much better than Toyo's regular AWD system.
You have a very perceptive SOTP impression. Seat of the Pants, for people who have never heard that before.
The Hybrid Highlander is indeed completely different. In fact the rear wheels get electric power only. So instead of an open differential connecting the two axles, the axles are completely independent. If the battery is drained it's basically FWD.
Some in the industry call this a "through the road" AWD system, due to the lack of a connection between the axles. Check out a cut-out of the system next Auto Show you get a chance to attend, it's neat.
I still see a couple of issues, even with the Hybrid Highlander:
* initial price is high (naturally)
* 3rd row still doesn't split-fold
* not as roomy as the larger crop people here seem to love
A neighbor has one and it's pretty nice. She pulled up to drop off my kid from Brownies and it was eerily silent. She backed out, started moving forward and only then did the V6 engine kick in.
I do wish Toyota would have used the 2GR 3.5l V6 in place of the old 3MZ 3.3l V6, since it makes more power and is just as efficient. And Toyota has sorted out this powertrain combination for the hybrid GS, so I was disappointed that they use the older V6. It's also heavier and costlier to produce, so I'm not sure why.
Note that the 3.5l V6 in the cheaper non-hybrid Highlander makes more power than the 3.3l V6 with electric boost combined.
For me, I think I'd wait for a diesel CR-V or Forester before dropping $38 grand on one of those babies. Luxury economy is an oxymoron to me.