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TOYOTA RAV4 Used Car Review

The Recreational Activity Vehicle 4WD - or RAV4 as it was badged - started the compact SUV (or 'soft-roader') trend in 1994. A perennially popular model, the RAV4 was available in three- and five-door forms but the latest generation is a five-door body style only. Despite the name, the RAV4 is available with front-wheel-drive variants, powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy manoeuvrability thanks to light steering, tight turning circle
  • Vast interior space and big boot for its segment
  • Effective CVT auto
  • Improved safety features added in 2016 and 2017
  • Engines would welcome more power
  • Perception of quality could be higher
  • Signature external spare wheel disappeared with latest model
  • Limited off-road ability
This is general information and should not be relied on as purchasing advice.
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Overview of the Toyota Rav4

Overview of the Toyota Rav4

The Recreational Activity Vehicle 4WD - or RAV4 as it was badged - started the compact SUV (or 'soft-roader') trend in 1994.

A perennially popular model, the RAV4 was available in three- and five-door forms but the latest generation is a five-door body style only.

Despite the name, the RAV4 is available with front-wheel-drive variants, powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine.

TOYOTA RAV4 GENERATIONS (SINCE 2006)

2006-2012

2012-present

RUNNING COSTS

Fuel Consumption

2.0L 4-cylinder: 7.0 to 7.7 litres per 100km

2.5L 4-cylinder petrol: 8.5 litres per 100km

2.2L 4-cylinder turbo diesel: 5.7 to 6.7 litres per 100km

= Highly economical.

= Good economy.

= Average fuel use.

= Heavy consumption.

Servicing

SIMILAR MODELS TO TOYOTA RAV4

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR: TOYOTA RAV4 (2006-2012)

The RAV4 seems to be a reliable vehicle, but not quite up to the lofty standards of the majority of Toyota cars. That starts with a decent list of recalls to attend to issues such as faulty window switches, bad seatbelt webbing and incorrectly assembled suspensions.

A Toyota dealer will be able to identify affected RAV4s as well as tell if the one you're looking at has been fixed or not.

The other serious issue is the potential for four-cylinder RAV4s to have high engine-oil consumption. This typically starts to show up around the 100,000 or 120,000km mark, but some have started using oil earlier than this.

It's a big deal either way because it requires an engine rebuild to address it. A proper test of the engine before purchase makes good sense.

Keep an eye out for poor electrical contacts in the starter-motor that can prevent the engine from turning over on the key, as well as noisy brakes, and brake rotors and pads that wear out quickly.

And check for any pulsing through the car when you apply the brakes at speed as a sign that rotor wear has already occurred.