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.
Very comfortable seats in this car even on long trips.
The leg room and storage in the RAV4 is excellent.
Lots of storage and room for luggage.
The rear seats recline and move forward and backward.
I have had the car in heavy winds and it handled the windy conditions well. Interior noise is low, compared to Honda CRV. Love 4wd button.
Reliability of the Rav4 is the best.
I looked at the reviews of the competing cars and read about the problems people have for their cars.
The Rav4 had minor complaints compared to others having significant problems. after market platinum 0 deductable warranty for $950 upgrading it to a 7/100k had to shop around for the price. 12k miles owned, very happy
I test drove the I4 and the V6.
My main goal was driving in the snow, not towing so there was no benefit for me with the V6.
I get ample acceleration from my I4 and am perfectly happy with it compared to the other vehicles I test drove.
good gas mileage 27 mpg avg, better than advertised.
I know how to drive the vehicle to get good gas mileage.
Look up Driving tips to get good gas mileage on Google to learn. The RAV4 is easy to handle and rides pretty smooth.
Great space and comfort for kids in rear seats. Safety and reliability ratings. Best overall value
If you are a tall person say 6 4 or above you may be cramped in front seat.
Im 6 0 and perfectly comfortable with room to spare. I may not call it a suggested improvement but, Curbside loading is an issue with the rear door swinging, not an issue if you dont drive people to the airport for a living.
swing door is much easier to open than a upward Lift hatch and more convenient for groceries and other general loading.
Okay, so it's quite early to give a full review on our new car, since we bought it new just a couple of weeks ago. I had done extensive online comparisons between the 3 of the contenders in this vehicle category: the Rav4, Honda CRV, and the Nissan Rogue. We test drove all 3, as well as a Jeep Patriot, and considered but didn't drive a Hyundai Tucson. Toyota won out on a number of counts, not the least of which was the fact that we have been Yota owners for a long time, and have had great success. Toyota was also offering some screaming incentives which tipped the scales.
So far of course, so good, but the gas mileage to date has been a bit disappointing.
The interior of the car is well appointed as expected with a Toyota even on this base model, well laid out display, and plenty of standard features that might be options in another brand.
It's very comfortable (I don't get the lower marks for the seat comfort I've read in other reviews!) and I'm sure it will carry us on long road trips with few complaint in that respect.
There is one thing about which I am actually disappointed thus far: we are struggling to achieve 23.8 miles to the gallon, in 75/25 hwy/city driving. I have heard that this somehow improves after a sufficient "break in" time, but since this is the only new auto we've ever bought, I don't know much about that (hoping it's true but doubtful!) As another reviewer expressed, this is disappointing, because it is one of the reasons I chose this vehicle over for instance, a Subaru.
The only other "nit-picking" I'd do about this car is that the RPM and Speedometer display lighting is quite dim during daylight (it's fine after dark when you need it)
I mean it - the MPG is the fly in the otherwise stellar ointment here.
I drive conservatively but with a mix that's heavy on hwy miles vs. city, I'm straining to get to 23 average.
As the MPG rating was what initially drew me to the RAV4, I'm disappointed, but I still love to get into it each day and drive.
It practically drives itself, feels like a car, and doesn't lack power with the 4-cylinder.
You'll want to go with the air deflector if you get a sunroof; I regret it and will be looking into after-market, since there's a lot of wind noise.
Easy to find semi-custom seat covers that fit well; handling is superb; 4-wheel drive works great in mountains; USB/MP3 jacks well-placed so cup holders can be used; good deal of storage below level in back; Toyota Care Plan.
More adjustments for driver seat needed in base model; fuel economy needs help.
I can't for the life of me figure out why others are finding the seating comfort of their Rav4's unbearable.
My wife and I recently traveled over 2000 miles to Colorado and back in our nearly new 2012 model... this Rav4 is one of the most comfortable vehicles we have owned.
Seating positions are great!
Ride comfort is very good.
Little to no fatigue for either of us. Gas mileage in the heavy winds of South Dakota suffered, but the trip home found much better mpg's.
This is a very nice vehicle.
4x4 select feature
Seating and driving comfort
Nice ride and suspension
Dress up the interior
Add a couple of gears to the automatic