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Toyota RAV4 4 Cylinder or V6



  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    Aside from the nice extra power of the V-6, here are some disadvantages:
    -initial cost is higher
    -city gas mileage is lower
    -for DIYs the V-6 is much harder to service, try changing the rear sparkplugs
    -heavier weight of 6 cyl means longer stopping distance on slippery surfaces
  • True, the initial cost of the V6 is about $2000 higher. But you get a RAV that is a lot more fun to drive!

    City gas mileage is a bit lower. If you do the math, the average driver will spend an extra $150-200 a year. Goes toward the fun factor.

    The iridium tipped spark plugs don't need to be changed until 100,000 miles!

    Yes, it may be a bit heavier, but the RAV brakes are very good--stopping is not an issue. The V-6 is the main reason I picked the RAV over the CR-V. After a couple of test drives, it was an easy decision.
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    More the fun factor for you, ok. Should point out that sometimes the plugs will not come out at 100k miles for any engine, some mechanics recommend loosening the sparkplugs at 30-40k miles and re tight them.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    I worried a bit about that issue with my minivan. I told the shop to loosen the plugs at 30k, but I have no way of knowing if they did or not. At 125k, I had the plugs replaced and asked the tech if they had any trouble with them being seized or anything. The tech said they always wait until the engine is dead cold (overnight in my case) before trying to pull plugs and that they had no problem with mine.

    Could be an urban legend about the cold engine. I recall hearing Click and Clack warning about the possibility of high mileage plugs seizing so some proactive loosening may be in order.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I just changed the plugs ($80, first time) in our '95 LS400 at 225,000 miles. Except for a seriously longer spark gap the plugs looked fine. With the new solid state electronic spark genration the spark plug gap is no longer such a big issue.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    I did the wires and distributor at the same time. My mpg didn't budge a bit, which makes me think I should have just waited until something broke.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, I think the emissions monitoring aspects of the OBDII systems will give us lots of forewarning of marginal perfromance.
  • Here's some "real world" mileage figures:

    Brand new 2009 V6....took it on a trip to New Mexico and Arizona starting in Minnesota. 4,498 miles....22.6 miles per gallon.
    70-80 miles per hour on freeways plus city driving, lots of baggage.
    There ya go.
  • ohiobobohiobob Posts: 4
    tnboy, I agree with the post that indicated where you drive it and who is in it should be the major factors on your engine choice. I live in OH and it is flat and most of the time it will be me and maybe my wife on the weekends and the new 2.5 4cyl. is adequate. If you have hills to climb and will have the backseat occupied you may want to go to the six. If you can afford it and like to go fast the 6 will make you happy. Go with the AWD if you buy the six to reduce the torque steer. The six will be less noisy under hard acceleration as well. I'm sure the 4 cylinder will be easier on your wallet over time both at the gas station and with the maintenance.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    We recently purchased a new 09 Rav4 for my wife.

    She wanted a mid size SUV to replace her 03 CR-V. Did a lot of looking, driving, and comparing before the purchase.

    Comparing smoothness of drive train, handling, ride, dollar value, resale value, and visibility out the back, she decided on the Rav4. I wanted the 6 because the CR-V's 4 cylinder was always a bit rough compared to my Pilot's V6. Especially when idling with the AC on. I also wanted the 6 because its tranny is 5 or 6 speeds and the 4 cylinder is only 4 speeds like the CR-V was.

    She liked a particular Rav4 Sport because of the interior and exterior colors, ride, handling, and other items. I checked out the window sticker first thing and said "NO, this is a 4 cylinder". But to satisfy her, I drove it. We bought it.

    The 4 cylinder engine is peppy and smooth. As it turns out the real world fuel mileage is way better than I expected it would be. She is getting 4-5 mpg better in her commute to work than she got with her CR-V. The tranny shifts like a dream and seems to always be in the perfect gear for conditions. It seems to accelerate to highway speeds just as quick as my V6 Pilot and gets a lot better MPG in the process. She hasn't said, "I told you so", but I couldn't blame her if she did. We have 3 cars and the Rav4 is always the first choice if it is available.

    For towing or carrying heavy loads the V6 would be a better choice. But so would a bigger heavier vehicle. However the purchase price, which I was willing to pay, the better mileage and most likely the better trade in down the road dictate the 4 to be a better choice for us.

