I took this suv in april 2012. this small suv is a good choice. I had a bad time deciding between this suv and the Honda crv. I don't regret buying a Toyota rav 4 sport 4 cylinder . but I regret spending this much and getting the expensive options . the car has its issues like the slow and weak motor. it was to weak to drive in san francisco . I had trouble climbing hills and thought the car was going to slide back down the hill. the brakes have been a problem. I had them changed in august 2015 and still they make a loud rubbing noise. the brakes don't work very good. but I have to admit the car looks cool . it has plenty of interior space for a small suv. im averaging 19.2 miles per gallon I do more city driving then highway. most driving conditions the car is fast enough even for the I 95 its good enough but needs big improvements in horse power. the radio sucks big time. the sound is low and terrible. the car is easy to drive in south florida and easy to park . baking out is not so good and has bad blind spots. I don't like the door opening from the side and lack of space problems in los angeles . I couldn't open the door all the way sometimes. the sunroof makes odd noises even when closed . the interior noise is bad and loud. it takes a while to get use to that much noise. not to comfortable on long drives because the seats are to hard. but still I recommend the rav4 because it has more pros then cons .
I have owned multiple RAV4s; and my family has purchased 6 Toyota cars/SUVS in the past nine years. Our feeling is that the management is profiting by diluting the quality of the brand. The 2012 RAV4 is a relatively competent vehicle, in that it handles all kinds of weather with little drama. It also has large and flexible capacities to move people and goods and very good visibility. The platform has not evolved over a decade of changing oil prices and it remains highly inefficient at 23 miles per gallon in combined driving over 36000 miles for the 4 cylinder model. The 4 speed transmission belongs in the stone age. The brand dilution is most notable in some of the interior materials and the quality of the electronic interfaces. The seat materials in the base and sport models are poor. The seats have relatively good padding but they will stain if water is poured on them inadvertently. Either the company did not test the materials or is profiting from the sale of Scotchguard. The arm rests on the doors are akin to sand paper in the summer; make sure when you test drive this car you do not have on heavy coats as this flaw will become apparent in the warmer months. Most of the interior is lower quality harder plastics, which scratch with ease. The stereo options are uninspired. In our case we experienced electrical problems just after the warranty expired and the dealership had little sympathy. As mediocre as the ownership experience was for this car, it appears the newer models are even less desirable. I look for Toyota to refocus on solid engineering platforms and the highest quality customer experience and to eschew their search for marketing gimmickry and the bottom line that keeps their cars in a constant state of recalls.
2012 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
Recently purchased a pre-owned 6cyl.2012 rav4 with 22,000. Noticed a low level droning starting at 40 mph. It would go away with foot off the gas. Took it back to Toyota and they said the Transmission had a bad bearing . Will put in a re-manufactured Trans. Hope that does it.
I too think the transmission feels wrong. It seems to slip and jerk more than any car I've owned before. Brakes sound as if they are dragging especially as I first drive down the driveway. The power port is inaccessible if drinks are in the drink holder. I like having a full sized tire and one which you needn't unload the storage space to access. Be sure to check the pressure in it if having low pressure readings. I dislike that you can not put longer items in to haul as I could with my old Ford that had a rear door that lifted up instead of to the side. I have yet to figure out how to put the baby anchor back in the roof compartment.
The car has many nice features and is comfortable. There are wonderful storage areas where the tire would normally be - two separate under deck compartments. The molded drink holders in the storage area and backseat doors are handy, as are the hooks for grocery bags. Seats are comfortable and have several adjustments (both front and back seats). Biggest plus in not having one of the silly little tires as a spare.
Relocate the power port located where the drink holder is - it's impossible to use both as it is now.
If the transmission is really supposed to be rough and brakes are supposed to sound like they are dragging - perhaps that should be mentioned during purchase check out. I would also recommend a complete electronics tutorial be put online and/or done during purchase. No one reads instruction manuals except me and I can't make heads or tales of some of it.