Toyota RAV4 Years to Avoid [Worst to Best]

The Toyota RAV4 is a tiny hybrid SUV manufactured by Toyota in Tokyo. It debuted in 1994 in Tokyo and Germany and in 1995 in the United States, where it went on sale in January 2002 as the first small hybrid SUV. It was created for those who wanted an automobile that combined SUV features like larger storage space and better eyesight with the agility and gas efficiency of a small car.

It’s an acronym for “Community leisure Active Automobile with 4-wheel Drive,” but that doesn’t mean all versions have it. Toyota marketed the RAV4 in short- and long configurations for the third generation. Lengthy models were offered in Australia and Central America, while narrow models were marketed in Asia and Germany.

A longer-wheelbase variant of the Toyota Valiant was also offered at Toyopet Shop outlets from 2004 to 2019. Two Toyota stores in Korea offered the RAV4. The XA20 family, the second generation RAV4, debuted in August 2005. Carina and Corolla components were used in the design of the XA20, which was offered in three- and four-door versions.

During the first part of 1998, a creative freeze was put in place. Toyota 4runner reliability by year has increased and fallen simultaneously. Instead of having the extra tire positioned on the back of the vehicle, it had a front tonneau cover instead of a side door. Only four-cylinder motors were available for the RAV4 in the new version.

First-generation Rav4 years to avoid 

  • Years to avoid 1996-1997
  • Best years 1998-2000

Users should avoid approaching the Rav4 that came out between 1996 and 1997 to avoid contact with any of the Toyota 4runner problems such as the narrow wheel spin, unaligned steering, and the unnecessary sounds that the vehicle produces. After the first generation was released many owners complained about these things and this occurred to reduce the purchases of the 1996-97 models.

If you are looking to buy a first-generation Rav4 then you should go for the year 1998-2000, these years are rated as the best for the purchase of this vehicle. This year’s model came with all errors fixed and with certain upgrades and facelifts as well.

Second-generation Rav4 years to avoid 

  • Years to avoid 2001-2003
  • Best years 2004-2005

Users should avoid approaching the Rav4 that came out between 2001-2003, users with experience of over a year are complaining about the lagging transmission and gears getting stuck. The 2002 model was said to be the best 4runner year for off-road yet it failed to satisfy customers with the interior quality and comfort.

The best years to purchase the second generation Rav4 is 2004-2005, the inside is spacious and well-designed, the driving experience is smooth, and dependability is high.

Third-generation Rav4 years to avoid 

  • Years to avoid  2005-2007
  • Best years  2008-2013

Users should avoid approaching the Rav4 that came out between 2005-2007, these are the models in which users experienced a lot of errors and difficulties in driving. The model that came out in 2006 was believed to have some minor and major steering rotation problems and with very few safety precautions such as only airbags fitted.

Whereas the models to be released between 2008-2013 were rated as the best models for the third generation Rav4, people admired the large trunk space that was provided along with increasing the airbags to a total of 7.

Fourth-generation Rav4 years to avoid

  • Years to avoid  2015
  • Best years 2013-2014

Users should avoid approaching the Rav4 that came in 2015 since many new automobiles were out due to which sale of the fourth-generation was reduced very much, hence they gave less attention to the model of 2015 and it can be downgraded very much

Whereas the fourth generation of the model for 2013-2014 was the best, this model marks the 9th anniversary of the Toyota and some of these were known to be the limited edition. The rear and back of the vehicle were upgraded and gave it an extremely sporty enhancement.

Check Out Toyota Highlander Years to Avoid

Rav4 faults by year count 

2003 21
2005 46
2006 59
2007 08
2008 11
2009 32
2010 19
2011 19
2012 05
2013 3
2014 22
2015 05

Rav4 years to avoid 

  • Rav4 2005
  • Rav4 2006
  • Rav4 2009
  • Rav4 2011
  • Rav4 2014

What are some of the most common problems in these generations of Rav4?

Faulty canister 

In certain cases, the vapor canister has been observed to clog or block the exhaust valve, leading to an electronic breakdown and an error number of one or the other P0441, P0442, or P0446, that is the major error code.

Failed oxygen detector 

Especially in the 2008 Toyota 4runner whenever one or both of the gas detectors malfunction, the Checking Engine signal turns on, which may lead to decreased fuel efficiency, rough running, or a reluctant motor that may skip or misfire. Black vent fumes with a ‘rotten egg’ odor are another sign.

At a median of 247,047 miles, the impacted generation years are 1998, 2001–2003, 2006–2012, and 2014. The RAV4 gas detector replacement costs approximately $275 and $297 on average.

Which model year of Rav4 is safe to be used?

You may buy whatever automobile you want, as long as it’s not one of the models you have been warned about. But if you want the greatest RAV4 models, you’ll want to go with the newer versions.

  • 2016-2018
  • 2009-2012
  • 2004-2005
  • 1998-2000

Cars from 2016 to 2018 featured the most advanced technology to date. Maintenance was good, and performance was noticeably better than in prior years. Aside from the inside architecture and aesthetics, they did a fantastic job with the external layout.

What is the reliability and cost of fix for the Rav4?

Other tiny SUVs have yearly maintenance costs of $521, however, these SUVs are $429 on aggregate. A maintenance company’s service regularity is modest and similar to its peers. In comparison to all other kinds of automobiles, owners of Toyota RAV4s have to take their cars to a maintenance facility for unplanned maintenance three times a year on normal.

You’ll be relieved to learn that a significant repair is only approximately 10% likely, so it’s not an emergency. By comparison, just 11 percent of other SUVs in the same class had the same percentage. Giving the Toyota 4runner reliability a rating of 3 stars.

Problems to Look Out for When Buying a Used Toyota RAV4

Jake Mayock