I've had my RAV4 for about 4 months and I like it a lot. The 4 cyl engine is amazing and the braking is the best I've ever had in a car. There are a lot of little extras which are nice. I have only two real complaints. The seat, while having a good lumbar support are quite uncomfortable. If you test drive be aware. The mileage is somewhat under the estimated mileage. My mixed city-highway is running between 18-21 mpg. Last, they should have had some heavy duty cover on the back bumper. It can easily get roughed up as you put things in the rear. They offer a little plastic cover, but it does not cover the critical area. This may have been fixed in the 2009 model. Great car-bad seats
engine is great. cargo area is quite spacious. 6 disc CD and audio system is nice.
2008 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
We bought a Honda crv first and in our opinion the 2008 Honda CRV can not compare with the Toyota. It has a great comfortable interior and has extras the Honda does not. Roof rack, hands free dialing and a unbelievable comfortable seat. Leg room is excellent and even the back seat has lots of leg room.
We purchased the RAV specifically for gas mileage when the price per gallon was near $5. It has delivered high 20's on the road and around 20mpg in town. Ho-hum. The engine pulls like a freight train and easily tows up to the 3500# limit. Unfortunately, the engineers didn't sort out the torque steer problems under heavy acceleration, it can be very darty. Also, notice the acceleration rate keeps coming on even after I stop pushing on the gas any harder (like a turbo). We bought the Sport to get the darker interior, but the ride quality is too harsh for commuter style driving. And, worst for last, the AT has an irritating whine at 25-35 mph that is louder after warmed up.
High resale value. Reliability. Only SUV this size and price that was seriously set up to tow 3500# without heroics. It's a Camry on steroids.
Fix the transmission whine (fluid viscosity?), include auto-off headlights on all models (mine is loaded but missing that? sheesh), redesign tailgate to swing AWAY from curb, make a driver's seat for a full-size American rear, improve the warranty.
Have put about 5000 miles on a lease/return since purchased 10/08 including about 1500 miles in extremely nasty snow/wind/icing conditions across the northwestern US. Handles snow packed "driveways" with 12-15% grades. We have room for my yellow lab in his kennel, 3 suitcases and a box of apples behind the split rear seat. Road noise is less than our Subaru OB. We have averaged 25+ MPG since purchase with individual tanks running between 24 MPG and 29 mpg highway. V6 cruises easily at 70 MPH with power to spare while passing. Driver visibility is great.
Pleased with the fuel economy. The arrangement of space in rear seats and behind the rear seats is great. 5- speed AT allows you to select the appropriate gear when climbing or descending steep grades. I like the space saved with the externally mounted spare tire.
I don't care for the external appearance. The lines/shape should be changed to something a little more... sleek(?) The 4-wheel lock feature automatically reverts to all-wheel mode. I would like to be able to lock it in and have it stay there for tough road conditions.