    Keep in mind this new 2.5 liter simply feels smoother and a lot more capable than the 2.4 did. The 6 cost more going in and will likely bring less trade-in down the road due to gas prices. THE V6 RAV4 IS EXTREMELY QUICK and fun to drive, and it's mileage on the road very close to the 4. However, around town the 4 is a better choice. So I recon we all have to decide how a car is to be driven and go from there.

    Different strokes for different folks. :)

  • My 2009 RAV4 Limited V6 4WD with all the bells and whistles is a gem so far. I have tracked literally every drop of gasoline and my overall mileage for 9,189 miles is 21.9 MPG. This includes city driving and a 4,000 mile trip to AZ from MN last winter. This car has lots of power for getting out on the freeway. It handles great and is fun to drive.
  • I'm a RAV freak.

    I have four (had five, yes five last year), one at my US home, the others given to my immediate family back in the UK, all the two-door version easy to park, good or narrow streets, high down-road vision, cheap to run and own, but no longer sold in the USA. This is a great shame.

    The 2-door version was the forerunner, much praised model that began the small SUV trend, and indeed the model size to which many are now returning being more conscious of waste of space and resources. In its day, the mid-nineties, the RAV was favourably compared to European hot hatches. It is cited in many automotive design books alongside Jaguar XE-Types and the like as cars that set the trend.

    I prefer the 2-door version because it is light, fast,extremely manouverable, reliable, and durable, (parts start needing replaced after 100,000 miles) but mainly because anything bigger tends to feel as if driving a bus! If a 2-door RAV is good enough for a Le Mans winning Jaguar driver as his daily drive it's good enough for me.

    In any event, even the early ones can be upgraded in all respects, from Bi-Zenon headlights to leather interiors, all from the USA's amazing after market service.

    But to the OP's question: Alas, the V6 is NOT sold in the UK or Europe but if it had been I'd have bought it not only because for long distance travelling the more horsepower the better, but also it suits the weight of the 4-door. That said, the V4 offers better mileage, and, as other owners testify on this thread, the V4 is perfectly adequate.

    Common weaknesses:That rear door will not open 90 degrees, annoying when negotiating square items, or framed paintings. If anybody hits that spare wheel you will need a whole new rear door skin - a common frailty on SUV's that hang the spare there to look butch. Seat belts begin to lose their efficiency after 50,000 miles. Small bits of non-essential trim come adrift. That upright windshield takes a lot of chips from flying stones - stay well back from trucks!

    Hope all that helps.

    Los Angeles
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 549
    It is not a V4. It is an inline 4 cylinder or I4
  • Just bought our 2009 last weekend. I tested both the V-6 and 4 cyl. The V-6 is a rocket!! However, there seems to be a good amount of torque steer on the 2WD version. I tested 2 models and they both had it. Made the front end a little squirrelly for a moment. This concerned me because my wife will be driving this to work.

    I then tested the 4 cyl to see if it would be a dog in comparison. I was concerned that the 4cyl would be like the smaller 4cyls in the Corollas, etc. I drive a 2008 Matrix with the 1.8L and there are many times I was wishing it had more hp (i drive 150 miles round trip for work so the mileage is why I drive it)

    I was pleasantly surprised! At a 179hp, the Rav 4cyl had quite a bit of pep off the line and entering the freeway. No comparison to the Matrix at all.

    While the freeway MPG is only 1 MPG different between the V-6 and the 4cyl, the city rating is significantly better on the 4cyl.

    In the end, we decided to go with the 4cyl. I have no complaints with the power and pickup, and the wife loves it.
  • I have a I4 engine and am totally happy with the performance. I got my '09 RAV4 in the Clunkers for Cash deal, trading in a 1993 4-Runner, and the performance difference between the two is considerable. I'm not one of those people who need high performance so the V6 was never an issue. I like small engines in general, and the I4 is a winner.
  • tcp2tcp2 Posts: 65
    Weird, you're such a rav4 freak, but you don't even know what the 4 cylinder engine is? I'm calling bull on this one.
  • I hope you're not referring to me, as I know precisely what the 4-cylinder engine is: 2.5-liter, 179-hp 2AR-FE ;)
  • gene22gene22 Posts: 34
    My wife wants the Rav4. I am on my 4th Camry V6.

    Good and bad about 4 vs 6? What did you buy and experience?
  • gene22gene22 Posts: 34
    I posted the message about the 4 vs v-6. I was looking for comparisons from the past year. Even though there was an older thread, I felt a new one made more sense, since the last post was over three years ago. But, it was merged into this old thread.
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