I bought the 2012 V6 4x4 sport a couple of months ago. I got the sport because of the lack of the tire on the tailgate. I guess I was not paying enough attention on the test drive. This is the most bouncy jouncy bumpy car I have ever driven. every tiny bump/crack in the pavement is transferred right to your kidneys. I'm not sure if it's because of the sport suspension or the 18" run flats. It is better on the freeway.The V6 is also a bit too powerful for this car, if such a thing can be possible. A tinny box like this should not be able to go so fast. the throttle is also super touchy which can be unpleasant if you are too heavy with your foot. The mileage is mediocre at 18 combined driving.
The seats are fine and the cabin is extremely user friendly and functional. I can easily fit a 9' and 6'8'surfboard on top of each other slid down the passenger seat by only reclining the seat back. Costco capacity is excellent. It is also very easy to drive around town, once you adjust to the throttle and get used to the abominable suspension. Cups with lids only in this ride.
The car could be good, if the ride was better and the milage more impressive. I think if I could do it again I'd look at the limited V4 for the same price. get heated leather seats and etune. Or just get a prius.
I just bought a 2011 RAV4 Sport FWD V6 without the appearance package, so: no chrome exhaust tip, red badging, and no run-flats. After reading your review, I'm glad I found this one (still les than 7K miles on it, by the way). The ride is not as smooth as my old ES330, which is no surprise, but it's very tight and not bouncy, so I think your problem is more likely caused by the run-flat tires than the sport suspension.
Also, I find the cloth seats and driving position more comfortable than the ES. I'm thinking about aftermarket leather. Mileage so far is around 22. I agree, the throttle is sensitive, but the car is a bomb!
You'll get a softer ride by replacing the tires.
If you like the Limited trim better, by all means, go for it, but the 4 cylinder may not have so much appeal after you've gotten used to the 6. (I was all set to buy a new 2013 until I drove it. Nice car, much better interior [and yes, I think the right-hinged door is a nuisance], but that car felt *way* underpowered, and the 6-speed transmission was constantly hunting for the right gear... but I would have bought one if the V6 were available.)
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