Current Model
The current RAV4's more rugged styling compromises interior space compared to previous generation. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and delivers relatively quick acceleration.
Fuel economy is commendable at 27 mpg overall. The hybrid version feels energetic, with the electric drive producing immediate and quiet motivation from a standstill. And that hybrid delivers an impressive 37 mpg overall. The RAV4 is responsive in corners, and it remains under control even when pushed. The ride, however, is rather stiff, and the noisy engine hurts the driving experience. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are standard. Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assistance are standard. However, blind spot warning is optional.
Road Test
Predicted Reliability
Predicted Owner Satisfaction
2019
2019 Redesign Year
The popular RAV4 was redesigned for 2019, with new proportions and a more-rugged appearance. The standard 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and delivers relatively quick acceleration.
The hybrid version feels energetic, with the electric drive producing immediate and quiet motivation from a standstill. There’s limited lean when taking corners and responsive steering, but the RAV4’s ride is stiff and a little jumpy, and the noisy engine hurts the driving experience. All-wheel-drive versions allow the driver to select modes to optimize traction on sand or mud. Fuel economy is commendable at 27 mpg overall for the non-hybrid version. Apple CarPlay compatibility is standard (there’s no Android Auto). Toyota’s Safety Sense safety and driver assist suite is standard, and includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist.
$22,475 - $32,600
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
2016-2018
2016 Redesign Year
Freshened for 2016, the cabin is quieter; the ride is smoother; and offers a frugal hybrid version. The energetic 2.5-liter four-cylinder and smooth six-speed automatic returned 24 mpg overall in our tests of an AWD version.
The hybrid version gets a terrific 31 mpg overall. Handling is responsive and very secure. Inside, the controls are clear and intuitive. The 2016 RAV4 offered a suite of advanced safety features such as forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking which became standard equipment from 2017 on. 
$19,725 - $28,350
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$17,875 - $24,675
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$16,125 - $20,850
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
2013-2015
2013 Redesign Year
This version of the RAV4 is roomy and versatile, as well as a wise choice as a used car. The 2012 to 2015 vintage handles nimbly and gets 24 mpg in the AWD version.
But the ride is a bit stiff and the cabin is rather loud. Most versions are XLE, which adds auto climate control and a sunroof. For a power seat and lumbar support you'd have to get the Limited. The 2.5-liter engine is quite energetic and the transmission shifts smoothly. Controls are clear and easy to use, access is easy and the rear seat is roomy.
$14,150 - $17,350
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$12,975 - $15,225
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$12,250 - $14,400
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
2006-2012
2006 Redesign Year
RAV4s from 2006 to 2012 had a side swinging rear gate, which is cumbersome. They also offered an optional V6 that was smooth and powerful as well as an optional third row seat.
Rear seat accommodations are roomy and the cargo area is generous. Don't expect crash safety to be as up to snuff as more recent RAV4s, but stability control is standard. Responsive handling and a fairly comfortable ride made it easy to drive. Controls are also very user friendly, including the ability to pair a phone via Bluetooth.
$10,475 - $13,925
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$9,450 - $12,325
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$8,625 - $11,050
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$7,900 - $10,200
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$7,275 - $8,800
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$6,600 - $7,725
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$6,275 - $7,250
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
2001-2005
2001 Redesign Year
Avoid buying a RAV4 older than the 2004 model year, as they lack electronic stability control. Otherwise, the RAV4s of that vintage have nimble handling and compact dimensions that made them fun to drive and very maneuverable.
Ride comfort and noise isolation were ok for the time but not a match for newer versions. A side swinging door makes loading and unloading rather cumbersome and doesn't shelter from rain. Rear seat room and cargo volume are modest.
$4,900 - $5,400
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$4,375 - $5,075
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$4,025 - $4,750
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$3,725 - $4,450
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$3,175 - $3,975
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
1996-2000
Introduced for the 1996 model year, the original RAV4 ranked among the best of the small, car-based SUVs. Available in both two- and four-door versions, it delivers carlike driving manners and a comfortable ride, though noise from the driveline can be intrusive.
On the down side, the engine isn't very strong, the rear seat is tight, and cargo room is scant.
$2,700 - $3,550
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
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