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Old 11-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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2013 Rav4 - What Were They Thinking???

Well, the 2013 Rav4 is out. Blech... they no longer offer the V6 and the 4-Cylinder has LESS power than the 2012 model. Sexier styling, though...but sexy styling doesn't pull the load.

When I brought our 2008 V6 in for service the other day the used car buyer made me an offer. It's right up there with "An offer I can't refuse..." They are going to buy our 2008 and sell us a 2012 with more-or-less the same features. Our cost-per-month is going up a whopping $20 or so. We figure getting a new version is a Good Idea since we really love our little Ravi and his V6 towing capabilities. With a 2012 we'll have a Good Car for a bit longer than the 2008 would have lasted.

So.... if you're interested in getting a Rav4 for towing, now is the time to do it.

(Full disclosure: Toyota Manufacturing is one of my software customers. When I've gone on site to present training I got to tour a number of factory floors. When I say you could eat off those floors, they were so clean, I'm not exaggerating. All the folks I've worked with there have been splendid. Knowing what I know about them is one of the reasons I buy Toyotas.)
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:37 AM   #2
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I was surprised, too. Glad to see that the new Escape maintains the 3500# towing capacity.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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A few weeks ago we took possession of a 2012 V6 because we knew the model was going away. We weren't ready for a new car, but that was the car out there that fit my needs (short driver). I'm not at all convinced I want to part with using the Honda mini-van for tow purposes, we are really comfortable with the mini van set up. The transmission is getting weak, so hello RAV4.

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Old 11-29-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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Well I wonder if this change in RAV4 was due to lack of sales for the V6 or due to the new SAE Trailer Towing Standards. Wonder if the RAV4 was one of the fall outs that were expected to happen in regards to tow cap down ratings. Perhaps it didnt do as well as Toyota thought so they decided to forget the V6 option and just push those wishing to tow up into the Highlander. Dont think we will ever know which it was though as they arent likely to broadcast it if it didnt do well.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:40 PM   #5
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I think I will stick with my 08 Rav4, happy with it, just want a trailer that is the right size for it. One Day!
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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2012 RAV4 tow max with V6 3500 lbs
2013 RAV4 tow max with 4 cyl 1500lbs no option for a V6
WHAT A SHAME
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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I guess I'll be keeping my 2010 a bit longer than expected. The sad part is there is a diesel version sold in many countries, but not the US, and it is limited to 2000lbs. Plus that front fake, plastic skid plate is ugly!
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:43 PM   #8
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They did the same thing with the first generation Tundra and the previous generation Tacoma. Go figure. Raz
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:57 PM   #9
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And now the Tacoma is no longer on the Recommended list in Consumers reports.
Nissan Frontier Crew Cab with the V6 is a Consumers Recommended Pick Up.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #10
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And now the Tacoma is no longer on the Recommended list in Consumers reports.
Having had a few family members with less then glowing reports on their Tacoma's I wasnt surprised to see that .... but what did come as BIG surprise was seeing a Toyota FJ at the very bottom of the list as the lest reliable of all cars. Who would have thought we would ever see a Toyota take that not so honorable position.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:06 AM   #11
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And now the Tacoma is no longer on the Recommended list in Consumers reports.
Nissan Frontier Crew Cab with the V6 is a Consumers Recommended Pick Up.
I've got a Frontier. It's a very nice truck. Unfortunately the resale value is rather poor to begin with exacerbated by a radiator defect that leads to transmission failure. I'm curious to see what Honda offers as a replacement to the Ridgeline. Raz
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:14 AM   #12
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I think it had more to do with the growing fuel economy ratings across the industry and the increasing awareness of MPG by consumers. The RAV4 was Toyota's small SUV with several above it. But the last few years it has grown in features and heft. So now it is starting to return to it's original market position, as much as consumers will let it.

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Old 11-30-2012, 07:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
I've got a Frontier. It's a very nice truck. Unfortunately the resale value is rather poor to begin with exacerbated by a radiator defect that leads to transmission failure. I'm curious to see what Honda offers as a replacement to the Ridgeline. Raz
Hi: P. Raz...Resale doesn't bother me. I keep every vehicle at least 10 yrs. At that point the trade in value usually covers the tax on the new one. Stay tuned, I'll tell you how it ends!!!
At the 3yr. mark depreciated value is usually only 50% or less.
At the very least Nissan has learned from their past. Toy. and FoMo. seem to be squeezing their suppliers into making cheaper components now!!! Sure hurts to "Bite the hand that feeds you".
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:14 AM   #14
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I've got a Frontier. It's a very nice truck. Unfortunately the resale value is rather poor to begin with exacerbated by a radiator defect that leads to transmission failure. I'm curious to see what Honda offers as a replacement to the Ridgeline. Raz
P.Raz,
If I remember correctly, the 'replacement radiator' for the early ones you mentioned was redesigned. So if you have changed out the radiator, then you should not have to worry about the issue. If your radiator is one of the defective designs, no doubt about it, I would swap it out for a new one, because failure, as you say takes out the tranny, which is horribly expensive. You might want to do a little homework on it, because I may have some of the details wrong....my Frontier is a manual transmission, so I didn't do a huge amount of research on it.
Ironically though, I too had to replace my radiator earlier this year, as it began leaking at the top tank.
I'm like Alf regarding resale, I usually keep them and run them on out. I'll probably keep this '06 for another 4 or 5 years, then just give it to my son as a daily driver/work truck.

