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2010 Toyota RAV4

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2010 Toyota RAV4 Review

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The 2010 Toyota RAV4 has come along way from the cute little two-door pop-top of 1996. Toyota's smallest SUV has left its long-time rival, the Honda CR-V, in the feature-content dust by offering seating for seven, a low-cost navigation option and an optional V6 engine. Moving upscale can have its drawbacks, however, and the current RAV4's conservative styling might be the most noticeable of those. Where the RAV4 was once aimed at young singles with active lifestyles, the new vehicle caters to young couples with active two-year olds. While there are better equipped and less expensive seven-passenger SUVs on the market (the new Kia Sorento, for example), none have the RAV4's impeccable quality, reliability reputation or strong resale value.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a small-to-midsize sport utility vehicle that combines car-like performance, ride, handling and fuel economy with available four-wheel drive and room for up to seven passengers, or five adults and a fair amount of cargo, the 2010 Toyota RAV4 is a good choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your needs include heavy duty hauling or towing or serious off-road rambling, you may want to look elsewhere. There are many fine competitors in this class, including some that may offer a combination of attributes, price and value that are better suited to your tastes and needs.

What's New for 2010

The 2010 Toyota RAV4 carries over mostly unchanged after last year's makeover. Base models can now be equipped with a rearview camera, and the available Sport Appearance Package is expanded to Sport grade 4x2 and 4x4 four-cylinder models. The Sport trims can also be equipped with a new JBL audio system that includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.

Driving the RAV4
Driving Impressions

Toyota engineers have achieved their objective of car-like driving dynamics in a practical SUV package. High-strength steel increases the body's rigidity for improved ride, handling, steering and (if necessary) crash...

... energy management, weighs less and reduces noise, vibration and harshness. Improved sealing and insulation keeps most engine noise out of the cabin, except for some (un-Toyota-like) engine harshness at wide-open throttle, even with the V6. Elimination of outer moldings around the windshield and door glass helps reduce aerodynamic drag and wind noise. While the 179-horsepower four-cylinder is more than adequate with light loads and at lower elevations, the 269-horsepower V6 offers acceleration, pulling and passing power at or near the top of this class and is recommended for heavier loads and higher altitudes.

Star Safety System
This comprehensive system integrates five active electronic safety features – enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Brake Assist – to help avoid accidents, and one passive safety feature (multi-stage front airbags) to cushion occupants should a crash occur.

Hill Start and Downhill Assist Control
Toyota's second-generation Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) automatically prevents the vehicle from rolling backward for two to three seconds when starting from a stop on an uphill slope. Downhill Assist Control (DAC), when activated by the driver, keeps the vehicle's speed to a crawl on steep descents.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Details
Interior

The 2010 RAV4 offers slightly more rear seat head room than the Honda CR-V, and the 60/40 reclining middle-row seats adjust fore and aft and fold flat with levers on their sides or (on two-row models) a one-touch lever in the cargo hold. The available third-row seat folds flat into the same space in the rear where standard RAV4s have hidden under-floor storage. Base RAV4s get durable fabric-covered seats, while higher-level cloth dresses Limited and Sport models, the latter in dark charcoal. The center cluster, door trim and steering wheel spokes are brushed metallic-look plastic. Lighted front cupholders, a console cell phone holder, an extra storage compartment above the glove box and a deep rear storage bin are notable features.

Exterior
2010 Toyota RAV4 photo

The 2010 RAV4 is more substantial and less "cute" than the original, with contemporary but conventional good looks. Only the triangular rear C-pillar and vertically-wrapped taillamps are somewhat unusual, reminding us (in profile) of the very unconventional Nissan Murano. The split-grille's trapezoidal opening flows into the front bumper, with the available fog light housing sculpted into the lower side fascia. The spare tire, mounted to the right of center on the rear door – which, unfortunately and inconveniently, swings open from the driver's side (curb side in Japan) – has a color-keyed cover with a full hard shell on Limited models. Customers who opt for the new Sport Appearance Package lose the rear spare and gain a set of four run-flat tires.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All three trim levels have an automatic transmission, electronic stability and traction control, front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, rear privacy glass, power mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, three 12-volt outlets, 10 cupholders, cruise control and AM/FM/CD six-speaker audio with MP3/WMA and a mini-plug jack. The Limited adds 17-inch tires on six-spoke alloy wheels (in place of the 16-inch steel wheels of the base model), fog lights, heated outside mirrors, six-disc CD changer, Smart Key entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel with audio controls, eight-way (plus lumbar) power driver's seat, cargo area net and tonneau cover, engine immobilizer system and a chrome grille. The Sport trim gets much of this plus 18-inch performance tires and wheels, sport suspension, blackout headlamp trim and fender flares.

