Not only has it pioneered the genre, but the Toyota RAV4 has been one of the better compact SUVs, consistently among the top-ranked models in the class. But competition in the small-SUV class has never been stiffer, so to maintain its position the freshened 2016 Toyota RAV4 underwent a number of changes.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available; standard from 2004. ESC standard from 2004. Side and head protection air bags available from 2004, standard from 2007.
Road Test

Not only has it pioneered the genre, but the Toyota RAV4 has been one of the better compact SUVs, consistently among the top-ranked models in the class. But competition in the small-SUV class has never been stiffer, so to maintain its position the freshened 2016 Toyota RAV4 underwent a number of changes. It has a quieter cabin, slightly retouched interior and exterior styling, and a kinder, gentler suspension for an improved ride.

For those who want to make an ecological statement, there is a new hybrid version that gets a terrific 31 mpg overall. Toyota also added a pseudo-sporty SE variant to the line.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 (176 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 hybrid (194 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Toyota RAV4 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"Backup Camera display is very dim. Dealer checked and said they turned up brightness but the brightness was already max before they checked it."

E D., VA (2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen freezes up

"The Scout navy system lacks a gps moving map, totally dependent on your iPhone cell tower reception, only display is arrows, very difficult to load, overall..useless. We were told it was a gps moving map display by salesman, but found otherwise after purchasing."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"When you get out of range of a cellphone antenna, you loose your nag and display"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Navigation system still out of date, software updates are expensive at consumers cost $200. Software is slow, and not efficient. Voice direction comes too late, or after the fact."

Lawrence D., VA (2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Navigation chip was obsolete upon delivery. Toyota/Dealer has yet to install new chip."

J T., NC (2018 Toyota RAV4 Platinum 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The Entune system is very poorly designed. It's hard to use, not intuitive, and frankly should be an embarrassment to the Toyota design teams. The GPS is even worse. In fact, the Entune navigation systems requires the use of the GPS on my phone. The resulting interface is a very sloppy, slapped together pathetic solution. In fact, the phone based GPS does not correctly find the shortest routes on long distance trips. Recently, on an 800 mile trip (I was forced to buy a Garmin portal GPS to use separately....after paying an extra $1,000 for the Entune system) my Garmin system showed the correct distance to be 800 miles. The Entune GPS showed it to be over 1,000 and routed way out of the way. Road noise is still a big issue and the passenger door leaks. This car is a disappointment, too much cheap plastic, it feels clumsy on the road, the engine hesitates when i need to pass other cars and the fuel mileage is much worse than expected. The driver display console is very confusing and most of it is unreadable when driving. (I'm over 65 and wear bifocals) I've been a Toyota customer for over 20 years. This is the last one that I will own. I'm truly disappointed."

Anonymous, CO (2018 Toyota RAV4 SE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Scout GPS does not always connect with phone. Also after I've entered favorites next time I use GPS favorites disappear. Sometimes the map or directions do not appear and half of the screen stays blank."

B M., NY (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"the in dash gps does not connect with the cell phone app"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Sometimes does not pick up that phone is in the car and turned on, forcing us to reconnect."

Anonymous, MA (2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"Radio controls stopped working consistently. Took in for a check and dealer replaced radio under warranty. Did not affect driving"

Curtis H., OH (2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The clarity of the radio varies by location where my 2015 Honda CRV clarity is constant."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"Despite using voice training, the system does not hear my or my spouse's voice clearly. It is cumbersome to use. Had a better one in previous car that was 6 years older (a Hyundai)."

Anonymous, MA (2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"multiple leaks"

Anonymous, MD (2018 Toyota RAV4 Platinum 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Other/unsure

"lacks sensitivity. can't tell when it is trying to correct."

Anonymous, WV (2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"warning is inadequate and distracting"

Anonymous, WV (2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"I have tried all the settings in the owners manual and have not been able to get a warning or a braking action. I had the service department demonstrate how the PSC works. I was not convinced by them that it worked!"

Anonymous, AL (2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The vehicle sensors appear to not operate as efficiently as the previous model, no way to determine if it functions properly. People step off the street in front of the vehicle, as well as behind, and their is no warning of these events."

Lawrence D., VA (2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The cruise control off/on switch is at the end of a stick that my thigh hits while at highway speeds. I become aware that the cruise control is off only when the car has slowed down more than any automatic Forward Collision Warning would cause. This has been a recurring problem and a source of safety concerns, for my instinct when I perceive the car to slow is to pull onto the shoulder. Only when the car has stopped have i had the presence of mind to think the problem might be that I have inadvertently turned of the cruise control. Pulling onto and remaining for moments on the shoulder is unnerving, as is rejoining the traffic on the highway."

