2008 Toyota RAV4 Base Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2008 Toyota Rav4 - Consumer Reviews

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2008 RAV4 Consumer Reviews

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rav 4 bursts into flames
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
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Exterior Design
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Reliability
By lmcvey
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I loved my 2008 rav 4....until I hit a deer going barely 25 miles an hour and the car burst into flames. Luckily, I got out of my car immediately after hitting the deer to inspect the damage. I honestly thought there may be little or no damage based on the minimal impact (airbags didn't go off and there was only a dent in the driver's side headlight area) but the car almost immediately started smoking and then promptly burst into flames. Toyota has been extremely non-responsive to my questions and I would never buy another one.


Favorite Features

space


Suggested Improvements

safety ratings, better customer service


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Engine replaced at 56K. No more Toyota for me.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
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By nomoretoyota7
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 Sport 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

Sadly, though not my first Toyota, this will be my last. I had to replace my engine due to a hose failure. No recall on this part, but they changed the design in 2009.... wonder why...mmm. I take good care of my vehicles and got regular oil changes. This has become the most expensive car I have ever owned. And I bought it because of the Toyota reputation.


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Worst Vehicle I've Ever Owned
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
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By wisernow1
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Before the final stroke of the pen, I decided to buy the Toyota extended warranty - which actually seemed ridiculous that a Toyota wouldn't go 100K without a major problem. That was the only redeeming feature of my purchase: by 80K miles they replaced the alternator, air conditioning condensor, all valve stems and the COMPLETE ENGINE. When I informed Toyota of this total disaster they produced, the best response I got was that it was a good thing I bought the warranty. It is now gone and I'll never deal with a Toyota product again.


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Possibly Perfect
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
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Reliability
By fd3sired
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)


Review

After testing other brands as well as the base and Sport model RAV4s, decided on the Limited. Much quieter, more comfortable ride (it's based on a car platform, not truck) and better interior materials than the base. The two extra hidden storage behind the rear seats are awesome as well as the three 12v outlets and iPod jack. Seats are super comfortable. The 4WD handles off-road duties superbly. Everything on this vehicle is laid out well with emphasis on order and functionality. Purchased rain guards, mud flaps, bug deflector, and better crossbars for my kayaks to make it perfect. I purchased this car used and it now has 48,000 miles. Every tank has been 24-26mpg with mixed driving.


Favorite Features

Fold-flat seats, two storage areas under carpet in the back. Storage compartment above glovebox and the two-compartment armrest. Dual-zone climate control (the significant other likes warmer temps than I), sunroof, privacy glass, heated side mirrors, Bluetooth, steering wheel controls, power seat (especially lumbar support). Comfort and quietness, especially on the highway. Electric-assisted steering makes steering effort intuitive. Overall space and layout. Upgraded interior materials over base model


Suggested Improvements

Spare tire rattles over bumps (will be attempting to fix this with more rubber inserts), engine seems down on low-end power accelerating from 50mph. Seats and carpet are very tough to clean dog hair out of


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My Favorite Rid
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
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Fuel Economy
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Reliability
By adam334
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

I have owned a number of AWD/4WD cars, including a WRX, Outback Limited 2.5XT, the 2009 Rav4 Limited (which got totaled by tree) and now I got this one. This car easily tops the list. For a high sitting car, it handles very well with the 18inch rims and 235mm tires. It actually rides better the the Subaru WRX and feels commanding and not cheap. The torque steer of my limited is not there and feels very even. The car is very fast for its size, suprisingly faster than most cars off the line. Its really an understated car. JBL upgrades stereo is more than adaquate, and the black interior looks sweet.


Favorite Features

Power, handling, reliability. Safety - I tested this when a 2.5' tree fell onto the car while I was driving at 25mpg. The car was totaled but I came out without a scratch... thats why this is my second RAV4. This time I chose the Sport over the Limited as the suspension is definatelly more responsive.


Suggested Improvements

The button press - second glove compartment is goofy! Some way of telling whether the dome and map lights are turned on when locking the car, as the lights stay on after you shut the car you cant tell if they will stay on. Ability to turn on dome lights in the rear from up-front (to see my kids).


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Toyota is Slipping
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By voicedude
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

I bought this car for the engine, and it remains the best feature of the car. But I have had ongoing problems with the transmission, and many others have, too. This is only true with the 5-speed transmission on the V6 (not the 4-cyl.) The now infamous "whining transmission" noise that has been well documented on the owner's forums (search transmission noise on RAV4 World and others) is something you will want to consider when you're buying this vehicle used. Also the poor response from Toyota in fixing the problem under warranty has completely soured me on the ownership experience, so I wouldn't be able to recommend this car to anyone. Go with Honda.


Favorite Features

Engine power, cargo room, visibility for shorter drivers.


