Practical experience Toyota RAV4: What do owners think of their car?

Big Toyota not only popular with thieves guild

Toyota RAV4

You recently read on this site that the Toyota RAV4 is the most stolen car in the Netherlands. You would prefer to ask the thieves why they choose this particular model, but then of course you have to catch them first. That should be easier. In the Review section on, 31 owners share their practical experience with their SUV. What do they think makes the RAV4 the car to risk a prison sentence for?

It could be the purchase price. According to a number of owners, the purchase price is not a reason to choose the RAV4 over the competition, so they view the car with an extra critical eye. The Toyota appears to be very resistant to this on points, but critical nuts are cracked on the finish and appearance of the dashboard. This also applies to the operation of the central screen.

Ergonomic challenges

Several owners report being disappointed with the software of the infotainment system. “The biggest daily irritations are the navigation system and the display. I have stopped using the navigation. It is slow, requires many steps and offers little information compared to Google Maps.” The readability also leaves much to be desired with incident sunlight, the same applies to the largely digital instruments. There are no structural defects. The infotainment system may not be very advanced, but it turns out to be reliable.

Another point of criticism from owners is the lack of illumination of various buttons, including that of the power windows. One owner has taken action himself: “I have installed original illuminated buttons for the window and mirror controls and even ambient lighting in the door handles, just plug and play!”

A feature that can count on particular appreciation is the electronic rear-view mirror. “The car was fully loaded, so I no longer had a view to the rear. Then you flip a switch in the mirror, after which you see a razor-sharp image from a camera at the rear. Super!”

Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid

Seating and driving comfort RAV4

The seating comfort of the RAV4 is more than sufficient, which starts with the entry. “The entry is easily accessible, the seat is high and the car is also very spacious.” Longer drivers, up to about 2 meters in length, will find it a good fit. For them, the backrest and seat could be a bit longer, although that is not disturbing according to this owner.

Trial sitting is always recommended, perhaps a different version suits your stature or sitting position better. So is the owner of this 2.5 Hybrid: “The seating position is good to very good, one of the reasons why I chose the Executive was the tiltability of the seat. As a result, it is not noticeable that it is slightly shorter.”

Rear passengers and luggage also find a good place in the RAV4. “Fortunately, the rear seat backrest can also be adjusted in terms of angle, so that everyone can sit comfortably in the back.” Less positive are noises about a limited adjustable co-driver’s seat and the lack of memory positions.

Hybrid powertrain pleases

The vast majority of reviewers drive a Toyota RAV4 2.5 Hybrid, sometimes with four-wheel drive. People are almost without exception positive about this powertrain. It’s raining praise. “The best feature of the RAV4 is the powertrain. What power and what flexibility.” It encourages this owner to drive calmly: “The car is spicy if you will, but it doesn’t really invite you to put the pit in it. I automatically drive more calmly in this car.” He’s not the only one. “The CVT powertrain releases power evenly. The powertrain feels a bit ‘elastic’ and does not really invite you to drive fast,” writes a driver about his 2.5 AWD. In addition, the driving experience is also appreciated. “The car is comfortable, quiet and steers for this type of car” comfortable’ tight. A really relaxed ride.”

The consumption of the RAV4 appears to be favorable for the type of car, with the hybrid powertrain of course making a significant contribution. This owner drives an average of between 1 in 15 and 1 in 17. This powertrain also offers advantages for caravanners. “With a consumption of around 1 in 10 with a caravan of 1,400 kg, I was very satisfied, the previous cars didn’t come close to that.”

Hardly any malfunctions

The technical quality of this RAV4 seems to be the most important purchase argument. Malfunctions hardly occur in the booklet of this model. Two owners report rattles in the sliding/tilting roof, one reports a creaking strut and rattling of the dashboard. “That already indicates that things are going great with the RAV4”. The latter does not apply to every RAV4, for example, the owner of a Plug-in was stranded at home with an empty 12V battery. The cause of this has not been determined, but a new one with a larger capacity has been installed.

In short, is the RAV4 really a car to steal? If you can live with the dated multimedia system and some ergonomic shortcomings, there are few reasons to leave the RAV4. Let’s hope for owners that the crook will do this, so that they can enjoy their Toyota for longer. Small bright spot: none of the reviewers report the theft of their car.


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