Used 2012 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Reviews

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$7,500 - $19,998

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Does Everything Without a Fuss

Central Maryland Dad, 07/14/2016
4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
37 of 38 people found this review helpful

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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Mediocrity

peter, 11/10/2015
4dr SUV 4WD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
43 of 45 people found this review helpful

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.

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Great All Around SUV, Best In its Class IMO

mtayub, 06/21/2013
4dr SUV 4WD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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

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RAV4 vs. CRV

Stephen, 10/30/2019
Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
16 of 17 people found this review helpful

I have a 2012 RAV4 Sport FWD purchased as new. The current OD reading is 69,200 miles. My wife has a 2013 CRV base model FWD purchased as new. The current OD reading is about 46,000 miles. We live in Southern California. Both myself and my wife daily trip to office is about 6 miles highway. We have few road trips (about 1000+ miles each year). We drive RAV4 for road trips when we need rooftop cargo for skiing, camping or fishing while drive CRV for the other types. Our experiences are real as consumer. Now, let me make comparison. Honestly, both these rival models are very good in reliability and quality. RAV4 has better in handling and will make you feel better grip on road surface while you have a little feeling of shaking in CRV like driving a boat. The interior of CRV make you feel better in layout setting but the seats are stiff and uncomfortable for long rang trip. The seats of RAV4 are very comfort. Especially, the 2nd row was design as adjustable for adding 3rd row. You can make 2nd row large legroom or roomy cargo space. When we went camping without set a tent, we put down 2nd row back to make a bed. Both myself and wife fit in. I am almost 6' tall. Both have good power to easily pass high Sierra Mountains. RAV4 seems have a little better acceleration at low speed. Let us talk about fuel econ. I have RAV4 highway MPG about 25-26 with 87 regular gas while 20 in City. The fuel tank is a little more than 12 gal. I have to add gas about every 300 miles. The best value of CRV is the ECO mode which make 31-32 MPG. But you don't want use ECO mode when it is heading uphill. Because it feed fuel to 3 cylinders only with ECO mode. Therefore it has less power while ECO mode is on. It is good gas saving design during highway cruising. CRV has larger fuel tank and better gas econ on the road trip. I can drive from Los Angels to San Jose with one full tank. So far, RAV4 has one small problem. The power window on driver side has one loos bolt and nut on driving regulator. Cost me $135 at dealership to open and tight up the nut. CRV has problem on the passenger side airbag warning light and cost $250 to fix. Hope these information helpful to you. Again, RAV4 in fun to drive over CRV and comfy while CRV has better MPG.

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Great little SUV

tnboy, 06/25/2012
Limited 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
27 of 30 people found this review helpful

We wanted a smaller SUV with a V-6, maximum room for the class, and a moderate price for the class, and this fit the bill perfectly. We compared others, and none had the combination of our four main wants. We also considered the Lexus RX350 and the Volvo XC60 but didn't see $15-$20K worth of quality differences ("prestige" in a vehicle was not one of our needs).

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