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Is anybody else troubled by how light and flimsy the doors are on the Rav4? The rear passenger doors seem almost entirely weightless. Sure the side impact bars provide most of the protection, but these doors really are ridiculously light and do not give a feeling of safety that say, German and American cars give.
 

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The new RAV scored top marks (5 stars) in both US and European side crash tests (both car and pole impact). It is as good or better as any top-ranked modern car when it comes to side-crash safety, and orders of magnitudes safer than a German and American cars from 10 years ago, regardless of the apparent door weight.

I'm an engineer involved with equipment design (albeit not cars) and strength has very little to do with weight. A well-designed lightweight structure comprised of multiple layers of carefully shaped thin sheet metal is much stronger than a single thick "slab". Aerospace engineers have been using this approach since 1960's, making things like space ships and rockets possible - extremely strong yet very lightweight. Car engineers have been catching up in the past 20 years. Today's cars are several times stronger than anything built until late 1990's, yet weight has basically remained unchanged. Even safety icons such as Volvo and Mercedes from the 1970's and 1980's would barely scope 1 or 2 stars in today's tests.
 

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I've no idea, nor does anyone else, what year or years of RAVs you are talking about. We have two 2008 models and the rear doors, all four for that matter, shut with a very solid thunk and inspire confidence. In short I've no idea what you are talking about. I've never, and never will, own a German car so I can't compare. It has been decades since I've owned a Detroit Iron so can't compare there either. Last Detroit Iron was an '84 Buick and it was solid as a rock.
 
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