Toyota RAV4 Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Toyota RAV4 reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

What is the longevity of diesel-powered SUV and Passenger vehicles in Australia?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Jul 2021

Of all the technology you’re considering right now, the only one that sounds any real alarm bells is that of the double-clutch transmission. It’s not that Kia’s version of the DCT is worse than many others – nor is it the worst of the lot – but there have been complaints over the operation and lifespan of these units generally. Sometimes the fault is a software glitch, but in other DCTs – particularly the dry-clutch variety – the problems are mechanical and can lead to catastrophic failures.

With that said, it’s also true that Kia in Australia offers a fantastic factory warranty, so you should have no worries for at least the first seven years. It’s also the case that Kia Australia takes its reputation very seriously and is one of the better companies when it comes to sorting out faults and problems with its products. We’re pretty big fans here at Carsguide of the current Toyota hybrid technology, and it’s looking like the new Kluger Hybrid will be just as popular as Toyota’s other hybrid offerings. Perhaps more so as the non-hybrid Kluger can be thirsty.

As for the requirement for premium ULP, when you consider that the Kluger Hybrid will, around the city and suburbs where most of them will spend the vast majority of their lives, use about two thirds of the fuel of the V6 Kluger (maybe even a bit less than that) then the extra cost per litre is more than compensated for by the reduced cost per kilometre. And in case you were worried about Toyota’s hybrid tech, the new Kluger Hybrid comes with up to 10 years of warranty on the battery-pack provided the vehicle is serviced correctly and inspected once a year.

The other thing you might consider is the next-size-down Toyota hybrid, the RAV4. This is quite a spacious vehicle these days and offers excellent fuel efficiency and driveability. It’s cheaper than the Kluger, too. Definitely worth a look. Overall, the broader view is that a petrol hybrid vehicle is more future-proof than a conventional turbo-diesel.

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Will the plug-in hybrid Toyota RAV4 become available in Australia?

Answered by CarsGuide 2 Jun 2021

Toyota Australia is on record as saying that the business case for the plug-in hybrid version of the RAV4 doesn’t stack up in Australia. And while we never say never, it doesn’t look like that model will arrive here any time soon. Instead, Toyota has expressed plans to sell the all-electric bZ4X cross-over which is RAV 4-sized here, following its Japanese launch which is slated for mid next year. That means the bZ4X could be in local showrooms by the end of next year, but it will only be as a purely electric vehicle and not a plug-in hybrid (or a hybrid of any sort).

But it would be worth taking a RAV 4 Hybrid for a test drive as this car is selling up a storm and for good reason. It’s a terrific vehicle and seems right on point as far as its target market goes. The fact that it’s only moderately more expensive than a conventionally powered RAV 4 is just icing on the cake.

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Why isn't the stop-start engine function working in on my 2021 Toyota RAV4?

Answered by CarsGuide 27 Apr 2021

The stop-start function on modern cars works according to a variety of protocols. Fundamentally, if the car’s battery can cope with not having the engine running, then it will trigger the fuel-saving measure when the car is stationary. But, if the battery is low (you’ve recently been running in electric-only mode, for instance) or you have the car’s lights or air-conditioning switched on and the stereo blaring, then the car may decide that it needs to keep the engine running to keep those systems running. If that’s the case, the stop-start function will be over-ruled.

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What is the best small-medium SUV to buy used for under $15k

Answered by CarsGuide 24 Mar 2021

If you liked the RAV4, then a newer, more modern RAV 4 should be on your shopping list. Your budget gets you into a RAV 4 from, say 2012 or 2013, and these were, in fact, available in two-wheel-drive (since you no longer need all-wheel-drive).

The march of technology means that the RAV 4 used less fuel with every generation, so it’s worth comparing your car’s fuel economy with the later version. While early versions of the RAV 4 (like the own you once owned) would have trouble beating 10 litres per 100km, the more modern RAV 4 from 2013 will easily consume less than eight litres per 100km over the same distance. If you drive carefully, that difference could be even greater. Don’t confuse the continuation of a badge with the stagnation of technology.

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Is a 4WD necessary for travelling through regional Queensland?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Sep 2020

It sounds like you don't really need a big, heavy and expensive 4WD for the type of vehicle you require. Maybe ample ground clearance would be an advantage, but otherwise, as all the driving is on sealed or some dirt roads, a good front-drive (2WD) medium-sized SUV should suffice. This type of vehicle is typically more stable at speed as there isn't a high centre of gravity to contend with - a big safety plus. And while all-wheel-drive might be useful driving out of ruts, on sand or in snow, if none of the these apply, the 2WD's stability and traction control system ought to be enough. 

As a result, we recommend the latest-model (from May 2019-onwards) Toyota RAV4 GX or GXL. It is an exceptionally practical, roomy and robust SUV, with a high level of standard safety features, and big comfy seating. Its 2.0-litre engine is strong, smooth and economical. And you won't have a problem finding somewhere for it to be serviced.

