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.

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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Should I buy a Toyota RAV4 or a Honda CR-V?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Mar 2020

You really need to go out and test drive both vehicles, because they both have their plusses and minuses and those will be graded according to your personal preferences. Overall, the RAV4 is a bigger vehicle (almost as big as the original Kluger, in fact) so that might come into the reckoning based purely on the size of your parking space at home.

The RAV4 rides a bit more softly but your choice of the range-topping VTi-LX in the Honda is a good one because that’s the only model in the line-up that includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping and adaptive cruise-control. That said, the RAV4 has all those features, too, but extends them to the bulk of the models offered, not just the top-spec version.

On warranty and fuel economy, both compare pretty closely, so it will come down to the little things that you personally find important; things like the Honda’s doors that open almost to 90-degrees and the Toyota’s vast rear seat legroom and cavernous luggage space. Over to you.

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Should I buy a plug-in hybrid or an electric car?

Answered by CarsGuide 29 Feb 2020

The Ford Escape plug-in should be an interesting vehicle when it arrives, with 165kW of power and something like a 50km electric-only range. It will be here sometime this year, but the exact timing is still a trade secret.

The Toyota RAV4, meanwhile, isn’t a plug-in hybrid, so it can’t be recharged form your home solar panels (which the plug-in Escape could be). Frankly, if you’re making four times the power your household needs with your solar array, you’re in the pound seats for owning a plug-in hybrid which could put that excess electricity generation to very good use. That’s especially true if most of your driving is around town within a 20km radius or so of home-base.

That said, the new RAV4 Hybrid is gaining rave reviews as well as recording very sharp real-world fuel-economy figures. But a plug-in hybrid in a household with excess solar capacity could almost be run for free.

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