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  1. #1
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    New car - 'blah' practicality

    Our much-beloved, (slight hyperbole), '02 Taurus Wagon just got to be too unreliable to justify the constant maintenance costs. So we looked around ... Our selection was the 2012 Toyota RAV4 Base 2wd 4 cyl. -- now that's 'blah'. But my wife & I are content -- our perceived needs having converged with our limited retirement budget.

    The new ride looks like this, including the color, so-called Pyrite Mica. (Actually a lot less drab than it appears on my computer screen).



    Here's a side view of the higher, Limited model ...



    I read a few reviews giving special attention to Consumer Reports' Auto Issue. The RAV4 and Subaru Forrester are top-rate. The Forrester was significantly more expensive on our budget, however. We did test drive the Honda CR-V and 2013 Ford Escape. The CR-V we didn't like as well as the RAV4 and it was more expensive. The Escape was more stylish but we didn't prefer overall. Also, the Escape is based on the Focus which got 'Below Average' for reliability from CU.

    In our application the RAV4 is more a station wagon than and SUV. 2wd and the 2.5 liter four is sufficient for our city dwelling needs; we aren't into off-road camping or trailer hauling. I like the externally mounted spare The only think I don't like is the side-opening rear gate which is hinged on the passenger side -- really stupid but no doubt due to the Japanese market.

    The RAV4 will be totally redesigned for 2013; the sales guy said it would be smaller so as not to cannibalize 'Higlander' sales. We would rather have the space of the 2012 and anyway, the current model is well proven. Toyota was offering 0.9% financing which we went for together with a nominal trade-in for our Taurus Wagon. BTW, the RAV4 is assembled in Cambridge, Ontario, an hour's drive away from us.
    Last edited by Feanor; 07-08-2012 at 12:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Good choice with Toyota. I am a Toyota fan not always for style but dependability. My current Toyota is 11 years old with 112,000 miles so far. The car is in such good shape I am unable to justify buying a new Toyota. Maybe by the time I reach 250,000 miles.
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  3. #3
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    Good choice with Toyota. I am a Toyota fan not always for style but dependability. My current Toyota is 11 years old with 112,000 miles so far. The car is in such good shape I am unable to justify buying a new Toyota. Maybe by the time I reach 250,000 miles.
    Yeah, I'm kinda hoping for more long-term reliability from the Toyota. My experience with Fords, the two Taurus I owned in the immediate past, is that they start to disintegrate at about 100,000 km, (65,000 miles).

  4. #4
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    I have an 07 Rav4 Limited AWD-4 cylinder w/Leather.

    Except for the Antenna connection when new, it has been flawless. The heated seats are great in the cold.

    I had an Outback Wagon which was also a good vehicle, after settling my Lemon Law suite.

  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    I have an 07 Rav4 Limited AWD-4 cylinder w/Leather.

    Except for the Antenna connection when new, it has been flawless. The heated seats are great in the cold.

    I had an Outback Wagon which was also a good vehicle, after settling my Lemon Law suite.
    Glad you're enjoying your RAV4. I've always considered heated seats an odd option; despite living in Regina, SK, where winter temperatures reach -40 degrees I've never felt the need.

  6. #6
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Enjoy your new car Feanor. I LOVE my heated seats. The RAV4 is a nice looking car. I've never driven one though. I really like the Subaru Forrester. I've test driven them a few times, but they are overpriced when compared to similar cars, and the financing is also very expensive. Although they are highest rated for safety.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    Enjoy your new car Feanor. I LOVE my heated seats. The RAV4 is a nice looking car. I've never driven one though. I really like the Subaru Forrester. I've test driven them a few times, but they are overpriced when compared to similar cars, and the financing is also very expensive. Although they are highest rated for safety.


    I was driving a company vehicle one summer and I did not know it had heated seats. I had accidentally turned my seat on high. As I was driving I began to wonder if I was having a hot flash. There was no one in the car that would make sertain regions feel that warm. I was glad when I finally saw the switch illuminated and was able to turn it off.
    JohnMichael
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  8. #8
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael View Post
    I was driving a company vehicle one summer and I did not know it had heated seats. I had accidentally turned my seat on high. As I was driving I began to wonder if I was having a hot flash. There was no one in the car that would make sertain regions feel that warm. I was glad when I finally saw the switch illuminated and was able to turn it off.
    LOL! Yeah, not really a good feature for summer. But when it's -20C here it's a lovely little perk.

