24 of 24 people found this review helpful
Great, but has had its share of problems
By aposak on
2006 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
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.