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Old 12-15-2005, 07:28 PM   #1
Fuzz541
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Default Holy Mother of God: 269hp Toyota RAV4 under $25,000!

c/n: 2006 Toyota RAV4 V6 has almost as much snort as an EVO for well under $25,000!

If you're reluctantly shopping for a small minivan or SUV, I think you may have a new performance leader. Yeah, it's already hidden away in non-Subaru news in News & Rumors, but I thought OT might get a kick out of it.

ibforesterXT/legacygt5seateronly
ibtribecafatpig

http://www.thecarconnection.com/Vehi...181.A9686.html

2006 Toyota RAV4
Two more seats, two more cylinders, more value all around.
by Bengt Halvorson (2005-11-29)

There's big news for the new RAV4, headed to dealerships soon: V-6 power and third-row seats.

V-6 power in the RAV is a long time coming, but third row seats? Really?

That's what we thought when we first heard the news. How could they cram in that third row? But the RAV4 is a lot bigger. While the proportions have stayed roughly the same, truth is, the "little" RAV4 sport-utility is no longer that compact. The upsizing of the RAV4 stretches it by 14 inches overall and puts it at only about 3.5 inches shorter overall than the Highlander, with a wheelbase about two inches shorter than the Highlander. In terms of height and width, the differences are too close to call; even curb weight is comparable.

This translates to an interior that's very roomy for four adult occupants, with space for cargo, too. Toyota claims a 20-percent improvement in overall interior space, with improved head-and-shoulder room in the second row especially, but we also noticed significant improvements in front seating and the driving position. The gauge cluster and steering column are no longer angled up as much, allowing a more natural driving position for those who are of average height or taller.

If you opt for that two-position third row: beware, it's still tiny. To me the arrangement seemed like a bunch of pointless extra weight to carry around - as none of the adults present at the RAV4 preview would have been able to actually fit back there - but Toyota reps pointed out that many shoppers would be interested in having a third row for occasional, short use by parental carpools to school or soccer practice. When they're not in use, the third-row seats stow nicely in a recessed area of the cargo floor, so when they're folded down they don't actually take up a lot of space.

With its sleek, wedgy shape, the new RAV4 is considerably more handsome than the vehicle it replaces, continuing the classier feel that was started with the introduction of the second generation for 2001. The bubble-like fenders, patterned cloth, and stick shift of the first-generation RAV were long ago abandoned for a more conventional appearance (as was the stubby little two-door RAV). Much of the cosmetics and switchgear in the new RAV are borrowed from (or inspired by) the larger 4Runner and Land Cruiser sport-utilities - such dial/button climate controls, similar to what's used in the 4Runner, and the gauge faces, which look like those used across the board on Toyota's truck side.

While the RAV4 takes many of its styling cues from the larger, truck-based Toyota utes, it also promises a more carlike driving experience than ever. The front suspension remains a strut-based arrangement, while in back there's a new trailing-double-wishbone setup, which helps keep the cargo floor as deep as possible. Helping to create a more communicative driving experience is Toyota 's Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system, which gives more road feel at all speeds.

But let's get back to the big news: the V-6 option. The RAV4 has always had enough power with the standard four-cylinder engine, but a portion of RAV4 shoppers - and of course the motoring press - have always asked for more power. It's finally here, and it's no puny V-6. The optional, engine is straight from the Avalon, basically in the same tune, and due to recalculation of SAE power figures it's now rated at 269 horsepower and 246 lb-ft of torque. The engine incorporates Toyota 's VVT-i variable valve timing system, along with a new roller-rocker concave cam profile for faster opening and closing of the valves. The six also allows some real towing ability for the first time: an optional Tow Package brings a 3500-pound capacity.

The standard engine on all RAV4s is the latest version of Toyota's ubiquitous 2.4-liter four-cylinder - available in a similar state of tune on a vast array of vehicles ranging from the Scion tC sport coupe to the bread-and-butter Camry sedan to the Highlander crossover ute.

