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Old 04-14-2017, 07:06 PM   #1
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Third row seat

Killing time in the mall parking lot and perused 2008 RAV4 manual which raised a question.
Why would a vehicle with the same V6 and tow package be able to carry more when equipped with third row seats? I would think the seats would add their own weight and subtract from capacity.

I'm curious because I am pondering replacing the RAV with a 5 passenger 4Runner. Would the 7 passenger actually tow/carry more? Makes no sense to me.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:12 PM   #2
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The 3rd row seats are made of anti-matter. There, that was easy!

Then again, maybe the 2nd and 3rd row seat's quarks are in quantum entanglement....
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Killing time in the mall parking lot and perused 2008 RAV4 manual which raised a question.
Why would a vehicle with the same V6 and tow package be able to carry more when equipped with third row seats? I would think the seats would add their own weight and subtract from capacity.

I'm curious because I am pondering replacing the RAV with a 5 passenger 4Runner. Would the 7 passenger actually tow/carry more? Makes no sense to me.
While I haven't seen it in writing, I was told by a Toyota salesman when I was looking for my 2010 RAV4 that the reason for the higher capacity was heavier rear suspension. While I could see that raising tongue weight, I don't see how it increased towing capacity...
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:42 PM   #4
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I agree with Eric. The third seat is like those zero-gravity chairs which I have yet to figure out either.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:46 PM   #5
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I agree with John Vermilye. Grandma and Aunt Emma in that far back seat, even on the Highlander would have been tight and as dad would have said " She's down on the overloads Davey"
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:55 PM   #6
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I agree with John Vermilye. Grandma and Aunt Emma in that far back seat, even on the Highlander would have been tight and as dad would have said " She's down on the overloads Davey"
Dave
The rear seats in the "7" passenger RAV4 probably wouldn't fit either Grandma or Aunt Emma. About all that would fit are small kids...
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:56 PM   #7
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While I haven't seen it in writing, I was told by a Toyota salesman when I was looking for my 2010 RAV4 that the reason for the higher capacity was heavier rear suspension. While I could see that raising tongue weight, I don't see how it increased towing capacity...
Why wouldn't they make the heavier suspension an option? Do I have to leave the 3rd row seats in my carport to get more capacity?
I can't follow the logic. I can see a heavier suspension with 5 seats might ride rough, but how's that different than 3rd row seats that nobody sits in?
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:59 PM   #8
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Why wouldn't they make the heavier suspension an option? Do I have to leave the 3rd row seats in my carport to get more capacity?
I can't follow the logic. I can see a heavier suspension with 5 seats might ride rough, but how's that different than 3rd row seats that nobody sits in?
I can't answer that! I do know that when I brought home the 17B, I went to my local dealer and asked if the rear suspension on my RAV4 Sport could be exchanged for that of the 7 passenger. All I got was a smile...
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:02 PM   #9
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Well, it took me six-years to get an explanation from Toyota about weight distribution hitch, so I don't expect an answer from them.
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:45 PM   #10
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I have a hard time accepting that any vehicle with third-row seating truly warrants the designation of sport UTILITY vehicle (SUV). When the focus is on increased passenger capacity, at the expense of cargo capacity, that just sounds like an old-fashioned station wagon to me, or at the very least a minivan, so why not call a spade a spade? In our case, it's just my wife and me, so we don't even need second-row seating, let alone third. But it's almost impossible to find a new model SUV these days with any towing capacity to speak of in which the designers didn't sacrificed usable cargo capacity to add a nearly useless third row of little-people seats. Go figure.... (Now stepping back off my soap box.)
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:00 PM   #11
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I have a hard time accepting that any vehicle with third-row seating truly warrants the designation of sport UTILITY vehicle (SUV). When the focus is on increased passenger capacity, at the expense of cargo capacity, that just sounds like an old-fashioned station wagon to me, or at the very least a minivan, so why not call a spade a spade? In our case, it's just my wife and me, so we don't even need second-row seating, let alone third. But it's almost impossible to find a new model SUV these days with any towing capacity to speak of in which the designers didn't sacrificed usable cargo capacity to add a nearly useless third row of little-people seats. Go figure.... (Now stepping back off my soap box.)
Do I hear an "Amen?" Makes me crazy when I am perusing new cars. You can get a truck, but then you lose interior cargo space. You can get an SUV but if it tows more you get 7 (or 8) seats. Like you, I don't need four passenger seating so I'd like the middle seats to lie flat. Also hard to find. I could go minivan and remove all the seats. But I've been a soccer mom and I don't want to be a soccer grandma now.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:01 PM   #12
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Toyota 4Runner comes with 5 or 7 seats, however, the Highlander is only available with seven. Hyundai Santa Fe with enough towing capacity is also a 7-seater.
I should just pay somebody to install a back-up camera and keep my RAV4.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:09 PM   #13
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Lots of cargo

I will agree with you that it's indeed rare to use all 7 seats in my Highlander. I think three or four times would cover our experience in 145,000 miles. 90 % of the time we travel with both the Second and third row folded down. That said, the Highlander has worked very well for hauling our cargo, our dog and the items we use all the time while camping. We like having a cooler, spare bottled water, beer and pop. These stay in the Highlander for day trips and quick lunch stops when we're trying to rack up some miles on travel days.
Works for us.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:24 PM   #14
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It just rankles me to pay for extra seats that I don't need and that add weight. At least they're not heated and air conditioned.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:31 PM   #15
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7 Seat Explorer

When we drove the 2016 Ford Explorer, I was surprised to see those additional back, back seats. I will say that the kids love to ride back there and it allows me to keep a middle seat up most of the time, which makes it easy to put items into the car. Yes, I could put down the third row, but it is nice to have some separation from the children at times... I think it makes them feel like riding in a van-ish (ha, ha, ha)
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:58 PM   #16
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It just rankles me to pay for extra seats that I don't need and that add weight. At least they're not heated and air conditioned.
This was my thought buying our Pilot, though we did end up using them a lot. We shuttled large groups when it worked out for the best. Not often mind you, but it sure was nice on a few occasions.

Still, if I had a choice, I would not get them.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:00 PM   #17
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This was my thought buying our Pilot, though we did end up using them a lot. We shuttled large groups when it worked out for the best. Not often mind you, but it sure was nice on a few occasions.

Still, if I had a choice, I would not get them.
Mary once sat in the 3rd row seat of our HIghlander when we had a bunch of relatives crammed into it- I thought her back might never be right again by they time she got out.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:03 PM   #18
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Mary once sat in the 3rd row seat of our HIghlander when we had a bunch of relatives crammed into it- I thought her back might never be right again by they time she got out.
Our Pilot was blessed with a ton of room in the second seat, even my 6'-4" brother sat there with comfort, but that third row was pretty tight. No way an average adult could sit with knees forward in a normal position. Not bad with one adult lounging, or for kids though, or a couple adults for a short trip.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:06 PM   #19
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The second row of the Highlander is luxurious - I think they used all the space there and assumed only kids in the 3rd row.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:06 PM   #20
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Toyota 4Runner comes with 5 or 7 seats, however, the Highlander is only available with seven. Hyundai Santa Fe with enough towing capacity is also a 7-seater.
I should just pay somebody to install a back-up camera and keep my RAV4.
7 or 8 (at least you used to be able to get 8.) The one with 8 lies flat in when the middle seats fold down (bench instead of bucket.)
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