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2014 2.0 D4D Awd research


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I’m researching AWD cars to help me decide my next purchase. My decision is between a RAV4 2.0 diesel (not 2.2 simply for economy reasons), Mazda CX-5 and Volvo XC60. I’m after genuine honest opinions of the RAV4. In particular the Invincible awd model. General thoughts on handling, economy, any major engine/mechanical issues, etc. The bhp is quite low compared to the others so keen to hear owners views on its ability on carriageways & uphill torque. (Will mainly be used for commute of 50 mile round trip each day plus minor off roading at weekends eg parking in muddy fields for junior / senior rugby matches etc). Thanks in advance 

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Hi Sarah,

Welcome to the forums 🙂

You’ve obviously given this some thought prior to asking and done some homework, unfortunately what sites like Parker’s and What Car will tell isn’t always accurate in the real world.

First up I say this as a veteran of many a muddy field of a weekend and having personally owned 3 RAV’s (we have had 5 in the family and we still have 4) having covered over 500,000 miles in RAV’s and a V40 Crosscountry.

Muddy fields generally don’t need AWD, if they did most of the cars would get stuck, decent tyres are usually way more important. I say that as a veteran of muddy fields and rural roads/dirt tracks, of-course AWD with decent tyres is the ideal option, but if it’s only occasional use, don’t make it a deal breaker.

Reliability wise it’s a Toyota, they’re one of the more proactive brands when it comes to voluntary recalls, like every car they have the odd issue/quirk, but nothing major. Out of all the RAV’s we have run over what’s likely over 500,000 miles, we have had the grand total of two DNF’s. The first was on my current 4.2 2.0D AWD, the clutch/DMF gave up out of warranty and Toyota picked up a decent chunk of the bill without being asked, the other was the rear bushes on my current 4.4 2.0D Invincible 2WD, the rear control arm bushes had worn prematurely causing the rear tyres to wear on the inner edges and one developed a puncture. Toyota in its wisdom decided that they wouldn’t supply the rubber bushings by themselves and wanted over a grand to supply/fit full control arms… it’s under £50 for the bushes from an after market supplier and an hour or two’s labour for any garage with a hydraulic press, you can guess which option I suggest.

I know you had discounted the 2.2 for economy reasons, but unfortunately the figures you are using to compare are based on synthetic testing that often lacks basis in the real world. For example my car is exactly what you are looking for, but in 2WD guise, it’s booked at 57mpg, it’ll never hit that in the real world, 40 is reasonable, slightly higher on a decent run (I did 2,000 miles in it in 10 days a few weeks back). It’s essentially the same engine as I have in the 4.2, but it’s much more civilised and geared for efficiency/emissions rather than drivability. It’s chain driven, so no hidden large service costs  not really any inherent weaknesses at this stage of its development. Consider that BHP in isolation is largely irrelevant, power to weight is vaguely more useful, but torque is what you drive on.

Handling wise the 4.4 is nicer than the 4.3 was to drive, but I wouldn’t call it enjoyable in the way the 4.2 is, it’s reached a point where it’s slightly too civilised, I find the suspension quite harsh (at this stage it’s 6y/o and has 85K on it) compared to my 4.2 with much newer Bilstein shocks, perhaps that’s more due to the lower profile tyres on the 18” wheels. Drivers seat adjustment and heated seats are nice, but the infotainment system was dated when it was new.

So where does that leave you? Well, you’ve chosen a short list of three decent cars, personally the interior on the XC60 wins, Volvo seats are amazingly comfortable and the interior is in a different league. The CX5 gets praise for its handling, but it’s a Ford. The RAV is not exceptional in any one area, other than perhaps reliability, which begs the question, can something that is unexceptional be the ideal choice if you just want a car? That’s up to you.

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Thanks for your reply. When you refer to 4.2, 4.3 etc, is this the difference in marques? (Sorry for the lack of knowledge here). This would be useful to know re DMF as this is something that would not normally be covered under warranties offered by most dealerships 

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I drive the 2.2 Auto and to be fair its not that bad on fuel. I get around 35mpg which is pretty good considering the size of the car. If you prefer a manual the mpg would be better still. I don't know what the real world difference is in fuel economy between the two engines but I wouldn't mind betting there wont be much in it. 

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10 hours ago, SarahS said:

The bhp is quite low compared to the others so keen to hear owners views on its ability on carriageways & uphill torque.

