I had a 1999 RAV4 that was bulletproof. I recently upgraded to a 2009 Sport V6 w/appearance package.
The power of this V6 is amazing and yet fuel economy is not compromised. On a recent 500 mile round-trip I got almost 28 mpg.
The 2009 is much more refined and significantly roomier than my old 1999 model. Rear-seat room is significantly improved, as is cargo room, and it is great for families with children and pets.
The only disappointment for me is the ride. You feel every little bump, but I think that is specific to the sport model. And hey, it's an SUV after all, not a Cadillac.
questionable gas mileage at best, 4cyl is noisy, paint is the worst I have ever had on a vehicle, chipps to easily, toyota should put a full case of touch-paint in every vehicle. Has a tendency to accelerate, and the start stop button does not work as it is designed to do, alot of times the vehicle will not start when button is pressed. Toyota techs are even sure how to fix this problem nor can they explain how this is occuring with more frequency.
I purchased a 2009 RAV4 4 2.5 litre 4 cylinder, base model, for my wife. Let me tell you this...if I were to get in it blind-folded, not knowing which vehicle I was in, I would have never guessed that it was a RAV4. The ride comfort is amazing! The independent suspension decreases body roll over uneven pavement. Road noise for a vehicle of this size is more than acceptable. Braking is smooth & quiet. It absorbs bumps in the road like they were nothing. Wind noise is average but better than most. Acceleration is excellent. I barely have to apply pressure to the throttle to get it to move. Without even having to stomp down on the pedal & the 4 cylinder turns into a monster & easily pulls away
I purchased a 2009 Base 2.5L/AWD Rav4. First and foremost, I really like the Rav4. I have had it for about 10 months now and average between 25-28mpg (mostly highway driven). Interior is laid out well with great room for drivers and passengers. Rear passenger seats move fore and aft and recline. Sightlines are very good and all instruments are well laid out. Toyota revised the base engine for more horsepower/torque and smoother running and it is apparent. The engine is smooth and revs freely. Fuel economy is very good for a CUV. behind the rear seats provide ample storage with under floor storage bins and handy remore release levers to lower rear seats from the hatch.