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Toyota RAV4 Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • Sounds like you got a good deal to me -- which dealership did you use, as I'm in the market for a Rav4 as well. What's the rebate for -- I'm not aware of any promotion they have going now
  • Do not add an after-market third row seat to another Rav4. The models with the third row are equipped with larger 17" tires and larger brakes to handle the heavier load. For safety reasons, I would NOT let a child sit in an after-market third row seat, if you can even find someone who is willing to make one for you. Too many risks!
  • markbresmarkbres Posts: 2
    We were at a dealer today looking at the Rav4 Limited (with leather). We got a pre-tax offer of $30,500. CR has an MSRP of $27,070. When I go through the Build Your Own feature at the website, I'm forced to pick Option B (because I want leather), and I get a price of $31,045. If I back out the options package, I'm still $800 over the CR MSRP.

    If I set aside the CR price info, the offer we got is basically $500 under MSRP. That doesn't seem like a particularly good deal, right? Do people think we can get a better deal elsewhere? We've only gone to this one dealer so far, but I'm already pretty confused.
  • kriebebwkriebebw Posts: 26
    I recently have started to read messages on this forum as I prepare to purchase a Rav4 V6 4WD Limited in the eastern PA area. It seems from the postings that I have read thus far that a reasonable amount of dealers will negotiate to dealer invoice price but only a small portion seem to move below that amount. In an economy that seems to receive bad news day after day my thoughts are that the future buyer might have more leverage to negotiate below invoice in order for the dealers to move cars off of the lot.

    Anyway, I have seen that many of you have used the internet to solicit quotes from dealers in their area. Has this been useful for obtaining good quotes or has it been just a starting point for dealers to begin 'reeling you in'? What has been your approach when soliciting a quote. For example, did you ask them to give you their best deal? Are you willing to sell at dealer invoice? This latter question seems to close the door for further negotiating any lower if the dealer comes back willing to sell the vehicle at invoice.

    Looking for help with some of the acronyms used in this forum such as TTL and TDA. I assume TTL is tax, title & license. Not sure of the TDA abbreviation.

    Also, anyone have feedback on ride comparison for the Limited vs. Sport. A work colleague felt that the Sport ride was stiffer than the Limited. I have test driven a Limited and a Mitsubishi Outlander on the same day on a bumpy road and the Outlander was a noticeably stiffer ride.

    I noticed one comment from a dealer asking a customer as to what constitutes a 'fair profit' Any thoughts on this? I think the approx $700 that the dealer receives back from the maunfacturer is sufficent. This 3% profit seems to be lower than the Consumer Report recommended 4 to 8% 'fair deal' amount. This fair deal amount is also above dealer invoice and many of you have 'struck deals' at dealer invoice or less.

    All feedback is appreciated. Thnx.
  • thomasw98thomasw98 Posts: 29
    To Kriebebw:

    Please see my comments earlier on negotiating price. It has been my experience that dealers in my area (CA) will not give good prices over the internet. Most refuse to give actual numbers and just ask you to "come in to discuss". Many of them stop responding to emails once I asked for below invoice prices.

    By the way, before deciding against the Rav4, I was able to face to face negotiate the price of the Rav4 down to $300 below invoice.

    Re Rav ride quality: I decided not to buy a Rav4 because of the ride quality/sound/vibration. I tested the limited version and found the ride to be soft enough over big bumps, but over small bumps (washboard type) or cracks, there was a lot of vibration into the cabin and driver's seat. Also there was quite a bit of wind noise. I was really surprised because I previously owned a Camry 10 years ago which was like a Rolls Royce (smoooooth and quiet) on these same types of roads. I bought a Nissan Rogue SL instead.

    Fair profit: Using "gross profit" % figures really make the dealers sound like they are getting unfairly squeezed, i.e. 3% sounds really tight. But keep in mind that the dealers do not calculate their finances in the traditional buy/sell way. Most, if not all, the cars on a dealer's lot are NOT owned by the dealer. They are just "borrowed" from the car manufacturer. The dealer's "cost" for these cars is based on an interest-type charge based on the value of the car and the amount of time the dealer holds it for. To make a simple example, a dealer's "carrying cost" (i.e. their real out of pocket) on a Rav4 might be around $500 for one specific car. So if they make $300 profit on that car, they have a nice return on investment (60%!).

    One final comment: My Toyota dealer's sale manager was quite aggressive about claiming I was "asking them to lose money on the car." My response was just to laugh at his face and tell him to "figure it out." Actually I was pretty insulted that he would try to lie to me and tell me they are losing money at $300 below their fake "invoice price". Even though I got him to agree to the price eventually, this may have also influenced my feeling about (not) buying a Rav4.
  • kriebebwkriebebw Posts: 26
    Thanks for the feedback. I need a vehicle for towing to substitute for my 5000 lb Jeep Grand Cherokee and the RAV4 seems to be the best fuel-efficient option out there. I also had the Rogue and CRV on my initial list but they can only handle light-duty towing.

