2006 Toyota RAV4 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Toyota RAV4 SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota RAV4 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 166 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

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.

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Bad engine

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I was having some issues regarding quality - replaced ECU and water pump and for the last 25,000 miles I've had an oil issue and was told last week that I need a new engine. A new engine with less that 100,000 miles. Don't buy a Toyota.

No good build quality

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

My first SUV, good fuel economy, good comfort & easy to drive. But in my opinion no good build quality, the brakes have been replaced twice, the first time was in Dec. 2007. The dampers has been replaced once. Noise in the back started six months ago, finally the last month Toyota Shop found the cause of the noise: one large screw of the left damper support is damaged!!!

Loved our rav

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Our Rav was one of the best cars we've owned and we were so impressed on Toyota that when we needed a larger vehicle we bought a Sienna. The interior was so cool and everything was well placed and plenty of compartments to put stuff. Great car!

Expected a little more!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I'll begin by saying that my RAV4 was purchased to replace a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. So for comparison purposes, the RAV is a far superior vehicle. However, the 4 cyl in my base model is underpowered and hesitates when cold. According to the dealer, this is normal and part of the vehicle's computer program to maximize efficiency. Fuel economy is also a bit disappointing. With a ratio of 70/30 city/hwy driving, I've never exceeded 22 mpg (usually around 20). On the plus side, the all wheel drive is great and the vehicle is very reliable. It's also quite roomy and easy to drive. The hard plastic spare tire cover looks great, but is a bear to put back on!

Best vehicle we have had.

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

Love the car. Gets us through the snow. Gas mileage is better than we could expect for being called a "truck". Stay with the higher rated Ethanol gas (manual states tested). We have on occasion had to fill up with the regular brands. Expensive!! Had a 1995 Altima before. It got us 100km more on ethanol. This vehicle gets us 100kms more than the Altima on a fill-up. (Both same size of tank.) Averaged 32 mpg on a trip that had freeway and city driving. Original tires were 17 inch all seasons. Very stiff ride. Felt all the bumps in the road. When needing snow tires, we called around and found out you could put on 16 inch tires. Saved us a lot of money, and, have a smoother ride.

No more toyotas

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

There is something very wrong with this car. The list of problems with this car is huge. It grinds, growls, shifts hard, steers hard, and every time I go in for an oil change I have to replace or repair something. I have replaced steering column, and it needs to be replaced again, I replaced battery, front brakes, rear brakes, air filter, fuel filter and all the pricey tune-ups. Replaced spark plugs, wires, and right now I am so sick of Toyota, this was a new car.


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

2006 Toyota RAV4 Discussions See all Started By

MT hinted that the next Rav4 is due THIS FALL, and will be bigger, with corporation's 3.3 V6 and an auto tranny....

I have 2006 Toyota Rav4, 4 Cyl, 4WD, Limited with only 57,200 miles. For the past couple months, I have experienced issues with a humming/buzzing noise (similar to the sound of the old GM seatbelt si...

My first post here, We are looking into buying our first SUV. Although, I would like to get the MDX because I really like it, but at this time we can't afford it. So we are thinking of the Rav4 used....

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