2011 Toyota RAV4 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Toyota RAV4 SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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Toyota RAV4 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 179 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Toyota RAV4

  • Spacious, comfortable and easy to drive, the 2011 Toyota RAV4 is a top pick for a small-to-midsize crossover SUV, especially if you want a V6 or a usable kid-size third-row seat.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Superb power yet great fuel economy from optional V6; huge cargo space with flat load floor and low load height; comfortable ride; responsive handling.

  • Cons

    Interior has a budget feel; right-side hinge for tailgate impedes curbside loading; taller drivers are a tight fit.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, the Toyota RAV4 sees only minor changes to standard equipment and option packages.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Initial impressions of rav4

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

We just bought a used 2011 Base FWD RAV4 with 24K mi on it as we were outgrowing a 1999 Corolla with 199k miles. This RAV4 is pretty stripped down but does have tinted glass. The acceleration is great for a 4 cylinder and the car is quiet. We get 24-25 MPG suburban driving, 28 mpg hwy. Kids are comfortable in the back, and there is plenty of storage for our needs. Visibility good.




No more domestics

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV 4WD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

purchased a 2011 Base rav4 4 cyl with 35K,traded in a 03 Hemi Ram Quadcab,compared to the ram this is a riding lawnmower on steroids,now i can pass a gas station,the fit and finish is excellent,rides very nice for a short wheelbase vehicle,i find the 4 cyl to be very adequate for daily driving,mileage is good also,the interior is roomy,if you like the glitz and glamour look,this wont do it for you,personally,i prefer basic and reliable,banking on the toyota reliability to serve me well for a number of years,overall very pleased.



4 of 6 people found this review helpful

Rattles, squeaks, noises, nonstop

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota RAV4 Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

This could have been a great car, but some issues keep it from even coming close. For one, this is the loudest car I've ever owned. It rattles, creaks, and squeaks like no other. On a typical drive I'll hear rattles from the sunroof, dashboard, some random panels on the drivers side, and the cargo area. The brakes make a grinding noise every morning when I depress the pedal. Some of the noises are so loud it makes the driving experience miserable, especially for a 2011 model. If you're considering one of these, I highly suggest driving with the stereo off so you can hear for yourself. I'll likely never buy a Toyota again after this experience. I've driven 15 year old cars quieter than this.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great so far

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV 4WD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I just bought a 2011 RAV, and for me it was a no brainer. I've always had Toyota's -- so maybe I'm biased in that direction -- but the test drives convinced me. I live in the Sierras, so I need a vehicle with high clearance. At first, I wanted a jeep, but driving two of the Liberty's was like driving a car weighed down by boulders. I couldn't believe how sluggish the Liberty was....Then I drove the RAV -- the thing took off like a rocket. It was almost too responsive -- I tapped the pedal and it would lunge forward. And the MPG is almost as good as that of my aging Corolla... It could be that after a while paint chips will fall off, or whatever, as others have said. But I am happy so far.



7 of 63 people found this review helpful

Toyota has a lot of

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota RAV4 Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)

Love the dealer. Hate this "SUV". I live in the northeast; I've always owned a 4WD to insure mobility in the winter months. This vehicle does not fit that bill, in the least. If you need a vehicle that needs to be functional and not just cute, find something else.



4 of 6 people found this review helpful

No hill holder on 4cyl.

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

2011 RAV4 Limited 4cyl. 4x4. For me (6'3") I find seat bottom short and uncomfortable. Mom (5'4") loves the seats. Ride isn't terrible but still bounces around like SUVs do. Rides nicely on highway. One of the quieter vehicles. Visibility is pretty good. Storage and cargo space is great. Mom is averaging 14mpg because she drives short 3-5 mile trips to the store or doctor and frequently sits in traffic. But, it's still 3-4mpg below lowest EPA estimate. 1 highway trip 1000miles I averaged close to 30mpg. There is no hill holder on the 4cyl. 4wd model. Car rolls back quickly and easily if stopped on incline and remove foot from brake. Very disconcerting. Only thing my mom does not like.



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Full 2011 Toyota RAV4 Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Toyota RAV4 sees only minor changes to standard equipment and option packages.

Introduction

With so many compact crossover SUVs on the market today, it's hard to remember which brand created the idea of a small, car-based SUV. Yet it was Toyota with its then-diminutive Celica-based RAV4 that created the segment some 15 years ago, beating the rival Honda CR-V to the punch.

Of course, using the words "small" or "compact" is a bit of a stretch today, as the 2011 Toyota RAV4 is closer to a midsize crossover in terms of exterior dimensions. But Toyota has found a way to offer all that space (with seating for up to seven) while still providing impressive fuel efficiency. Indeed, today's bigger RAV4 powered by its available 269-horsepower V6 actually surpasses the fuel-economy rating of the original RAV4 with its 120-hp four-cylinder -- it delivers 1 mpg more in EPA-rated combined driving.

One of the RAV4's strengths is its ability to effortlessly make the transition from an accommodating family runabout to a pack mule. There are useful storage spaces throughout the interior and the rear seats flip down to create a cargo hold more capacious than even the midsize Ford Edge. Passenger space is also pretty good, with an optional third-row seat capable of accommodating a pair of kids. Add in the aforementioned powerful yet thrifty V6 and you can see why the RAV4 has been a favorite of Edmunds over the past few years.

