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Toyota Rav4: Is It A Reliable Car?

Reliability in a car depends on numerous different factors. Can you depend on your car? Can it get you where you need to go without you worrying about not making it there? Fuel efficiency is important, and of course, handling all sorts of road conditions is a pretty big factor too.

Whether your car looks great or not isn’t a reliability factor, but it is nice to have a comfortable and stylish car!

The Toyota Rav4 is a reliable car that can last up to 250,000 miles on average and more if maintained well. The Rav4 boasts an AWD system with exceptionally up-to-date features in technology that make this reliable mini-SUV drive like a 4WD in some conditions.

So, you’re searching for an SUV and want a car that is reliable in new and used condition? The affordability of the Toyota Rav4 makes it a remarkably sought-after and appealing car model but there are numerous other reasons why the Rav4 might be the right compact SUV for you.

Read on to find out how and why the Rav4 is so reliable.

Is the Toyota Rav4 Reliable?

The straight answer here is yes, the Rav4 is a reliable vehicle and has many appealing features that current and future Rav4 owners will love.

Many popular vehicle review websites give the Rav4 a good score in its reliability rating.

Repair Pal for example awards the Rav4 a reliability score of 4 out of 5 and Cars US News gifts the Rav4 an impressive 81 out of 100 for its reliability.

The Rav4 is the biggest selling SUV across the world and its sales rates are always consistent every year. The Rav4 only grows more popular every year since its release to the market in 1994 (1996 US).

There have been five generations of the Rav4 in its 25 years and it continues to offer reliable FWD and AWD systems across every trim with the additional feature of some 4WD capabilities. The Rav4 is a smaller and compact SUV but that doesn’t mean it’s small in heart and engine capacity.

Car Buying and Selling has stated that the Rav4 is one of the most reliable and durable used vehicles you can buy in any segment.

Why is the Rav4 Reliable?

Firstly, with every new release of the Rav4, Toyota has offered numerous customizable options for each trim level to suit a much wider audience. Having the ability to customize a vehicle to your almost specific requirements is a pretty good deal as far as cars go.

The engine has been upgraded with every new generation of the Rav4 to keep up with the competition and to provide adequate horsepower and torque.

Like many other Toyota vehicles, the Rav4 is not designed for fancy futuristic complications that are just that. Complications. Like the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Rav4 has been kept to a relatively simple design throughout its manufacturing standards and this has served it well over the years.

Simpler designs are easier to maintain, easier to fix, and easier to utilize.

Here are some of the other reasons why the Toyota Rav4 is such a trusty and reliable compact SUV:

·         The Rav4 is made by Toyota

Toyota itself as a brand is an extremely reliable car manufacturer and any vehicle made by Toyota is destined to be a reliable car.

Toyota has been a trusted vehicle brand since 1937 and has gained popularity, accolades, and awards for a wide range of their vehicles.

Here’s a fun fact for the reader, Toyota currently has 5 cars in the top 11 best-selling cars in 2021 and the Rav4 is placed at number 4.

Fun fact number is two is that Toyota has some of the longest lasting cars on roads all over the world. Read further below to find out how long the Rav4 could last!

·         Longevity

The average lifetime mileage of a Rav4 is approximately 250,000 miles but many Rav4 owners have commented that a Rav4 will last many more miles in its lifetime if the vehicle is taken good care of and regularly maintained.

The average American drives approximately 13,500 miles a year, so judging by that average, a Rav4 should easily last almost 20 years or more.

·         Safety first

We probably should have mentioned the safety features first because safety is important, and Toyota clearly have this front of mind too.

The Rav4 features what Toyota calls their Safety Sense which offers numerous technology advancements in safety tech for the drivers and passengers’ peace of mind.

Features like pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and pre-collision detection are top of our list of favorite safety features.

·         Toyota Engine

Toyota has made many award-winning engines in their time and the Rav4 boasts a powerful and efficient 2.5-liter engine with 203 horsepower with Dual variable valve timing and AWD intelligence.

·         Lightweight body frame

The steel body the Rav4 is made from is a durable yet lighter type of steel that makes the Rav4 weigh less than many other vehicles. This means it’s great for fuel efficiency and will get higher mileage per gallon in cities, highways, and combined.

·         Built for a smooth ride

The Rav4 is offered in FWD and AWD trims, depending on the model, year, and make of choice. Either way, the Rav4 is built for an enhanced suspension to deliver a better transmission and smoother ride. The huge 4WD-type ground clearance is a great feature too.

·         Multiple AWD trains

Yes, there is more than one type of all-wheel-drive (AWD) offered in the Rav4. Toyota offers a basic AWD which improves handling and traction, as well as a Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD (TV-AWD) for enhanced power in the rear tires when necessary.

·         Additional features

Toyota loves a range of features and although the Rav4 is a less expensive SUV on the market, they haven’t gone cheap on the features. The Rav4 comes in standard trims, sports edition, hybrid models, multi-terrain adventure editions, and each of the Rav4 models offered can tow up to 1500lbs. The Adventure edition of the Rav4 can tow up to 3,500lbs.

·         Lower maintenance costs

The average annual maintenance fee in garage work for a car in the US is approximately US$651 according to withclutch and Repair Pal. The average annual maintenance cost for a Rav4 is typically US$429. That’s a difference of over US$200 which in the long run can save you thousands.

What do Rav4 Owners Have to Say About the Popular Toyota Car?

Drivers of the Toyota Rav4 enjoy the interior design, additional visibility with larger windows, comfortable seats, and the driving dynamics.

According to JD Power, here is what Rav4 owners have to say about why they choose the Rav4:

  • 79% of Rav4 owners choose a vehicle for its reliability
  • 74% of Rav4 owners choose a vehicle for lower maintenance costs
  • 61% of Rav4 owners choose a vehicle for quality workmanship
  • 22% of Rav4 owners choose a vehicle based on its fuel-efficiency

If you check out Edmunds reviews from Rav4 car owners, you’ll see fairly mixed reviews. Some of the best reviews though are titled “Best Car I Have Ever Owned”, “love it!”, and “Amazing masculine SUV”.


The Rav4 is exceptional in fuel efficiency and simplicity. The simple design is something Toyota seems to get right with almost every Toyota model on the market. The AWD system offers drivers the additional feature of peace of mind with superior road traction and grip, especially in icy and slippery conditions.

The AWD system is a superior feature in the Rav4 that improved road handling and control and gives drivers the ability to take their vehicle on soft-4WD adventures within reason.

The Rav4 is a reliable vehicle and if you’re in the market for a small but worthy SUV look no further than the Toyota Rav4.