RAV4 Hybrid buying advice

Discussion in 'Toyota Hybrids and EVs' started by meeder, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. meeder

    meeder Active Member

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    We are thinking on replacing our Ford C-Max 1.5 Ecoboost with a RAV4 Hybrid AWD of the previous generation.
    There aren't that many available where we live. The current choice is between a 2016 with 80.000km (50.000 miles) and a 2018 with 52.000km (32.500 miles).
    If both are in good shape what would your choice be considering there is a price difference of €5000 between them (around $6000). Is 12500 miles less worth that amount of money? The 2016 is a bit better equipped but that doesn't really matter that much to me.
    It's not that we can't afford the more expensive one but the difference in mileage is about 2 years driving for us.
     
  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    These cars should go beyond 100k miles without major issue, and neither have excessive mileage for their age. With putting 10k miles on it a year, I'd opt for the cheaper 2016.
     
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  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I'd ask to see which one has been sitting on the dealer's lot the longest. And if possible, what the service interval is when it was in the hands of the previous owner. (Here, we can ask for a print out of the service history from the dealership. I don't know if you can do that in your country).
     
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  4. meeder

    meeder Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice.
    I will check the service history of the vehicles. We are going to do a test drive and I will be doing a quick battery test with Dr. Prius.
     
  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I agree with all the above but would tack on that, if everything else is equal, I would go with the 2-year newer battery.
     
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  6. meeder

    meeder Active Member

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    I also understood that a very low mileage is also a bad thing for the hybrid battery.
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    That seems to be the case with what has been reported. NiMH generally has a higher self discharge rate than other chemistries, which can lead to a car that isn't used much having a pack sitting at too low of a charge for long life. 10k to 15k annual miles is the average in the US, and that generally comes about from regular daily use, and that is probably the case for most cars. Unless these cars were an outlier of being parked most of the time, and only driven the occasional grand tour road trip, this shouldn't be an issue. Same if your kilometers come about from near daily use.

    How long have you owned the C-max? Do you plan to keep this Rav4 as long or longer? I recommended the 2016 based on the fact that it will likely take you over 5 years to reach 100k miles, and even the non-Toyotas in my family get to 120k to 130k miles from new before replacing, and that generally is more about wanting something different than the cars having problems.

    If you keep cars for a very long time, the newer one might be worth the extra cost. Take a look at replacement costs for the battery first. In the US, a refurbished pack will cost less than $6000 installed.
     
  8. meeder

    meeder Active Member

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    We were actually planning in keeping the C-Max for longer but the warranty is running out and my past experience with downsized engines isn't exactly the best.
    Besides that the C-Max is surprisingly thirsty and tends to prefer higher octane premium fuel to prevent fouling.
    Otherwise it is a great car to drive.
    Since my parents are getting older we will probably be taking them with us more and more so the extra room comes in handy as well.
    Ideally I would really like to keep a car for something in between 5 to 7 years. If it behaves well I will keep it longer.
     
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  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I wouldn't have concerns with the older one over that time. Odds say the newer one has better chances of not having a issue, but we are looking at a 10 year old vs 12 year car by the time you think replacement might be needed. The age difference isn't that big then, and cars are lasting longer. Our Sable(Mondeo)was 17 years old when we finally replaced it, and its issues were stemming fro rust and lack of use.

    There are chargers for hybrid batteries that will rebalance and recondition the cells available that will extend the life of dying packs. Installing one, and using it once in awhile, while the pack is still good will help ensure a long life if you do have concerns about the battery. ProLong is the company I know of, and I think their system is under $500 here. I have no idea if they are available to you, but hybrid popularity has really grown in Europe, so such products and refurbished batteries will likely become available over the time you own the Rav4.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I wouldn’t consider either of your contenders low mileage. My 2 cents, unless the prospective car was completely mothballed, say sitting for 6 months to a year or more, the low-usage thing is overblown.

    Our 2010 Prius sat at dealership, brand new, for about 15 months, before we purchased. Now, over 10 years later, it’s only at 90k kms, and I’ve noticed no change in hybrid battery behaviour, fuel economy, etcetera.

    hey maybe revise your location, to “Doesburg, Netherlands”? I’ve lost count of the times I’ve gone to Google Maps to look it up, lol.
     
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  11. meeder

    meeder Active Member

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    I will do that ;)

    Thanks for your insights as well.
    There is so much knowledge on this forum compared to local forums.
     
  12. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Consider taking those elder folks with you and seeing how they are with entry and exit of the cars you are considering. My wife and I (75 and 78) have completely different opinions of what type of car is easy to get in and out of. She prefers a sedan height, I the higher SUV type. So since they are a consideration, let them have input.
     
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  13. meeder

    meeder Active Member

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    They drive a Suzuki Vitara which although is a bit lower than the RAV4 is a lot easier for them.
    I once took them in my Corolla that have for my work and that is way to low for them.
     
  14. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    What kind of driving will you be doing? How much of a price difference is there between the previous generation Rav4 Hybrid and a same age non-hybrid Rav4 where you live? The previous gen Rav4 Hybrid has good fuel economy in city stop and go driving but doesn't have dramatically better economy at motorway speeds. The current generation hybrid improved motorway fuel economy quite a bit.
     
  15. meeder

    meeder Active Member

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    I have looked at the non hybrid RAV4 which comes down to the 2.0 vvt-i engine mated to a CVT.
    For us that isn't the ideal combination.

    Our driving is mostly mixed between city, rural and highway use. Currently we have a 100 km/h (62mph) limit on our highways in the Netherlands.

    In the summer we will tow our small caravan with it (weighs in at +/- 1150kg).
    I know that towing will always be a bit of a compromise but I rather do it with the hybrid drivetrain than with the normal CVT of the non-hybrid RAV4.

    In terms of fuel economy, yes the new generation is better but it is still out of reach financially (to put it into context, for a decently specced current gen RAV4 hybrid AWD you have to pay around €52000 which is $63000). It will take 3 tot 5 years for the second hand market prices to drop enough on those.
    To get back to fuel economy, our Ford C-Max averages around 8 to 9L/100km in normal driving which is around 26 to 29mpg and the RAV4 hybrid will get according to a large website that tracks real world consumption around 6,75L/100km which is 34.8mpg. According to that website the C-Max does 8,78L/100km (27mpg).
    I also checked the 2.0 vvt-i CVT and it basically does the same although there are less vehicles listed on the site. (There aren't many around since more people opted for the hybrid instead of the normal gasoline version).

    So for a car with considerably more room and considerably heavier the hybrid seems to do very well. Added to that the reduced maintainance (CVT's are extremely sensitive when it comes to oil changes of the transaxle) and that when buying a used hybrid at a Toyota dealer you get 24 months warranty instead of 6-12 months it starts to make sense to me.

    But first there are a few test drives scheduled to see how it feels and drives and most importantly how my wife likes it and how she thinks it drives. If she doesn't like it there won't be a RAV4 in our life.
     
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  16. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    My family is on its 6th Toyota hybrid with the oldest racking up 362K km before retirement. None has needed extraordinary maintenance.

    Something to think about are any upcoming EU wide or NL rules regarding ICE engines or even hybrids. Such rules may affect where you can drive a car and even how long you can keep it.

    Good luck in your search.
     
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  17. meeder

    meeder Active Member

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    Thanks!
    The regulations here aren't really set in stone. Some countries talk about 2025 and others target 2030 for the end of ICE sales.
    2025 seems a bit to ambitious to me.

    The proposed sales ban only applies to new cars and not for second hand.
    For some city centers there are already restrictions but only for old diesel powered vehicles.
     
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