Pros: "roomy for a small SUV-good mileage-practical"
Cons: "Known issues that flare up. Do your research."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"We bought it used and I wanted to love this car but we traded it back in after 1 year of ownership. We started having issues with it within the first month.
We bought a 4cyl model so I did not expect a rocket. The power that the 4cyl provide was adequate for what I thought it should have. If I wanted a rocket, I would have opted for the 6 cyl version. The interior was very roomy for 4 people but when adding the 5th, things got tight. Vacation was not fun with 3 kids in the back. Love the storage compartment in the belly of the rear. Rear seat would also slide forward or backward to provide more or less leg room when needed. The rear split seat will even recline to help with sleeping kids. Very practical car that was easy on gas.
The automatic transmission did not shift properly from 3 to 4th. We found that if you manually shifted it, it was fine. The transmission never was to the point to where you could not drive with fear. Just annoying but we managed. I had read of issues with the transmission but never persued it since we found a workaround with manually shifting it.
The VSC/4WD/ Maintenance required lights came on after a few months. In researching this, alot of owners are having issues as the miles rack up. The cruise control will not work when these warning lights are on. Our car never ran differently, so it was aggravating that the lights would come on and also make the cruise and 4WD inoperable. Some research suggested that it might be a costly CO2 sensor. We just kept driving it.
Another known issue is to watch the oil level since the 4cyl and 6 cyl models are known to consume oil. The car never smoked, never was underpowered, nor leaked oil but would need oil added after 1000 miles. Not good when using full Synthetic oils.
All in all, a good little car but try to purchase a warranty that will cover some of these known issues so your not left with the cost of these known issues. We traded it back to the Toyota dealer that sold it to us so we did not feel guilty of not telling them of the issues we had. We just disconnected the battery to reset the warning lights until we could trade it in. When doing this, our warning lights would stay off for about 40 miles before coming back on."
"Own this Suv since 2/8/10 and it is great.Gas milage is 25-26 mpg city with a/c and 30 mpg hwy truck does not know what the dealer is.Both my wife a I love this suv.We have the 180 hp 4 cyl and has more than ample power getting on hwy."
Cons: "Push start does not have key alternate if fob dies"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I went back to SUV after 6 years in a car. I love the feel of an SUV, even a small one such as the RAV4. I have a Limited so many of the features are the "top" end of what was offered, BUT the doors don't auto lock when in gear, there is no "miles to empty" display (it has an instantaneous MPG but I don't really care what my mileage is while I'm driving) and most aggravatingly, when the $3 battery in the fob for the keyless push-start ignition is dead, YOU CANNOT DRIVE THE CAR! So your $25k+ vehicle is completely inoperable if your $3 fob battery is dead! As a result, I carry 6 replacement batteries -- two in my glove box, 2 in my wallet, and 2 at home with the spare key. I discovered this MAJOR DEFECT at 11 pm in the middle of winter at the airport! Thankfully my son was home, I stored my car in the airport garage so I was warm, and we only lived 30 minutes from the airport. What a nightmare with a HUGE potential of being a devastating disaster! So far the dealership does not know what the problem is and I am well prepared for an emergency... Also, the backup camera is in the rearview mirror instead of on the navigation screen, and it is so small that I have to turn anyway. Other than that, this SUV is perfect for my needs, gets great mileage, is super fun to drive, and I love the look (mine has the tire mounted on the back, which I love -- not crazy about the "newer" ones with the spare tire inside the vehicle!)."
"I bought a certified 2011 RAV4 in Jul-12 based on strong recommendation from some of my buddies in the Middle East. I should say I am not disappointed overall. While the SUV handles itself well on the highways, the road noise is on the higher side & gas mileage is less than expected (19mpg city & 22mpg highway). Considering to trade it in for a Mazda CX5 or Acura RDX soon."
"Reliable and running strong all these miles later. Very safe car and really fun (fast) to drive. Like the full time 4wd, JBL stereo (paid extra for) sunroof. Low maintanence with no major problems at all.
Would not hesitate to buy another one. Won't need to anytime soon though as this one just keeps keepin' on like she was brand new."
"We bought this SUV because we needed a reliable, affordable vehicle for traveling from FL to TN a few times a year and we've been very happy. It has plenty of room for my wife and I plus our 45 pound dog. It's comfortable on long car rides and the 4cyl has enough power to merge into speeding traffic. The only negatives are that we only get around 23MPG city-I was hoping for 25 with it being a 4cyl. Also, it's not a luxury vehicle, the interior has hints of cheapness. This thing is incredibly roomy inside for it's size. I've hauled everything from plants to 1,000 pounds of lumber-I don't recommend this. Overall, we're very happy."
"This vehicle is the real deal! The combination of power it provides and the mileage it gets are unparallelled in any other that I've driven. The backseat has plenty of room to stretch out my 6'2" frame. My only complaint is that the driving position is a bit tight for me. My smaller wife loves to drive it....everywhere. So much so that we need a 50K warranty. This one will be up in a year and a half!"
"I was laid back at the 2.5 ltr 4 cylinder til i drove it. It has more torque and Hp than my V6 sonata had that i traded. Great car like ride,22-23mpg city in summer and winter 25-26 city and 28 hwy. It can comfortably tow 1500 lbs.Fit and finish is flawless. Gets some getting use to the "Smart Key",you never need the keys in hand anymore. Insurance is about $20 more per 6 months but it is a 28K rav.I needed a suv that i can get in and out easy,plus the drivers seat adjusts with lumbar,almost can sleep in it.A/c cools the truck off very very quickly."
"I love my Rav4, which is saying a lot because I have had a slew of problems reflecting poor workmanship. I am on my third multi-cd changer stereo. The first was broken when I drove it off the lot. The second had a short. Luckily, all on warranty. I was also one of the unfortunate Rav 4 owners to find a floorboard leak evidenced by 2 inches of water on the front passenger side of the vehicle. After some ridiculously bad customer service I ultimately had it repaired under warranty including new carpet. I was also lucky to have felt the steering problem coming on in the first 15,000 miles. I complained at every major service and finally at 53,000 miles they were able to diagnose the problem as a boot that was not positioned properly. Fortunately I had it well documented and they made the repair on warranty. The estimate I received, for anyone considering paying for the repair was $775.
The one remaining problem I struggle with is the slow acceleration, especially when the engine is cold. I was sure to complain about this problem throughout my major services. So, if there is every a solution, hopefully that will be covered too.
The short story if you're considering a used Rav 4 is that it's a great car. Just be sure to buy one that has had all of the known problems repaired prior to your purchase! Now that everything is in good working order I love driving my Rav4!"