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Flight Service
Flight Service SuperDork
9/25/12 8:42 a.m.

So I have the what car VS wife thread thing going on but no one is answering and I would like everyone's opinion before I go buy this thing today.

Here is what I found a Mazda5 replacement.

2003 Toyota Rav4L,auto, leather, roof, sport pkg, roof rails, everything.

The only options that I can see are missing are the running boards/side bars, hitch, and 4wd.

Here is the kicker, it has, and I went over it with a fine tooth comb, 33k!!!! There is no paint work, this thing has been garage kept across the board.

Looking like my 08 Mazda5 with 83K (which needs new tires) and $2500 will get it. Given it is the Cute Ute my wife likes and is only missing one option she wanted (heated seats which I can add for $90 a side).

so what say you GRM gurus?

Not the car but it's twin.

2002maniac
2002maniac HalfDork
9/25/12 8:53 a.m.

What makes you think it's $2.5k better than your Mazda?

Flight Service
Flight Service SuperDork
9/25/12 9:55 a.m.

Ground clearance for the crappy Louisiana roads = $500

Silver instead of Dark Blue in the Louisiana heat = $500

I need to do about $1000 of work on the Mazda5 (tires, headlights, oil change, transmission fluid, etc.)

Wife will stop complaining about the minivan vs SUV = Priceless.

Flight Service
Flight Service SuperDork
9/25/12 9:57 a.m.

Oh yeah and 50K less miles

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 PowerDork
9/25/12 10:03 a.m.

My wife had a '99 which was the same chassis but little different front end.
The irony is that she now has a Mazda 5.
The Rav4 went 125k mile with never missing a beat. It's demise was that my wife was starting to do a 50 minute highway commute so we sold the Rav4 for an economy car. It's downfall was that the Rav4 had a really bouncy ride, was not well geared for hyw speeds, did not get good mpg considering how underpowered it was, and was greatly affected by cross-winds.

On the plus side, though the back seat is really tight, the squareness of the vehicle allows it to swallow more stuff than expected.
As an "in-town" car, it was pretty darn good and really easy to park.

You mention hitch...
That body style only came with a 4cyl and towing capability should be really low, like 1,500lbs. I would be surprised if the engine could even move 1,500 lbs since it is strained to move itself.
In the next body style, the V6 could tow up to 3,500.

Flight Service
Flight Service SuperDork
9/25/12 10:14 a.m.

So you went from a Rav4 to a Mazda5 or was there something in between?

I drove it and liked the ride height and turning radius. I can see it being buzzy at highway speeds maybe that will help my lead foot wife slow down. I doubt though.

kreb
kreb SuperDork
9/25/12 10:29 a.m.

I put a bunch of miles on one. It's really a great around-town vehicle, and handles pretty well for what it is. perfect reliability. Not real powerful, and it's a bit loud and bouncy. The next generation is a good bit more civilized and roomy, but not as jaunty and fun. If you do much freeway work, you may want to keep looking.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 PowerDork
9/25/12 10:33 a.m.

'99 Rav4 from new till '06 and 125k miles
'07 Nissan Versa SL from new till '10 with 65k miles
'10 Mazda5 from new and now has 18k miles

The Versa was her choice. At the time, compared to everything in the "Scion Class", the Versa had the nicest, quietest, interior and the better hyw manners. Others like the Yaris were nearly unbearable on the hyw largely due to the high revs caused by the automatic and the general lack of sound deadening, same for orginal, small xB. The Versa was trouble free. We both really never liked the CVT but it returned 65k trouble free miles on just a set of tires. Brakes, shocks and t-belt were all original when we traded the car in.
The Versa went shortly after the long commute ended.
My wife would like an old Rav4 again now that she is just "in-town." We considered a newer version when buying the Mazda5 but they were priced much higher and we got a great deal on a '10 Mazda5 Sport, auto considering that the redesigned models were already on the showroom floor.

Flight Service
Flight Service SuperDork
9/25/12 10:40 a.m.

