Bought our RAV 4 in Nov 08, absolutely loved it. Put on some top-end 18" studded tires, and the handling and traction was great. We moved from a 95 Ford Windstar to this, so anything would have been better, but it really does handle and drive very well. 31 days later we were in accident. I was in the passenger side and took the brunt of the impact. It took a minute or so to figure out what happened. Air bags deployed, doors crumpled, but we were all completely fine. Safety and crash ratings are very high from me, as the impact felt like nothing more than a little nudge (impact speed about 25mph). Its been written off, but will definitely look at another RAV as a replacement.
Performance, handling and traction, and the ability to take a pretty good hit without any negative effects on the passengers.
Could use rear window roll down or side window vents at the back, so the dog can get some air.