Used 2012 Toyota RAV4 Base Consumer Reviews - 7 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2012 Toyota RAV4 - Consumer Reviews

2012 Toyota RAV4

Average Consumer Rating

7 Total Reviews

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Does Everything Without a Fuss
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Central Maryland Dad
on

Vehicle

2012 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

This 2012 RAV4 Base is my first SUV and I'm pleased with my choice. I needed a fuel efficient, roomy, do-it-all car for my daily commute, driving the kids, and something my partially disabled wife could drive, too. I put about 9,000 miles on the SUV since I bought it used in January, including a couple days of central Maryland snow. So far, this RAV4 does everything well enough and nothing spectacularly.

Performance is adequate. The 2.5 liter four-banger has enough power for my commute and in-town driving. Highway merges aren't a problem as long as I'm willing to gun it hard. The power is barely adequate with three passengers and highway merging is dicey. My overall fuel economy is a pretty good 27 MPG. Braking is effective. The long pedal travel was disconcerting enough that I had the dealer re-check the brakes. The brakes work well under all conditions once I got the feel of them.

The car holds the road suprisingly well, much better than I expected from an SUV. The steering is predictable and solid. The four-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and the gear changes are merely noticeable, even under hard acceleration. I hardly notice them any more.

Front seat comfort is okay. I'm 6'4" and weigh about 310 pounds. Leg room is sufficient and I have plenty of headroom, about three inches. I wish the seat had better thigh support. The seat cushions are very firm, almost hard. The side bolsters hold me in place nicely, even during hard curves and corners. All of my drive times have been shorter than an hour. I have no information about longer trips.

The rear seat is surprisingly roomy. Teenagers (up to 5'8") can sit behind me and still have enough room to be comfortable. I could sit behind me and have enough room! The rear seat cushions are as firm as the front seat cushions. However, my teenaged rear seat passengers ride for short trips and haven't complained.

My main interior complaint is the frikkin' noise! A lot of engine and tire noise penetrate the cabin. Road noise is so bad that I can't listen to the radio. I stopped playing the radio during my commute lest my ears ring painfully at the end of the trip.

Cargo and storage is cavernous. I love it! I'm glad the first owner did not get the optional third row seat. There are plenty of pockets, cubbies, and other cavities for small things. The cavernous cargo space is a boom box, though. I think half of the road noise is amplified back there.

Safety seems fine. If I don't notice, then it's probably good, right? The headlights are nice and bright. The all-wheel drive, anti-skid control, and anti-lock brakes worked unobtrusively or as expected in the snow. Win!

This RAV4 is my first car to have Bluetooth. I don't know how I lived without it! I have one USB port and one 3.5mm headphone jack in the Base trim. The radio sounds okay for playing speech but lousy for music. It's the cheap base model radio and it sucks. I don't know if I would notice a better radio over the aforementioned interior noise, though.

Reliability? Maintenance costs? It's a Toyota! It gets top reviews and recommendations everywhere. This is the fifth Toyota in my family and all previous Toyotas have been rock solid. I expect my RAV4 to be just as reliable.

I've been driving the snot out of this car ever since I got it and I've been satisfied with it.


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Zippy and reliable
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Rick Burns
on

Vehicle

2012 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Great around town and short trips. Very easy entry/exit due to low height and large doors. Very low maintenance costs...just normal service required. Very versitle cargo area.


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From V6 to I4, no regret yet
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lanpingd
on

Vehicle

2012 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I "downgraded" myself from a V6 2006 Escape to this I4 2012 RAV4 and so far so good. I am living in NC bay area but purchased my RAV4 from a dealer near LA downtown during my July 4th trip (a totally unplanned purchase but David in Buena Park Toyota gave me a great price plus reasonable trade-in, highly recommended).
Two weeks with two tanks of gas, hwy/local 50/50, the avg mileage is ~24, which is way better than the previous Escape's (17-18).
The Escape is really a reliable small SUV which gave me zero problem, but with the increasing live expense in bay area, some trade-off has to be made.


Best Features

Huge trunk, flexible seating capability, good gas mileage for a suv, reasonable acceleration for a I4 engine, easy drive like a mazda 3, 2 years free maintenance.


