I purchased a new 2015 RAV4 Limited in March of last year. I commute daily for work and average 35k miles per year (32k currently on the vehicle). I am current with all Toyota maintenance required. I am hoping to keep this vehicle for several years. Is there any reason the RAV with continued upkeep/maintenance might not be a dependable driver in the future? If so, what other models might I consider in the future as the RAV racks up age and miles? Thanks!
Don’t worry about this until you have 150,000 or more miles on it. The SUV is reliable and should be fine for your needs. Driving that many miles while commuting implies that you are on the highway for most of your commute. Your RAV4 should last well past 200,000 miles as long as you keep up the maintenance. That means you have 6 or more years of life left, and the car market will not be the same as it is now. You can pay attention to new models coming out in styles that you like, but a lot will change between now and then. Electric vehicles might have the range to get you to and from work between charges. If you want to consider an electric, keep an eye on new models as they arrive and what the range is. Your commute is about 70 miles each way, and I wouldn’t be comfortable with less than a 200 mile range.
Very helpful. I’m thinking something like the new Prius. But you are correct. In five years the market will be very different! The options will be many, I’m sure. Thanks!
The RAV-4 is one of the most reliable vehicles ever made.
Careful attention to maintenance–which includes going beyond the mfr’s maintenance schedule with items such as changing the transmission fluid–should allow the vehicle to be reliable for well over 150k miles.
Why would someone buy a vehicle and then start worrying if it was going to be unreliable. That is what the new warranty is for. This sounds like buyers remorse .
Volvo: I agree with the OP and VDC. The manufacturer’s maintenance schedule is designed ONLY to get the car running with no problems to when the warrantee runs out. If you want to go well beyond that, you have to add items missing on that schedule. And changing the transmission and differential fluids it the most important item to add.
Most people here recommend changing those fluids at 40 or 50k mi.
Does your commute consist of mostly highway driving with limited stopping and going? If so, those are very easy miles on the car, for what that’s worth.
With that type of driving 400,000 miles without major engine or transmission work is not uncommon.
Just keep driving and maintain the car and you’ll be fine.
“That is what the new warranty is for”
Considering that OP drives 35K/year, and already has 32K, that warranty will be over within a few months
I don’t blame OP for asking questions
You won’t need a new vehicle for 10 years or so, barring an accident or just stopping the maintenance. If after paying it off, you continue to make the same payments into an account, you will have almost enough money to pay for the new vehicle when you actually need it.
The problem comes when you want a new vehicle before you need a new vehicle. Can’t help you with that.
How long do you plan to keep the car?
If you’re only going to drive it for about 150K miles, then follow Toyota’s maintenance schedule (oil changes every 10,000 miles, etc).
Toyota does not call for changing the transmission fluid. But to be on the safe side, get the fluid changed when you get to 100K miles.
Concur w/most of the above posts, you made an excellent vehicle selection and I don’t expect you’ll need to do anything other than the routine maintenance suggested in the owners manual to have a reliable ride for the next few years. If you want to increase your odds, adjust your driving style to avoid rapid accelerations, high speed cornering, potholes and curbs, and rapid stops when possible.
With proper upkeep and maintenance you’ll have this vehicle for many, many more years and miles.
My current Toyota (Scion) is 11 years old with 235,000+ miles and still running beautifully. Other than normal wear items, I’ve only had to replace the alternator.
My record was my '89 Toyota pickup, 338,000 with no major repairs when it got totaled by an errant Hyundai. It still only used a qt of oil every 1200 miles and still got the original gas mileage (27). I got 295,000 miles out of the original clutch, and that’s after using it to teach two kids to drive a manual.
Every Toyota I’ve owned, and there have been many, has given me many years and a great many miles without major repairs.
I have never worn a Toyota engine or any other part of the powertrain out. And I’ve had many.
TSM: what do you recommend for transmission and diff fluid changes?
(intervals, that is)
I recommend following the Owner’s manual recommendations.
TSM: but most owner’s manuals do not mention changing the transmission fluid.
In that case it depends on the vehicle. And its use.
Truth is, there are millions of vehicles out there whose automatic trannys last the life of the vehicle without ever being serviced. The odds are excellent that if you bought a reliable vehicle to begin with you won’t have a problem. If you bought a vehicle known to have a history of tranny problems, well, your odds aren’t nearly as good.
If the bulk of the driving is highway, 60,000 miles should be fine for most trannys.
If the car lives in the city, 30,000 miles might be better.
If the vehicle tows, 30,000 might also be good.
There’s a lot of disagreement in this area, even among shops. There’s also different opinions on what needs to be done. Drain & refill, drain & refill w/new filter, chemical flush, chemical flush with machine and new filter, etc. Many shops will put the fear of God in you unless you get their “premium flush” package. And then there’s Jiffy Lube (see other post with video).
I’ve discussed this at length with friends who were extremely knowledgable and experienced master techs with automatic tranny patches, and there’s simply different opinions. I think we each have to decide our own tolerance for risk. I know, that’s no answer, but I’m being brutally honest.
I just changed my Acura trans fluid. I change every 30,000. Cost me $30 for the fluid and took about 1 hour including my messing around time. The Pontiac with no dipstick I have to have done at the shop for about $120 and I do that every 30K. Yeah not in the owners manual but who cares?
I have a recent vintage Toyota that has a transmission without a dipstick, uses WS fluid, and has no recommended fluid change interval.
Two Toyota dealers and one longtime transmission repair shop all say don’t touch it till 100K miles.
Many agree with that recommendation, and many do not.
I agree with it. I can explain my rational, but won’t lecture others to do the same.
With several fleet trucks, the manufacturer says to service the transmission every 12-15K under severe service conditions . . . even nowadays
I’m talking work trucks here, SuperDuty and bigger,for example