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Toyota Rav4: Is It A Good Car?

Reviews are mixed and it’s been unclear whether the Toyota Rav4 is deemed as a “good car” or an “average car”. The thing is, whether a car is good or not heavily relies on the opinion of the drivers and what it is an individual is looking for in a vehicle. Plus, is it really fair to give a car a review based on a one-time driving experience?

The Toyota Rav4 is a decent mini-SUV on the American car market and is the number one sold SUV, small and large, in America. The Rav4 comes with good ratings in safety and reliability and has an average of 200,000 to 250,000 miles in its lifetime.

The Rav4 is fuel-efficient, can take you more miles than the overall lifetime average of approximately 200,000, and is a spacious mini-SUV that can take you on some off-road adventures within a limited capacity.

There are some minor common issues with the Rav4 but overall, it seems to us it’s not a bad little SUV at all. Keep reading below to find out more about the Rav4 and why it’s so popular!

Is the Toyota Rav4 a Good Car?

We’ll be honest with you here. The Rav4 will be a good car if it has what you’re looking for in a car.

The Rav4 is rated as a reliable, practical, and efficient car and is known to last over 250,000 miles if maintained and looked after well.

Toyota designed the Rav4 as an affordable option to reach the audience of younger adults who are wanting an SUV with some 4WD abilities but who can’t afford the prices of the top Toyota SUVs like the Land Cruiser.

According to Car Life Nation, the Rav4 is the most popular SUV on the market today for both compact and larger SUVs and has outsold every other Toyota vehicle offered on the American car market today.

If you’re in the market for a smaller SUV, with a comfortable interior, and with some limited AWD or 4WD abilities, the Rav4 is probably the right car for you.

Toyota Rav4 Reviews

Reviews for the Rav4 are different across the board so finding out whether it’s genuinely a good car or not can be a little tricky. Almost as tricky as figuring out whether the Rav4 is actually a 4WD vehicle or not. (Which it’s not, by the way, it just has some pretty cool 4WD features).

Here are some reviews from some of the top-rated vehicle review forums on the internet

·         Auto Express UK

Auto Express UK gives the Rav4 4 out of 5 stars for its bold styling, great ride quality, and cost-efficiency.

The latest 2021 upgrades are a welcoming appearance compared with the older models and boast practicality and styling in a whole new fashion that hasn’t been seen in this compact SUV until now.

·         Top Gear

Top gear gives the Rav4 a slightly lower score of 7 out of 10.

Top Gear quotes “It’s not much fun to drive, but as a financial and fuel-saving choice it really does make some beating”.

If off-road adventuring isn’t your thing but you’re after a vehicle that can save you costs on fuel-efficiency and handle icy roads fairly easily, then the Rav4 isn’t a bad option at all.

·         Cars US News

Cars US News gives the Rav4 an overall rating of 8.3 out of 10 and says that the Rav4 is a good and well-rounded compact SUV with a long and rather nice list of technology and safety features.

Cars Us News rate the RAV4 the number 5 best compact SUV on the American car market today.

·         Edmunds

Edmunds is a platform that takes the average of public reviews and gives a vehicle a rating based on that. Edmunds has awarded the Rav4 with 3 and a quarter star out of 5.

The interior gets another thumbs up as is seen across the board of reviews, Edmunds rates the Rav4 highly in comfortability (minus the front passenger seat), cargo space, and user-friendly controls.

·         Kelleys Blue Book

KBB also gives the mini-SUV a 3.3 out of 5 stars which as far as ratings go isn’t too bad. If it were a school grade it would probably be around a B or a B minus. Not a bad grade to have!

Kelleys likes the reliability of a Rav4, the light off-road abilities, and the roomy interior.

They like this SUV so much that they have awarded Toyota with the 2021 Best Buy Award for their Rav4 and vote the Rav4 as number 1 in the best compact SUVs for 2021.

Which is The Best Year for The Toyota Rav4?

The Toyota Rav 4 was first released on the American vehicle market scene in 1996 having first been released in Japan in 1994 and seeing much success. Judging by popular vote, the best years for the Rav4 are 2016, 2017, and 2018 where the Rav4 scored highest in safety and reliability ratings.

You can pick up a reliable and good Rav4 on the used car market for around US$15,000 if you’re lucky! Paying up to around US$25,500 would also be a standard and reasonable price to pay for a used 2017 – 2018 Rav4.

Though some would argue that the most reliable years for the Rav4 are the first generation, 1996 – 2000 due to numerous factors including how customizable and environmentally friendly they were. The first generation of Rav4 also has the lowest number of complaints and issues per vehicle.

Has the Rav4 Had Any Bad years?

It seems all cars have bad years and the Rav4 is no exception no matter how popular and good it is.

The worst years for the Rav4 seem to be 2008, and 2013 for receiving the most complaints in a year. Car Complaints received the greatest number of complaints about the 2008 model because the repairs were costly. They highly recommend avoiding the 2008 Rav4.

The most common issue for the 2013 Rav4 was for the navigation display on the dashboard that has extremely poor quality and can’t be seen with any sunlight glare.

Another common issue with the Rav4 always seems to be the noisy engine and this is seen in most reviews for the 2021 model too.

2022 Toyota Rav4

According to The Car Connection, they give the all-new 2022 Rav4 a score of 6.7 out of 10 stating that as far as compact crossover SUVs go, it “hits the bullseye” but misses some interior design aspects that could have been better. Though many would say that comes down to opinion.

The lower baseline trims aren’t generally designed for off-roading adventures, but they have an Adventure trim made especially for that.

The engine is a 203-hp 2.5 liter interline-4 with an 8-speed automatic that has a standard front-wheel drive (FWD) train but can shift to all-wheel drive (AWD) and send power to all four wheels when and if needed.

The 2022 Rav4 reaches 0-60mph within 6 seconds, has a decent safety rating, and comes in around 16 different configurations to reach a wider audience.


The Rav4 is a good car for younger drivers, new drivers, and those who like a little more space in their cars for weekend getaways.

The Rav4 is a popular car in America and numerous other countries and has had overall great ratings throughout the last 25 years.

Cars don’t win awards for nothing, and the Rav4 has received numerous accolades over the years which just prove it is indeed a car for those looking for a compact SUV with good reviews, and great safety and reliability ratings.