OK, we are a large majority in town. Not to mention the short-ness will work well in NOLA. Should be really fun on the causeway though. You Boing-Boing in everything on the causeway.

She wanted a Wrangler, and the I know the Rav4 is no Jeep, but if she can do the bouncy-ness of the Rav4 a Wrangler may be the next in-line.

Anyone with anything else?

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 PowerDork
9/25/12 10:48 a.m.

You will like the Rav4.
I have driven much of NOLA visiting a sister at English Turn CC and a buddy up at Lakeshore Dr/Marina area. The ground clearance will be greatly appreciated. Be mindful of crosswinds on the Causeway but no one really ever hates a Toyota. It will serve you faithfully.

Compared to a Wrangler on the highway, the Rav4 is limousine-like.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltraDork
9/25/12 1:10 p.m.

I hate Toyotas. From behind the wheel, the Mazda is going to be a few orders of magnitude better. But if the cute-Ute look is priority one, then go for it.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltraDork
9/25/12 2:31 p.m.

The wife had a 98. Same chassis, different body. It was the epitomy of suck. You know all the GM Hate here? Well it deserved all of that and more. Ate cat's like it was at a chinese buffet, rear diff was done at 90k, ECU took a dump (can't find one of those used for a manual trans) to the tune of $2500 in PARTS. Drove like crap, road worse and had little room for pasengers.

I can't put into words the amount of hatred I have for that pile of E36 M3. berkeleying complete waste of resources and space. berkeleying hate that E36 M3ty little berkeleying pile of berkeleying E36 M3.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltraDork
9/25/12 2:36 p.m.

In reply to Bobzilla:

So we should put you in the "Neutral" column with regard to the RAV4?

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 PowerDork
9/25/12 2:53 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: You will like the Rav4. I have driven much of NOLA visiting a sister at English Turn CC and a buddy up at Lakeshore Dr/Marina area. The ground clearance will be greatly appreciated. Be mindful of crosswinds on the Causeway but no one really ever hates a Toyota. It will serve you faithfully. Compared to a Wrangler on the highway, the Rav4 is limousine-like.

After reading the luke warm report from Bobzilla, I would like to retract a portion of my earlier statement.
Our experience was gas, oil, t-belt and tires.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltraDork
9/25/12 3:01 p.m.
1988RedT2 wrote: In reply to Bobzilla: So we should put you in the "Neutral" column with regard to the RAV4?

That'll work. It started me down a long road to Toyota hatred for their overpriced, underperforming mediocre products that morons flock to in their stupidity induced haze.

I mean, the damn thing CAUGHT ON FIRE driving 4 blocks. FOUR berkeleyING BLOCKS. The main cat got so hot it was glowing, and the "rock guard" (ha! the only thing it's guarding is a place in hell) was 2" from the main cat caught on fire from the heat. in four blocks. Ruined my favorite pair of sneakers trying to kick the flames out while sitting on the gravel getting rocks shoved up my ass. I should have let that little berkeleyer burn to the ground.

Flight Service
Flight Service SuperDork
9/25/12 4:27 p.m.

Check so me and Bob both hate Toyotas.

Seems like a cute appliance to me, which what the wife wants. Pushes all her buttons, which pushes mine.

So I will taking as a go and no ride offers to Bobzilla.

Hey Bob, reminded to tell you the last story of a Toyota I owned. I will give you a hint, it tried to kill my family by SPLITTING the rack and pinion.

Good times.

Flight Service
Flight Service SuperDork
9/25/12 8:20 p.m.

well, it's done.

The Rav4L is in the driveway and the wife is happy!!

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
9/25/12 11:02 p.m.
Bobzilla wrote: The wife had a 98. Same chassis, different body. It was the epitomy of suck. You know all the GM Hate here? Well it deserved all of that and more. Ate cat's like it was at a chinese buffet, rear diff was done at 90k, ECU took a dump (can't find one of those used for a manual trans) to the tune of $2500 in PARTS. Drove like crap, road worse and had little room for pasengers. I can't put into words the amount of hatred I have for that pile of E36 M3. berkeleying complete waste of resources and space. berkeleying hate that E36 M3ty little berkeleying pile of berkeleying E36 M3.