  9. #9
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    Enjoy your new car Feanor. I LOVE my heated seats. ...
    I wish my car had heated seats For some reason only the Canadian version has heated seats and instead the US version got heated mirrors. Even in blizzard conditions I think I may have only ever turned them on twice maybe and that was just for kicks.

  10. #10
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    ... Our selection was the 2012 Toyota RAV4 Base 2wd 4 cyl. -- now that's 'blah'. But my wife & I are content -- our perceived needs having converged with our limited retirement budget.
    Nice first rate cute-ute. You should enjoy it!

    As a Honda guy though, I would have suggested driving the better selling CR-V.

  11. #11
    Stereo value > car value texlle's Avatar
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    Nice ute. My roommate can attest to Toyota's legendary reliability. His 1985 Celica GT-S finally went under the knife when second gear on his manual transmission went out at just over 300k miles. Although bland they may be, newer Toyotas are some of the most practical cars on the road. Personally, I like to stray away from the practical end a couple ticks in the direction of fun, as a Hyundai and Nissan fan. I'd wager your RAV4 to outlive any Taurus by roughly a lifetime. I'd take the RAV4 over the CR-V because having torque is even more practical during your day to day. Personally, I think the new (2012+) CR-V's are hideous. The whole van-back look is not even remotely attractive. The '07-11 CR-V was probably my favorite generation, overall.
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  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texlle View Post
    Nice ute. My roommate can attest to Toyota's legendary reliability. His 1985 Celica GT-S finally went under the knife when second gear on his manual transmission went out at just over 300k miles. Although bland they may be, newer Toyotas are some of the most practical cars on the road. Personally, I like to stray away from the practical end a couple ticks in the direction of fun, as a Hyundai and Nissan fan. I'd wager your RAV4 to outlive any Taurus by roughly a lifetime. I'd take the RAV4 over the CR-V because having torque is even more practical during your day to day. Personally, I think the new (2012+) CR-V's are hideous. The whole van-back look is not even remotely attractive. The '07-11 CR-V was probably my favorite generation, overall.
    I'm very hopeful that the Toyota will outlive a Taurus. I owned two Tauruses back-to-back; both were very good to about 60,000 miles but then stated to need frequent (and expensive) repairs. These repairs became increasingly frequent; at about 80,000 miles I consider them unreliable to the point of being unsafe. Ultimately the unreliability was more important than the maintenance cost in timing our decision to get a new car.

  13. #13
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    Nice first rate cute-ute. You should enjoy it!

    As a Honda guy though, I would have suggested driving the better selling CR-V.
    To be clear, we did test drive the 2012 CR-V base model. My wife didn't like it as well as the RAV4 and that together with its higher price drove us to the Toyota.

  14. #14
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    To be clear, we did test drive the 2012 CR-V base model. My wife didn't like it as well as the RAV4 and that together with its higher price drove us to the Toyota.
    Upon closer examination to your post, I see you mentioned that. Operator error on my part. I'm convinced that you really must test drive a range of vehicles to see how each one fits your needs. Despite all their recent bad press, I've always considered Toyota/Lexus as a premium brand.

    The wife and I recently went through the same process for replacing her '01 S2000. We're keeping it, however, (my new driving toy) since it has been utterly reliable. Ok, well one of the instrument panel bulbs is out.

  15. #15
    Stereo value > car value texlle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    I'm very hopeful that the Toyota will outlive a Taurus. I owned two Tauruses back-to-back; both were very good to about 60,000 miles but then stated to need frequent (and expensive) repairs. These repairs became increasingly frequent; at about 80,000 miles I consider them unreliable to the point of being unsafe. Ultimately the unreliability was more important than the maintenance cost in timing our decision to get a new car.
    This is really the case with most Fords I've seen. My family bought Fords for years and they usually started having issues around 70-80k miles. Except for my dad's 1994 Taurus SHO, which was a great car all around. Although, the Yamaha 3.0 and 3.2 V6's of the 92-95 SHOs were very highly rated engines. My dad's 2003 Nissan Fronter pickup has 147k miles, my mom's 2002 Santa Fe has 137k and my 2003 Tiburon has 163k miles. All have the original engines and transmissions and all 3 vehicles have experienced minimal issues over the last 10 years- the Hyundais especially. The truck has really only needed a new crankshaft pulley, starter, brake master cylinder, and low pressure A/C line. None of them lose or burn fluids, except for my tiburon which needs to have the coolant reservoir refilled roughly once a month. We're very pleased with the reliability of our imports.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    Nice first rate cute-ute. You should enjoy it!

