The Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV is popular for its combination of performance and rider comfort.
With different trims you can choose from, the RAV4 is a solid choice for anyone.
In this article, we assess the longevity of the Toyota RAV4 to determine if it lasts long.
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Before we start, however, make sure to check our list of common problems with the Toyota Rav4 models.
Here is the short answer to how long Toyota RAV4s last:
The Toyota RAV4 can last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles. Depending on how much you drive, they can give you around 13 to 16 years of excellent service. This makes the Toyota RAV4 a dependable SUV that will serve you for long.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Toyota Rav4?
First, you should expect BRILLIANT mileage on the RAV4 models.
The RAV4 is part of Toyota’s SUV lineup, which includes the 4Runner, Sequoia, Land Cruiser, and Highlander models.
And if there’s one thing Toyota SUVs have in large doses, it is reliability. These models can withstand daily use without developing extensive faults.
So long as you maintain your Toyota RAV4 regularly, we see no reason you cannot get 250,000 miles out of it.
After the 250,000-mile mark, you may have to replace vital parts such as the engine and transmission.
Toyota RAV4 users recommend consulting the service manual to know what maintenance your vehicle requires.
It will also say when you need to carry out such maintenance activities on your vehicle. We advise that you adhere to the maintenance schedule if you want your Toyota RAV4 to last long.
Look-through our article which explains about Toyota RAV4 in Snow & Winter Driving?
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on A Toyota RAV4?
Mostly, there are no widespread reports of rust on the Toyota RAV4.
However, we would advise watching out for rust in the first six years of ownership. This number can be smaller, especially if you live in an area where roads get salted in winter.
Living in coastal areas where salty sea air is prevalent will also speed up rust on your Toyota RAV4. Salt particles in the air will cling to various parts of your car’s body and cause corrosion.
Many RAV4 owners suggest the following tactics for protecting vehicles against rust:
- Periodic rustproofing: Treating the car with anti-rust solution will prevent corrosion and rust.
You can have a professional do it or you can go the DIY route. Spraying the car with oil is a DIY rustproofing measure.
- Regular washing: Your vehicle starts rusting when salt, or any corrosive, contacts the metal. Salted roads, salty sea air; there are lot of ways your car can come in contact with salt.
Regular washing will remove salt particles from your car’s body and prevent rust from wreaking havoc.
Please also read our article on 10 Toyota RAV4 statistics you should know.
How Long Do Toyota RAV4 Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
Here is how the RAV4 stacks up to the competition:
Toyota RAV4 vs. Honda CR-V
The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are two foremost models in the compact pickup segment.
However, research shows that the Honda CR-V has a higher lifespan compared to the Toyota RAV4. While the RAV4 can go about 250,000 miles, the CR-V can reach 300,000 miles.
Moreover, with lower service expenses, the Honda CR-V represents the better investment of the two cars.
While the RAV4 costs $429 on average to maintain annually, the CR-V costs $407. The difference may be negligible, but costs can quickly add up over time.
Also, it has a better reliability rating; it earns a 4.5 reliability rating from RepairPal against the RAV4’s 4.0 rating.
Again, the difference is negligible, but it could make a save you money and headaches in the long run.
We have more comparison of the Honda CR-V and the RAV4 in our review of Toyota RAV4 here.
Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester is among the most popular compact SUVs available.
Our research shows that this car can go up to 250,000 miles if used properly. This is about the same lifespan with the Toyota RAV4, so we can say the Subaru Forester lasts as long as the former.
What sets the models apart is their reliability record and maintenance expenses. And if you know your cars, you’ll understand that both factors influence the vehicle longevity.
The Toyota RAV4 beats the Subaru Forester in the reliability department. It gets a 4.0 reliability rating from RepairPal, while the Subaru Forester gets a 3.5 rating.
Also, RepairPal ranks the Toyota RAV4 as the third most reliable compact SUVs out of 26 models. In comparison, the Subaru Forester places 21st out of 26 on the compact SUVs reliability rankings.
The Toyota RAV4 has an estimated $429 annual maintenance bill. To maintain the Subaru Forester, you would spend over $200 more, as it costs an average $632 to service in a year.
Toyota RAV4 vs. Mazda CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 is one of the few models that can match the reliability of the Toyota RAV4.
In fact, it is 1st on RepairPal’s ranking of reliable compact SUVs, ahead of its Toyota rival. It also earns a better 4.5 reliability rating.
As a result, it does not surprise us that the Mazda CX-5 has roughly the same lifespan with the Toyota RAV4.
The model is reputed to last between 200,000 and 250,000 miles, the same as the Toyota RAV4.
The Toyota RAV4 has more reasonable maintenance costs, although the difference is negligible.
Besides, the Mazda CX-5 comes with lesser incidence of “severe” problems, so you may save more money in the long run.
Also read our article on where Toyota RAV4s are made.
How Reliable Is a Toyota RAV4?