    I am aware of the manufactured sponsored financing $$ which is part of the hidden money. It is in the dealers best interest to get that car off the lot ASAP so that he has the best return on this money allocated for financing. Otherwise; the interest he continues to pay for this car to sit on the lot erodes away his financing allocation. From what I have read, the best scenario for a dealer is to have a customer order a car and take it the day it arrives. That way, he pays essentially no financing and gets to keep the allocated financing money. did your negotiations workout on the Rogue? Was it a somewhat ugly process as you seemed to describe on the Rav?
  • ykckbyykckby Posts: 30
    Thomas...thanks for your thoughts; I was particularly interested in your comments regarding the RAV ride. I'm looking at the RAV, CRV and Rogue (coming out of a Murano) as I need a car to use for dog shows. The ride/noise is most important to me (don't need/want a "sporty" handling car) as I want a soft car like ride that is as quiet as possible. (my favorite riding car is my husband's Lexus...but can't justify getting a RX350)

    Did you also look at the CRV (although I've told it's a "chick" car...I'm a chick so that's ok for me) as I have heard it is also a very soft car like ride.

    Your impressions? And, did you drive a 4cyl or 6 cyl RAV?

  • thomasw98thomasw98 Posts: 29
    The Rogue negotiation was much easier since I had previously purchased a Nissan Versa (for my daughter) from the same salesman one year prior. On the Versa, he gave me $300 below invoice, so I told him I needed an even better below invoice price as "a reward for my loyalty to him"...haha!. He gave me $500 below invoice. It only took about 10 minutes to complete the negotiation and another ten minutes to sign all the paperwork. We then had to wait about 45 minutes for the car to be "final prepped" and filled up with gas. Everything in life should be this easy!

    (By the way, I really like the Rogue. Horsepower is certainly lacking somewhat, but better that the CRV when considering the lighter weight. I am currently on mile 2200 of a trip up the west coast and so far everything about the car is great. I should probably write a review in the Rogue forum one of these days.)
  • thomasw98thomasw98 Posts: 29
    I drove the Rav4 premium level (softer suspension) with the 6 cylinder engine. But the vibration and engine noise was too much for my taste, especially when I was expecting so much better based on my previous positive Camry experience. I have read that the 4 cylinder is even worse, but I did not drive one. Overall, the Rav4 was a much more "truckish" feeling compared to the Rogue and the CRV.

    I also drove the CRV (these three dealers are located side by said in my area, so comparison is very easy). It does not look like a "chick car" to my eyes...more like a small tank. But maybe the "chick car" reputation is coming from all the soccer moms that are driving the car these days.

    The CRV pickup (torque and hp) was not as good as the Rogue, but the difference was not extreme. The main problem I had with the CRV was the loud wind noise at highway speeds. It seems to be coming from the left side mirror or maybe the roof rack or door frame or something in that area. Since I was planning on taking my new car on a long trip after a short break-in period, this annoying wind noise really was a big negative for me.

    The ride/suspension feeling of the CRV and Rogue are similar in my experience. The CRV is larger, so slightly more "big soft boat" feeling whereas the Rogue is a bit more "bouncy". But both are acceptably smooth and vibrations are well isolated.

    (Maybe we should move this post to a "compare Rav4 with other cars" thread?)
  • topgun7topgun7 Posts: 412
    "To make a simple example, a dealer's "carrying cost" (i.e. their real out of pocket) on a Rav4 might be around $500 for one specific car. So if they make $300 profit on that car, they have a nice return on investment (60%!). "

    heh heh, no business can survive with this kind of profit margin. You forget the salary for salesman, finance manager, people who wash the car before you test drive, people who details the car, the rent for the place etc..... It is useless to figure what is a "fair" price for a particular car. The price is going to be driven by supply and demand in your local area anyway. One always get the best deal by shopping around and compare price in your local area. Once you did that, then try compare the price to places with a lot of Toyota delear (e.g. S. California) and decide if it is worthwhile to fly out to get the car or not. If the car is really hot, dealer can sell it above MSRP, they will. As long as there are people willing to pay higher price for the same car than you, then you will have to wait. Don't waste your time to figure out if you leave a fair profit for the dealer.. They will not sell you the car if they have to loss money.
  • kriebebwkriebebw Posts: 26

    Thanks for your comments on the dealer profitablility issue. You seemed to confirm my thoughts in that it is vague to understand what is a 'fair' profit for a dealer. I do agree it is about supply and demand on the 'hot' cars and that is where these guys can makea bunch of $$$. I don't believe the Rav4 is in that 'hot' vehicle category. For us near-term buyers, I'm thinking that in our present bad economic times the dealers might be more willing and flexible to make a sale. I guess I will find out in time. BTW, I've been looking for an explanation as to the 'TDA' acronym used in prior posts (2156 from heartgod & 2154 from robomacro). Any idea?
  • kriebebwkriebebw Posts: 26

    I've been looking for an explanation as to the 'TDA' acronym used in prior posts as well as this post. Can you tell me what this terms stands for?

