Great, low-maintenance SUV, w/ total versatility
By gadgetbunny on Friday, March 30, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,800
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "inexpensive to run, great features and versatility"
Cons: "cheap plastic dash, known issues to Toyota in TSB."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love my RAV4 it's as close to perfection as any car I've ever owned. I'm a very picky car owner. I'm picky with how a vehicle handles, how ergonomic the interior is, picky about the economy, and picky about how it's engineered, picky when I find out the manufacturer's short-cuts.
There are only a few things I would change about my RAV4 - more insulation to make it ride quieter, better dash/door panel plastics would feel more high-quality, and a more rigid chassis to keep it feeling sturdier on rough roads.I wish there were a MAX A/C button on my auto climate control and a 110v outlet.
For engineering aspects, considering this is a first year of a new model, its short-comings are pretty low, but irritating, nonetheless. The valve cover has a design fault that causes it burn oil (about 1 qt every 3k miles) which I don't consider okay, but apparently every car company does. hmph! And, the when making sharp turns at low speeds, the steering wheel makes a click/clunk sound that you can feel through the wheel. It's not dangerous as far as I have researched, but annoying and kinda expensive to repair. Also, Toyota releases Technical Service Bulletins to Toyota Service, but does not inform customers to alert them to check if they have any known symptoms, so now those items when noticed are often out of warranty.
Other than that - I bought the car at 69k miles 3 years ago, and it hasn't really depreciated much since then with all the added mileage. It's often confused for a Lexus. The interior is very spacious, and I can fit into tight spots with little effort. It drives over curbs, rocks, bumps easily (mine is 2wd) and takes me through rough Baja roads on my long road trips. I can fit a ton of cargo. I average mid-20s city/highway mix, and I drive fast and rough. 30 on freeway at 60 mph.
Engine oil, transmission, brake fluids and pads/rotors, tire rotations, air and cabin air filters are the only maintenance it needs. Oh and plugs at 100k. My 528i was a beautiful car, but a pain to own in many ways. This RAV4 if downright angelic compared to the Bimmer."
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