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Toyota has the secret reliability formula figured out, especially when it comes to SUVs. One of the best years for a used Toyota RAV4 sport utility vehicle happens to be 2012. What sets this reliable Toyota SUV year apart from the rest? Check out some of the expert reviews and high safety scores below.

What is the best year to buy a used Toyota RAV4?

Many experts agree that the 2012 model was one of the used Toyota RAV4 years to look for. U.S. News said it was one of the best affordable compact SUVs on the market. Toyota equipped the 2012 RAV4 with a strong V6 and a large cargo area to suit many situations. Both the first and second rows are comfortable and spacious enough for adults.

This used RAV4 has a long history of reliability that many competitors cannot match. U.S. News and J.D. Power gave the 2014 RAV4 a reliability rating of five out of five stars. Even now, there is demand for decade-old Toyota RAV4 SUVs because these have a good chance of lasting hundreds of thousands of miles.

Most options on the market are under $15,000, depending on the mileage. This SUV came in three trim levels back in 2012: Base, Sport, and Limited. While the base trim comes well equipped, a higher-trim level adds important features like keyless entry and automatic climate control.

Is a used Toyota RAV4 a good car?

No matter who you ask, this year of the used Toyota RAV4 earned high marks. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2012 RAV4 high marks in three out of four of the main crashworthiness tests. It earned the highest marks in the moderate overlap front, side, and head restraints segments. The roof strength score was acceptable, which is the next highest score.

Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave this used Toyota RAV4 an overall four-star safety rating. The SUV earned high marks on important crash tests from this government group in areas like side crash, frontal, and rollover.

It wasn’t until 2017 that most brands started adding more safety systems. If those are important, try finding a used 2018 RAV4. This added features like forward collision warning for additional safety, but it does increase in cost. Most of the options from 2012 are $15,000 or under, while the 2018 examples are around $25,000.

What else does this reliable used RAV4 have to offer?

2012 is a reliable used Toyota RAV4 year
A 2012 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Edmunds echoes some similar feelings about the reliable Toyota RAV4. Since there was no major redesign in 2012, Toyota’s signature reliability soldiered on for another year. There was also the V6 engine that offered 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway when paired with front-wheel drive. For those who opted for all-wheel drive, that dropped the 2012 RAV4 fuel economy to 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Those looking for a budget-friendly but reliable SUV might find all of that in the 2012 Toyota RAV4. This SUV is just one of many on the list of Toyota SUVs and trucks that have a good shot at hitting 250,000 miles, too. High safety scores are just another benefit.


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