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."
Pros: "Reliable, comfortable, resale is best there is!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"What a great vehicle. MPG is wonderful(bought 4 cyl model). I do no hauling so had no need for bigger engine. Ride was a bit choppy at first but after replacing stock tires smoothed out considerably and increased MPG. I had broken my tailbone years ago and have been thru numerous vehicles,e.g. Cadillac, Lincoln, Chrysler, which are all built for plush and not correct posture, and could only drive 1/2 hour or so but with the Rav I can now drive for hours with no problem because my body is now being held properly even though the seating is very firm. Unfortunately, I think we can learn alot from foreign mfg. about these types of things!"