2012 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Review: The uncomfortable seats have r

2012 Toyota RAV4 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

41 Total Reviews

Base 4dr SUV (2.5L 4-cyl. 4-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
31 of 39 people found this review helpful
The uncomfortable seats have ruined the RAV4 for me :-(
By tnaubie on


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


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.
Recommend (31) (8)

Are you the author of this review?

Update Your Review
Report it
Comments (5) Post a Comment
By stuntin
on 03/11/14 17:56 PM (PDT)

lower back strength exercise and stretching and other activity avoids lower back pain just saying if you dont exercise at all you will not get this often

Report it
By ncreviewer
on 07/09/12 09:04 AM (PDT)

RAV 4 IS A GREAT SUV & VERY COMFORTABLE! I don't know why the person in the nearby review was not comfortable. We have owned perhaps 8 or 9 Toyotas during my lifetime and they ALL were very comfortable! As a matter of fact, we presently own a 2011 Rav4 4x4 base model and are so pleased with it that we just ordered another, additional Rav4, 4x4 Limited. Toyota seats have always been comfortable for us. I am 200 pounds and 6'2" tall. My wife is 5'-6", and it adjusts well for both of us. We have taken our present Rav4 on roadtrips lasting 8 hours in a single day and never have had a complaint about the Rav4, comfort or otherwise. Toyota builds vehicles of extremely high quality, which is why we are lifetime buyers. I am an architect and I am a very picky consumer, used to detailed specifications and build quality. I have owned Mercedes, Ford (which is also very good quality these days), Honda, Chrysler and others. I am 60 years old, so I have seen a lot and experienced a lot. In my opinion, Toyota (and perhaps today's Fords) represent the best overall value. I like Lexus, but let's face it. It is mainly a higher-priced Toyota with different names and slightly nicer interiors. A Limited Toyota is very close to the same thing for thousands less.

Report it
By cigsmh
on 07/17/12 06:05 AM (PDT)

I have posted two reviews before. I have car for already 3 month and it started to ruin my back. The seats are design for smaller people. No back support at all. I am in constant pain of my lower back. I am trying to buy some back support cushion. I can feel that all the seat back support are lower than I need. I feel like I am sitting in a kids chair. I am only 6.2 tall, not huge. This is my last Toyota I purchased. The GM cars are designed for bigger/taller people. I tried to save money, this car was the cheapest to lease. It was a reason for this. If you are taller that 6 feet, stay away from this car. Stay away anyway, buy Nissan Rogue - superior in everything, accept paint quality.

Report it
By msdds1
on 07/26/12 19:22 PM (PDT)

Lower back pain. I bought this car in January and have had back pain ever since. Went to another doctor today and he said it might be my hip. Than I really started to analyze this car and seat. I am 5'2" with longer legs than torso. When you sit in the driver seat the road vibration and suspension causes a lot of lateral hip movement. Its subtle but over time it is very apparent. Every time you turn a little you cause a lower lumbar torque. Its not the lumbar support as I have the high model and can inflate the lower rest. It is a lack of lateral support unless you are fat and the wings on the sides fit the couture of your your body. Otherwise you are wiggling around from side to side. Not sure what to do. Hate taking a hit on an otherwise great car. Bought a $250 back support and will see what that does and will raise my left foot on a little box.

Report it
By xelorwatch
on 10/24/12 23:17 PM (PDT)

I now have My second 2012 loaner Rav4 and the Driver's Seat is the Most Uncomfortable I've ever experienced in any vehicle. After only 2 hours of total sitting, as I was in and out several times, and grocery shopping, all of which, I do every week. Later than evening, I experienced lower back pain, as well as a mild overall back fatigue feeling; like when you have the flu. The other time I had loaner, I didn't sit as long, but definitely noticed terrible seat discomfort. There is ZERO back support, firm - is an understatement, and the seat length pokes into the back of leg bend area. I am so happy I Didn't buy one :)

Report it
Post a Comment

You must be signed in to post a comment.


Select a different vehicle  
Recently Viewed
There are no recently viewed vehicles to display

Write Consumer Reviews

Write Consumer Reviews

Write a review and rate your own car.