Suggested Improvements

Fix this noisy transmission! Also has almost no insulation, and with the Unibody construction, road noise (and other mechanical noises) intrude badly into the cabin. Quiet tires are very important here (I had good luck with Michelin Latitude Tour) Driver seating for anyone over 6' is tight . I'm 6'3", and thought I could live with it, but it's yet another reason I'm getting rid of the car. Console edge is sharp for right knee. Have had to add padding there to tolerate it. Fussy controls on the dual-zone climate control system. Constantly defaults to "recirculate" when fresh air is wanted instead. Less arrogance in responding to warranty claims, and more responsiveness.


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Fun, reliable, good fit for tall people
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By szabaka
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

I am 6'7" (36" inseam) and love my Rav4 Sport w/the V6. The JBL audio is excellent. I have had this car from day one, 25k miles, never a problem - other than flipping a coin for who has the car for the day. Winter (northern Vermont) with Firestone Winterforce: excellent. I've tried getting it to skid, nearly impossible. Never stuck, stomping on the pedal and all four wheels really grab. I am 6'7" tall and have no issue on the driver side (passenger side is ok, I don't sit in the rear but could if the driver seat wasn't all the way back). My only beef is the small light in the rear door. Minor annoyance.


Favorite Features

Fast acceleration, excellent passing capability on the highway (55mph to 70mph or even 35 to 50). Sport has very tight feel (it is a rough ride below 25-mph, as expected). Corners very well. JBL with 6-CD changer is excellent.


Suggested Improvements

Improve that light in the rear inside door. That's the only complaint. Note: on long trips I do use a pillow under my left arm, the arm rest is rather hard.


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Pleased Overall, With Some Caveats
Performance
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Fun To Drive
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By daveinNJ
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

Took over the lease on this car. Engine is powerful but vehicle does torque a bit when accelerating quickly. Quiet enough on the highway but the audio system is poor. Nice high driving position. Interior is versatile; seat fabric in Sport Model is very thick synthetic something or other. I like this car much better than my old g'friend's '08 CRV EX-L. Some small things left out, e.g., no light in glove compartment. Looking forward to replacing the OEM tires (Yokohama) - they're not great. Easy to back up for an SUV - spare tire helps you gauge how close you are to whatever's behind you. If I can find a way to upgrade the stereo, I'll definitely by the car when the lease is up.


Favorite Features

V6 and 4WD. Roof rack for my bike rack. Sideways rear gate works fine - better than lift hatch. Lots of space. Rear seats recline and slide fore and aft - very cool. Tinted windows in back. Tie down hooks in cargo area. Flip over the cargo mat and it's rubber - prevents things from sliding around.


Suggested Improvements

Tune the stability control to prevent torque steer. I hesitate to use all the V6's power because the car does a weird front-fishtail move. Light in glove box. Make the seat fabric more comfy. Put a slit or hole for the AUX cable to your iPod from inside the armrest. Make a backup camera standard!


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Will not buy about another Toyota
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By J shafer
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)


Review

First off, I've had three yodas: 89 corolla 214,000 mi, 95 Camry 250,000 mi and this rav4. The rav just feels cheaper: the paint has way to many chips, the transmission is horrible, rough ride in the city, the stereo sucks, interior is loud, not enough room in the driver (I'm 62" 200 lbs) and passenger seat, we are expecting our third child and have to buy three new car seats because the second row is so narrow and it just doesn't feel like it is going to hold up. Now the good: zero problems in the first three years (of course it's just past the three year mark), awesome second row leg room and cargo, great in the snow, gas mileage is decent, and the wife loves the second glove box.


Favorite Features

Reliability, gas mileage, cargo area, 4wd


Suggested Improvements

Toyota stop being like Chevy and Dodge and go back to being "TOYOTA!" I will not buy another toyota. I am so unimpressed with this car I've actually looked at "gasp" VW's.


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RAV4
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Lene
on

Vehicle

2008 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)


Review

V6 is very peppy engine. CONS:Driver's seat does not go back very far. I'm only 5'6" & I would like more leg room. Since getting the car I have always noticed a humming noise whenever I'm accelerating & at all speeds, but especially between 40-45 mph. It has never impacted the performance of the car. I just took it into the dealer to address this sound. The dealer confirmed it IS a problem with the Rav4. They will be replacing the L side engine mount, rear engine mount & L side drive axle damper. They said IF that doesn't do the trick it will have to get a new transmission! What a surprise that was! Thank goodness I took it in before the warranty expired! So be aware...and listen.


Favorite Features

I like that is handles well and is extremely responsive. Love the configuration of the back seats and the way they fold flat.


Suggested Improvements

Driver's seat needs to slide back farther. Rear windshield wiper is hard to get, only available at Toyota dealer & is expensive. I found I can just buy the rubber piece and that is simple to replace. It should be made available elsewhere like other wipers.


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