Toyota RAV4 (2006–2013)

What's good

  • Euro NCAP 4 star adult safety, 3 star pedestrian safety, 4 star child safety.
  • Voted most reliable used SUV in 2013 'Which? survey.
  • 9-2-2018: Testimonial of 2007 Toyota RAV-4 2.0i petrol reaching 160,000 miles with very little trouble. Gives 37mpg in mixed driving. Aside from normal servicing it has only needed: 2 rear suspension arms; a driver's side sun visor (spring mechanism went); a new battery after 9 years; alternator refurb at 150K miles and a new waterpump @ 150K miles. It managed 14" snow over country roads on Hankook all season tyres.
  • 27-3-2018: Owner's report of 6 years with 2006 petrol engined Toyota RAV-4, now at 55,000 miles: Bought from the dealer at 23,000 miles, issue with alarm going off several weeks later traced to faulty drivers door switch replaced for a £20 genuine part and 3 minutes work. Fitted the rear door check strap from the facelifted model without the spare wheel; the part cost £90 and took 15 minutes to fit.
    Slight weep from the water pump picked up at service, dealer replaced for £280. Main exhaust silencer rusted though at 45,000 miles, quoted £850 for the dealer to replace the exhaust from the cat back. Managed to locate an approved garage who changed the exhaust for £300 with a 3 year warranty. ABS system fault at 48,000 miles traced to faulty brake pedal switch- dealer diagnosed and replaced for £80.
    Original battery started to struggle last year at 50,000 miles, replaced with a heavy duty battery for £75.
    Car has been serviced by the local Toyota dealer every year, has never failed an MOT and continues to run faultlessly. It uses no fluids and has been outstanding in recent poor weather on standard fitment Yokohama tyres. Maintaining correct tyre pressures is vital as even a few psi difference makes the car wander around notably more. Fuel economy is around 40 mpg on a run, 34 mpg around town.
  • 9-9-2018: Accolade from reader of 2006 Toyota RAV-4 D-4D: Exactly 10 years ago I bought a 2 year old Toyota RAV4 D4D with 15,000 miles on the clock. It has now done 135,000 miles. I have had it serviced regularly, currently run it on Michelin Latitude Tour tyres which provide a wonderful ride and in 10 years it has returned an average of over 50 mpg (53.3 mpg). It has a full size spare tyre bolted to the back and on the only 2 occasions when I have had a puncture (both in obscure locations late at night) I was on my way very quickly. It starts first time every time and has never let me down. It even had a HAL computer moment when it warned me that a component was about to fail (the EGR valve was replaced at the next service).

What's bad

  • Became expensive (T180 £27,000).
  • On models with spare wheel on rear door, to comply with EC lighting regulations the checkstrap prevents full opening of the door. Many owners replace it with the checkstrap, from the T180 which has no spare wheel.
  • The passenger seat belt can clunk against the door pillar when not in use.
  • The washer reservoir is small with no low level warning.
  • Trip computer buttons awkward to get at.
  • Replacement runflat tyres for the T180 are £168+ VAT from a Toyota dealer. You get an exchange wheel with a new tyre fitted to it, but that's a lot of money.
  • On many models the rear door has now been replaced with the wheel-less door of the T-180 but with an inflator kit and a can of glop instead of runflats. Needless to say, this can leave you completely stranded if you shred a tyre.
  • TSB 'reflash' of ECU of T180 seems to result in poorer fuel economy.
  • Succeeded by new RAV4 on same platform in UK in early 2013.
  • Apparently a metal ring inside the rims of a RAV-4 T180 means that a special tool is required to remove the tyres.

What to watch out for

I had no problems over 4 months. Feedback from longer experience welcome.

Reports of oil leaks from the timing chain cover gasket. One report of high oil consumption (1,000 miles per litre) of 2.2 D-4D.

Gearchange quality of T180 manual improverd by LV75WMT gear oil.

Seems to be a problem of brake discs warping (all four) after around 3 years.

Problems with cylinder heads of 2.2 litre diesels.

Early 2.2 chain cam diesels are gaining a reputation as moderate oil burners, consuming around 1 litre of oil every 5,000 miles with this considered "normal" by Toyota.

26-1-2012: With 2.2 litre diesels, problems over regenerating of DPFs can lead to overfuelling that can damage the piston rings and bores. Apparently Toyota has extended the warranty to 5 years (even on 3 year warranted cars) to cover this.

27-3-2013: Reader reported a spate of water pump failures, but he is the first to report this to us.

30-7-2013: More injector and cylinder head problems reported on a 2006 2.2 D-4D.

On factory fitted satnav, directions to a full UK post code is an option on the second destination option screen.

8-2-2015: Complaint of only 26.7mpg from 2010 RAV-4 2.0i Valvematic Multidrive S.

4-6-2015: DPF of 2010 RAV-4 D-4D SR 150 auto blocked with ash at 67,000 miles. Quoted £1,800 to replace. Ceramex chargest £300 to clean.

11-6-2015: Noise on turning steering slowly on 52k mile 2009 RAV-4 SR180. Apparently there is a fairly universal steering shaft knocking noise associated with the model.