Nope.

The other stuff.... that's what you get for getting a 2 litre from toyota that doesn't have a "GE" in its engine code.

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltraDork
9/26/12 7:57 a.m.
Flight Service wrote: well, it's done. The Rav4L is in the driveway and the wife is happy!!

You poor poor bastard. You will be in my prayers (if I actually prayed).

kreb
kreb SuperDork
9/26/12 8:00 a.m.

Loved mine, thinking of getting a second. Bobzilla: your rant would cary more weight if your experience was with the same generation of vehicle that he was inquiring about. Have you noticed that you're the only one here with significant negatives to express? Toyota owners are morons? Are you off your meds?

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltraDork
9/26/12 8:38 a.m.

In reply to kreb:

Toyota owners that buy a toyota because it's a toyota, and not because the car they are buying fits their needs and is the best product for them, yes. They are morons. Anyone buying a car only because of it's name is a moron. That is something I will not back down from because it's true.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltraDork
9/26/12 9:19 a.m.
kreb wrote: Have you noticed that you're the only one here with significant negatives to express?

Not true! Please see above. While Toyotas of the 80's were bland but very reliable, the company has successfully cheapened their product to where it has fallen to mid-pack at best. Customer perceptions do not change readily (see GM, who made their bed by making crappy cars in the 70's and 80's and drove straight into bankruptcy). There are people who cling to the outdated notion that Toyotas are decent cars (see mirror).

kreb
kreb SuperDork
9/26/12 10:09 a.m.

Bobzilla: Some people don't care to educate themselves on car choices. If someone buys a Corolla because the last two that they had worked real well, I can't really blame them. Past experience does not guarantee future performance, but if our hypothetical person were to switch to brand X there's no guarantees either. Any purchase is a calculated risk. Someone who weights their personal past experience over media sources is hardly an idiot.

1988: We aren't talking about Toyotas of today. We are talking about a 10-year-old model. I had the same model and it ran like a freaking top. The most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. My wife'd still be driving it if a mature Oak tree hadn't turned it into scrap.

Flight Service
Flight Service SuperDork
9/26/12 2:29 p.m.
1988RedT2 wrote:
kreb wrote: Have you noticed that you're the only one here with significant negatives to express?

Not true! Please see above. While Toyotas of the 80's were bland but very reliable, the company has successfully cheapened their product to where it has fallen to mid-pack at best. Customer perceptions do not change readily (see GM, who made their bed by making crappy cars in the 70's and 80's and drove straight into bankruptcy). There are people who cling to the outdated notion that Toyotas are decent cars (see mirror).

I have Toyota negatives to express, but the wife wanted a Cute Ute appliance and this fit the bill.

In the end it is just a car. Not my house!

Bobzilla
Bobzilla UltraDork
9/26/12 2:42 p.m.

In reply to Flight Service:

Yeah, we went that route when I got fed up with spending $400 a week on the pile of poo Rav. We bought her Grand Vitara. THAT wasa great "cute ute" that could actually DO stuff. Off road? No problem... 2 speed transfer case and 1/4" thick steel skid plates, done. carry 8' boards with the door closed? Done. Strap a table to the rood and drive 1800 miles? No biggie.

The important thing is your wife is happy. In my professional experience with toyoduhs of the last 10-15 years are a 50/50 shot of getting a good one. "May the odds ever be in your favor".

Kreb, don't get your fan-boi panties in a wad. Not everyone has good experiences with Toyota's. In fact, some have multiple horrible experiences. That's the way it works. MY most relieable, dependable car? The one I just traded in, 2002 Hyundai Elantra. If the cancer from living in the salt-belt wasn't claiming it rather rapidly, I would still be driving it.

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