Regarding the topic of this thread, I agree that Toyota's decision probably had more to do with upping the fleet fuel economy than anything else. We have to figure it's probably a very small percentage of buyers of this class of car that actually want to tow anything at all, and even then, it's probably mostly folks just pulling a little cargo flat deck, or a jetski or similar.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:15 AM   #15
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P.Raz,
If I remember correctly, the 'replacement radiator' for the early ones you mentioned was redesigned. So if you have changed out the radiator, then you should not have to worry about the issue. If your radiator is one of the defective designs, no doubt about it, I would swap it out for a new one, because failure, as you say takes out the tranny, which is horribly expensive. You might want to do a little homework on it, because I may have some of the details wrong....my Frontier is a manual transmission, so I didn't do a huge amount of research on it.
Ironically though, I too had to replace my radiator earlier this year, as it began leaking at the top tank.
I'm like Alf regarding resale, I usually keep them and run them on out. I'll probably keep this '06 for another 4 or 5 years, then just give it to my son as a daily driver/work truck.
Frontier, Xterra, and Pathfinders from 2005-2010 with automatics risk radiator failure with fluid contamination causing transmission failure. Nissan extended the warranty on the radiator to 8 years/80k miles then added 2 years/20k miles with copays as a settlement to a class action law suit. There is still a NHTSA investigation ongoing. I discovered all this when I tried to sell my 2009 and got no interest. In not fixing the problem Nissan has passed the cost onto it's customers. The letters I received from Nissan did not mention the transmission side of things. Had I not tried to sell the vehicle I would never have known. Most unfortunate. Raz
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:18 AM   #16
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Rust thru

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I've got a Frontier. It's a very nice truck. Unfortunately the resale value is rather poor to begin with exacerbated by a radiator defect that leads to transmission failure. I'm curious to see what Honda offers as a replacement to the Ridgeline. Raz
Several of my friends own Nissan trucks and have problems with rust . Within 5 years the tailgate , rear bumper and fenders have rusted out . I know the salt used on midwest roads is hard on vehicles but a 4 yr old truck should not have holes in the rear bumper as big as your fist
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #17
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Several of my friends own Nissan trucks and have problems with rust . Within 5 years the tailgate , rear bumper and fenders have rusted out . I know the salt used on midwest roads is hard on vehicles but a 4 yr old truck should not have holes in the rear bumper as big as your fist
Yea, I just pulled my back bumper. Just surface rust. Wire brushed, primed and painted. They brine the roads here. It's cheaper than using salt.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:57 PM   #18
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Frontier, Xterra, and Pathfinders from 2005-2010 with automatics risk radiator failure with fluid contamination causing transmission failure. Nissan extended the warranty on the radiator to 8 years/80k miles then added 2 years/20k miles with copays as a settlement to a class action law suit. There is still a NHTSA investigation ongoing. I discovered all this when I tried to sell my 2009 and got no interest. In not fixing the problem Nissan has passed the cost onto it's customers. The letters I received from Nissan did not mention the transmission side of things. Had I not tried to sell the vehicle I would never have known. Most unfortunate. Raz
Yes, but what I was pointing out in my original post is that I "believe" ( I have been told, and have read this ) that the "replacement" radiator was redesigned to cure the issue of internal failure, which is was causes instant cross-contamination of the coolant into the transmission oil. Knowing that, if I had one of the affected year vehicles, I would determine first if it's true the replacement is different, and if so, I would change it out. It's not worth risking a multi-thousand dollar tranny, when you can replace the rad for a few hundred.

If the radiator has been changed, and you can document it, then that should cure that issue of it effecting the resale in a downward way.

I'm surprised to hear your reports of rust. We generally don't see that as a problem on the Frontiers around here where I live ( Missouri ), and I look at every one I see. It's a popular model around here, I think partly because we have a huge dealer here close by that really seems to push a lot of them out the door. My '06 Frontier actually has essentially no rust, where our '06 F350 Ford is getting so bad, we have places that are almost all the way through. And it has half the mileage vs the Nissan. The Ford is bad enough, we're getting ready to put it in the body shop to get it all fixed. I don't know what the deal is with it.

And yep, they use that danged "brine" solution around here too. I hate that stuff. I noticed this morning they have pre-treated some of the local overpasses with it. Ugghh !

All of which has gone totally off-topic to the thread. Sorry for the diversion....back to your regularly scheduled Rav4 discussion.....
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:24 PM   #19
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Several of my friends own Nissan trucks and have problems with rust . Within 5 years the tailgate , rear bumper and fenders have rusted out . I know the salt used on midwest roads is hard on vehicles but a 4 yr old truck should not have holes in the rear bumper as big as your fist
They need to take care of their vehicles. 2004 Titan in the same area, no problems. '89 hardbody, North Dakota, Colorado, kansas, no problems.

Salt rusts anything if you don't wash it. I always thought it funny when people with rusted out vehicles 3x as new as mine, had the audacity to make fun of me washing mine once a week or two in winter. I park the Titan next to a Chevy with rusted out bedsides, a ford with the same, and a Toyota that had a total frame replacement, all within 5 years of the same age. I have a bit of surface rust on my frame…
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:57 PM   #20
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Lived in Langdon North Dakota for a year and can't remember them salting the roads. We just drove on top the snow. The locals loaded their snow mobiles in the back of their pickup trucks in case they got stranded.
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