Reliability is a big deal for anyone planning to buy an SUV.
Many times, these cars endure both on-road and off-road abuse, so it is important that they are reliable, or else they will break down.
Luckily, the Toyota RAV4 performs well on the reliability front. The 2020 RAV4 model earns an above average 3.5 predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.
RepairPal gives it a 4.0 for reliability and ranks it the 3rd out of 26 compact pickups in terms of reliability.
The Best and Worst Years for Toyota RAV4
To know the worst RAV4 model year, we searched the database of Car Complaints, a site that aggregates complaints of car owners.
Our search revealed the 2008 RAV4 model year was the worst on record.
The biggest problem on the 2008 Toyota RAV4 was erratic engine performance. According to owners, the engine often consumed an inordinate amount of oil for no apparent reason.
We also found that owners spent, on average, $3,300 to fix the problem of excessive oil consumption.
Other widespread problems on the 2008 Toyota RAV4 models include transmission jerking and various exhaust system-related issues.
So far, the 2018 and 2020 models remain the best years for the RAV4. Between them, we found only 12 reported problems.
2008 model RAV4
We would recommend buying any of the models if you want trouble-free motoring from a RAV4.
Make sure to also read our article on how Chevrolet Equinox lasts.
What About Recalls for These Models?
Although the RAV4 has been a largely reliable vehicle, it has faced its fair share of problems over the years. And some of these problems have been so severe that Toyota had to recall the models involved.
In 2012, Toyota recalled RAV4 models made between 2005 and 2010 for a suspension-related problem.
According to recall information, a defect could cause the rear suspension arm to rust, which would lead to its eventual failure.
This could lead to an abrupt change in the car’s alignment, a dangerous prospect for drivers.
Recently, Toyota issued a recall for 2019-2020 RAV4 models for another suspension problem. The front lower suspension may crack, separating the suspension arm from the front wheel assembly.
Below, we have listed recalls for the various Toyota RAV4 model years:
Note: Total number of recalls for the Toyota RAV4 stands at 34.
- 2009: 15 recalls
- 2007: 14 recalls
- 2010: 14 recalls
- 2008: 14 recalls
- 2006: 11 recalls
- 2011: 11 recalls
- 2012: 5 recalls
- 1998: 4 recalls
- 2005: 4 recalls
- 1999: 4 recalls
- 2015: 3 recalls
- 2014: 3 recalls
- 2016: 2 recalls
- 2000: 2 recalls
- 1996: 1 recall
- 1997: 1 recall
- 2004: 1 recall
- 2017: 1 recall
- 2018: 1 recall
Toyota RAV4 Model Year List
Here are all the model years for the Toyota RAV4:
- 1996 Toyota RAV4
- 1997 Toyota RAV4
- 1998 Toyota RAV4
- 1999 Toyota RAV4
- 2000 Toyota RAV4
- 2001 Toyota RAV4
- 2002 Toyota RAV4
- 2003 Toyota RAV4
- 2004 Toyota RAV4
- 2005 Toyota RAV4
- 2006 Toyota RAV4
- 2007 Toyota RAV4
- 2008 Toyota RAV4
- 2009 Toyota RAV4
- 2010 Toyota RAV4
- 2011 Toyota RAV4
- 2012 Toyota RAV4
- 2013 Toyota RAV4
- 2014 Toyota RAV4
- 2015 Toyota RAV4
- 2016 Toyota RAV4
- 2017 Toyota RAV4
- 2018 Toyota RAV4
- 2019 Toyota RAV4
- 2020 Toyota RAV4
Are Toyota RAV4 Expensive to Maintain?
Compared to other compact SUVs, the Toyota RAV4 has reasonable maintenance costs.
According to RepairPal estimates, you will spend an average of $429 per year on servicing your Toyota RAV4. This is much lower than the average for compact SUVs, which is $521.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The brake pads and rotors on your Toyota RAV4 should last between 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
How you drive your vehicle will determine whether your brakes will last for a long time. If you tend to a do a lot of stop-and-go driving, your brakes will need frequent replacement.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
According to owners, you can expect anything between 40,000 to 60,000 miles from your tires.
Regular tire rotations (every 5,000 miles) will help prolong the life of your tires.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The transmission on Toyota RAV4 models can last 120,000 miles or more, depending on how well-maintained they are.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
From our research, we found that spark plugs on RAV4s can last up to 100,000 miles, after which they require replacement.
What About Insurance Cost?
To insure your Toyota RAV4, you would need to pay about $2,004 per year, which is around $170 monthly.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Toyota RAV4
- Here are things you can do to increase the lifespan of your Toyota RAV4:
- Protect your car from rust by washing it regularly and rustproofing it at intervals.
- Keep up with scheduled maintenance
- Remember to conduct checks on your car every day. Coolant leaks, oil leaks, strange noises, and so on, can be signs of a problem with the vehicle.