My wife has had this car since we met. It's her daily driver, as well as our trip vehicle. Overall, it handles very well. The engine is powerful, much more so than my 2003 Nissan Altima (with the same size V6). It handles confidently, and the brakes are string. The few times we've used 4wd in the snow and offorad trails, it worked well. The interior quality is okay, with a few minor issues. The powertrain reliability, however, simply hasn't been there. Since I've been around the car, it rattles loudly on startup. The 4x4 lights randomly light up, indicating a problem, but non found. Recently, the VVT module exploded, causing extensive engine damage. Caveat emptor.
Power is great, handling is very good. Lots of cargo space, and good towing capacity. Controls are simple and intuitive. 4wd has been capable when needed. Toyota still seems to make one of the most reliable automatic transmissions in the industry, though sometimes it slams into gear if you change the throttle in the middle of a shift. Plenty of headroom, and the rear seats are comfortable for adults and roomy enough for carseats (and they recline!).
Get rid of the cartridge style oil filter! This thing has been the bane of my existence, not to mention costing 2-3x as much. Plagued by electrical gremlins that surface about every 6 months, particularly with the 4wd. Engine has sounded terrible at startup for a long time, and recently the VVT exploded at 101k miles. Shift linkage broke, necessitating climbing under the car to shift in and out of gear to make it home.
Overall performance was great, but the car really pulled its weight during a recent accident. My 17-year-old flipped the car three times going about 70 mph and landed on the driver's side in a ditch. The car was totaled, but thanks to seatbelts and side airbags, she walked away with barely a scratch. I would recommend this car to anyone.
Side air bags, 6-CD changer, lots of storage space
I have loved driving my 2006 Rav 4 from the day I drove it off the lot! I t has amazing pick up and power..reliability has exceeded my expectations. The dealership played the most important part--outstanding experience in customer service and repair! Thank you Mountain States
Toyota In Denver Colorado!
Great get up and go!
Rear door open access! Easy 4 wheel drive...Great paint...Overall reliability!
when rear windows are down a vibration or suction occurs..seats could be more comfortable and are hard to keep clean.
2006 Toyota RAV4 SUV Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
We were so excited to hear that Toyota was building a V6 RAV4. After owning a 1999 RAV4 L for many years, we were ready for a bigger and more powerful RAV4.
But because we couldn't get a good trade-in value for our 1999 RAV4, we decided to keep it. That was probably the best thing we ever did. While this RAV4 with the V6 engine si fun to drive, owning it is not fun at all.
From whining sound coming from the fuel pump, to grumbling sound caused by the AWD's ECU, to prematurely failed wheel bearings, to knocking steering wheel column, to rusted through "Stainless steel" muffler, to failing ignition coils, and leaking oil lines that almost bursted.
Now we have to replace the water pump. Sigh
My favorite feature was the V6 engine when it was running fine before the problems started.
I like that it's bigger so we could haul bigger items that our 1999 couldn't carry.
I suggest that Toyota gets their act together and tackle the quality and durability issues their customers are having with the current model lineup.
They wouldn't even cover the embarrassing rusted through stainless steel muffler they installed on our RAV4.
Remove the clean up catalytic converter from the muffler section so they could lower the muffler's price down to acceptable level.
A Toyota tech at Toyota Universe in NJ couldn't even tell a catalytic converter from a resonator.
What confidence will I have with their repairs.
This is our last Toyota vehicle.
Other manufacturers have caught up and surpassed them in terms of quality and durability.
Toyota is now the old Ford.
I'm the 3rd owner of my '06 4cyl 4WD, base model RAV, which had a 110K miles on her when purchased from a private seller. She was well cared for by her previous owners, with the replacement of the rear window wiper motor as the biggest issue. Since owning her, I've maintained her well and she purrs like a kitten & runs like a race horse. I've read a lot of negatives reviews here, but neither I nor the previous owners (judging from car reports and Toyota service records) have encountered any of it. I couldn't be happier with the continued solid & reliable performance of my Made in Japan RAV4, and look forward to years with her. It's all in the personal care and maintenance you give them.
Fav feature has to be the exterior design; the RAV4 is just the sexiest looking SUV out there IMO. I also like the large rear side windows, that are not little triangle shapes like in other mid-size SUVs; rear visibility was a major "must have" on my list. Also the design and positioning of the side mirrors and rear view is so ergonomically well done that watching the rear action is like having eyes in the back of my head and looking out a big expansive window. There's no effort at all in seeing everything behind you. Gas mileage is also great considering the size.
Well, I've got an 06, so I would imagine anything I say has been improved upon already in subsequent models.