My wife has had this car since we met. It's her daily driver, as well as our trip vehicle. Overall, it handles very well. The engine is powerful, much more so than my 2003 Nissan Altima (with the same size V6). It handles confidently, and the brakes are string. The few times we've used 4wd in the snow and offorad trails, it worked well. The interior quality is okay, with a few minor issues. The powertrain reliability, however, simply hasn't been there. Since I've been around the car, it rattles loudly on startup. The 4x4 lights randomly light up, indicating a problem, but non found. Recently, the VVT module exploded, causing extensive engine damage. Caveat emptor.
I didn't know until after I had already purchased the car that they were bad coils in the 2006. The coils blow on a regular basis. It is very expensive to repair, and the dealerships don't help you. I even contacted Toyota and they said it was my own problem not theirs.
Overall performance was great, but the car really pulled its weight during a recent accident. My 17-year-old flipped the car three times going about 70 mph and landed on the driver's side in a ditch. The car was totaled, but thanks to seatbelts and side airbags, she walked away with barely a scratch. I would recommend this car to anyone.
I purchased a 2006 Rav 4 6 months ago. When looking around I thought that this since it’s new redesign it was the best for the dollar. I was wrong. At first we loved it until a smell got really bad and we saw water in it. Due to the redesign I know that there is a design flaw in the air vent (Admitted to my husband and I by Toyota)It allows rain water to get in and collect in the floor of the front passenger side. We have had it in multiple times to a local dealership and each time they patch it which the patch never works. We are going to try again and fix it again this week. I am trying to tell of my experience so others will look out for mold, smell, and puddles on their carpet
I'm the 3rd owner of my '06 4cyl 4WD, base model RAV, which had a 110K miles on her when purchased from a private seller. She was well cared for by her previous owners, with the replacement of the rear window wiper motor as the biggest issue. Since owning her, I've maintained her well and she purrs like a kitten & runs like a race horse. I've read a lot of negatives reviews here, but neither I nor the previous owners (judging from car reports and Toyota service records) have encountered any of it. I couldn't be happier with the continued solid & reliable performance of my Made in Japan RAV4, and look forward to years with her. It's all in the personal care and maintenance you give them.