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!"
"I looked for a year to replace my minivan since my children are now grown & gone. I have always bought American cars, but just couldn't find anything that met my needs.
I bought the '06 Limited 2 wheel drive with the V6.
It flies like the wind, and gets ~25mpg around the city and ~29mph highway.
It has a great sound system and lots of room for hauling everything I need to. There is great legroom in the back seat which is very hard to find in most cars.
I don't like that I have to get the oil changed at the dealer since they haven't released the oil filter to the aftermarket. This makes my routine maintenance slow and overly expensive.
The seats get a little uncomfortable near the end of a long trip, but all in all I love it."
"I bought my RAV in 2007 and although it is not driven much, it is a great car. Decent mileage for a V-6, very fast and handles like a near sports car. Fit and finish inside are top notch. I change my own oil, and it is a ten minute job at most. The only complaint is the paint and clear coat. After four years, clear coat on the roof deteriorated to the point I had it repainted. A mediocre job at best and cost me $400.00 Then, a year later the hood began to look like some blue version of Europa, the ice moon of Jupiter. Finally, I bit the bullet and had a total pro paint job that cost over $3500. I intend to keep this car and it was a good investment. Outside of that, one of the best cars I've ever owned."
Pros: "Excellent traction and handling, very reliable!"
Cons: "The Limited model is kind of pricey for small SUV"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The RAV4 Limited with the 6 cyl engine has plenty of acceleration and handles exceptionally well! I've owned two 4WD Ford Explorers, a 4WD F-150, and now a 4WD F-250; and, the 4WD RAV4 with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is the best winter driving vehicle on snow and ice I've ever owned- excellent traction control and stability on slippery roads. The RAV4 is also very reliable; I'm the original owner so have had it almost seven years and have only had to perform routine maintenance."
"This vehicle is the most dependable auto that I have ever owned (my 14th vehicle - ranging from 1953 Ford Fairlane to BMW 528). I have had fewest problems with the RAV4, will probably buy another as soon as I have all the reviews on a 2013 model."
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."
"I recently purchased a 2010 Rav4 Sport V6 4x4 (without the spare tire on the back) and absolutely love it! I test drove the Honda CRV first and as soon as I test drove the Toyota Rav4, the choice was clear. The V6 made a huge difference in terms of performance and was worth paying a little more for. The Honda CRV had no spunk since it's only available in a 4 cylinder. Plus, the styling of the Toyota Rav4 is much more sportier than the Honda CRV. I opted for the cloth seats, which I was a little worried about at first since my previous car had leather. Surprisingly, the cloth seats are very plush and comfortable. The only feature I wish it had are automatic door locks once you start the car (or reach over 5 miles an hour) and a way to unlock the trunk from inside the car rather than just on the smart key. Other than that, I have no complaints about this car so far!"
"Compared to my 99 honda crv, you can't top the 2008 rav4. I have owned several honda's, there great cars but alot of road noise. Also I have owned toyota's but they are much better handling ans the ride is smooth less road noise compare to the honda's I've have owned. Even the new 08's honda's have alot of road noise. This 08 rav4 rides like a sedan, cuts through corners with very little body lean, great horsepower for a 4 cyl. Great gas mileage, good interior space. I would highly recommend this suv compared to other suvs for the price, handling etc......"
Pros: "Handling, esp in snow and slippery conditions."
Cons: "Really wish it had a driver side arm rest."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My first Toyota. Very happy overall with car. Annoying number of recalls to have it checked for. I usually wait until I get several before I even bother to take it, as all has been fine. I do take it to my own mechanic as I feel the dealer is not only overpriced but keeps recommending I have things done that both myself and my mechanic feel can either wait on or do not need at all."
Pros: "fun to drive, hauls a lot of cargo, great safety f"
Cons: "rims rust, multiple recalls"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My first NEW car and I'm 60. Love the way back hatch swings out from the side. I get a lot of requests from strangers to tell them how much I like this car. Roomy interior, comfortable seats, great for hauling loads when seats are folded down. Tire rims began to rust around nuts first year though and Toyota could do nothing to fix. Also, this car has had3-4 recalls on it. All fixed promptly though and no safety issues. I wish I could give one to my daughter."
Pros: "Fun to drive, mpg averages 25+mpg (129000 miles)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My Rav4 is a 2002. I purchased it when it had 92,000 miles on it. That was 4.5 years ago. It has been reliable beyond belief. I LOVE the wide opening back door (forget those lift-up hacthbacks). And I wasn't afraid to buy it with 92,000 miles on it because it's a Toyota. It's my 5th Toyota. And I've owned Ford, Nissan, Mazda in the past also."
"I have a 2007, V6 limited edition. Vehilce is very quick and lots of room for it's size, just a little narrow. Vehicle is also low maintenance and at 90,000 miles still runs like new. The V6 with 269 HP is quick and fun to drive. My only complaint is that the vehicle is too narrow. Needs to be about another 2-3 inches wider (need more elbow room). Also,get's good gas mileage, even with the V6 engine. A good choice if you are single or have a small family. Would not recommend for a large family."
"My gas mileage is averaging 24 with air conditioning. Since I have changed the transmission fluid and differential grease to synthetic and have not needed air conditioning in the last two weeks, my mileage has went up to 26.2-3 .
I also like being able to put this vehicle in 4x4 and it will not come out until you reach a speed of 35 mile an hour. It is also automatic 4x4. It will be in t\front wheel drive until a wheel slips and them the 4 wheel kicks in.
I do wish the interior was a little better, I have the base model. I also wish it had a lower crawling gear, low is OK but needs to be lower."
"This has been a great car, our first Toyota. We are usually Honda people, but have had just as much reliability with the RAV. It has great power, almost too much. We have the V6. Step on the peddle, this little sucker really moves in a hurry. Great car for winter roads, make often trips to upstate New York. We use it to tow our pop up trailer, always a champ. Outstanding sound system, have the premium system with nice subwoofers. Would like if it were a little more air-tight (like our Hondas), but we also have the 18" tires that are quite noisy. Which leads me to our only complaint - - cost of replacing the tires - - very expensive. Has been great car, no issues at all. City MPG average about 22, Hwy 25."
"I first leased a Rav4 in '02 then realized that I drove way too many miles for that to be a good idea. Therefore in '06 I PURCHASED my 2nd Rav4, which had been redesigned and made with substantially more space inside. I Loved it...as I still do today. I have been so comfortable (as my friends have also) in my Rav4 that in barely 4yrs, I have managed to put 91000.0 miles on my trusted Toyota. And she still performs for me as I expect, EVERYDAY! With the necessary upkeep this Toyota, as well as any I've ever been aware of, continues to be an absolutely reliable and comfortable car while also maintaining a nice appearance."