If AWD is deemed essential, then the base Subaru Forester 2.5i is another great choice. Lots of ground clearance, a gutsy 2.5L engine and a soft, relaxing ride. Nowadays Subaru has increased its service intervals from six to 12 months, taking away one of the hassles of running these well-engineered Japanese SUVs.

Finally, the Mazda CX-5 AWD is recommended as well, for it too has a well-sorted AWD system. This is quite a sporty number, with plenty of higher-speed power for effortless overtaking, as well as responsive handling. 

All three SUVs mentioned retail at well under $40,000, and all are enjoyable, capable and reliable choices.

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Can the hybrid Toyota RAV4 support a 70kg roof top tent?

Answered by CarsGuide 10 Sep 2020

It appears that the RAV4 Hybrid's roof racks can stand up to 80kg, so you should be safe.

According to an American-market RAV4 forum, that is the maximum rating for when the car is moving, as the bars must be able to withstand a sudden change in direction at speed, such as to avoid hitting an animal on the road. The forum adds that, when stationary only, the roof bars can stand up to 270kg. 

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What wagon should I buy for less than $35000?

Answered by CarsGuide 2 Sep 2020

Thanks for getting in touch with us. Our first thought was for you to consider a Mazda 6 wagon from Japan, since it is one of the few new wagons left on offer within your price range, is economical and reliable, a pleasure to drive and low enough (at 1480mm) for your garage situation. But it doesn't quite meet all your requirements in that it hasn't much ground clearance (at just 125mm) and back-seat legroom isn't great. It's worth remembering that the 6 wagon is 80mm shorter in wheelbase - the distance between the front and rear wheels - than the corresponding sedan version. It's a bit tight in there.

Alternatively, you might want to consider the just-discontinued Holden ZB Commodore wagon or Ford Mondeo wagon, as both offer substantially more rear-seat legroom than the Mazda 6 wagon, as well as the choice of a turbo-petrol or turbo-diesel engines. These are European-sourced models (Germany and Spain respectively), with big boots and towing-friendly torquey engines. However, again, low ground clearances might be an issue here as well.

So, our advice is to measure your garage roof and see if either of the medium SUVs listed below can fit, because if they do, then these would be the absolutely ideal vehicles for your need.

The better of the two, for its overall quiet refinement, all-weather all-wheel-drive grip and excellent all-round vision is the Subaru Forester from Japan. It ticks all your boxes in terms of needs and suitability, while providing heaps of ground clearance at 220mm. Plus it offers excellent standard safety kit, economy, reliability and resale, as well as decent performance. Just know that it stands 1730mm tall. If that fits, then find yourself a demo at $35,000 and enjoy one of the best family-car buys at any price available today.

Then there our second favourite, the wildly-popular Toyota RAV4, also from Japan. Much of what we said about the Forester applies here too, except it is front-wheel drive rather than AWD at your price point. There is a RAV AWD but it is a hybrid AWD system that takes the price into the mid-$40,000 region, so that's out of contention. The base RAV4 2WD also has a smaller engine (at 2.0-litres) than the Subaru, but it is equally response and agile. Where the RAV4 eclipses the Forester from your perspective is height – it is shorter at 1685mm high, while still allowing 195mm ground clearance.

Both Japanese SUVs are huge inside, with loads of space to boot. If their height doesn't end up being a problem, then know that either will provide many years of faultless, reliable, economical and enjoyable service. Good luck, we hope this helps. 

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What is the recommended height and weight of a driver for a 2010 Toyota RAV4?

Answered by CarsGuide 2 Sep 2020

Car makers do not publish driver height or weight recommendations, but instead usually develop vehicles to suit the height of a 99th percentile male (193cm) down to a 5th percentile woman (150cm).

For shorter-statured people, both the Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Camry offer seat-height and steering-wheel reach and height adjustment, meaning that there should be no issue finding a comfortable seating position. However, given that SUVs such as the RAV4 generally have a larger and deeper glass area as well as higher-set cushions than sedans like the Camry, we recommend the RAV4.

We hope this information helps.

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RECALL: New Toyota RAV4 owners asked to drive with caution due to potentially broken suspension

RECALL: New Toyota RAV4 owners asked to drive with caution due to potentially broken suspension

22 May 2020 · by Justin Hilliard

Toyota Australia has recalled the new Toyota RAV4 mid-size SUV over a possible production defect that could cause its suspension to break. As such, affected owners are being asked to drive with ...

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STOP DRIVING IMMEDIATELY: Australian car owners in danger!

STOP DRIVING IMMEDIATELY: Australian car owners in danger!

12 May 2020 · by Tom White

If you own one of these popular late '90s models, stop driving immediately!

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