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.
Acceleration, ease of steering (almost TOO easy), basic features, quietness of car, reasonable comfort, trunk space, fuel economy, Toyota reliability (we hope). Wife likes it, that's all that matters!
These are mostly nit-picky, but here goes. Radio is a bit far to reach. Seats could use some more padding (though we are not tall people). Handling is a bit too loosey-goosey (though we also have a Mitsubishi Outlander, which seems more precise). Radio sound is not that great. Mirror controls are in a weird place. Would prefer a top hinged hatch and more auto transmission gears, but we didn't want to spend the money on a newer model RAV4.
In April 2012 I bought a Toyota Rav 4 2011. It is July 3 2012 and already there is a penny size paint chip that came off the hood. The dealer will not even report it let alone have it fixed. There are lots of reports of bad paint being used on Rav4s for years. And Toyota ignores it.
being my first new car I should think I'd love it, or at least like it, but I hate this thing. It is too cramped feeling inside, the cup holders are ridiculously worthless and out of reach, it's such a stripped down model I can't believe I paid what I did for this. I have always driven luxury-level cars which seem to be a thing of the past, but this is bottom of the barrell in my view and I can't wait until I can get rid of it.
this will not be good when I go on cross-country trips and won't be able to have a cup of ice water or tea close at hand
cute exterior style
extra glove box
bright head lights
cup holders that are within reach
cup holders that can actually hold something larger than a 12-ounce can or maybe 16-ounce cup
more hip room, at least for driver
window controls that are easily accessible...you have to be a contortionist to reach these around the door handle
climate control should be standard
decent radio should be standard
auto headlights should be standard
Biggest problem is poor MPG. Bought becuase of the published MPG range. Actual MPG is consistently on the low end. We live in flat Florida. Most driving is rural and occassional light city traffic. 3rd row seet is soo cramped my 6 & 9 year-olds have to sit sideways, if any-one is sitting in 2nd row. Took to dealership (Deluca) to have MPG checked. Service lady treated us like were idiots and later lied to us about how they checked to see if there was any issue (told us a mechanic drove it of 30 minutes continuously at 35mph and MPG was 28MPG). Impossible test. Wish we had bought the Durango or the CRV. Will trade this off soon! (Previoulsly loved our Corolla!)
Spare tire accessibility (beware spare tire is also tied into tire pressure sensing system, and will drive you nuts trying to identify what tire low, unless you know to check the spare too). Good turn radius. Easy Parking.
Don't lie about the actual MPG!
We bought because we trusted Toyota for quality and honesty. We may never buy another one now. Also, the base radio system is very poor. Consider improving the basic stereo quality (decent speakers would be an inexpensive factory add).