2009 Toyota RAV4 SUV Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
After leasing a VW EOS with that silly turbo engine that is gutless when you turn on the AC I decided to look at something more powerful, fun while also reliable. With the v6 this RAV4 is a great value. in fact I chose and purchased this used model over the new redesigned RAV4 because after a test drive in the new one I realized I don't like 4 cylinder engines. The suspension on the Sport model is a bit stiff but the upside is great handling when passing all the slower drivers.
First, I have been driving toyotas before I was aloud to drive...35 years. I have owned used and new. I had a 2005 rav4 ...great car. Everything about that car...5 stars. I bought a 2009 limited V6 3.5 and it is a nightmare. The suspension recall fix involves an epoxy seal on the links which make the adjustable links...unadjustable. meaning...if the rear is out of alignment. ..you have to pay $500+ to have the recall fix done again. I have never had to do anything other than maintenance to my toyotas. This one...3rd pair of shocks...this time i used monroe shocks. ER brake cable...drive train assembly ($1400 part). Blower motor...Such a disappointment... I have 150000 miles on the odometer and it runs great. Done with it.
2009 Toyota RAV4 SUV Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
The RAV drives more like a dune buggy than a 21st century vehicle and leaves an unrefined impression not generally associated with a Toyota (I have owned two other Toyota vehicles).
The 4 cylinder engine is very loud and road noise is pronounced. I can hear suspension, wind, and tire noise at even the lowest speeds on newly paved surfaces. The ride is stiff and the steering feels artificially weighted. Throttle response is jerky, especially at low speeds.
The lack of a rear bumper is a safety concern and the side hinged tail gate is inconvenient. I think this vehicle is cheaply made and not worth the high used vehicle price it commands. Suggest looking elsewhere.
The front and rear seats are roomy. Cargo space is generous. Braking performance is good.
More insulation from road, wind engine and tire noise. A rear bumper and top hinged rear tailgate. Better quality interior trim, steel rims that won't rust after 5 years. Reprogram the throttle response for smoother power delivery.