Optional Equipment

Options for the base model include the six-disc CD changer, daytime running lights, rear camera with built in rearview mirror monitor, black painted roof rails and cross bars, 17-inch wheels and tires, third-row seat, cargo area net and tonneau cover and (with the V6 only) a tow package that increases towing capacity to 3,500 pounds. Available options on the Sport include a power moonroof with sunshade and a JBL six-disc CD changer with nine speakers, Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls. The Limited offers optional leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with rear-seat audio. Both the Sport and Limited can also be equipped with Bluetooth and GPS navigation.

Under the Hood

Toyota provides a choice of a 179-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), or a potent VVT-i V6. The former is one of the most powerful fours in this segment, while the latter, pumping out a claimed best-in-class 269 horsepower, is good for zero to 60 miles per hour bursts in slightly under seven seconds. The four-cylinder engine drives through an all-new four-speed automatic transmission and the V6 is fitted with a five-speed automatic.

2.5-liter in-line 4
179 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
172 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 (2WD), 21/27 (4WD)

3.5-liter V6
269 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
246 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 (2WD), 19/26 (4WD)

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2010 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 689 Ratings for the 2006 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Great decision

By on Friday, April 01, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great size, handling, comfort and pickup"

Cons: "still figuring out where everything is"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"After driving a 2007 Santa Fe for 8 years I wanted an SUV that was close in size but I had a budget. I'm extremely happy with the Rav4. The pick up is great, MPG very good, and I'm very happy with the size. With the low mileage and Toyotas reputation this was a no brainer."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great vehicle for travel, shopping, friends

By on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Terrific Value, great flexibility, great to drive"

Cons: "Front cup holders....what was Toyota thinking?"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This was the last year of the V6 engine, which has performed flawlessly in my vehicle. I wanted the swing back door versus the overhead, and it's been great. The leather upholstry and heated front seats are wonderful -leather has held up very well. Being able to have the rear seats up, down or split has been great for travel, trips to the DIY store, shopping, carrying sporting goods etc. The JBL sound is terrific, the tuner making it just what I want. Backup cam is in the rear view mirror, a bit small but very handy. Steering is very responsive, and the V6 pickup is great, whether from a stop light or on the freeway. Integrated charging in console box keeps the cords tucked away, and my phone charged up."

16 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Most reliable vehicle ever!

By on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great fuel economy"

Cons: "AUX port is in a weird place"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Purchased this car for work because I drive approx. 400 miles a week and have had the best experience! It handles amazingly well in all types of weather and road conditions, it comfortably sits my family and all of our baggage on road trips, and it is so fun to drive!! My only complaint would be that the front seats are a little cramped but I am also used to a full size SUV so it really isn't even a complaint. Overall I would say this is by far my favorite vehicle I have ever owned and I have owned some top of the line vehicles. If you're looking for fuel economy that still delivers off-road capabilities and cargo room, this is worth looking into!"

26 people out of 36 found this review helpful

Love this Rav4 in Blizzard Pearl

By on Sunday, October 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,319

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Smooth, reliable drive, solid drive."

Cons: "lacks lower lumbar support, could be quieter."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I am the original owner since 2008, wanted blizzard pearl exterior, is fun to drive, very reliable, always kept this suv in top shape, service and runs wonderfully. I am sure I will miss this car but am looking to move to another category."

15 people out of 22 found this review helpful

We love our 2012 V6

By on Monday, October 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Strong V6, Spacious Interior, Sunroof, Reliable"

Cons: "Small Gas Tank, Some Squeaks and Rattling"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We traded in our BMW 3 series after we had our first child. In that car you could barely fit a baby seat in the back and we couldn't find a stroller to fit in the trunk. I wanted to trade up into an X3 but couldn't justify the price tag of 40K (for certified pre-owned). Granted I'm comparing apples to oranges BUT I just happened to test a V6 Rav4 and was blown away by the acceleration, comfort and handling. The V6 puts out 269 HP and runs on regular gas. Even in city driving I average about 23-25 miles which is not bad considering I drive the car hard. My only complaint is that the car has a small gas tank of 11 gallons so on long road trips we have stop often to fill up. I have the base model with 17 in wheels, sunroof and bluetooth with controls on the steering wheel. Other than that, the car is no frills. Which is fine by me. The controls are easy to use, the interior is very roomy, when you fold down the seat, it's massive, the rear seats also slide forward and back and even recline. I love this car because it's cheap to maintain and it's very reliable. It's always going to start. Okay, another small complaint is that there are a few rattles on the inside. Other than that, I would buy another Rav4 but they dropped the V6 which means we will likely move up to a Highlander."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

My all around best vehicle

By on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "reliability and handling"

Cons: "nothing really"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Comfortable, fast, economical, roomy, practical and go-anywhere. Totally reliable for 9 years and going for at least 5 more."

13 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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