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I just graduated college at Colorado and am moving up to Oregon soon. I really want to get a used 4WD rav4 to support my outdoor lifestyle as well as just day to day travel. I can only pay up to $18k. Which model years are more likely to give me problems? Really trying to get something that will last. I've seen a lot of 2007s that I like within my price range, however I've also heard that this year returned the most owner complaints. What do you guys recommend? I know nothing about cars, I'm just trying to buy smart. Also, I'm currently at my moms in Alabama. Do you guys think I'm going to find a better Rav4 in the south or out west? Thanks.
 

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2009 RAV4 Sport AWD
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160 Posts
Best to go with 2010 to 2012 which had most of the problems ironed out. The 2013 and newer is the 4th generation which saw a model change and no V6.

The 2006-2009 had a lot more problems. The V6 had water pump repairs which were expensive to repair. The 2.4 litre engine from 2006 to 2007 had oil consumption problems.
I would avoid 2006-2009 if you don't want many repairs.

If you want something cheaper 2004-2005 are very reliable. The 2001-2003 are known for ECM problems causing transmission failures.
 

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'08 RAV4 Limited
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532 Posts
The 2.4 litre engine from 2006 to 2007 had oil consumption problems.
Actually that is 2006 through 2008 models that had the 2.4l engine known for oil consumption. The 2.5l engine began in 2009 and that model was reasonably squared away. Obviously if you can buy newer then do so. Prices out west will be considerably higher than those in 'Bama.

The V-6 (we own two) is a hoss! It has had a few problems but drive one and you're hooked.
 
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