2005 Toyota RAV4 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2005 Toyota RAV4 SUV

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Toyota RAV4 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 161 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2005 Toyota RAV4

  • With ample power under the hood, nimble handling on the street and a generous standard features list, the 2005 Toyota RAV4 is a worthy adversary for mini-utes like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Steers and handles like a car, thoughtful cabin design, exemplary build and materials quality, ABS and stability control standard, refined and fuel-efficient engine.

  • Cons

    Somewhat cramped interior, high repair costs in low-speed rear collisions, not much off-road ability.

  • What's New for 2005

    The JBL 3-in-1 audio system has been discontinued, and the sport package receives a unique metal mesh grille and silver sport pedals.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Bestest little suv ever

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

After trading in a 2001 Rav4 we purchased a new 2005. It has been a pleasure to own, and wish Toyota still made this style. We like the size, it has plenty of zip, not bad on gas, easy to park, and great in the snow with the AWD. I do most of my own work and changed the wires and plugs at the 100,000 mile mark. The only maintenance was a new battery, front brakes, tires, new rear shocks, and runs like the day it left the dealers lot. It also helps that it is garage kept.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Tough as nails, 150,000 and

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Toyota RAV4 Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

My Rav has 150,000 miles on her. Last October I rear-ended someone and thought she was done for. I pulled the frame back out a few inches, installed a new radiator and she's back running as strong as ever. My only complaint would be the wind noise, honestly. The clutch was replaced around 15,000 miles ago, but that's been the only mechanical issue. Regular maintenance, tires, and brakes have all been reasonably inexpensive. This is the first car I have ever kept until it was paid off. In the past, I would grow tired of issues, but not this baby. I am going to drive her until the wheels fall off.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

212000 and goin strong

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Toyota RAV4 Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I've been through 3 sets of front brakes 3 sets of tires, 2 water pumps and I think thats it. Just regular maintenance keep this little guy going. Oil changes every 7-10 thousand miles, radiator fluid flushed once a year, trans fluid changed every 50,000 miles. Thats about it. Just installed new struts and shocks long over due made an amazing difference in the ride. Oh I did have to have the Air Sensor thingy replaced it wasnt cheap like 350. The sensor light kept going on the dash.




A great, reliable vehicle

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Purchased new in 2005. Good power and performance. Gas mileage was as listed until year 2-3. Now averaging 22-23 MPG, but not bad for an AWD. Now after almost 7 years and 69,000 miles, it's never needed anything but normal maintenance. Extremely satisfied with my RAV4. Brakes lasted almost 60,000 miles w/auto transmission! Paint and interior still in almost like new condition. The only issue is an exhaust "growl" at low RPM's. Not a big deal. Road noise is a bit loud, but the stereo works great to cover that. I love this car and would highly recommend it.




Best car

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Toyota RAV4 Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

This was my first Toyota ever and I wished I had done it sooner! I now have reached 100K miles and it runs the same as when I bought it. I have never had any major problems with it. Front brakes around 50K and regular maintenance at recommended mileage. Original Tires replaced at 36K which is better than expected. BF Goodrich now have 64K and still good tread. I have never done a wheel alignment on this vehicle. I have tracked my mileage and it was exactly the 24 MPG overall that Toyota said it would be. It is only FWD so in winter I take it easy but this has been a very reliable vehicle for us. The utility has been great and removable seats are wonderful. I am very satisfied with it.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

One of the best cars

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Toyota RAV4 Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I purchased this car new and except for routine maintenance have never had a problem. My daughter was taking the car to college so I called a local Mechanic to see have the car checked out - I was concerned that the car had a serpentine belt that might need to be replaced. They informed me that the engine had a timing chain (lasts longer) and that the car wasn't scheduled for its first tune up until 120,000 miles! I purchased this car at the same time I bought a 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser - I made sure to purchase Toyotas that were made in Japan, not the U.S. (both were). I have had zero problems with both cars.



Full 2005 Toyota RAV4 Review

What's New for 2005

The JBL 3-in-1 audio system has been discontinued, and the sport package receives a unique metal mesh grille and silver sport pedals.

Introduction

In the mid-1990s, the Toyota brain trust took a close look at the SUV market and determined that not everybody liked the idea of piloting a three-ton land yacht in order to take advantage of the "U" in SUV. File drawers full of focus group questionnaires pointed toward a vehicle that combined the advantages of a sport-utility -- great visibility, sizable cargo capacity, all-weather capability -- with the manageable size and drivability of a car. With that in mind, Toyota's designers looked past their bulky truck frames and gas-guzzling engines and came up with a car-based SUV that merged trucklike utility with carlike maneuverability.