Roger D., AZ (2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"I already did previous, but in the snow these simply don't work. Even the tech at Toyota that worked on it told me they have problems with these not working well."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Does not engage"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Corrections increase to the point of weaving back and forth to a out of control condition"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The sensor at the left rear bumper failed and needed to be replaced."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"There is a LDA error message that keep popping up on the dash display but does not stay on long enough to actually read it. The dealer indicates that there are codes but they replaces the spirial cable and its still happening. They have called Toyota and as of now, it keeps happening but no solution has been provided."

Anonymous, VT (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

"Guage lighting is not adequate while the sun is at a low angle, or when I am wearing sun glasses."

Anonymous, IN (2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Headlights

"Headlight bulb burned out within 1 month of purchase"

Karen M., MN (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"This car is extremely dangerous if you live or drive on unlit narrow, curvy, hilly rural roads at night. In designing this car's headlights, Toyota has put form over function. It has packed the RAV4 with all kinds of safety features, including numerous airbags. They are needed, since one cannot safely see to drive at night. The IIHS rates the headlights as marginal, and states that on curves the high beams are inadequate in all 4 tests conducted. This is way too high a rating for unliit rural roads. At night with the headlights on, the lack of illumination is dangerous. The top half of the windshield appears dark as if it has black frost on it. You can see through only the lower half of the windshield, which has limited visibility through which you can see straight ahead, but have little peripheral visibility. Going down hills cuts the visibility considerably, at times to as little as 50 feet. Sharp turns to the left or right are blind. Toyota refuses to fix the problem, since the headlights are working as designed. Too bad we can't drive the car at night. Too bad we didn't have an opportunity to test drive the car at night. We loved the three Toyotas we bought before this one."

Sharon G., WA (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Interior lights

"Cannot read dash panel while wearing sun glasses, or when the sun is near the horizon. Brighter dash panel lighting would help resolve this situation."

Anonymous, IN (2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Tire pressure monitor

"mointio defective"

Anonymous, MD (2018 Toyota RAV4 Platinum 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

"I was coming over the pass in Wa. state during a snow storm one night, and all the cameras kept beeping that they couldn't see anything, or that I was about to run into something, transmission would not shift into the right gear so it was screaming down the road until I dropped to 30MPH"

Anonymous, WA (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Plastic panel on back driver's side door came loose. Plastic trim around passenger side while was broken"

Anonymous, MN (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"I have chips in the hood and sides. I am not happy and am going round and round with Toyota as we speak"

Darlene R., NC (2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"I have the white vehicle, but it chips so easy."

Anonymous, SC (2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint Mark's and scratches easily"

Matt B., BC (2018 Toyota RAV4 Platinum 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint chipping on hood"

Anonymous, PA (2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"drifting"

Richard H., FL (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"There was a clicking sound when turning the steering wheel. So they changed the air bag in steering wheel and aligned the steering because when l was driving straight the steering wheel was straight."

Noel P., ON (2018 Toyota RAV4 Platinum 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"I am not sure the problem(s) is/are with the shocks and struts, But...the ride is a particularly stiff and jolting ride over the most minor bumps.The seats don't help either since they are particularly Thin and don't provide much cushioning,support nor comfort.The comfort is more Punishing on long rides.I also would have opted for electric ,multi adjusting seats (Driver and passenger) but this was not offered on this model and I would have had to Buy up to obtain these features .I didn't buy up because I would have been required to purchase features that I didn't want nor needed.(IE;Sun roof...)."

Edward E., FL (2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"rear seat belt was not seated in holder properly"

Steve H., OH (2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"Road Noise"

Anonymous, NC (2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Door seals aren't tight enough, moon roof is particularly noisy. Engine noise is the same as my 2010 Rav 4, not much improvement at all."

Anonymous, CO (2018 Toyota RAV4 SE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"For the doors to close properly I have to slam them. I hate slamming doors"

Mike A., NY (2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Locks and latches

"slamming the doors to close properly."

Mike A., NY (2018 Toyota RAV4 LE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Squeaking

"I was told that the brakes squeaked because they weren’t used for a while. Toyota fixed them immediately."

Anonymous, DE (2018 Toyota RAV4 Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"At 5000 mile Toyota Care visit, battery was tested and was not holding a full charge. Dealership replaced it under warranty"

Michael C., UT (2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Change Vehicle