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Simon-R

Petrol Or Diesel

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Looking at buying a 2006 XT5 Rav4 for my wife, she only does about 6000 miles per year mostly short journeys. i am thinking of going Petrol rather than Diesel as the fuel costs will be about the same. I am going to look at a 2006 XT5 Petrol manual with 23000 miles and FTSH later. is there anything specific i should be looking for? or should i go for a higher mileage diesel for similar money?

Thanks for any suggestions

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At that annual mileage and driving pattern, and, assuming no towing, I'd go for the petrol I think.

Don't think we've had any reported problems with petrol versions apart from corroded discs on early models.

I believe some have reported that the petrol feels a bit gutless but try it for yourself and see...................

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I have had both petrol and diesel RAVs and for short journeys I would choose the petrol engine. Although fuel consumption figures are higher for petrol engines, diesels take longer to warm up hence fuel economy is poor in the first few miles of any journey, in my experience. I also found the petrol engine to be fantastically reliable, more so than the diesel.

As to what to look out for, I never had any problems with my petrol RAV at all. My diesel, which is only a year newer than the one you are looking at, suffered brake disc warping at around 30k miles but new discs and pads sorted that out at a reasonable cost. Windscreen wiper stalk failed recently, handbrake cable fell off about a year ago; I don't know if they are common problems. That's about it (apart from the new engine...).

Whichever you choose, I'm sure your wife will enjoy it. They are great cars.

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Never driven a petrol RAV4.3 but if the engine is as good as the RAV4.2 2.0 VVTi one, then it will be a great drive and at the lower miles per annum, the better option I would say.

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Never driven a petrol RAV4.3 but if the engine is as good as the RAV4.2 2.0 VVTi one, then it will be a great drive and at the lower miles per annum, the better option I would say.

I'll second Hoovie's comments, Simon.

We've got two 4.2 VVTi's & they are excellent. The only issues we've had have been EMS sensors, which can fail occasionally - not a big deal & easily fixed but can be pricey. For that reason, if you can get a warranty in the deal, it's useful for that aspect - particularly a Toyota warranty if buying from a TGB dealer as it also gives you Club Toyota (roadside assist, recovery, courtesy car, etc).

Otherwise I recokon they are the best cars we've ever owned. Good luck.

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Out of interest what's a EMS sensor ?

My petrol 2004 RAV has been super reliable, Toyota seem to have sussed out how to make reliable low emission petrol engines. From all the postings on this and many other sites it seems that car manufacturers are still refining/inventing the technology for low emission diesels.

Does the 2006 diesel have an expensive to replace Cam belt ?

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Ok so petrol it is, i have just seen a 24000 mile XT5 which is clean and tidy with full history, another option is a 66000 mile XT5 same age with style pack and reversing sensors but is £2000 less? decisions the cheaper car is 40 miles away whereas the 24000 mile car is 2 miles away???

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Out of interest what's a EMS sensor ?

Is that another meaning for an Oxygen Sensor? I've replaced 3 of the 4 on my mother-in-law's Rav

Does the 2006 diesel have an expensive to replace Cam belt ?

The 2AD engine is chain driven :thumbsup:

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Ok so petrol it is, i have just seen a 24000 mile XT5 which is clean and tidy with full history, another option is a 66000 mile XT5 same age with style pack and reversing sensors but is £2000 less? decisions the cheaper car is 40 miles away whereas the 24000 mile car is 2 miles away???

40 miles is a stones throw! I did a 650 mile round trip to get my Current RAV4 and a little 400 mile round trp for the previous Qashqai :)

Fair difference between 24k and 66k. I would try the one 2 miles away first and use that as an initial benchmark.

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Out of interest what's a EMS sensor ?

My petrol 2004 RAV has been super reliable, Toyota seem to have sussed out how to make reliable low emission petrol engines. From all the postings on this and many other sites it seems that car manufacturers are still refining/inventing the technology for low emission diesels.

Does the 2006 diesel have an expensive to replace Cam belt ?

There's several EMS sensors (MAF, Oxy sensor, lambda, etc) that monitor different engine parameters and feed the data to the engine's ECU (computer). When one fails or plays up, it lights up the EMS light on the dash ( the little yellw engine symbol).

Not sure about the 4.3 diesel - the 4.2 had a belt. The VVTi has a chain.

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Usually referred to as the MIL (malfunction indicator light).

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Out of interest what's a EMS sensor ?