  • robomacrorobomacro Posts: 7
    Toyota Dealer Advertising. It is the fee that toyota charges for all dealers in WA.
  • mumtazmumtaz Posts: 1
    Have you considered aftermarket reupholstering? Very popular in this area. Good quality leatherwork without all the leather options package cost. Much, much cheaper than buying leather. Had my Toyota reupholstered in leather two years ago and it still looks great. Ask your dealer about it. Most have this option but you have to ask.
  • toddcttoddct Posts: 1
    I was able to get the dealer down to $26k out the door, including destination, taxes, registration, and the 'document processing' fee that everyone in CT seems to charge (base price incl. destination to $23978, plus $399 doc fee, plus tax, plus registration). Did I get a good deal?? They of course started me at the MSRP, but thanks to edmunds I felt reasonably confident giving them an ultimatum at $26k all in. They claimed to have to sell the car $400 under their cost, but I'm sure that's BS. I just want to be sure that I didn't do something stupid... Thanks!!
  • onekplonekpl Posts: 1
    Just paid $20.995 for my base 4wd everglade metallic + title, sales tax, and some minor fees. Overall I think I did good. Managed to get everything done in one day. Will have the car on monday. - NY/CT - fairfield county
  • geobeegeobee Posts: 2
    I'm in California too and am just starting to look into a Rav4 base with third row. What was your invoice price? $1000 rebate is until 7/31 right? Sounds like a good deal, but I can let you know what I find as I continue to look into it...Would appreciate knowing the invoice price you were given though. Thanks!
  • tilak_ytilak_y Posts: 1
    OTD price for RAV4 Base 4x4 with 3rd row in Oregon is 24100+218= 24318(TTL).
    I like the color. Is there any $1000 discount there on this 2008 RAV4?
    If so, I had paid little higher. But I have added 3rd row, roof rack, DRL, floor mats, Rear bumper applique, mud guards and 17" Alloy wheels. Is this a good price?
    Now I'm looking for Bumper-to-Bumper warranty.
  • obssessobssess Posts: 6
    Was wondering if anyone has had any recent buying experience in the DFW area. I have been quoted $23,900 for a Base V6 with Towing Pkg,Xtra Mile Pkg B, Alarm system, and vehicle shield pkg. This price is after the $500 rebate.
  • obssessobssess Posts: 6
    Can anyone tell me how I can get the invoice price on the Xtra Mile Option Packages. I purchased the report from CR but it does not show that as one of the options. Most of the Ravs I have looked at have it and I am trying to figure out what I should pay for the vehicle. Any help would be appreciated.
  • alamocityalamocity Posts: 680
    KBB shows the invoice as $831.00 on option B.
  • obssessobssess Posts: 6
    Thanks for the help. In your opinion, does 23,900 sound like a good deal for an '08 Base V6 with daytime running lights, tow pkg, vehicle shield and alarm system?
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    I'd like an opinion. Would it be worthwhile to pay about $19.5K USD for a 2005 RAV4 (the cute one) with low mileage and power windows? Or would that be a bit much for a 4-year-old?
  • alamocityalamocity Posts: 680
    Invoice goes for $22,760.00 for that setup however since we live in the gulf state region we get hit with additional fees that raise the price. Book value shows $23,892.00 for this region. Be careful of any added fees such as holdback or a high document charge.
  • alamocityalamocity Posts: 680
    I'd say that's kind of high, I've seen an 05 Rav4 with 26,000 miles in my area for $16,991 from a dealer so hope that helps.
  • I would like to thank Edmunds and this forum for playing a big role in helping me purchase my car.
    Since I have gain much from this forum, I will give as much I as could to repay back.
    Bought my RAV4 2WD Limited I4 in Houston at $500 below invoice including the $500 rebate. 23.8k + TTL. Included special color "Blizzard Pearl", Sound Shield, Carpet, DRL and Molded Dash Applique.
    I'm happy to say that I'm a proud owner of my new RAV4.
  • mshastrymshastry Posts: 2
    Thats indeed a great deal. I am also from Houston and not able to get a good deal like you. Could you let me know the car salesman and dealership you worked with so I can also try a deal similar to yours.
  • I got it from Sterling McCall up at Highway 59. Any salesperson in there will offer you at $300 below invoice (including the $500 rebate). The last $200 was not easy negotiation though. I don't think I'm suppose to provide you the salesperson's name in here but if you're interested, you can drop me an email.
  • mshastrymshastry Posts: 2
    Thanks for all the info. I live close by so I will go in this weekend and try my luck. If I have difficulty get the deal I will then try getting the salesperson's name.

    By the way what were the extra charges(TTL etc) that you ended up paying.
  • I'm thinking of selling my 07 Rav once I get the title, which should be in the next month or so, just paid it off. I want to just drive my old bug now and save some money. I'm in the Los Angeles area if anyone's interested, it has only 6K. :blush:
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