I experienced a windshield tick soon as I purchased the vehicle. Toyota service attempted a fix and it got worse. The tick was intermittent and after several trips to the dealer, and test drives, the dealer resealed the windscreen. The problem resurfaced recently. The dealers are unable to diagnose and fix it. My 36,000 mile warranty is expiring. There is also a rattle around the dash on the passenger side. Toyota is unable to diagnose that problem as well. I occasionally hear other noises and vibrations as well in the interior from the sun roof area and around the passenger door. Toyota replaced defective sun visors, and the glove compartments. The radio display mysteriously would go blank.
We got our RAV4 in 7/2007 and since then we haven't have any problem at all. There are two areas where the 2007 design failed: 1) The rear bumper upper part is too exposed to scratches during loading/unloading. 3) At winter ice forms between the spare tire and the rear bumper. That ice eventually tends to damage the rear bumper. 2) the spare tire cover was removed during a car wash and totally ruined. Someone mentioned that TOYOTA said only they know of one case... that is simply not true, it is pretty common and a big design flaw. After 2007 they changed the design of the car cover.
Our Rav4 problem is that the engine(6cyl) starts to whine at 40mph and continues at higher speeds although it is somewhat less obvious due to wind and road noise. I have never seen a review where an owner is concerned about this problem. Dealer says no technical notes from Toyota. Looks like we dump the car.
Bought this new in 2007. It has 36,000 on it now. At 26K had to replace all 4 tires. They are 17" tires ($$$) and the dealer wanted us to pay 800 dollars to get it inspected. I bought them at a tire place for half. They said it was normal on Rav 4's that the stock tire wears out by 25K miles. The 30K maintenance cost us almost 400 dollars and I'm not really sure why. I get carsick in it if I'm not driving, same thing with my wife. My kid gets carsick on long trips as well. At 36,000 miles the check engine light came on accompanied by a light that said VSC and the 4X4 light too. Took it in and had to replace the coil. Paid 109 dollars for diagnosis. Also hard to tell if 4WD is on or not.
It is the right size, convenient for two kids. Decent leg room. Good power.
Stability control maybe to lessen the carsickness. Better tires too. Reassess the warranty and maintenance items... seems like too much for such little mileage.
Coming soon to a recall near you: the external VVTi rubber hose of the 3.5L engine fails spraying quarts of oil all throughout the engine compartment. This is a very common problem in Toyota's 3.5L lineup and potentially affects Avalon, Camry, and Rav4. Engine seizures are a possibility. Toyota has redesigned this rubber hose as a steel hose for 2009 models but hasn't done much of anything for current 2006, 2007, and 2008 owners. This line broke at 45,000 miles for me. For other owners, it broke outside of the power train warranty. Many Rav4s have needed short block replacement due to this defect.
Looks, interior, engine power.
Toyota needs to learn the fine art of keeping oil in the car. Toyota needs to own up to major problems. Toyota needs to be willing to repair damaged engines instead of putting bandaids on them. In short, Toyota has really gone downhill.