2006 Toyota RAV4 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Toyota RAV4 SUV

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Toyota RAV4 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 166 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Toyota RAV4

  • With available V6 power under the hood, nimble handling on the street and a generous standard features list, the Toyota RAV4 is a top compact SUV choice for 2006.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Steers and handles like a car, thoughtful and roomy cabin design, exemplary build and materials quality, available third-row seating, refined and powerful engines.

  • Cons

    Cramped seating for third-row passengers, more expensive than many competing compact SUVs.

  • What's New for 2006

    The RAV4 has been fully redesigned for 2006, boasting a larger overall size and available V6 power.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (28 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

T-sb-0094-11 engine oil consumption engine

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Our Vehicle: RAV4 4-Cyl Limited (As in Limited Quality) Our Dealership: Colonial Toyota of Lincoln RI. This is my wife's daily driver. After 50k miles, the vehicle has the following problem: Technical Service Bulletin (TSP) T-SB-0094-11. About a month ago the engine light came on, after running an oil consumption test on our vehicle, the service manager said that it “only” burned 1 quart of engine oil in 1000 miles, which they said was within specifications. This I do not buy given my 2003 Honda Accord LX with 165,000 miles, had never had engine oil consumption issues. The engine output power seems to be in declined. The engine noise within the cabin is worst than my Accord!

It will get you to

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I've owned my RAV 4 for 5 years now and it's the 3rd Toyota I've owned ('91 celica and '00 celica being the others). All my toyotas have been really great on quality. I bought this RAV 4 because of it being more practical than my 2000 toyota celica I traded it in for. The RAV 4 can get me through the midwestern snow storms without much problems (big problem with my celica). It gets great gas milage for a SUV but the RAV 4 is pretty vanilla. Not really exciting to drive. It will get me to where I need to go but that's about it.

I expected more for a

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Drove a Rav4 2005 sport that was more fun w/nicer console than 2006 and newer. It drove like a sport car. This model feels heavy, though its nice to drive/missing the same zip. I take very good care of my vehicles. Beware of those who complain & don't maintain. Paint job less than I expected. I live in the country. When I put in reverse about 30% of the time it chokes/knocks about in backing up. Rear Door should have been corrected years ago, opens backward would prefer up. Loyal to Toyota/ 4th Toyota, not enough bang for the buck compared to USA mfg.s w/luxury models and opts. Driving light lives up to the 24 MPG, however, previously all my Toyotas did better than they claimed.

Fun, safe, reliable, sharp!

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Have owned this rav4 limited 4wd since aug 2006, so here's a real road test. Sticker said: 23-28 9 city/hwy), I average 28 mpg, with a few tanks getting 30-33 mpg. And yes it's a 4wd. Only changes made, were those junky Yokohama tires at 29k miles. Everything else is original & still going strong!

Toyota good but certainly not

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Original equipment tires wore out at 40000km (even though they were inflated and rotated at factory specs). Paint damage at 75000km is terrible. Rocker panels and lower door panels are full of rock marks (factory mud guards too small). Gas mileage has never come close to high end of rating, stays around 26- 27MPG (imperial gallons) regardless of city or highway driving. It is dependable but the worst, most disappointing thing is looking at the amount of paint damage on a 3 year old vehicle...unbelievable.

Never again!

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Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I would never buy a RAV4 again. I had problems with the steering that took 2 dealerships to repair. I also hate the cup holders which allow everything to flip out of them. The lights automatically shutoff after 30 when you are unloading it, especially annoying in the winter! The tires have not lasted 20,000 miles! There are 3 bad blindspots. The car has slid since day one in rain, snow, sleet, doesn't matter!

Full 2006 Toyota RAV4 Review

What's New for 2006

The RAV4 has been fully redesigned for 2006, boasting a larger overall size and available V6 power.


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 3-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 Toyota 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 CR-V and 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. This led to the second-generation Toyota RAV4, introduced for 2001, which bolstered the RAV back into the top of its class. But time marches on, and the competition has continued to improve.

The 2006 RAV4 marks the third generation of Toyota's compact SUV. Only now it's not so little anymore, as nearly all dimensions have grown. The styling is less busy than before and the RAV4 has a more serious, chiseled look. There is a certain premium feel of the new cabin with fewer hard plastics. The rear seats are not only split and able to recline, they also slide back and forth 6.5 inches to allow either passenger space or cargo capacity to be optimized. A third-row seat is optional. Big changes lie under the hood, as well. In addition to a standard four-cylinder engine, a 269-horsepower V6 is optional. A redesigned suspension system delivers a fine balance between comfort and control. In sum, the 2006 Toyota RAV4 has finally stepped up from being a "cute 'ute" to a fully functional crossover SUV.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door Toyota RAV4 is a midsize crossover SUV offered in three trim levels: base, Sport and Limited. Standard features for the base trim include 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, a CD stereo with MP3 capability and power windows, mirrors and locks. Above this, the RAV4 Sport has 18-inch alloy wheels and wider tires, a sport-tuned suspension, color-keyed overfenders, and a roof rack. The top-line Limited includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat and upgraded audio with a six-disc CD changer. Many of these features are available as options on the base trim. Other options include a third-row seat, a moonroof (Sport and Limited only) and, for the Limited, leather seating and a DVD-based rear entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

Both front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive (4WD) versions of the RAV4 are available. The 4WD system automatically sends torque to the rear wheels when a loss of traction is detected. Standard power is provided by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 166 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. A 3.5-liter V6, which boasts 269 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque, is optional. Automatic transmissions are standard -- the four-cylinder gets paired with a four-speed automatic, while the V6 gets a five-speed unit. When equipped with the optional towing package, the V6 RAV4 can tug 3,500 pounds.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard, as is Toyota's VSC stability control system and traction control. RAV4s with 4WD or the optional third-row seat are equipped with Hill-start Assist Control and Downhill Assist Control. Side airbags for front occupants and full-length side curtain airbags are optional. The redesigned Toyota RAV4 has not yet been crash tested.

Interior Design and Special Features

As usual, all controls are simple and straightforward to use. The overall feel is upscale, with less hard plastic than previous RAVs, electroluminescent gauges like a Lexus' and an illuminated cupholder. The rear seats recline, and can slide forward or rearward 6.5 inches to allow either passenger space or cargo capacity to be optimized. Normal seating capacity is five; the optional third-row seat bumps it to seven, though this seat is truly meant only for children. To configure the RAV4 for cargo, all one has to do is flip a lever to instantly get a flat load floor. No removing headrests or flipping up seat cushions for the second-row seating is required. With its flat load floor, the RAV4 can hold a maximum of 73 cubic feet of cargo.

Driving Impressions

Intended for a life on pavement, the 2006 Toyota RAV4 really shines in this environment. Its taut suspension and quick steering make daily commutes or errands much more enjoyable than what would otherwise be the case in a traditional SUV, and the RAV4's ride quality is still pretty comfy when driven over broken pavement. Most drivers will be perfectly satisfied with the standard 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine as it provides adequate power for day-to-day driving. The optional 269-hp V6, meanwhile, is full of swagger. So equipped, the RAV4 can embarrass quite a few modern sport coupes in terms of acceleration.

Read our Toyota RAV4 Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

Talk About The 2006 RAV4

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Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs