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2010 Toyota RAV4

Overview
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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
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 657 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

This has been a GREAT car

By on Monday, June 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 156,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good driving car.Handles well; reliable; versatile"

Cons: "Somewhat jumpy ride; loud fan"

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

"Lots of mixed driving. Used for pleasure and work. Light off road driving. Good cargo space and holds five large people in comfort. The car has been highly reliable (services regularly using the Toyota schedule. On only my third set of tires! Other than an alternator (recently) NO major repairs. No minor repairs, for that matter. Good gas mileage; true to what was promised. I hate to part with it!"

Extremely reliable, and very good engine design

By on Sunday, May 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Excellent value for a very safe automobile !"

Cons: "Head & foot room in front drivers seat a bit short"

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

"Extremely reliable, and very good engine design --except for spark plug positioning for maintenance...but overall an excellent design throughout !"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Not too happy.

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "lots of room."

Cons: "too many to mention."

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

"Lots of recalls.uses quart of oil every 1000 miles since 50000.taken in for major ring job.Would not buy again."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Best Car I've Ever Owned!

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Size, roomy inside but small out."

Cons: "Sound system"

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

"In my 30+ years of owning cars, this one has been the most reliable and versatile yet! In the 7 years that I've had it, the Rav4 has had no engine problems or leaks of any kind. The size is perfect -- easy parking, and turning, and it carries a load!"

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Solid little vehicle, just like a Swiss Army knife

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,750

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good value, fun to drive and practical"

Cons: "Cheap interior, with squeaks and rattles"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Its been a good car so far. Bought is as a lease return with 30K mi and now has 50K mi on it. Good gas mileage (4cyl) - honestly the new ones don't get any better MPG at 23.9 of mostly in town driving. Good power for the base motor, perfect for around town. Very practical car and has a flexible layout for hauling stuff. Makes those Ikea trips a breeze. I even crammed a queen size mattress into this rig, no problem! Some gripes include less than stellar interior build quality with some rattles and creaks. Switches feel loose and made of cheap plastic. Brakes make all kinds of noises when first backing out and driving off. Suspension not as refined as some competitors. Bottom line: its a great point A to B car. A great appliance if you don't want any hassles."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

great accel., comfortable, tight handling, stable.

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handles very well in any weather/road cond."

Cons: "Shoulder room silghtly small (for 200+lb guy)."

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

"This medium-size SUV has the best match of engine and transmission I've ever driven. Excellent highway passing gear. Very stable on turns, esp. for an SUV. Rear seat is mounted on rails, so it slides to make the rear seating and cargo areas bigger/smaller, depending on momentary needs (just like a front seat). Clear dash array. Handles beautifully on two-lane blacktops. The all-wheel drive is unstoppable on ice, snow, sand. (I've never used or needed snow tires on this car.) Lots of electronically-controlled drive-train adjustors. 2012 is the last model-year before the RAV4 was revamped; the 6-cyl. is no longer available for 2013 and beyond."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?