My petrol 2004 RAV has been super reliable, Toyota seem to have sussed out how to make reliable low emission petrol engines. From all the postings on this and many other sites it seems that car manufacturers are still refining/inventing the technology for low emission diesels.

Does the 2006 diesel have an expensive to replace Cam belt ?

There's several EMS sensors

Ok so petrol it is, i have just seen a 24000 mile XT5 which is clean and tidy with full history, another option is a 66000 mile XT5 same age with style pack and reversing sensors but is £2000 less? decisions the cheaper car is 40 miles away whereas the 24000 mile car is 2 miles away???

40 miles is a stones throw! I did a 650 mile round trip to get my Current RAV4 and a little 400 mile round trp for the previous Qashqai :)

Fair difference between 24k and 66k. I would try the one 2 miles away first and use that as an initial benchmark.

I bought our 3-dr VVT-i without seeing it from the TGB dealer in Herts (about 140 miles away). I interrogated the salesman at length about the car using our experience of two prior RAVs we own/owned, got a 12 month TGB warranty included and got them to deliver it to me in Cheshire. I know it sounds risky but as TGB give a 30-day money back guarantee (as long as car doesn't clock up more than 1K miles) plus 3 days' free comprehensive insurance,I felt quite comfortable about it.

As it turned out, the car is a cracker.

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Looking at buying a 2006 XT5 Rav4 for my wife, she only does about 6000 miles per year mostly short journeys. i am thinking of going Petrol rather than Diesel as the fuel costs will be about the same. I am going to look at a 2006 XT5 Petrol manual with 23000 miles and FTSH later. is there anything specific i should be looking for? or should i go for a higher mileage diesel for similar money? Thanks for any suggestions

hi Simon

in fact diesel heart is my baby since 1985, but its maintenance is more expensive in compare with petrol. modern diesel engines work fine subject to change all consumables on time --they cost money especially originals. another problem is diesel fuel -- there are a lot of bad and cheap fuel sellers that attract drivers thanks to cheap price (supermarket's or even sea going vessels diesel fuel). Finally this cheap fuel brings no joy for the injection parts/system destroying them. Basing on my personal experience -- I 'd buy petrol for short journeys/trips and to feed the engine with branded petrol only because head ache is something/ regards / Igor

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Following Simon's original (and very good) question, about the choice of Petrol or Diesel for a used RAV purchase, where the car will only do

". . .about 6000 miles per year mostly short journeys. I am thinking of going Petrol rather than Diesel as the fuel costs will be about the same . . ."

I've been reading and re-reading the replies which have been posted, which lean heavily towards petrol - but for what seem to be very odd reasons.

Reliability

You don't get much more reliable, engine-wise, than a diesel. No plugs, no plug leads, no HT and just about instant starting. The insurance and breakdown outfits all agree that the call-out rate for diesels in infinitely lower. The engine is likely to have a life of 200,000+ miles at the very least, and many achieve more than twice that without significant overhaul. Injectors will run untouched for up to or over 100,000 miles, and fuel pumps will usually outlast the car. Depreciation is lower.

Given the choice of a secondhand 90,000 mile diesel, or a 45,000 mile petrol - assuming a decent service history and tidy interior/bodywork - I'd go for the diesel every time. A 100,000 mile petrol engine is heading towards the end of its life; for a diesel, it's only just beginning.

"Diesels take longer to warm up, hence fuel economy is poor in the first few miles of any journey..."

Afraid not. Yes, diesels do take longer to warm up, often judged by the slow climb of the temperature gauge, or a greater time for the car's interior heater to produce full warmth. But don't mistake this for "inefficiency", because it's just the opposite. A diesel engine produces far less waste heat than a petrol, with more of the fuel combustion being turned into useful power at the wheels, and at lower revs. Waste heat (radiators, re-hot exhausts and exhaust gases, rapidly warm interior heaters) is just that - waste.

So do we have to put up with icy interiors on chilly mornings on our diesels? Well no we don't - on the RAV (any many other diesel cars) simply turning the heater control to 'max' automatically brings in a bank of electrical PTC heating elements built into the heater assembly. When switched on as described, there is decent heat from the demisters and vents within 90 seconds or so. Many petrol cars don't have this facility, and so drivers are obliged to start the car and leave the engine running, demisting, for several minutes before driving away on a cold morning. Now that's inefficiency, and seriously so.

A steam locomotive produces lots of heat, with a fuel efficiency of around 2%. A well-designed electric motor will run extremely cool, and may reach an efficiency of 80% or better (in fact, the smaller the better, which is why electric car manufacturers are looking at a motor for each driven wheel, and not a single drive with wasteful diffs).

