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Is buying a used Toyota RAV4 worth it? This compact crossover SUV has been incredibly popular for years, and it is a Toyota. That means if it’s like the Toyota Tacoma or Sequoia, it should last forever. However, not every Toyota RAV4 model is reliable. Some used model years could quickly turn into money pits with high repair costs. Here are the Toyota RAV4 years to avoid.

Do you want a new or used RAV4?

Is the 2022 Toyota RAV4 XSE one of the Toyota RAV4 years to avoid?
2022 Toyota RAV4 XSE | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 has a starting MSRP of $26,525, which is pretty high priced. No wonder families are looking for used options. So, what’s new for the 2022 RAV4 model? According to Car and Driver‘s Toyota RAV4 review, the RAV4 only has a few changes for its 2022 model year, including restyled headlamps, new color options, and new standard features. However, for drivers looking for something more eco-friendly or less expensive to fill up at the pump, there’s also the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the plug-in hybrid Toyota RAV4 Prime to consider. Still, as the hybrid and PHEV models have an even higher price tag, you might want to save with a used model. 

However, let’s switch gears and head to Car Complaints to determine which Toyota RAV4 models need to be avoided. Car Complaints allows real owners to list problems that occurred with their vehicles. Some issues are safety concerns posted by the NHTSA too. 

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 problems

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 seems to have collected the most complaints in the last decade, according to Car Complaints. The biggest problems seem to be due to interior accessory issues. The navigation display is difficult to see, being almost impossible to use during the day. Drivers can adjust the brightness and contrast, but it doesn’t seem to help. Some drivers took their Toyota RAV4s to the dealership for a software update, but that failed to correct the problem. 

Other drivers faced transmission problems with the old RAV4. Their vehicles began to shake and vibrate very early on at low speeds. The shuttering only got worse over time. When one driver went to the dealership, they were told the vehicle was operating as usual. Another driver paid $4,400 to replace the torque converter.

The most common issues with the 2019 Toyota RAV4

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is pretty a recent model, so you wouldn’t expect it to have many issues reported yet. However, the most common issue seems to involve transmission problems, according to Car Complaints. This RAV4 model is prone to hesitating and lurching at slower speeds along with rough shifts and transmission slippage. One driver bought their RAV4 with 17,500 miles on it and immediately noticed that the vehicle was staggering as it shifted gears. When they took it in for a checkup, the dealership said it was fine

There are also a lot of brake problems reported for the 2019 RAV4. One driver noticed a clinking sound when they hit the brakes and seemed to take a few seconds to get their vehicle to come to a complete stop. One driver braced for impact because they hit the brakes once pedestrians stepped into the street, but their RAV4 revved instead of stopping. Luckily, the pedestrians were able to move out of the way in time. 

Other drivers faced loud squealing brakes with as little as 2,000 miles on their new Toyota RAV4s. The cause of the brake problems wasn’t listed. Once again, some dealerships claimed the RAV4s were operating as expected, leaving drivers stuck with the problem.


These Toyota RAV4 Model Years Are 4 of the Best Used Compact SUVs Under $15,000, U.S. News Claims