All U.S.-bound RAV4 models have an automatic transmission, with no manual option, but they're very frugal. The front-wheel-drive 2.4-liter returns EPA fuel economy figures of 24 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, which is the highest in its class, not counting hybrids. And with a highway rating of 28 mpg, the V-6 RAV4 ties with the V-6 Saturn VUE for the best fuel economy among V-6 utes. Both engines will be certified for California 's ULEV II standards and are designed to run on 87-octane.

The standard four is economical, reliable, and surprisingly peppy throughout the rev range, thanks to the VVT-i variable valve timing system. Torque is decent from a standstill, provided you're not carrying a heavy load, and most of the time passing power is adequate as long as you really put the pedal to the metal. And most buyers will be happy with it. Toyota is planning on making 70 percent of RAV4s with the four-cylinder, at least initially.

That V-6 is a nice step up for hotfoots, or those who live in hilly terrain and plan to haul a full load of people and cargo on a regular basis. In truth though, it doesn't feel as overwhelmingly powerful as it seems when shopping power and torque figures. But with that much power, it's definitely a point-and-shoot affair; the RAV4 just isn't tuned for the twisties. It's not a vehicle that you'd want to drive too enthusiastically. If you try to, VSC stability control is standard, and it might help keep you on the road. Though we should add, there is a new Sport Grade model, offering firmer suspension settings and 18-inch wheels, which we didn't get a chance to sample.

The RAV4 takes VSC a step further by interfacing the system with the Electronic Power Steering system, allowing the system to provide more or less assist as needed for a particular situation. The interface goes the other way as well, with data from the steering system aiding VSC's ability to anticipate a lack of vehicle control. In addition to VSC, anti-lock brakes are standard, along with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.

As before, the RAV4 will be available in both front- and four-wheel-drive versions, though a part-time on-demand 4WD system replaces the former full-time viscous-clutch all-wheel-drive system. 4WD versions now have a system that reverts to front-wheel-drive when there are no outstanding traction demands, for the most economical operation, though the system uses an electronic-controlled viscous coupling that sends torque (up to 45 percent) to the back wheels as needed. There's also a 4WD Lock setting that allows a set amount of torque (55/45 front/back) to be sent to all four wheels, up to 25 mph, where the Auto setting overrides it. The RAV4 has never been a serious off-roader, and the 4WD will still offer off-road performance good enough to get owners to most remote campsites and trailheads. Front-wheel-drive models come with a limited-slip differential to help aid grip in limited-traction situations.

Another electronic aid, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), helps keep the vehicle from rolling backward when facing uphill, holding the vehicle for two to three seconds after the driver engages it with the brake pedal. Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is controlled by an in-dash switch and helps moderate speed on steep descents. Though HAC and DAC are mainly designed for off-road situations, they're standard on all V-6 models, and, oddly, on four-cylinder models with third-row seating.

The four-cylinder will still be the most popular engine choice, though; Toyota anticipates that about 70 percent of RAV4s will have the four and 55 percent of all RAVs will be the base "Standard Grade" trim. Initially, 56 percent will be 4WD.

But now that the RAV4 has sized up so much, there's a pretty big jump from Toyota 's Matrix hatchback to the RAV4. Almost ten years ago when the RAV4 was first introduced, its curb weight was under 2500 pounds. The V-6 Limited that we spent the most time in weighed in at a chunky 3675 lb.

Visibility isn't as good as the previous RAV4, due to a thick rear pillar and a perceived higher beltline overall. We're also curious why, considering all the standard electronic safety aids, side airbags remain an option on the RAV4, while for many of the competitors they're standard.

There are three trim levels available: Base, Sport, and Limited, with each available with the I-4 or V-6 and FWD or AWD. Even base models get a generous level of standard equipment, like an MP3-compatible CD player and a miniplug input jack for iPods or other personal audio.

The four-cylinder model will go on sale this month, while V-6 RAV4s will reach dealerships by late January. For the first two model years, RAV4s will be sourced from Japan , but beginning in 2008 Toyota will bring production online at its new Woodstock , Ontario , plant, which will eventually make the model exclusively for North America . Toyota hopes to sell 135,000 RAV4s annually in the U.S. - that's about double what the current-generation vehicle has sold yearly. Price hikes for the four-cylinder remain modest, at $20,300 for the Base Grade four, ranging up to $25,870 for the V-6 Limited.

