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Old 03-23-2010, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Texas
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I'm thinking about the 4cyl version of this "cute-ute." Just wondering what experience any of you have had with it, in terms of handling mud/snow, general impressions and fuel economy.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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It's basically a Toyota Camry with a different body and AWD, so don't expect it to do well off-road, but it's not a bad car otherwise.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
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YouTube - The New Driver's Seat - Toyota Rav 4
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
It's basically a Toyota Camry with a different body and AWD, so don't expect it to do well off-road, but it's not a bad car otherwise.
Thanks!

I don't have any plans for off-roading. But I do on occasion find myself having to deal with snowy or muddy roads.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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I done thousands of laps at speed comparing these sized vehicles for the manufacturers and I can tell you the RAV4 finishes at the bottom of everything compared to it's competitors.

Do an emergency lane change in a RAV4 and it's pretty damn scary.

I'd recommend a Subaru Forester. Better pricing, better ride, handling, power, comfort and storage space. There is not one area the RAV4 can beat it in.

2nd place I'd put the Nissan Rogue down.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:03 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
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Just bought a 6cyl RAV4 Limited after comparing Subaru (Forester, Outback), Jeep, GM (hated the Equinox), Honda CRV, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue. The Subarus came closest, but the body flex in the Forester is awful (and the 4spd feels underpowered and the auto trans is only available in 4spd and is noisy at highway cruise) and I didn't like the CVT in the Outback.

Had a hard time deciding between the RAV4s - the 4 cyl is just adequate and the 6 cyl is a little more power than necessary for anything but passing. In the end I went with the 6 cyl for the 5spd. The 5spd trans means the 6 cyl gets 1 mpg avg less than the 4cyl - my driving is about 70% highway and I average about 27 mpg, which isn't too bad. The handling is good for the size and weight, too, although the tires it comes with are terrible for road holding, had to change tires ASAP.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Texas
32,537 posts, read 17,650,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
I done thousands of laps at speed comparing these sized vehicles for the manufacturers and I can tell you the RAV4 finishes at the bottom of everything compared to it's competitors.

Do an emergency lane change in a RAV4 and it's pretty damn scary.

I'd recommend a Subaru Forester. Better pricing, better ride, handling, power, comfort and storage space. There is not one area the RAV4 can beat it in.

2nd place I'd put the Nissan Rogue down.

I know a couple of folks who are very pleased with their Subarus. I'm not at all familiar with the Nissan Rogue, though. Is it a fairly new model?
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gringo View Post
I know a couple of folks who are very pleased with their Subarus. I'm not at all familiar with the Nissan Rogue, though. Is it a fairly new model?
It came out in 2007 as a 2008 model. Rides nice, handles well, pleasant to drive, competitive on price.

The only downside is interior room is smaller but it is marketed more to the sporty set or those with one or two smaller children.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
Just bought a 6cyl RAV4 Limited after comparing Subaru (Forester, Outback), Jeep, GM (hated the Equinox), Honda CRV, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue. The Subarus came closest, but the body flex in the Forester is awful (and the 4spd feels underpowered and the auto trans is only available in 4spd and is noisy at highway cruise) and I didn't like the CVT in the Outback.

Had a hard time deciding between the RAV4s - the 4 cyl is just adequate and the 6 cyl is a little more power than necessary for anything but passing. In the end I went with the 6 cyl for the 5spd. The 5spd trans means the 6 cyl gets 1 mpg avg less than the 4cyl - my driving is about 70% highway and I average about 27 mpg, which isn't too bad. The handling is good for the size and weight, too, although the tires it comes with are terrible for road holding, had to change tires ASAP.
Sorry but the new Forester(2009 model year) is solid as a rock and doesn't have any body flex.

YouTube - markmillersubaru's Channel

The RAV4 has so much creaky flex and poor suspension it's like a pot of spaghetti. We used to eat up tires and sometimes burn one down the belts in an hour. And we used a number of brands(yoko, bridgestone, michelin). It's also so damn scary to drive at speed and uncomfortable we had a number of people barf.

Do an emergency lane change in one compared to it's competitors and it will be very visible how bad the RAV4 is.

I have also tested the various dynamic control systems on these vehicles on ice and gravel for again thousands of laps and the Toyota system is SLLLLOOOWWWW. The Nissan and Subaru get on top of the problem right away and the Toyota has a noticeable delay of a second or two.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:16 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Sorry but the new Forester(2009 model year) is solid as a rock and doesn't have any body flex.
The 2010 Forester most certainly does have body flex - drive it over a few large parking lot speed bumps and feel it yaw and flex, which is what I did (Car and Driver noticed the same thing in their most recent review).

And before you trot out your racing experience - I have 25+ years as well. I agree that the dynamic control on the Toyota isn't all that fast (nor as robust as the Subaru in extreme conditions), but since I no longer corner around snow drifts at 80+, I don't think the difference is noticeable, not at standard highway speeds and conditions - since I don't drive my car on a motocross course, as in the Subaru-produced video you linked to, I'm not particularly impressed.
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