3 Most Common Toyota RAV4 Problems Reported by Hundreds of Real Owners

The Toyota RAV4 is considered one of the most useful and reliable compact crossover SUVs. This small Toyota is affordable, easy to drive, and typically lasts a long time. Still, you should be aware of the three most common Toyota RAV4 problems before you choose it as your daily ride.

Most common Toyota RAV4 problems

RepairPal collects data from real owners every year, compiling its list of the most common problems reported for every vehicle. The three most common Toyota RAV4 problems are:

  • Replace EVAP canister to correct EVAP System problems
  • Software update to correct false catalytic converter failure
  • Oxygen sensor may fail

Thankfully, these common issues have not reached the thousands of reports other vehicles face. Let’s dig into the RAV4 problems a little more.

What does the EVAP Canister problem mean for the Toyota RAV4?

Toyota RAV4 EVAP Canister Location
Toyota RAV4 EVAP canister location | Wikimedia Commons

The vapor canister in the Evaporative system might release charcoal pellets that plug the vent valve. This issue sends various codes to the system and can signal vent valve electrical failure. The right way to fix this problem is to replace the entire canister with all new valves.

The EVAP canister is located on top of the fuel tank. This position makes it expensive to repair this problem. Toyota covered the repair costs associated with this problem for some models. That could have changed for more recent models of this Toyota SUV.

The false check engine report is a bit of a headache in this Toyota SUV

Illuminated Check Engine Light
Check engine light | Wikimedia Commons

Some models of the Toyota RAV4 would report a problem with the catalytic converter by signaling the driver with the check engine light. In many reported cases, there wasn’t an issue with the catalytic converter, and a software update fixed the problem. Toyota released that software update, but owners still had to bring their SUVs to the dealership to have this update installed.

Are failing oxygen sensors a common problem?

Toyota RAV4 Oxygen Sensor Location
Toyota RAV4 oxygen sensor location | Wikimedia Commons

An oxygen sensor failure is one of the three most common Toyota RAV4 problems. Thankfully, this problem has only been reported by 107 owners. When this failure occurs, the check engine light comes on, and owners must bring their Toyota SUVs to a repair shop to have the light turned off and the sensors replaced.

Is the Toyota RAV4 a reliable SUV?

Blue 2016 Toyota RAV4 on the road
2016 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

The Toyota RAV4 ranks third out of 26 models in the compact SUV class for reliability. This ranking by RepairPal is based on an aggregate score of three factors that shows this SUV receiving a 4.0 out of 5.0 score.

What factors go into the RepairPal rankings?

A red 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime small plug-in hybrid SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

The three factors RepaiPal uses to produce the Toyota RAV4 reliability score are cost, frequency, and severity of average annual maintenance and repairs.


The RAV4 has an average cost of $429 per year for maintenance and repairs, which is lower than the $521 average cost for compact SUVs.


This Toyota SUV visits the repair shop for unscheduled repairs at a frequency rate of 0.26 times per year compared to the class average of 0.3 times per year.


Finally, the severity of those unscheduled repairs is 10% for the Toyota RAV4 compared to 11% for the compact SUV class.

Is the Toyota RAV4 a good SUV to drive?

A red 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid small hybrid SUV is parked.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid | Toyota

There’s only one red flag when considering the most common Toyota RAV4 problems and the reliability ranking. The EVAP canister repair is expensive but shouldn’t be a deciding factor.

Only two other SUVs in this class rank higher for reliability than the Toyota RAV4: the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Crosstrek.

Next, check out Toyota’s plans for a new compact truck, or learn more about the Toyota RAV4 in this video below: