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2006 Toyota RAV4



  • Edmund's lists the FT-SX as the Highlander's replacement.
  • I presently have a 2002 HL and judging by the couple of photos of the new RAV4 I like what I see so far. Personally I’m hoping it will be equal in dimensions to the present HL because it’s the perfect size for my needs and I have a feeling that the next version of the HL will be much bigger.

    Guess we will find out soon if Toyota releases the RAV4 vehicle specs at the Frankfurt auto show on September 13.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    That would be nice.
  • I have read that the 2007 Camry Hybrid will be using the 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine and not the V6. Does anyone know if a RAV4 Hybrid is also planned? If Toyota keeps the price down for the hybrid, that would be the way to go.. Also will the new RAV come with a 5 speed automatic on the 4 cylinder?
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    neumie, I believe Edmunds stated that they would like for some of the FT-SX's attitude to be added to the next Highlander (not a replacement). It would be nice if the next Highlander did resemble the FT-SX.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Just saw some spy pics of the new RAV. There was no spare tire attached to the rear door. It also appears that the door will still swing open like the previous one (based on the handle location). Based on the wiper location, I wonder if the rear window can open on its own. Looks the RAV has grown-up.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    petl check out the website- the actual RAV is right there.

  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Thanks. The last time I looked there were only 2 pics available (a side view and the dash). The spy pics showed it from the front and rear. I will give it another peek.

    I've been shopping for my next vehicle. I been checking out the Avalon, Camry, IS, Highlander and now the RAV. It's unfortunate that Toyota doesn't make some of their nice wagons available over here in North America. My preference would be a 4WD wagon based on the Camry (not a Highlander and the Matrix is too small). I know I asking for the impossible, a 4WD (for snow and ice conditions) that can pull my small fishing boat (1200lbs.), roomy enough for 4 adults, rides as quiet and comfortably as my 4cyl. Camry and gives decent gas mileage. It doesn't have to win any races.
  • I, too, hope the new Highlander resembles the concept. I looked under future vehicles, and the FT-SX concept is pictured as the future Highlander. I could be misinterpreting the "replacement" issue though.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    Based on the few pics that are out, including some new shots from Frankfurt, there definitely seems to be a long & short version of the new Rav4. The short version retains the rear-mounted spare but a teaser pic of what I assume is the longer version shows it can only hope, as the long version's rumoured 3rd row seat would be filled with shattered glass from the rear window if rear-ended with a spare on the rear door.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Could you ellaborate. Not sure I understand your comment on the shattered glass. All vehicles are surrounded by glass (safety glass).
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    Our Sidekick with rear-mounted spare was rear-ended, causing the rear door window to shatter and spray all over the inside of the car. Glass ended up in the rear seat area, so I can imagine how bad it would be with a 3rd row seat. When the rear-mounted spare is hit in a rear-end collision (and it most always is, as it sticks out well past the bumper/non-bumper), it causes expensive, unnecessary damage to the rear door and invariably causes the window to break as well.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Isn't the Sidekick on the smallish side and older in design? I'm sure the newer vehicles with rear-mounted spares are designed a little better (in terms of spare tire positioning). I think that the size of vehicle hitting you would also make a huge difference. The new RAV looks like it has a rear bumper. This will help absord the impact in a rear end collision. Every SUV (with or without rear-mounted spares) and Van will sustain substantial damage if hit hard enough from behind (particuarly if it's a large vehicle). If there is enough stress on the rear door the glass will be damaged. Vehicles with trunks have don't have this problem.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Incidentally, checked the 2 versions of the RAV (with and without the rear-mounted spare). Although the rear door is different, they appear to be identical in size and length (IMHO).
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    ..that the version with the outside spare would be the 3rd seat model, as they need the room inside the passenger compartment for the people, and their legs.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    ...on Toyota's Press site....the North American version will have a longer length/wheelbase than the Euro version. WB is 105" and overall length is 181" and yes, there will be V6 (268 hp) and 3rd row seating options. Sadly, they seem to have left the rear spare on the door, an extremely and probably deal-breaking move IMHO. Reportedly, the Euro Sport version will be available with 18" runflats and no outside spare. Like the option of no outside spare but 18" runflats on what is supposed to be an affordable family vehicle? I shudder at the cost of replacing those suckers. Toyota, can we PLEASE have the option of more reasonable 16 or 17" tires, no outside spare and maybe a can or 2 of tire inflater? Otherwise, you'll forece me into Mitsubishi's new 7 seat Outlander or Hyundai's new 7 seat Sante Fe. BTW, the new Rav4 looks good from all angles, except that massive, ugly, impractical,dangerous, damage-inducing rear door-mounted spare. (Have I made myself clear?!)
  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    Wheelz4 -- I couldn't agree with you more. I've been following this forum very closely for many weeks hoping to find out if the otherwise excellent RAV4 would shed the rear-mounted spare. I was very disappointed to see the newly released pix on Toyota's website today showing the rear-mounted spare in tact.

    This is absolutely a 100% deal breaker for me. Consumer Reports, NHTSA, and IIHS have all demonstrated that all trucks with rear-mounted spares suffer horrendous damage even in low-speed fender benders.

    This is why the Subaru Forester remains the best all-around car-based compact SUV. I was hoping to upgrade from my Forester into a new RAV4 with a nice V6, Bluetooth, a little more room, etc., but this will now not be happening.

  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Just so I'm clear, can someone show me where vehicles with rear-mounted spares are less safe. I know that "some" may be very costly to repair. In rear crash testing the IIHS rates the RAV and the CRV as "Good", the same as the Santa Fe, Outlander, Vue and Grand Vitara and better than the Escape, Wrangler, Element and Freelander. The Forester had an AR (Active Restraint) rating. The RAV equiped with side airbags was actually the highest ranked small SUV. CR doesn't crash test vehicles. I'm not sure if the NHTSA tested these vehicles for rear-end crashes. If they have, please direct to the results. Don't get me wrong, I would prefer that the new RAV not have a rear-mounted spare, I just don't see any evidence that it makes it less safe.
  • disappointing that Toyota continues to make side curtain airbags an option. Like trying to find a 4Runner with SAB, almost impossible.
  • I used to own a Honda CR-V with a rear-mounted spare. It was great to have the storage space opened up inside, and the wheel made a great spot to mount a bike rack (Thule's model Spare Me).

    The knock against this idea isn't any safety issue - in fact, I always thought that having that extra cushioning would yield a safer vehicle.

    I think what the earlier poster is referring to is the extra sheet metal damage that the wheel/tire causes to the tailgate. It makes a rear-end collision a much more expensive thing to repair. This has been documented in Consumer Reports testing in their "bumper-basher" testing.

    Something has changed, though. Looking at the 2005 and 2006 RAV4 pictures on, and the 2005 CR-V pictures on, you see the new RAV is very different from either earlier vehicle. There is now a real bumper on the new RAV that isn't there on the 2005 RAV4 or CR-V. Also, the spare tire is mounted higher - it appears that the bottom of the spare is nearly at the same height as the top of the rear tire. I'm guessing that another vehicle's bumper would now hit the new RAV square in the bumper, without hitting the spare at all. Backing into a light pole or parking lot post would still cost you, though. And the higher spare appears to sacrifice some rear visibility.

    There are lots of new pics & info at for the new RAV. They confirm the extra storage space, the extra 14 inches in length (Highlander territory now!), optional 3rd row seats, and an AUX input on the sound system. Oh, and the new 3.5L V-6 specs - 268 Hp ! That might be a deal-MAKER for me. Can't wait to drive one.
  • Are we talking about safety or repair costs, which are two different issues? I can see the RAV being very safe for its occupants but still expensive to repair once someone nails you in the rear door.

    I don't like the rear spare either. It looks odd and adds to the weight of the large rear door, which itself is something I've found to be an awkward design feature. However, the new Suzuki XV6 continues with the tacked-on rear spare on an otherwise modern design, so Toyota isn't alone in deciding that a rear spare is still OK.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    These are excactly the points I've trying to make in my last few postings. I also can't wait to try one. Use to own a 1998 model (found it too small and underpowered).
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    I agree. Read my previous post.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    It's certainly a repair cost issue, but is a safety one too, w.r.t poorer rear visibility, the glass shattering issue etc. etc. Plus it's inconvenient, especially for curbside loading and trailer towing, where you might not even be able to open the rear door fully or access the cargo area. And then there's the matter of looks...check out the optional Euro version without the spare vs. the US version with it.
  • The 2005 Highlander is still out there - if you can live with the Auto Trans.

    No rear-mount spare, and the 4-cylinder model is rated 27mpg on the Highway. My 2002 4-banger is a great ride, so the '06 RAV4 has got some pretty big shoes to fill. I can live with a size smaller, but need to get the fun-to-drive quotient up. Can hardly wait - anyone out there going to Frankfurt?
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    "Do you Know the way to Sante Fe
    I'm going there 'cause I don't want no rear door mounted spare"

    2007 Sante Fe....another leap forward, 7 seats, bet it will even be less expenseive
    than a V6 Rav4
  • I really like the short Euro version without the spare. Looks modern and clean. That was the pic I saw first earlier today, then was brought down to reality by the long US version with rear spare. However, overall I think the design is a winner. I suppose Toyota decided to continue the low rear loading floor feature rather than raise the floor to accommodate an underbody spare tire.

    I haven't found rear visibility suffers to any real degree with the rear spare on our 2000 RAV4 and it hasn't been in an accident so I can't speak to damage, so my concerns chiefly have to do with looks and the side-opening door that you get as a result. When we bought the RAV last year I had to train myself to pay more attention to how I parked it, since it's easy to get into situations where you can't get the door open wide enough because of a wall, other cars, etc.
  • I currently have a 02 HL AWD V6 and was considering replacing it with the new RAV seeing has it has similar dimensions, but now that I've seen that it still has that butt ugly spare in the back, it's a no buy!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    3rd Row Seat I see.... :D
  • Look at the 2006 RAV4 specs, it is almost as big as current Highlander and has stronger engine!


    3.5-liter V6 with dual VVT-i
    Horsepower: 268
    Torque: 246 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

    2.4-liter four-cylinder with VVT-i
    Horsepower: 166
    Torque: 165 lb.-ft @ 4000 rpm


    V6 (with tow prep package): 3500 lb.
    Four-cylinder: 1500 lb.


    Wheelbase: 105.0
    Overall Length: 181
    Overall Width (without/with overfenders): 71.5/73
    Overall Height (without/with roof rack): 66.1/68
    Toyota RAV4 specs page

    2005 Highlander specs:

    Length: 184.6 in. Width: 71.9 in.
    Height: 68.3 in. Wheel Base: 106.9 in.

    Base Number of Cylinders: 4 Base Engine Size: 2.4 liters
    Base Engine Type: Inline 4 Horsepower: 160 hp
    Max Horsepower: 5700 rpm Torque: 165 ft

    Base Number of Cylinders: 6 Base Engine Size: 3.3 liters
    Base Engine Type: V6 Horsepower: 230 hp
    Max Horsepower: 5800 rpm Torque: 242 ft-lbs.
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