Do cold diesels lack power? I live at the bottom of a 750-meter steep climb up our mountainside. I turn out of the gates, and whizz up the hill even with a cold engine. A very small amount of built-in, ECU-programmed 'over-fuelling' guarantees all this, whereas a petrol car is significantly 'enriched' to cope with cold starts, and suffers real dis-economy and increased emissions in these circumstances.

A nearby friend of mine has a 2003 RAV4.2 2.0 as well. Both cars were made within weeks of each other, but his is petrol and ours is diesel. Both have manual boxes, and both are 5-door. We both run on the same local tracks, local roads and motorways, and do a similar annual mileage. But he gets 22-23mpg, and we get 32. In the UK a few years back, our D4D ran around the London and the SE at a real 41-42mpg.

I am not aware of any circumstances in which a like-for-like petrol engine will be more economical than its diesel cousin, even when cold. Expect at the very least a 20% fuel saving with the diesel, and almost certainly more. Whatever your annual mileage, the fuel costs will NOT be the same.

Red herrings and other considerations

Obviously, and as NMaria says, you need to put aside comments about problems with handbrake cables, wiper stalks, brake disks and the like, since these are common to both engine types.

With the exception of the Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF) issue, which is unique to (and not just Toyota) diesel models, there isn't much about our diesel engines that makes them more prone to failure. (Even the DMF issue seems to have been largely solved by the time the 4.3 emerged, and DMFs are now fitted to some (non-Toyota) petrol cars as well.)

Personal preference counts for a lot, and some folk just don't like the sound of a diesel, particularly at cold tick-over. But few good drivers remain unimpressed by the sheer pulling-power of a good turbo-diesel, and its ability to do this at low revs. Personally, we just enjoy the power and the economy on tap, and the ability to lug even the heaviest of loads. Even our 2.0 D4D will cruise at 90mph+ all day, if asked to.

Fuel quality

It used to be thought that diesel was diesel, and it didn't matter much what diesel fuel you filled up with. We now know that this is no longer true. "Rubbish-in = rubbish-out" applies here too, and for the best economy, performance, clean-running and quietness, you should avoid supermarket diesel fuel and backstreet stuff. Go for decent BP, Shell, Esso or whatever, and stick to it. Add a dash of something like Miller's or Wynn's diesel enhancer (see posts elsewhere) at every fill, enjoy the improvement, and avoid paying for "super/premium" diesels at the pump. (It's the additives that make the discernable difference, and it's cheaper to provide your own.)

'Water in fuel will rust your bits'. Quite right, avoid it, buy the decent stuff. (The fuel filter is designed to remove the odd drop of water anyway.)

So, convinced?

Not everyone will be, of course. There are some stunning turbo-diesels out there, and Toyota makes (as a rule) some of the world's best. Peugeot make them somewhat quieter, of course, but that's another story.

In this difficult financial climate, there aren't many ways of drastically reducing your unavoidable and recurring weekly expenditure. But 'going diesel' is certainly one of them, and, unless you are seriously addicted to something high-revving, it will give you an on-going feeling of real satisfaction.

Good luck in your search for a good one,

Chris

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Weel the deal is done we are the owners of a 2006 RAV 4 XT5 Petrol Manual in Dark Blue with Style & Protections packs. Just got to sort out cherished transfer and hopefully we will pick it up in 10 days or so.

its done 66,000 miles with full Toyota service history, it drove well looked tidy so we went for it.

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Weel the deal is done we are the owners of a 2006 RAV 4 XT5 Petrol Manual in Dark Blue with Style & Protections packs. Just got to sort out cherished transfer and hopefully we will pick it up in 10 days or so.

its done 66,000 miles with full Toyota service history, it drove well looked tidy so we went for it.

Sounds good :thumbsup:

Was this the one 40 miles away then? much different to the lower mileage ref driving?

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Weel the deal is done we are the owners of a 2006 RAV 4 XT5 Petrol Manual in Dark Blue with Style & Protections packs. Just got to sort out cherished transfer and hopefully we will pick it up in 10 days or so.

its done 66,000 miles with full Toyota service history, it drove well looked tidy so we went for it.

Sounds good :thumbsup:

Was this the one 40 miles away then? much different to the lower mileage ref driving?

Yes this was 40 miles away, in Central London. Seemed to drive very well, no squeaks or rattles. no real difference in driving the 2

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Well I collected our new RAV4 last night the blue petrol as described above, i had forgotten how ell they drove. Very pleased with it.

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