Toyota RAV4 Years To Avoid | 23 Best & Worst Years 2023

The RAV4, manufactured by Toyota and sold in the United States in 1995, was the pioneering model of the first generation of crossover sport utility vehicles. To put it another way, the automobile model sold the most copies in the United States. The 2017 Toyota RAV4 has received a lot of positive feedback for its carrying capacity and fuel economy.

Notable qualities of the inside of the automobile include its convenience and comfort, both of which come standard and may also be upgraded. It has received an average score of 8.2 out of 10 points, and the critics have given it a score of 8.2. This indicates that the majority of reviewers agree that it is outstanding.

The best years of Toyota Rav-4 are 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2021, 2022, and 2023. While the Toyota RAV4 Years To Avoid are 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2019, and 2020. This ranking is based on multiple factors, including consumer feedback and experts’ opinions.

Best Years of RAV4 in First Generation

Source: ultimate specs

1998, 1999:

A two-door convertible body option was introduced with the RAV4 in 1998, and the vehicle also received minor improvements to its grille, headlights, taillights, and upholstery.

1999 RAV4 L Special Edition comes standard with a set of leather seats, a full-size steel wheel with a soft cover, leather-covered full-size wheels, body cladding, mirrors, and door handles that are color-matched.


On Car Problem Zoo, only 34 issues have been documented with this model year’s automobiles. The cup holders have been modified; however, the RAV4 from the year 2000 does not come in a variant with two doors and a convertible top.

Toyota RAV4 Years To Avoid in First Generation


The first generation of the RAV4 had a rugged appearance, but it was severely deficient in terms of safety features. Consequently, the RAV4 from the model year 1996 just scraped through the demanding test that the IIHS conducted.

Flaws of the First-generation RAV4

Despite its rugged appearance, the first-generation RAV4 did not have the safety features necessary to back it up. After conducting tests on the RAV, the IIHS assigned it an overall below-average grade. This occurred due to the occupant’s excessive movements during the impact caused the crash test dummy to sustain serious injuries during the moderate front overlap.

Best Years of RAV4 in Second Generation

Source: rav4world


Because of the recent upgrades to the steering wheel and instrument panel, this SUV now has a more daring and aggressive look. In addition, anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, a six-speaker audio system, and several airbag levels are all included as standard equipment on this vehicle (optional).

The revised steering wheel and instrument panel give this SUV a more daring and aggressive image. This is because they both feature a sportier design. The vehicle is equipped with standard equipment like antilock brakes, stability and traction control, a six-speaker audio system, and several airbag levels (optional)

Toyota RAV4 Years To Avoid in Second Generation

2001, 2002, 2003:

The gearboxes on RAV4s from these years, particularly the 2001 and 2002 models, were notoriously unreliable. Avoid transmission repairs if at all feasible because they may be fairly pricey on an annual average.

Best Years of RAV4 in Third Generation

Source: Toyota

2009, 2010:

The 2009 & 2010 RAV4 might be ideal for you if you’re on a tight budget. With outstanding fuel efficiency and lasting durability, this model is a dependable and robust choice.

They both have an optional V6 engine with outstanding performance and a large load room.

Toyota RAV4 Years To Avoid in Third Generation

2006 – 2008:

Excessive oil consumption and engine problems were seen in these years (such as in the 2007 and 2008 Toyota RAV4 models), which might result in expensive repairs. If you’re thinking of buying one, be careful to get the engine checked by a mechanic for any potential issues.

2011, 2012:

In variants of the RAV4 manufactured in 2011 and 2012, pushing the brake pedal led the vehicle to start moving forward. However, it was claimed that the brakes were not working properly. In addition, there was a problem with the driver’s visor staying up, which made it difficult to see.

Flaws of the Third-generation RAV4

Third-generation RAV4’s only issue was the roof’s strength. The RAV’s new, bigger proportions make collision stiffness more difficult. Like its predecessor, it averaged 600 complaints each model year from 2006 to 2008. In addition, RAVs had steering and engine troubles.

Nearly half of RAV complaints involved damaged steering shafts. In addition, 15% of complaints were over the RAV’s oil-wasting engine. Toyota improved 2009–2012 reliability by halving complaints. Unexpected speeding seems to be the only concern. Several drivers claimed their RAV sped up with the brake engaged, placing them in danger.

Best Years of RAV4 in Fourth Generation

Source: dubizzle

2014, 2015:

Blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and automatic high beam adjustment are some of the available add-ons for the 2014 and 2015 RAV4, which are otherwise mostly unchanged from previous years’ models.
2015 saw the debut of several new features, including the Blizzard Pearl cosmetic package, new wheels, and an optional hydraulic liftgate. The frontal structural integrity of the RAV4 was reinforced, which resulted in good safety ratings from the IIHS (IIHS)


The 2016 model’s yearly average cost of repairs was $429, as reported by Repairpal. Therefore, it was one of the least expensive vehicles to maintain. Importantly, the NHTSA has only received 37 complaints about it. 