29-3-2016: Problems reported with RAV-4 diesel used for towing a horsebox at weekends, but short urban runs to and from work during the week. Has needed a replacement DPF, replacement DMF and replacement clutch.

11-4-2017: Report by an owner that i ncreasing numbers of 2006-2012 RAV4 owners are experiencing fuel leaks caused by corrosion of the fuel filler pipe. This is due to the use of thin low quality steel combined with road debris and mud accumulating in the space between the panels where the pipe runs, which is partially open to the rear wheel arch.

14-2-2018: Key synchronisation problem reported with 2010 Toyota RAV-4 with push-button start. Two fobs supplied when new, but one was lost. Toyota dealer quoted replacement at £270, but it would not synchronise. Another was tried but that, too, failed. Dealer now thinks the problem is with the receiver and quoted £500 to rectify this, including the new fob.

30-3-3013: If in a RAV-4 2.2 D-4D all the warning lights come on suggesting a fuel leak, then suspect fault P0093. If this is the case there is a technical service bulletin from Toyota about a faulty "suction control valve" causing this issue which requires a modified valve and new software to be installed. If this car is at a Toyota dealership tell them to look at bulletin EG-0044T-0310-EN.


Seems to have been a TSB in early 2008 to dealers over a 'clunking' steering column. If the customer complained, dealers were told to replace it FOC. Now that some of the cars are out of warranty, dealers have been raising the matter with customers and asking them to fork out £1,200 for the new rack.

Late 2008 - Early 2009 TSB issued to "reflash" ECUs of T-180s.

21-1-2010: Toyota Motor Sales USA Filed a Voluntary Safety Recall on 2,300,000 Toyota Division Vehicles for Sticking Accelerator Pedals that could lead to 'Unintentional Acceleration'. This is entirely separate from another recall of approximately 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles to reduce the risk of pedal entrapment by incorrect or out of place accessory floor mats. Approximately 1.7 million Toyota Division vehicles are subject to both separate recall actions. TMS Group Vice President Irv Miller stated: "Our investigation indicates that there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position. Consistent with our commitment to the safety of our cars and our customers, we have initiated this voluntary recall action." Toyota's accelerator pedal recall is confined to the following Toyota Division vehicles 2009-2010 RAV4. The condition is rare, but can occur when the pedal mechanism becomes worn and, in certain conditions, the accelerator pedal may become harder to depress, slower to return or, in the worst case, stuck in a partially depressed position. Toyota is working quickly to prepare the correction remedy. In the event that a driver experiences an accelerator pedal that sticks in a partial open throttle position or returns slowly to idle position, the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes. The brakes should not be pumped repeatedly because it could deplete vacuum assist, requiring stronger brake pedal pressure. The vehicle should be driven to the nearest safe location, the engine shut off and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance. Obviously, left foot braking while manoeuvring will enable a driver to retain control of the vehicle if the accelerator pedal should suddenly stick.

29-1-2010: Sticking Accelerator Pedal recall announced on UK RAV4 (Nov 2005 – Nov 2009). Customers who experience the problem should phone 0800 1388 744.

1-8-2012: Apparent recall of 2006-2011 RAV4 in USA because bolt can fall out of adjustable rear suspension if the lock-nut is not replaced by a new one after a re-alignment.

3-10-2012: Seems to be a TSB 'recall' due to a suspension defect that can result in abnormally poor tyre wear.

10-10-2012: Notification of RAV-4, Yaris, Auris and Corolla Recall for possible fault in electric window switch affecting 138,000 vehicles build between September 2006 and December 2008. On Wednesday 10 October 2012 Toyota GB registered a recall on RAV4, Yaris, Auris and Corolla models with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). The recall affects 138,000 vehicles in the UK and will be carried out in accordance with the VOSA Code of Practice.

9-4-2014: Precautionary airbag recall announced by Toyota on RAV4s built 2004-2010. Toyota has identified a possible issue affecting the spiral cable assembly in the airbag module fitted to some RAV4 and Hilux models. Due to the shape and location of a retainer for the Flexible Flat Cable in the airbag unit, there may be a risk when the steering wheel is turned of damage to certain circuits that provide connectivity to the airbag. If connectivity is lost, the airbag warning light will illuminate on the instrument panel and the driver’s airbag may be deactivated. The vehicles subject to this recall are RAV4 models manufactured within the period June 2004 and December 2010. In total this covers 24,785 UK-registered models, the number split broadly equally between the two models. All the vehicles affected by this issue are being recalled so that an improved spiral cable can be fitted. The installation will take about one hour to complete; the work will be carried out free of charge.

19-2-2016: Following recalls in Australia and New Zealand, Toyota is recalling 46,616 Toyota RAV-4s sold in the UK. It covers RAV4s built between 2005 and 2014 for the European market and a total of 2,873,000 worldwide. In a severe crash, the webbing of the centre and outer rear seatbelts could be cut by part of the seat frame. Rectification involves resin covers being added to the metal seat cushion frame at no cost to the customer. Registered keepers will be contacted by Toyota and asked to make an appointment with their nearest Toyota centre, in accordance with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) code of practice for recalls. Toyota estimates the work should take 30-60 minutes. Toyota Recall Helpline (0800 8766750)

What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now