Pros: "Great value for the price, reasonable gas mileage."
Cons: "Some road noise at highway speeds."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The V6 engine is a worthwhile option. It only gives up about 1 or 2 MPG, versus the 4 cyl, but gives a dramatic increase in performance, whether climbing mountain roads or passing trucks on the open highway. The seats are relatively comfortable, even on long trips. The car handles well at all speeds and on a variety of roads, although you get some road noise at higher speeds. If you're not hauling a whole soccer team or bales of hay for your horse, there's still plenty of room for 4 adults + 1 kid, or a reasonable amount of cargo with the rear seats folded down. Altogether, this is a reliable, economical SUV. I put 170k miles on my 1998 RAV4, traded it for a 2008 Sport V6 4x4, which now has 55k miles. I've been happy with both cars and would definitely buy another RAV4. But if you're thinking about the V6 engine, get one now because they're discontinued as of the 2013 model year."
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."
"This is an outstanding car to own. It is very safe and you have very good total visibility. The V-6 gives me the power when I need it and the MPG is very good. I will purchase another RAV/4 when the time comes. Not sure when that will be as I have not had one thing go wrong with the car since it left the showroom in 2008."
"With the kids grown and out of the house, its the perfect non-midlife crisis car. Looks good, drives great, and even with the 4-cylinder engine it gets off the line pretty quickly. Won't smoke a BMW M3, but then for $24k original price it performs really well. Tons of room, surprising so; a single mattress fits in the back with the 2nd row seats down. Only negative is the mpg is consistently around 21 with almost all in-town driving. And the way the back opens can be a pain, requries extra room such as when unloading at the airport."
Cons: "MPG not so good for a 2.5L engine, AVG 24 MPG"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought this car because my wife and I are going to have a baby. So far so good, no problems yet. I got the 2.5L and I enjoy it very well. Enough power for me. I used to have a 99 Legacy and that was a 2.5L as well, but this one feels way faster and stronger. ALL wheel drive is amazing, I live in Northern New mexico and take this car snowboarding all the time! It handles very well on sleek and deep snow! defiantly not a sports car or a truck but I do recommend it for families with kids because of Toyota's reliability, safety and you know you wont ever get stuck in snow!!!! (if you have snow where you live!)"
Cons: "Back middle seat is not ideal for infant seat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this car because we have 2 German shepherds and needed a larger car to transport them in. Got a great deal with Toyota they worked hard with the finance company and got me 0.0% apr which is huge! A 15 months after buying the car we had our first baby and I'm so glad we have the rav4. All the extra storage under the floor in the trunk is great for storing my daughters stroller an other baby gear. Only negative is that you can not put the infant seat in the center of the back seat. The middle is the safest place for a baby so they say but when you try to put the infant seat in the middle, the seatbelt doesn't hold the carseat base secure and it slides all around. Just took a $700 mile road trip and got 30mpg. Practically unheard of for an suv. LOVE MY RAV!"
"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."
"Had to change O2 sensor at 38,000 miles ($300)and water pump at 45000 ($430) Toyota wouldn't back their product.
Both prices lower than they would have been if I had the work done at a dealership. Some people were charged $1400 to change water pump at a dealership. Was told at dealership I needed new struts and shocks while they were doing a recall. I was told they were shot. Took it to my mechanic and he said they both have 30,000 miles left on them, go figure!"
Pros: "good gas mileage, 4 adults fit for short trips"
Cons: "gray interior shows dirt, problem w/exhaust syste"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I really like my RAV. Driver and front passenger seats can become uncomfortable on long trips, and my husband is as big guy so he "just fits" so to speak. Happy with gas mileage about 21-22 MPG. It took us ahile to get used to the head rests however. My two adult children can sit comfortably in the back seats. Good storage and we even hauled a 6ft unassembled picnic table in it one time (However driver and front passenger seats were as far front as they could go. One engine problem but it was covered under warrenty. Current problem is a rattling sound under the car, under gear shift. They first told me it was the water pump and replaced it.Now they are telling me it is something with the catalytic converter but they will only replace the whole exhaust system. Also, several recalls needed to be taken care of."
"Bought used 08 Rav4 V6 sport. Toyota is the only car maker that has a better warrenty on used cars than new. 7 year 100,000 mile warrenty on a used car. I test drove a number of Honda CRV's that were supposed to be the RAV's competition. The CRV can only come with a 4 cylinder and coming from a very strong v6 that was in my Altima the CRV seemed so underpowered it made me sick. The V6 Rav4 has a 5th gear which lets you get pretty much the same mpg as the 4 cylinders with an insane amount of power. Avg 28 hwy and still feel like i'm driving a sports sedan. The average CRV I looked at was significantly more money that the RAV too. I will say the CRV had a somewhat more stylish interior but the RAV's got it where it counts for less money."
"This is the best car I have ever owned! I do alot of whitewater kayaking, camping, rock climbing, etc... We can fit a full size air mattress in the car, put 4 kayaks, 4 paddles on top and 4 people with gear inside all comfortably! It handles amazingly in the snow. You will not regret buying this vehicle!"
"Have had my RAV4 for a year and it performs very well and gets great mpg for a V6. After a year, the mpg is right where it should be.
It's a great utilitarian vehicle that makes for a great 'road trip worthy' small SUV.
"I've had this vehicle for just over six months. I bought it after trading in my Jeep Grand Cherokee that I absolutely loved but gave me nothing but problems mechanically.
I like the RAV, but I don't love it. It's very uncomfortable, the seats are horrible!
The display is invisible if you are wearing sun glasses.
It's so powerful that even touching the gas pedal sends you forward like a rocket.
And the sound system is a lot to be desired.
Things I like are the styling, the moonroof and the value of a Toyota product. And I don't mind the back door opening out, being short it was always hard to reach the Jeep door that went way up over my head, so this door is just right for me."
"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."
"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."
"Great car! I have the V6 and it is fun to drive, it's very quick and handles great. It's fantastic in snow, I used to live in Portland where we would get snow and then ice, all the other vehicles would spin out and couldn't make it up hills and I had no issues in the Rav4 (no chains or cables either!). The car has a great traction control system that allows the vehicle to correct itself when needed, it's really amazing. The breaks are also great, it stops on a dime. I feel very safe in this car.
My only complaints would be the seats are not very comfortable for long trips, no heated seats and road noise is higher than I want. I think what I am looking for is probably an upgrade to a higher end car that would include more comfort features.
For the price, this is a great car."
"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."
"Very poorly built, lost months and months while they tried to work on many many problems, but elec problems continued, dealer service was poor, and last straw was when the STEERING wore out at 55K and needed $800.00 of repairs---Back to Subaru!!!"
"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 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."