I've owned the car 12 months, driven it under 10,000 miles, but half of that has been on interstates and local highways on a long trip. Quite a change moving from Camry to RAV4. Slowly adapting to a much stiffer suspension which really shows on poorly maintained urban streets. Not harsh, but stiff. Highway behavior at speeds at least up to 75 is very good, not subject to buffeting the way my 2004 Camry was. I did not find it tiring to drive 500 miles daily for multiple days. The front seat at least for a smaller person is comfy, though an adjustable lumbar support would make the seat better. I miss the power seat of the Camry, but I can comfortably live with this basic seat with its height adjustment. The interior is not particularly quiet, but again it is not tiring on long trips. Engine noise is higher than I think it should be in city driving. The body is quiet - no booming or reverberations. The view out is surprisingly good, but I find the slope of the A pillars to obstruct turning vision in both directions. Thought I would not use the back-up camera but it is very useful. The screen is hard to see in bright overhead sunlight, and turns into a mirror with low sun to rear. With no Navigation, the screen is simple and easy to use for the radio. There are metallic and reflective surfaces on the flat edges of the dash. Finally, I am bothered by what for me is a bright screen that I cannot find a way to turn down or off at night. The instruments are more or less easily seen, except for the digital panel showing mpg & other data which can be bright at night and still hard to read. Speedometer is a little hard to see in bright daylight - not enough contrast. Cruise control is consistent,. Brakes are very good with nice modulation and no grabbing. Rear discs had grinding noise for the first three - five stops after sitting 2 days during the winter. This has not been an issue in warmer and drier weather. Car maintains good firm highway manners with a full load on long trips. Gas mileage is not better than advertised except on long flat runs in the mid 60 mph range. I bought this car for its decent-sized load room, and on that score it has been good. The rear seats do NOT fold flat, and the front passenger seat does not fold flat forward. Nonetheless, the space is useful, and has a couple of D rings for tethering things. Safety: Decent, but not great: In particular see the NHSTA front passenger score, and the IIHS Small Overlap score. 2015 models have addressed the IIHS issue. Handling seems fine. One last note: I have just discovered the "eyebrow" over the rear window: probably preventing use of a bike carrier. Bummer. Overall, the car seems to me to retain legendary Toyota qualities - tight body, decent seating, reasonable sight lines, probably trouble-free -- with firming up of steering and suspension. But interior content & quality seems to me to be clearly down a notch - if this is important to you, inspect and survey closely to verify the presence of the stuff you like. Additional comments at 21,000 miles. Likes/Dislikes: solid, good highway manners, nice brakes, comfortable driver's seat and view out for small male (but A pillars really obstruct view on right hand 90 degree turns, and left hand curves), controls are good overall including the touch screen with large "buttons," (but instruments do not have enough daytime contrast in bright sun), good foot room all around (but narrow back seat, only two smallish adults fit), nice storage space behind rear seats and room inside for 6 foot long objects with rear seats down, typical Toyota freedom from problems. More Dislikes: Stiff ride on rough urban streets, though this is tolerable with tire pressure lowered to 30 lbs; sun reflections off of metallic trim on dash, the screen is hard to see in bright sunlight, screen is too bright at night, screen reflects sun like crazy early/late in the day; inability of car to go up even moderate highway grades at speed without shifting down to almost 4,000 rpm (from about 2000 rpm when on flatter ground); transmission tends to hunt on up-grades. So would I buy the RAV4 again. Maybe, but not in hill or mountain country. I do not use the "technology" screen, except for controlling the radio, so I cannot say much about how this part of the car works. When I get around to trading, I will definitely be looking for a better ride in town, better instrument contrast, fewer reflective surfaces, and a transmission/engine combo that is happier in hills & mountains. If they cost too much, then the RAV4 will do and then some -- but do I feel I have gotten top-notch value for my 23,000? No. I can think of at least three alternatives that probably would be more satisfactory to me.
I got the top trim level and added remote start, homelink, and a trailer hitch. Remote start and heated seats are great on those chilly, Midwest mornings. I am a conservative driver, having traded in a 2008 Prius, and I am routinely getting between 32-33 mpg on the hwy, and about 27-28 in city driving in Eco mode. This vehicle is fun to drive, and dollar for dollar is the best deal on the market. I test drove the Honda CRV, Subaru Forester and Crosstrek, and the Mazda CX-5, and none could compare pricepoint and features. Reliability and comfort have been fantastic!!
After a year and several thousand miles, It is time for a review so others can use as a reference. The gas mileage is as advertised. Average about 26m/gal (mostly highway). City is about 21. Some people complaint about the transmission and the car's power, but it is not true. They must learn how to use eco mode and sport mode to bring out the car true performance (play with shift paddle some time also). With my personal experience, I use eco mode on highway and sport mode on back road or city road. The car has good surrounding view and I love the rear view camera. The cargo area is almost as big as my 1998 grand Cherokee and the rear seats could be folded real flat.
I have the 2014 RAV4 XLE. The drivers seat lumbar support hurts my back. There is no adjustment on the XLE model, why? This is my 5th new Toyota and I have not had this issue before. My only other issue is the lack of a power lift for the rear hatch on the XLE as an option.
We are a Toyota family having owned 6 cars and a truck but this car has really let us down. The gas milage is terrible. We average 22 and the best we have gotten is 24 on a trip to Florida. The seats are uncomfortable and the back seats have no cup holders or a power outlet. 4 adults fill this thing to the brim. There is no button inside or on the key fob to open the lift gate. It is an option that must be paid for extra. One would think this would be standard on the XLE edition. The touch screen is hard to use and the navigation will not let you make any changes unless the car is in Park. The car does ride and drive smooth but that doesn't make up for the other downfalls.