I purchased a 2009 Base 2.5L/AWD Rav4. First and foremost, I really like the Rav4. I have had it for about 10 months now and average between 25-28mpg (mostly highway driven). Interior is laid out well with great room for drivers and passengers. Rear passenger seats move fore and aft and recline. Sightlines are very good and all instruments are well laid out. Toyota revised the base engine for more horsepower/torque and smoother running and it is apparent. The engine is smooth and revs freely. Fuel economy is very good for a CUV. behind the rear seats provide ample storage with under floor storage bins and handy remore release levers to lower rear seats from the hatch.
Handy rear seat release levers by the hatch to lower rear seats
Interior well laid out
Paint quality (chips easily)
LCD display on radio washes out with sunglasses
Interior pieces not of best quality
I wanted to do an update. After 2 plus years of ownership, I have not had one unscheduled problem ( coming up to 75k mileage ). Gas mileage has still
hovered between 25 to 28 mpg ( I drive mostly highway//off hours do to work schedule).
Like the design on most CUVs, the interior noise can be impacted/augmented by wrong tire choice.
Think of the inside shell of the vehicle as a big chamber. I replaced my original
Continental tires with another brand (Mastercraft) and after 10k mileage the tire hum is horrible. Not the fault of the vehicle per se, but something to think about if replacing tires. I will be replacing them again.
I have had good service with my local Toyota dealer and oil changes are actually cheaper than Jiffy Lube. (Typically I change my own oil but allowed the dealer to change oil for this vehicle)
Spark plugs are rated at 100K but I may change them soon for piece of mind (especially as the engine is mostly aluminum and the plugs can be difficult to remove at higher mileage).
Paint is still awful for factory. It does chip easily. The same can be said for late model Hondas. Factory radio isn't great but serviceable.