Is The Toyota Rav4 Quiet or Noisy? (Which Models Are?)


Nobody likes a noisy engine or car. You can try and drown it out with loud music, or try to talk over it, but a noisy car just seems to get louder when you try to beat it. A noisy engine might mean there is something wrong under the hood of the car, or it might just be the way the vehicle is made. Either way, if you have a noisy car, you’d hope that the car is worth it.

Some models and years of the Toyota Rav4 have been rated with a low score in engine noise. If you own a Toyota Rav4 you might notice the road and cabin noise is louder compared with other cars. The Rav4 hybrid trims are quieter than gas trims and newer models are quieter than the previous generation.

Do you feel like you’re almost shouting just to be heard when you’re driving your Toyota Rav4? Ok, that might be a tad dramatic but when you turn the engine off and you can hear yourself think again that might not be far from the truth.

We’ve delved deeper to find out more about the Rav4 and which models have scored low in noise and the models that have scored better. Read on for more.

Is the Toyota Rav4 Quiet or Noisy?

Depending on the year of your Rav4 and the trim, you may have a considerably loud Rav4.

The Rav4 is rated highly in road handling, safety and technology, and reliability, so when you see the list of cons that come with each year and model of the Rav4, some road noise might not seem like a big deal.

Most Toyota Rav4 reviews on online platforms have comments about the engine and/or cabin and road noise. Generally, these reviews aren’t very good, but they also seem to be one of the only bad points to be said about the Rav4.

Because the Toyota Rav4 over-delivers in numerous other areas, a bit of road noise can be overlooked by most people.

Fortunately, not all Toyota Rav4s have been rated as noisy cars and we’ll identify each one for you below.

Which Toyota Rav4 Models are Noisy?

Some cars are noisier than others and the Toyota Rav4 seems to be one of the noisier rated cars even though it’s a smaller compact SUV. You wouldn’t expect compact SUVs to be noisy though, especially in a top-rated car such as the Rav4.

Here are the Toyota Rav4s from the first generation until now and how they rate on the noisy scale:

Is the First Generation Rav4 Noisy?

  • 1996

4.8 stars out of 5, the biggest con is road noise according to Edmunds

  • 1997

There weren’t many complaints about the 1997 Rav4 concerning noise. The engine would race when idling but the main concern for user reviews in Car Complaints is electric malfunctions.

  • 1998

1998 saw multiple concerns about loud engine noises

  • 1999

The 1999 Rav4 has had noise complaints, the most common being engine noise in the cabin

  • 2000

Few engine, cabin, and/or road noise complaints

  • 2001

Complaints of a noisy and underpowered engine as well as road noise according to reviews on Edmunds.

Is the Second Generation Rav4 Noisy?

Toyota upped their game in 2002 and the second generation from 2002 to 2006 rarely had any noise complaints about the engine, road noise, or interior cabin noise.

Is the Third Generation Rav4 Noisy?

Some third-generation Rav4 complaints can be found from Rav4 drivers for some models between 2007 and 2012 but these are common problems in older vehicles that have lived a long time, haven’t had proper maintenance, and have done many miles.

Is the Fourth Generation Rav4 Noisy?

From 2013 to 2018 the Rav4 noise problems remained relatively minor and the Rav4 continued to be the most popular and reliable car on the road.

Is the Fifth Generation Rav4 Noisy?

  • 2019

2019 is by far the worst year yet for the Rav4 noise complaints. The Rav4 is still a reliable and top-selling compact crossover SUV that people love for other reasons, but the noise levels have been a common complaint among 2019 Rav4 drivers.

Noise complaints include a loud engine, interior rattling, acceleration noise, and road noise.

  • 2020

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much improvement to be seen for the 2020 Toyota Rav4 and noise complaints are still a widespread problem.

The 2020 Rav4 is the lowest scoring year for the Rav4 on Edmunds with a score of just 3.4 out of 5 and Car and Driver say the lowest point of the 2020 Rav4 is its rough-edged engine noise.

  • 2021

Toyota must not have received the memo yet and unfortunately, the 2021 Rav4 still has multiple noise complaints.

The cabin noise gets worse when accelerating but apparently calms down slightly once highway speeds are reached. The engine “moans and groans” according to Car and Driver but overall, thanks to many other enhanced and superior features, the 2021 Toyota Rav4 still gets a decent review.

Which Rav4 Trims Aren’t Noisy?

According to Rav4 owner reviews on the platform Rav4World, the Hybrid version of the Toyota Rav4 is much quieter than the last generation, and much quieter than gas trims.

Other reviews have mentioned that once the Rav4 is going at highway speeds the noise isn’t so bad compared with the road, engine, or cabin noise the Rav4 makes while driving around town.

What do Toyota Drivers Have to Say?

Drivers of the Rav4 are still impressed with the interior design, safety features, and quality of the Rav4 and this is regularly viewed in reviews across numerous platforms like Edmunds, KBB, Car and Driver, and plenty more.

Toyota is a reputable brand in motor vehicles and Toyota fanatics will stick to their Rav4 even if it means having a noisy car.

Here are some reviews for the Toyota Rav4 over the last 20 years:

  • Out of 98 reviews on Cars.com, although it has noisy road and engine noise and it’s pricier than other compact SUVs on the market, owners of the Rav4 have rated the 2021 Toyota an epic 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • The miles per gallon are the best and the noise levels are tolerable with very acceptable road handling according to a Toyota Rav4 driver’s review on Rav4World.
  • Mixed reviews for the 2019 Rav4 show that some Rav4 drivers think the Rav4 is the worst SUV in its class, while others say although the engine noise can be loud it’s a comfortable car and they can’t complain.
  • An Edmunds reviewer gives the 2011 Rav4 almost 5 stars even though it has road noise from the tire tread. They state the seats are comfortable and the cargo space is “pretty good” and overall, it’s a typical excellent Toyota
  • Another great review on Edmunds shows that the 2010 Rav4 owner is happy with their Rav4 although it does have “a little loud road noise”. Their Rav4 has surpassed 120,000 miles and has only needed a minor service, so they think the 2010 Rav4 is a good vehicle

The point we’re making here is that yes, the Toyota Rav4 may have a noisy engine or cabin, but most Rav4 owners don’t mind because:

  1. They love Toyota and Toyota has a great reputation for safety and longevity in its vehicles
  2. The Rav4 has a stylish and comfortable interior with superior media technology
  3. The Rav4 is highly rated for its outstanding fuel economy and efficiency

Conclusion

When it comes to the Toyota Rav4 there aren’t many weaknesses or downfalls to be noted or spoken about. The Rav4 is a decent car and has been one of the most popular and best-selling cars in the world for decades.

If the Toyota Rav4 has a noisy engine, that’s probably about the only thing wrong with it. The Rav4 has high safety ratings, a longer-than-average lifespan, and has great handling on the roads. If the engine is slightly louder than normal, we’re willing to risk it for this highly recommended vehicle.

Matthew Robbs

I have been working on cars since I was a kid and I love taking a vehicle that isn't working and bringing it back to life. I have owned quite a few cars over the years and looking for information about different vehicles is still hard online so that is why I started this website.

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