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Discussion Starter #1
The competition: New upcoming Rav4 review

Vehicle Tested:
2006 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV

What Works:
Strong performance and brakes, great ride and handling balance, spacious cabin, easy folding second-row seat, standard stability control.

What Needs Work:
Blind spot due to rear-mounted spare tire, side-impact and side curtain airbags cost extra, tough fit for very tall folks.

Bottom Line:
Bigger, stronger, faster. The millions that Toyota has invested in the newest RAV4 were well spent.

For the first time, a V6 engine is available in the RAV4. And this ain't no puny 2.5- to 3.0-liter V6. Borrowing a page from the Saturn Vue playbook, Toyota stuffed a burly 3.5-liter V6 (shared with the company's flagship sedan, the Avalon) into the RAV's engine bay.

With a forceful 269 horsepower (at 6,200 rpm) and 246 pound-feet of torque (at 4,700 rpm) on tap, this engine gives the RAV4 a decidedly aggressive personality. Coupled to a five-speed automatic and running through an electronic, "on-demand" four-wheel-drive system, our RAV4 scurried to 60 in just 7.1 seconds and was still going strong as it flashed through the quarter-mile in 15.2 seconds at 91.2 mph. This means it will lay waste to your snobbish friend's X3 3.0 by about a second in each category.

On the street, the RAV4 just moves out quickly whenever you toe into the throttle. The automatic tranny is never caught sleeping — no need to slam your foot to the carpet to coax a downshift. Gear changes are swift and smooth and our average gas mileage, at 19.3 mpg, is commendable given our leadfoot tendencies. Those with more self control should get closer to Toyota's estimates of 20 city and 27 highway. Two-wheel-drive V6 RAVs are rated 1 mpg higher on the highway.
Compared to its chief competitors, the new RAV4 is about the same length as a Honda CR-V (181.3 inches), about 11 inches longer than the Hyundai Tucson and about 8 inches shorter than the midsize Chevrolet Equinox. A lower coefficient of drag (0.33 versus 0.35 previously) promises a quieter ride and better fuel-efficiency at higher cruising speeds.

Step up to the Sport and added to the mix are a sport-tuned suspension, alloy wheels wearing 235/55/18 performance tires, foglights, rear privacy glass, spare-tire cover, and color-keyed mirrors, door handles and fender flairs.

Limited models feature dual-zone climate controls, heated/power mirrors, a six-disc CD changer and steering wheel controls for the audio system, anti-theft system, chrome grille, color-keyed bumpers, door handles and rear spoiler, power driver seat, alloy wheels with 225/65/17 tires, rear cargo net and leather wrapping for the steering wheel and shift knob.

Full article here: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=108153#2
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Re: The competition: New upcoming Rav4 review

The article didn't make much mention of pricing. However, according to Toyota press releases...the Rav4 should be priced at about the same level as a comparible equiped Saturn Vue (actually slightly less, as I think a top of the line, fully loaded one will be about $500-$1000 less than a fully loaded AWD Vue).

Either way, going to be very tough for the Equinox and Torrent to compete with this...especially when Toyota will offer an option for a third row, 270hp engine at this price. GM is going to have to keep selling Equinoxes and Torrents at a couple thousand below sticker.
 

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Re: The competition: New upcoming Rav4 review

It's too bad that GM cannot stretch the Equinox & Torrent right now and add

OPEL's Flex 7 seating system, Something the RAV 4 does not have......

Ken
 

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Re: The competition: New upcoming Rav4 review

kmacleod said:
It's too bad that GM cannot stretch the Equinox & Torrent right now and add

OPEL's Flex 7 seating system, Something the RAV 4 does not have......

Ken
What is the Opel flex 7 system?

The upcoming Rav4 will seat 7 with the optional third row.

If GM has an option for this, I would think the U.S. market would be the place to offer it.
 

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Re: New upcoming Rav4 review: "Millions that Toyota has invested well spent"

A fully loaded RAV4 is over $32K. I'm sure it will drive nicely and it looks good on the outside - but the dash... what were they thinking?

I would rather have a VUE Redline.
 

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Re: New upcoming Rav4 review: "Millions that Toyota has invested well spent"

2010 cannot come fast enough.

explanation: by then, all the key vehicles we keep hearing about (zeta, lambda, ep II) will be here, and as the unofficial "last chance" for the company, see if GM is still around in recognizable form (aka not shattered into pieces or puny):( :( :( :( :(

5 years...infinite chances to screw up and die
 

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Re: New upcoming Rav4 review: "Millions that Toyota has invested well spent"

boblutzfan said:
A fully loaded RAV4 is over $32K. I'm sure it will drive nicely and it looks good on the outside - but the dash... what were they thinking?

I would rather have a VUE Redline.
Fully loaded it will raise the price greatly, but you can get the v6 in the base model for 23k! Last time I visited a Honda dealership they wanted 24k for a 2wd CRV with a few options! The new Sante Fe is even slightly better in value than this.
 

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Re: New upcoming Rav4 review: "Millions that Toyota has invested well spent"

The constant GM problem. The Equinox should have been what the new RAV4 is. Chevy just copied what was alraedy there instead of taking a jump ahead into the future. Now they are behind again.
 

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Re: New upcoming Rav4 review: "Millions that Toyota has invested well spent"

IF the Toyota has a third row I wouldn't want to sit back there. The Equinox is bigger and I wouldn't want to sit in a third row in that one even if it existed.

The Nissan offers a third row and it is very tight.

I believe that the consumer who is looking for a third tow wouldn't be in the market for a RAV4. They would consider a bigger vehicle such as a minivan or a midsize SUV.

Does anyone think the Ford Excape or the Jeep Liberty should have a third row? I doubt it very much. If you put 3 rows in a small SUV it doesn't allow for much cargo.
 

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Re: The competition: New upcoming Rav4 review

kmacleod said:
It's too bad that GM cannot stretch the Equinox & Torrent right now and add

OPEL's Flex 7 seating system, Something the RAV 4 does not have......

Ken

That's not a bad idea but GM are trying to trim the product line. It would be counterproductive.

The Buick had the option but I never ever had one customer show any interest in it but it wasn't stretched either.

If someone wants a 3rd row SUV I believe they should look at the full size models. If they cannot afford one they should consider a mini-van.
 

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Re: The competition: New upcoming Rav4 review

kmacleod said:
It's too bad that GM cannot stretch the Equinox & Torrent right now and add

OPEL's Flex 7 seating system, Something the RAV 4 does not have......

Ken
It does not have it only by name.

The Rav 4's second row seats are split, they can fold flat, and they can recline, as well as slide forwards or backwards.

Also, if you get the third row option, those can fold flat too.

I don't see what the Opel Flex 7 offers that the Rav 4 doesn't have.
 

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Re: New upcoming Rav4 review: "Millions that Toyota has invested well spent"

I hope the Rav-4's engine won't sieze. That dash is terrible, and the styling isn't great. However that powertrain is something out of a Cadillac, hello GM...time to get updated yet again.
 
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