I traded a 2002 manual honda civic for the RAV4 because we had a baby and needed a bigger car. I love the power upgrade from the civic, V-6 is a big jump in hp for my daily driving. It doesn't take the corners like a car, but it does handle fairly well with the sport suspension and larger wheels. We were almost ready to buy the CR-V, but the power of the V-6 sold me. So far I'm averaging 21.5 mpg, pretty good mix of highway and city with the A/C on all the time because it's been hot. Also drive on the more heavier footed side of average, not crazy, but more pedal than probably about 3/4 of the people out there. Overall its a nice car so far.
Power, space, Toyota's reliability history. Overall this is like the jackknife of vehicles - drives like a car, has a ton of interior room considering the size of the vehicle, and it mixes function, fun, and value better than anything else I've seen.
Fit and finish on the inside. Has been making clicking noises because of the cheaper plastic inside. Not a deal breaker for me, but some may hate it. Also got the sport model with no spare tire - would like a donut at least.
2010 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I just Leased a 2010 RAV4 AWD Limited with a V6 for $330 per month with zero down plus signing fees ($1,625). They bought out the lease on my 2008 WV Passat with 8 months to go with zero cost to me so I basically dropped off one car and drove home with a brand new more expensive vehicle, which to me is a hard to beat deal.
V6 power with 3,500 lbs of towing capacity, lots of room for stuff in the cargo area under floor storage and the one touch fold-flat rear seats.
Previously owned a 98 olds bravada then an 03 chevy trail blazer. Liked both of them a lot. Both drove a little rough like a truck but served me well. I still wanted an SUV or crossover, one under $30,000, but with a little better gas mileage and handling. I test drove the Santa Fe, Tucson, Rogue, Escape, Edge, Outback, Forester, and Equinox. All had nice features, but non left me wanting to drive one home that day. Finally decided to drive the Rav4 and fell in love with it. Husband really likes it too and he doesn't care for suvs. Love the blue color and the V6. It's early, but think I will really like the Rav4. Got it for a good price according to Edmunds. Hope it's great in the snow.
seems well built, love the blue paint, adjustable back seat, plenty of a/c even though no vents in back like larger SUVs, great stereo, blue tooth, control panel looks nice. No blind spots. Leather seats, handles very well and V6 has great get up and go! Push button start is different but fun!
Cup holders barely large enough for my 32 oz cups, but they do fit. Wish the leather came in darker colors because of my kids and dogs. Don't mind the spare tire on the back but other people comment on it at first until they see how nice my RAV4 is and realize the tire isn't a big deal.
You've read the rave reviews and already know that the RAV4 is a great car and the best choice in the small SUV class so I won't repeat all of its great qualities. Instead, I'll use this space to point out my 2 main gripes about the vehicle. These are the things that I wish someone had warned me about before I bought. I don't know if it would have changed my mind, but it would have been nice to know. One is the interior noise at speed. Far noisier than a car at this price point should be. Source is mostly road noise, but mechanical and wind are also contributors. Second is handling; not as crisp or responsive as it could be. Please pay attention to both of these issues before you buy.
Tailgate, no spare, Sport trim package
Probably upgraded suspension and minor performance tweaks are all you need, and probably all you can do. Too bad you can't do anything about the road noise.