2009 Toyota RAV4 from North America


Nothing. We rented it for a week.

General Comments:

We rented this Rav4 for a week on a trip. The good first. This was the 4WD, V6 model. I have two 4 cylinder cars at home, so I'm not accustomed to V6's, but it seemed to have a lot of kick to it. It actually had a very satisfactory amount of acceleration and it was fairly easy to smoke the tires at red lights. It was more like driving a sports car in some respects.

The interior was quite large and roomy. For a mid-sized SUV, it would be a good fit for a family of four easily. The seats were more comfortable than some luxury cars I've ridden in. Very supportive. We drove all day on two of the days during the trip and I never felt sore or tired. It also got reasonable fuel economy. We averaged at least 25MPG.

Now for the bad. I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I thought the exterior styling was really bland and boring. That and the interior plastics were not quite up to par with the older Toyotas I have back home. The controls for 4WD and related transmission items were a bit confusing. There was no visual iconography to indicate how to put it into 4WD. Not that we needed it, but we drove it two days before realizing we had been in 4WD the whole time, which explained why we had gotten such bad fuel economy initially.

I'd definitely recommend this for families just looking for a kid and grocery hauler. But its not going to turn any heads or make your heart pound. Toyota needs to get out of the bland styling department and be more aggressive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2009

8th Mar 2009, 13:09

The 4WD in the RAV4 is a computer-controlled AWD. You can lock the car into 4WD mode. This works at speeds up to 25mph--if you go over 25mph, it will automatically unlock. The normal operating mode is for the car to be in 2WD mode, but to automatically detect wheel slip and switch into temporary AWD as needed.

25th Mar 2009, 04:01

A little research to learn that Toyota AWD is based on American viscous coupling design (Jeep Quadratrac 1973). But the lack of low-end torque causes the system to overreact when the transmission downshifts.

26th Sep 2009, 22:17

What I can't understand, is why Toyota has discontinued standard transmissions on all SUVs including the RAV4? For an SUV, an automatic transmission sounds like a joke, no matter how good the automatic is.

25th Nov 2009, 11:29

Why would you say that? Have you ever pulled a boat up a ramp with a stick? REALLY hard on that clutch. Pulling anything around with a standard is a chore. Automatics in SUVs make perfect sense. Getting the full utility out of the vehicle is much easier without worrying what gear you're in. Don't get me wrong, I love driving standard trannys, but only in fast or fun cars to add to the experience.

27th Jan 2010, 23:35

I bought a Honda CR-V, 2004 model, 5 speed manual.

To me, MANUAL is only car that I ever want to own.

I understand some people are used to Automatic, but please, let's not be selfish.

Let's have a choice: Whoever wants automatic, can have one, and whoever wants a manual, can have one, too...

3rd Aug 2010, 18:55

I also rented RAV4 for a 10 days trip in Rockies. But it was 4 cyl./4 speed. In most situation it was fine except only a few steep roads, but the V6 should fix that. Handling and gas mileage were OK. Highway ride was not bad even at 70-80 mph. We were almost sold on this SUV (we would go with V6), but there were few cons - major - ride in city is horrible - choppy, noisy, every bump goes through like there is no suspension at all, unacceptable. Minor - back door - it is just ridiculous.