That said, the RAV4 is one of the older designs in the compact crossover segment. The 2011 Chevy Equinox has a more upscale look and feel as well as a roomier backseat, while the 2011 Honda CR-V is a bit nicer inside the cabin and more responsive to driver commands as well. The 2011 Kia Sorento is also more engaging when you're behind the wheel, while the 2011 Subaru Forester is notable for its available turbocharged punch. Still, the veteran 2011 Toyota RAV4 is so well rounded that you'd be remiss if you didn't have it on your test-drive list.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Toyota RAV4 is a midsize crossover SUV. There are three trim levels available: base, Sport and Limited. Each one is available with front- or all-wheel drive and a choice of either a four-cylinder or V6 engine.

The base RAV4 comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, a limited-slip differential (front-drive models only), air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable driver seat and a six-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The base V6 4WD adds 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels.

The RAV4 Sport comes standard with 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels, color-keyed bumpers and sportier suspension tuning. The Sport Appearance package that is available on all four-cylinder and V6 4WD Sport models deletes the spare tire mounted on the rear cargo door (the model features run-flat tires instead) and adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated mirrors and chrome exterior details.

The RAV4 Limited switches to the regular suspension and 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels, and adds automatic headlights (optional on the Sport), heated mirrors, hard-shell cover for the spare tire, roof rails, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control and an upgraded stereo with a six-disc CD changer and satellite radio (optional on base and Sport models). All V6 models add hill-start assist and hill-descent control, which are also standard for the RAV4 four-cylinder with the optional third-row seat.

Most of the RAV4's options are grouped into packages, and their content and availability differs by the region of the U.S. in which the vehicle is offered. A third-row seat is optional on all models, as is a back-up camera with a display mounted in the rearview mirror. An Upgrade Value package for the base RAV4 includes a sunroof, roof rails, privacy glass, 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels, six-disc CD changer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded cloth upholstery and a cargo cover. Options available on the Sport and Limited include a sunroof, a touchscreen navigation system and a premium nine-speaker JBL stereo with Bluetooth.

The Premium package available on the Sport and Limited trim levels (though not with the third-row seat) adds leather upholstery and an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar support. The latter item can be added separately on the Limited. V6-powered models can be equipped with a tow package.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Toyota RAV4 comes standard with a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine that delivers 179 hp and 172 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard. Fuel economy for this model with front-wheel drive is 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined, and 21/27/24 with 4WD.

A 3.5-liter V6 with a five-speed automatic transmission is optional for all trim levels of the RAV4. It produces 269 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, the RAV4 V6 4WD delivers a time from a standstill to 60 mph of 7.2 seconds -- quick for the segment. The V6 achieves an impressive 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive RAV4, and these ratings change only by 1 mpg less for EPA highway when the 4WD model is selected.

Every RAV4 trim level can be matched with either front-wheel or four-wheel drive. In 4WD models, power is sent to the front wheels until tire slippage is detected and then power is also directed to the rear wheels. The torque split can be manually locked at 50 percent front/50 percent rear for driving in poor traction conditions, such as gravel or snow. With the optional tow package, the RAV4 V6 can pull as much as 3,500 pounds.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, whiplash-reducing front headrests, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are standard on every 2011 Toyota RAV4. Vehicles equipped with the V6 and/or the optional third-row seats also come with hill-start assist and hill-descent control.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the RAV4 earns a final rating of three stars, with three stars for overall front crash protection and four stars for overall side-impact protection. The RAV4 also performs well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, earning the top rating of "Good" in both the frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests. It achieves the second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the roof strength test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The RAV4's interior boasts a clean design with large, simple controls and lots of storage space. Overall interior quality is acceptable, but the Chevy Equinox and Honda CR-V make the RAV's interior look too insubstantial and budget-oriented.

Nevertheless, the Toyota RAV4 is a model of practicality. The rear seats recline and can slide fore and aft to optimize passenger space or cargo capacity. Normal seating capacity is five, while the optional third-row seat bumps it to seven. Though this seat is meant only for children, it is at least reasonably sturdy and spacious.

To configure the RAV4 for cargo, all you need to do is flip a lever on the second-row seats. There is no need to remove headrests or fold up seat cushions to get a flat load floor, and the result is an impressive 73 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The load floor is also quite low for this class, which minimizes the strain of loading a week's worth of groceries or makes it easy for a dog to climb aboard. However, the Toyota's tailgate can be an inconvenience when you're parked on the street, as it has hinges on the right side, the opposite of what you want for curbside loading in the U.S.

Driving Impressions

Although relatively capable off the beaten path, the 2011 Toyota RAV4 is meant for a life on pavement. Its taut suspension and precise electric-assist steering make daily errands a pleasant (although not particularly interesting) experience.

The RAV4 is not as responsive to control inputs as the Honda CR-V or Kia Sorento, but the Toyota does offer a smooth ride that's forgiving enough for commuters who drive on crumbling expressways. Road noise can be an issue at times, but wind noise is well controlled.

If we were to buy a 2011 Toyota RAV4, it would have to come with the optional V6, which generates nearly 100 hp more than the inline-4 engines offered by other models in this segment and yet also matches these four-cylinders in fuel economy. The RAV's four-cylinder version is a reasonable choice for most buyers, though, as it provides adequate power for day-to-day driving.

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Talk About The 2011 RAV4

2011 Toyota RAV4 Discussions See all Started By

raytoyota
raytoyota
12-16-2009
The third generation is almost 5 years, do you think will it completely re-design the new Rav4??...


magic1023
magic1023
02-20-2014
I am in the market for a 4cyl suv.My main interest is a rav4 I am leaning towards 09/10 but I am having a hard time finding one to fit my budget.My second choice is a crv but I am an not 100% on board...


rav42011
rav42011
12-07-2011
Hi All, I'm planning to buy Rav4 2011 base model with upgrade of Third row and Leather seat option....



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