Introduced in 1996, the RAV4 (Recreational Active Vehicle -- four-wheel drive) combined sporty good looks, a convenient size and an economical engine into an attractive and affordable package. It was an instant hit, and as the first example of a car-based sport-utility, the RAV4 enjoyed phenomenal sales that brought with them an onslaught of new competitors hoping to cash in on the newfound niche. Vehicles like the Honda CR-V and Suzuki Grand Vitara soon hit the market sporting bigger engines and more refined interiors, promptly shuffling the aging RAV4 toward the bottom of the category it had single-handedly created. Despite a dose of additional power in 1999, the RAV was getting left behind, and with more competition on the way, Toyota knew a complete redesign was in order to keep its ground-breaking sport-utility at the top of its game.

This led to the current-generation RAV4, introduced for 2001. It has a refined look thanks to sharply upswept headlights and crisp lines that stretch the length of the vehicle. Squint hard enough and Toyota's latest mini-ute could even pass for a poor man's BMW X5, sans the neck-snapping V8 of course. Unlike some other SUVs, the RAV4 can't be ordered with a V6. Until last year, the mini-ute's weak, buzzy 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine was a notable disadvantage next the Honda CR-V's larger, more potent 2.4-liter four-cylinder and the Ford Escape's 200-horsepower V6. Toyota responded by installing a larger 2.4-liter engine under the hood that produces 161 hp and 165 pound-feet of torque.

Our other main complaint about the RAV4 was its short standard features list that forced buyers to pay extra for basics like air conditioning, cruise and power windows and locks. Now you'll find all of these on the standard equipment list, along with ABS and stability control. Meanwhile, front side-impact airbags and full-length head curtain airbags are on the options list. With these upgrades and freshened styling that's slightly less toylike, this fun-to-drive mini-ute makes great sense as a durable urban runabout and commuter vehicle -- which is just what most people need most of the time.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door RAV4 is offered in a single trim level and comes with front-wheel drive (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). All RAV4s come with 16-inch wheels, ABS, stability control, air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, cruise control, a six-speaker CD stereo and power windows, mirrors and locks. Upgrade to the "L" package and you'll also get heated mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dark tinted glass, foglights and body-color bumpers and door handles. The "L" package is also your ticket to leather upholstery and heated seats if you want them. A sport package adds a mesh grille, a hood scoop, color-keyed door handles, a roof rack, silver sport pedals, heated mirrors, gray-painted bumpers and overfenders and sport fabric seats. Other options include alloy wheels, a sunroof and keyless entry. Larger tires are also available on AWD models.

Powertrains and Performance

Both 2WD and AWD versions of the RAV4 are powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 161 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can choose either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. Fuel economy is excellent, and buyers can expect to get 22 to 25 mpg in the city and 27 to 31 mpg on the highway.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard, as is Toyota's VSC stability control system. Side airbags for front occupants and full-length side curtain airbags are optional. The RAV4 fared well in government crash tests, earning four out of five stars for frontal impact protection and a perfect five stars for side impacts. It also earned a "Good" rating (the highest) in frontal offset and side-impact crash testing by the IIHS (the RAV4 is the first vehicle to earn a "Best Pick" designation for both frontal and side-impact tests). One other item of note is the RAV4's lack of a rear bumper. Low-speed crashes that damage the rear of the vehicle can lead to high repair costs.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside, buyers will find a set of stylish white-faced gauges. As usual, all controls are simple and straightforward to use. Thoughtful design elements include adjustable cupholders and well-placed storage bins. There's plenty of room for four passengers, but throw in a fifth and things get a little tight. Behind the rear seat, the RAV4 can hold 29.2 cubic feet of cargo. Remove the 50/50-split bench seat, which also slides, tumbles, folds and reclines, and the vehicle can hold an impressive 68.3 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

Intended for a life on pavement, the RAV4 really shines in this environment, where its taut suspension, quick steering and tight turning radius come together to produce one of the best-handling SUVs we've ever driven. Minimal body lean and sticky street tires combined with the traction of all-wheel drive provide reassuring handling in almost all situations. With a capable and refined 2.4-liter engine installed under the hood, the RAV4 has the power to complement its sharp reflexes.

Talk About The 2005 RAV4

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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