    As a Honda guy though, I would have suggested driving the better selling CR-V.
    Ha, Bose Wave is better selling too.

    For us it all started when I got sent to California on business and when it was time for my rental, they said just pick anything in isle X. We chose a brand new Highlander and fell in love with it. When it was time to buy, we did not want to spend that much. The Rav4 did everything the same except for overall size.

    I drove every vehicle in the same class when buying. Equinox, Escape, CRV and more. I hated the CRV for a couple reasons. The location of the spare and the seats that were so short that they cut into the back of my hamstrings and my foot fell asleep during the test drive.

    The Rav4 was the last one I drove and just loved it as well as how the back opens, which my wife liked as opposed to a hatch that she can't reach to close.

  17. #17
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi View Post
    The location of the spare and the seats that were so short that they cut into the back of my hamstrings and my foot fell asleep during the test drive.
    At 5'6", I have the opposite problem where seats with long stride attempt to bend my legs where they do not.

  18. #18
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060 View Post
    I wish my car had heated seats For some reason only the Canadian version has heated seats and instead the US version got heated mirrors. Even in blizzard conditions I think I may have only ever turned them on twice maybe and that was just for kicks.
    Two cars ago I had heated mirrors. My last car didn't have them and I missed them. I made sure that my current car has them. As well as keeping the mirrors clear of ice and snow, I also find them very useful on dewey mornings to clear the precipitation from the mirrors. It's fun to watch the steam billow off them.

    I've been driving Fords for about the last 18 years and am on my third Escape. But up until my current vehicle I've always leased so I've never had a car for more than three years (with 0% financing on purchase, leasing didn't make sense this time around). But my husband drives a 2001 Ford pickup truck and has had no major issues with it at all. The back bumper is starting to rust and the driver's seat has some tears in it, but it's been as reliable as we could ask for.

  19. #19
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    We looked at the Rav4 a couple years ago. They are very nice. We ended up going with an AWD CRV. We got a great deal on one that was only a year old with 18,000 miles on it. The Rav4 was on the short list right until the end though. Congrats Feanor. I'm sure you will enjoy it very much. It should easily make it to 200k mi if you choose to keep driving it.

    FA, The winter package came std on my Subaru Legacy. It included 2 temp heated seats, heated mirors and heated wipers. I added the remote starter, so when it's -20 outside it's nice inside. That works great when it's 100+ outside too. Plus it gets me 37mpg highway, 31 mpg overall.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  20. #20
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    Despite all their recent bad press, I've always considered Toyota/Lexus as a premium brand.
    I agree. I think that's a fine vehicle Bill and you should find it to be most roadworthy and reliable for years to come...
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  21. #21
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    I agree. I think that's a fine vehicle Bill and you should find it to be most roadworthy and reliable for years to come...
    Thanks. Nope, I wasn't worried about the "unintended acceleration" problem such as it was, was a small glitch in otherwise extraordinary reliability record. As well as genuine cases, there were several fraudulent attempts to pin blame on Toyota.

    I remember the Audio 5000 "sudden acceleration" problem that emerged in about 1986. The general cause was never determined but it was clear that most instance were caused by driver error.

  22. #22
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    OLD car, 2002 Ford Taurus Wagon ...



    NEW car, 2012 Toyota RAV4 ...


  23. #23
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Thanks. Nope, I wasn't worried about the "unintended acceleration" problem such as it was, was a small glitch in otherwise extraordinary reliability record. As well as genuine cases, there were several fraudulent attempts to pin blame on Toyota.

    I remember the Audio 5000 "sudden acceleration" problem that emerged in about 1986. The general cause was never determined but it was clear that most instance were caused by driver error.
    I've had issues with "sudden acceleration" for years...spanning the ownership of several vehicles...
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  24. #24
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    It's a great looking car Feanor. Just be careful backing up with that exterior tire. They are notorious for causing dents in the rear door.

  25. #25
    Charm Thai™
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    Feanor, the Taurus has a V6 right? How does the RAV perform with a car full of people and only a V4? Any noticeable performance change from the wagon?

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