Worst Features

Make the back-up camera standard on the base trim (just like the new CR-V), or as an option not too expensive.


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The uncomfortable seats have ruined the RAV4 for me :-(
24 of 30 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By tnaubie
on

Vehicle

2012 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Warning for potential RAV4 buyers.....Most uncomfortable seats in a car....EVER!
I like almost everything about this vehicle but if it is uncomfortable to sit in then what use is it.
Just took a 1000+ mile trip in our new 2012 RAV4 over 7 days and had a miserable experience in the passenger front seat (driver seat and back seats are just as bad).
When test driving the car, I noticed the seats were firm, but did not know just how bad they were going to be until this trip. Too bad it took paying a gazillion dollars to find out how uncomfortable a ride this car is. If I had it to do over again, I would not purchase this vehicle based on the seats.
I have owned 2 Corollas (1992 & 2006)and a Camry (2002) and loved all of them including the seats (that is why we returned to Toyota for another vehicle).
What happened Toyota?
Why change a good thing that has been working for many years?
Not only are the seats beyond pitiful, but the upholstery is made of a hard feeling material. Cutting corners to save a dollar, I assume.

The dark charcoal-colored material in the door panels and the dashboard show dirt and dust easily.
I would prefer a one-tone lighter color like the gray that is used as the complementary color in my vehicle.

I also do not care for the orange glow that Toyota has incorporated into the instrument panel on the dashboard.
My 2006 Corolla has all white colored lights which is easy on the eyes, but the orange in the 2012 RAV4 is very distracting at night.

The leg room and storage in the RAV4 is good.
I especially like the storage bin under the back floorboard.
I would like a couple more cubby hole type storage compartments in the front for the driver.
My cell phone does not fit in the cell phone holder so I have to put it in the cup holder.

The headrests are not adjustable.
They can go only up or down and not in between.

The back seat adjustment handles are VERY inconvenient....located on the top side of the seat back.
Would prefer them to be located on the bottom side of the seat like most all car seats I have sat in.
If you are already sitting in the seat and need to adjust the back up or down, then it is impossible to reach the handle without getting out of the seat.
There are no adjustment handles for the seat height like in my Corolla.
Wish there were.

We got good gas mileage on our trip....27-28 mpg.
The RAV4 handles easily and rides pretty smooth.
But, like I said before, the uncomfortable seats outweigh any positive characteristics in this vehicle.
Going on a long trip at the end of the summer in our RAV4 and not looking forward to it.


Best Features

easy to handle; good storage


Worst Features

Get rid of the hard seats and make them comfortable like my older Toyotas. Change the upholstery material to be softer. Get rid of the orange dash board lights. Include more storage compartments for the driver and make the cell phone compartment bigger.


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RAV4 driver position
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By cigsmh
on

Vehicle

2012 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

After a having the car for a month I am still fighting to find more or less safe position to drive. I am afraid to lose control of the car because my right leg is in awkward position and I can't figure why. I have Montana 2000 and I have took all the measurements of the pedals and seat trying to understand where the problem coming from. I even tried to drive bare foot - even worse. I tried different seat cushions and padding - no luck.
This is leased car and I have 1 year return back if lost the job. I will have to use this option if I can't figure out how to fix the problem. We suppose to go to Safari tomorrow and I am scared to drive with my family.


Best Features

Don't buy this car if you are big or taller than 6.2 Gas mileage after 600 miles: 25.8 mpg Driving is smooth, but Rogue feels much better. The car is fast , but Rogue fast from the first second and rav4 takes a second or two to decide. Rogue have superiors adaptive transmission that always "knows" the traffic and I hardly used any breaks. After 4 years I had almost new breaks. Rav 4 have terrible, spongy breaks and requires a lot of power to stop the car. Very disappointed in this car. On a bright side I started to exercise to build stronger foot and leg muscle to be able to control this car :) without cramps.


Worst Features

Driving position is terrible. The seat is so firm that I have got pain in the butt and leg muscles. It is like sitting on the bare wood. I don't understand why Toyota would do this. Toyota is made for a small people, I am a big guy, I used to drive a Versa ( When I had Rogue recall) - no problems - amazing car, I would now switch this Rav4 to Nissan Versa. Rav 4 was the cheapest to lease - you are getting what you are paying :)


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