Toyota spent extensive effort perfecting the cabin of the 2018 model year. As a result, the cabin’s interior is roomy, thoughtfully designed, and furnished with top-notch fixtures. In addition, with the 2018 RAV4, numerous safety features are standard, including lane departure warning and blind spot monitor.

It is also one of the most fuel-efficient RAV4s ever made. Toyota also upgraded its infotainment system for this model year, making it one of the most user-friendly systems on the market.

Toyota RAV4 Years To Avoid in the Fourth Generation


These problems with the 2013 model include the inability to see the navigation screen well during the day, paint flaking off the vehicle, corrosion, and an odd noise when braking. The automobile shuttering while you travel between 20 and 50 kilometers per hour is the most worrying customer issue. Toyota recalled the 2013 RAV4 to install a software upgrade.

Flaws of the Fourth-Generation RAV4

The RAV had trouble passing the small overlap front testing on both the driver’s and passenger’s side for the 2013–2014 model years. This evaluates the car’s ability to shield its occupants from harm if it strikes anything sideways rather than head-on. In 2015, Toyota made the corrections, causing the RAV to improve in the driver’s small overlap test, moving from a bad to a good score.

However, they never reinforced the passenger side. Hence all model years failed the front small overlap test on the passenger side. The only consistent issue about this RAV was that the radio would turn off and reset randomly or frequently.

Best Years of RAV4 in Fifth Generation


2021 and 2022:

While the 2021 RAV4 saw no substantial revisions, the 2022 RAV4 receives several noteworthy advancements, including an optional 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system add-on, standard LED interior lighting, and improved headlights and fog lights for most available models.


The newest RAV4s are among our top recommendations because of their innovative driving, mechanical, and safety features and positive evaluations. As the newest model in the RAV4 lineup, the 2023 model year receives just minor revisions.

Toyota RAV4 Years To Avoid in Fifth Generation:

2019 & 2020:

Many 2019 Toyota RAV4 buyers have had gearbox issues. Reports of gearbox slippage and harsh shifts have been made, even by owners of vehicles with very low mileage.

Some 2019 models have had problems with their brakes. There have been reports of squealing, clicking, and general braking system malfunction every few kilometers. In addition, several motorists have experienced an unexpected acceleration when applying the brakes, prompting them to prepare themselves for contact.

Flaws of the Fifth-generation RAV4

The main issue was that the gasoline tank did not fill, leaving room for three more gallons. Another typical complaint is that the battery drains when the car is parked. According to the IIHS, the headlights on the Hybrid XLE, XSE, and Limited were the worst in the lineup.


The RAV4 has a stellar reputation in the automotive industry for its safety and durability. So if you follow my advice and choose the best option for you, you won’t be disappointed.

But I have to be honest and admit that after some use, the RAV has lost part of its appeal for me. Not only has it moved away from its origins, but even with the cutting-edge technologies that are standard on higher trim levels, it still doesn’t seem like much more than a mode of transportation. This is even though many of these features come as part of the package.

However, it is an excellent choice for 90% of customers whose primary motivation is to fulfill their practical needs. Try out a RAV from the first generation if you’re looking for something with a little bit more pep.


How many years can a RAV4 last?

If properly cared for, a Toyota Rav4 may easily reach 200,000-250,000 miles. Considering Toyotas have a reputation for being among the most durable and trustworthy automobiles on the road, this is to be expected. Unfortunately, many first-generation Toyota Rav4s have accumulated over 400,000 miles on the road.

What are the Most Frequent Toyota RAV4 Issues?

Toyotas are reliable vehicles. Despite the RAV4’s generally positive reputation, certain vehicles have experienced serious problems. At low speeds, certain models have issues shifting gears. Consequently, this results in unexpected shifts. In addition, after 75,000 miles, the RAV4 starts using excessive amounts of oil. Toyota’s warranty coverage was expanded to include this component.

Are RAV4s trustworthy?

Yes, the RAV4 has been one of the most popular SUVs as over 10 million RAV4s have been sold in the United States since its launch in 1994, making it one of the best-selling sport utility vehicles (SUVs) on the market. This is because it is dependable, efficient, long-lasting, and durable.

Which RAV4 year is most reliable?

The RAV4 from 2016 has proven to be the most trustworthy model yet. This model has been well-rated by both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. The 2016 RAV4 received an 85/100 and 91/100 rating for reliability and resale value, respectively, from J.D. Power.

What model years of the RAV4 should I avoid?

Despite its reputation as one of the most reliable vehicles in the world, the 2019 RAV4 (5th Generation) nevertheless has a few models that prospective purchasers should steer clear of.

Do you think it’s a good idea to invest in a pre-owned Toyota RAV4?

Yes, the RAV4 is one of Toyota’s most reliable SUVs. Think about getting a RAV4 if you are looking for a small crossover SUV that is economical and you are on a tight budget.

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