You will be concerned with the torque figures rather than BHP. A 2013/14 RAV4 2.0 diesel delivers 310Nm between 1600-2400 rpm - it's big brother the 2.2 manages 340Nm between 2000 and 2800 rpm. So the 2.0 is not very much down on torque and delivers it from lower revs so will be more than adequate - as is the 2.2.

In 2013, I test drove both the RAV4 and the Volvo XC60 and chose the RAV4 (DCAT auto) as being both a better drive (less wallowy) and better value. The 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 nomenclature refers to the different generations of RAV4. I previously had a 4.3 (SR180) and now have a 4.5 (hybrid) ... My 2.2 DCAT auto returned around 38 mpg - which is very fair for the size of car.

As above, the RAV4 started life as a "Tonka Toy" - a true Recreational Activity Vehicle - so lots of fun. As it has grown up it has become bigger, more sensible and a much better car. So exactly as Alex has said above, but it depends on what you want.

If you want a workhorse than the Toyota is a better bet than the Volvo. If you want to 'pose' choose the Volvo! I'm pretty much prepared to bet that there isn't much to choose between the Toyota and the Mazda - I preferred the RAV4s styling over the then CX5 but that's purely a matter of taste (and I started out a RAV4 fan).

Beware, from around 2015 Toyota introduced 2WD RAV4s using the 2.0 diesel aimed at the company car market (and didn't label them RAV2) - don't buy one by mistake! 😉

 

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2 hours ago, SarahS said:

When you refer to 4.2, 4.3 etc, is this the difference in marques?

This relates to the various generations of Rav4.

4.1 - 1994 to 2000

4.2 - 2000 to 2006

4.3 - 2006 to 2012

4.4 - 2012 to 2019

4.5 - 2019 to date.

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2 hours ago, SarahS said:

Thanks for your reply. When you refer to 4.2, 4.3 etc, is this the difference in marques? (Sorry for the lack of knowledge here). This would be useful to know re DMF as this is something that would not normally be covered under warranties offered by most dealerships 

No need to apologise, I should have done a better job of explaining (it was late).

4.x is the generation of RAV, so 4.2 were the 2nd gen RAV’s that ran till roughly 2006, 4.3 were upto 2012, 4.4 were upto 2018, though they sneaked a facelift in from late 2014 onwards, 4.5 were 2019 onwards (current gen). So my premature clutch/DMF failure at 60K on a 2nd gen car (2005/55 plate) isn’t really relative or indicative of anything for your purposes.

Take it in the context of 500,000+ miles of RAV driving over 4 generations and 5 cars doing regular 90 mile round trips in rural Northumberland and the worst anyone can say is ‘Remember the time the silver one let us down about 10 years ago and the dealer picked up half the bill on an out of warranty car without even being asked to?’ Compare that to VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda or especially Merc and the conversation gets way darker with way more examples of things that just shouldn’t happen. It takes a hell of a lot of trouble free miles at 50mpg+ to offset the actual cost of non consumables pets repair. Looking at actual £/mile data suggests published fuel economy is a misleading guide to true running costs, except perhaps on an EV.

The total cost of non service item/consumables on my 2014 2.0D Invincible is roughly £53 in parts (£50 of bushes and £3 for a headlight bulb) and about 2hrs labour over nearly 7 years and 85,000 miles, I would kill for those sort of numbers on many of the other more economical cars I have owned and done decent miles in - there is a reason taxi drivers love a Prius.

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Thanks for everyone’s help so far. Based on what you’ve said above it’s the 4.4 I’m considering in 2.0 D4D manual awd invincible guise. However looking at the figures quoted by autotrader it has less power & torque than my current 2013 golf. Given the RAV4 is a heavier car am I correct to assume the power output will be much less again? The Toyota is at the top of my list so far given it’s resale value when it comes to changing again in a few years (possibly a hybrid version of the RAV4 next) however if it is low on power it will make it a frustrating drive for the few years I have it. 
 

My split decision is based upon reliability of Toyota, Mazda & Volvo have higher power output but better economy, Volvo has higher resale value. The indecisiveness is driving me nuts 🤪 

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Go and test drive one, how it’s geared and how that torque is delivered will tell you what you need to know. I suspect you’ll find first gear short, but beyond that it’s fine. I’ve run a MK5 Golf and MK2 Octavia in 1.9 PD100 guise with remaps and a Leon MK2 PD140 remapped, different cars to do different jobs, I don’t miss any of them vs the RAV, but that’s just me.

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If I could test drive one I would but they are as rare as hens teeth, currently, the nearest one to me is 147 miles away. Fingers crossed something comes up nearby 

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