2011 RAV4 Limited 4cyl. engine 4x4. This was purchased as my mom's golden years vehicle. She wanted something she could see out of, was up high/easy to get in and out of, small-ish and got good gas mi...
2011 RAV4 Limited 4cyl. engine 4x4. This was purchased as my mom's golden years vehicle. She wanted something she could see out of, was up high/easy to get in and out of, small-ish and got good gas mileage. Also, all the bells and whistles my dad refused to get in the past, so she chose an almost fully loaded Limited model.
Went with 4 cylinder engine to maximize MPG, but my area is short on front wheel drive 'Limited' models, so ended up with the 4 wheel drive. At the time of purchase, Toyota.com said 2 wheel drive models were not available for sale in my area (Md.). I don't know if this was due to the tsunami or just a regular sales decision.
There is no hill-holder or hill brake on the automatic transmission in the 4 cylinder model, so when you start on a steep hill the car rolls back like a manual transmission car. Really unnerves my mom. She tries to avoid hills. I've heard the hill brake may be an option (?) you can purchase, but seeing as she bought a Limited version and it didn't come with it, I doubt it. Maybe the front wheel drive only version has it? The V-6 does have it. We didn't encounter any substantial hills on our test drives so it didn't appear to be as rolly as it really is on big hills.
The gas mileage is awful for old lady drivers. My mom's short 2-5 mile stop-sign racing at 25-35 mph speeds result in 16-17mpg. But, one trip over 10 miles on the highway will bump the average to over 20mpg, but still nowhere near the big print advertised mileage, much closer to the small low end fine print mileage for the V-6. The "break in period" is bogus. Did average 28-30 mpg on a long interstate trip, but we cared more about the around town mileage.
I am 6'3" and I find the seats to be slightly off. Seat bottoms are not quite wide enough or long enough, but it's not my car. But, at least your almost level with your co-pilot versus the Subaru Forester where the co-pilot sits down in a hole with the dash board at eye level. Overall, you can't beat the room available in the RAV4. Very roomy front and back. Oh, we only got the 2 rows of seats.
As most everyone notes, the swing out tailgate is not great, but you can learn to work with it. Only thing you can't work around is when it's raining; you don't have any cover and the rain just goes right in the back.
Overall the RAV4 is a great vehicle. The 4 cylinder has a lot of pep. More than enough to get you moving. Ride is tops for the type of vehicle, but by no means smooth or sedan-like. Wind and road noise is quieter than CR-V, but not as quiet as a sedan. Speaking of the CR-V, the RAV4 doesn't have any strong vibrations through the steering wheel when stopped at a light like the CR-V. That was a bit unnerving on our CR-V test drives. You'd be sitting at a light and it would just vibrate your arms. I think it was tied to the power steering and A/C system. Anyways, one of the cons for the CR-V that led to the RAV4 purchase. The interior details are great in the RAV4: cup holders, outlets, folding seats, sliding seats, armrest and glove boxes. The only other thing I don't like are the LCD displays. They look dated and detract from the style of the interior. A quibble, but eh...