Late next year, the RAV4's "bigger" sibling, the Highlander, will be replaced by a larger, sleeker model. But in the meantime, unless you're considering the Highlander Hybrid model, the almost-as-big RAV4 may represent a better value to many shoppers.

To sum it up, the RAV4 just feels a lot more grown-up and is set up to be less of a quirky little ute and more the Camry of crossovers. The ride is settled; it's quieter and more comfortable inside; it's easier to get in and out; it's still economical; it's more carlike behind the wheel. What this means to shoppers is that the RAV4 will likely fit families that once considered it too small, and that it's a better deal than ever…with a third-row seat. Soccer moms, are you listening?

2006 Toyota RAV4
Base price: $20,300-$25,870
Engine: 2.4-liter in-line four, 166 hp/165 lb-ft; 3.5-liter V-6, 269 hp/246 lb-ft
Drivetrain: Four- or five-speed automatic transmission, front- or all-wheel drive
Length x width x height: 181.1 x 73.0 x 66.5 in
Wheelbase: 104.7 in
Curb weight: 3300-3677 lb
Fuel economy (EPA city/hwy): 20/27-24/29 mpg
Safety equipment: Dual front airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist, direct tire-pressure monitor; optional driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, optional first and second row side curtain airbags
Major standard equipment: Air conditioning, limited-slip differential or all-wheel drive, keyless entry, power windows/locks, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, sunroof, illuminated cupholders, dual glovebox, AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with miniplug input
Warranty: Three years/36,000 miles
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Last edited by Fuzz541; 12-15-2005 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:33 PM   #2
Cjchaps
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I am definitely considering this for my next vehicle... I've been reading about it and researching them, I just need to take one on a test drive and see how much I like the driving experience.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:41 PM   #3
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Now here is a car I can get excited about. I've driven a RAV4. It really really really needed more HP.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:47 PM   #4
Fuzz541
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SUBARU, ARE YOU EFFING LISTENING?

Dump the Tribeca in the ocean (with its design team chained to it), build the next Forester on the Legacy platform with a dinkus 3rd row seat, offer it with a 275hp EZ30 (or a twinscroll 2.5T) and laugh all the way to the bank.

My local dealer has FIFTY TRIBECAS IN STOCK, YOU MORONS!!!
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:50 PM   #5
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It's still a RAV4 and its still fugly and it's an auto.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:52 PM   #6
volume311
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its an ugly lil bastard
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoRo1
It's still a RAV4 and its still fugly and it's an auto.
what are you going to do with a stick in a 4000lb 7-passenger vehicle?
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:01 PM   #8
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RAV4s are gayer than miata's, Z3s, and the orig. SLKs combined

grant
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Curb weight: 3300-3677 lb
FXT > *
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:20 PM   #10
Fuzz541
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kostamojen
FXT > *
It's not for AutoXing, it's for hauling family and ass at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucelee
Who cares if it has 269hp? What are you going to use it for?
Carrying 2-3 adults and 2-3 kids, some in child seats or boosters, you n00b.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoRo1
It's still a RAV4 and its still fugly and it's an auto.
I concur
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:22 PM   #12
Fuzz541
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Name something this fast, Toyota quality, that can carry [Edit]: seven people, for anywhere near the price.

Last edited by Fuzz541; 12-15-2005 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:23 PM   #13
scaryfastskier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzz541
Name something this fast, Toyota quality, that can carry six people, for anywhere near the price.
i have NO clue how much mini-vans cost. i assume they are a lot more, like 30-40?

grant
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:25 PM   #14
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easily one of the gheyest vehicles ever... and i drive a miata.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucelee
Why not get a Tribeca? Looks nicer, safer, cost like 28k, and the interior can't be beat.

Or you could get a forester XT with turbo upgrade = 300+ hp, safer, handles better, and more pimp factor.
Tribeca prettier? You kidding right? I had stuff coming outta my a$s this morning that looked better.

But yea, FXT is that nasty. I wish I bought it over the Rex but oh well...no regrets.

Toyota is pretty damn serious these days about power. They are like the Chrysler of imports. Let's put ridiculously powerful engines into our everyday vehicles - Avalon, major competitors are Buicks but it's quicker than a Maxima, and now the Rav4. What is with this world? What's next? a 300hp Camry? I remember a time when 200hp crank was a potent machine.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucelee
and BTW, the back seat in that thing is made for little asian boys.
very true. there is no way in hell you are hauling 6 adults in that. try it in a Suzuki XL7, it's the source of all this ridiculous 'tiny 3rd row' nonsense.. and it DOESN'T WORK.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:44 PM   #17
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Yeah I saw one in real life, also. They had to clean the puke outta the interior.... and my wife's.

The RAV4 is a prime example of how far behind the curve the B9 really is. Yeah, I suppose you could spend 3 grand more for something that looks like azz and will get it's azz handed to it by the RAV4... but why?
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucelee
Are you a little asian boy?
You trolling for some tight IDP again?
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:59 PM   #19
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For a young parent with a moderate budget trying to avoid being sentenced to a Dodge Caravan, how can you beat the RAV4?

Looks are out the window - not many 7 pass vehicles are nice looking. I think it's modern, generic and inoffensive. That's good enough for me in this class. Plus it's absolutely invisible to cops If I wanted looks I'd go with something with fewer seats, like a Legacy.

Base RAV4 V6 7 pass vs. cheapest Tribeca 7 pass:

- $22-23,000 msrp vs. $32,000 msrp (yeah, you can buy tribeca at or below - cost so $29,500)
- ~3,500# vs. ~4,300#
- 249lbft vs. 219lbft (huge factor especially at these weights)
- 269hp vs. 250hp
- 28mpg hwy on 87 octane vs. 24mpg hwy premium fuel strongly recommended and lower mpg and power if you use non-premium
- Tiny ass rear seat for kids only vs. tiny ass rear seat for kids only
- Toyota quality vs. Subaru quality (10 vs. 9.5)

c/n: pwn3d.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:03 PM   #20
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I think the RAV4 (or shouldn't it be called the RAV6 now?) is an ugly vehicle and I would never even consider owning one
... BUT I gotta give credit (once again) to Toyota for coming out with an engine approaching 300HP and that still gets almost 30 MPG on the HW. That is pretty damn impressive, espesially for an SUV.

Hell, the WRX only have 226HP and it's gas mileage rating isn't really better than this much more powerful RAV4.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzz541
It's not for AutoXing, it's for hauling family and ass at the same time.
FXT > *

NA + Mountain Altitudes = Goodbye powa!

And Subaru's don't have to pull over for chains...

And the FXT has plenty of leg room in the back.

If you need 6 or so people in a car and just toodle around, get a Mazda 5, because thats also quite fun to drive.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Robinson, Car and Driver
Toyotas can be so benign, so vanilla, that they'll slip right through your hands without leaving an impression. Not the new RAV4. This is such a handsome [he said it, not me - Fuzz], useful, and startlingly competent driver that it's hard to imagine a do-it-all vehicle that does more with such aplomb. We still don't know exactly how to classify the RAV4, except as fairly marvelous.
Again, I'll say it. For a small family that occasionally needs to transport extra people and wants something with more oontz than a van, I defy you to find a better vehicle than this one. I guess I'm just amazed that *yawn* Toyota is packing some grunt into their cars now. It's about time.

ibpackinggruntgoatsesomethingsomething
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzz541
My local dealer has FIFTY TRIBECAS IN STOCK, YOU MORONS!!!
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:34 PM   #24
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great... another SUV in the making. Like we need more SUVs
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:36 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ChrisW
great... another SUV in the making. Like we need more SUVs
an affordable and somewhat efficient people transporter? i can see you hatin' on 5mpg 3 person tank of a car, but this one sounds pretty usefull. do you hate minivans too? what alternative do you suggest for a $25,000 new car for a family of 6?

grant
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