Toyota RAV4 Owners Hate These 3 Frustrating Features

Typically you can’t go wrong with the Toyota RAV4. It’s one incredible SUV. However, not every SUV is perfect for every type of driver. While there are tons of great things to say about the Toyota RAV4, owners admit what could be a little frustrating. 

Three Toyota RAV4 problems to consider 

A red 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid compact SUV traveling on a road away from a city
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Just to quickly clarify, we are fans of the Toyota RAV4. It’s been the best-selling SUV in America for decades because it is an excellent option to consider. But there are different strokes for different folks. 

For example, the rugged Toyota 4Runner might be too bumpy for those looking for a relaxing daily commuter. The small back seat of the Toyota Highlander may not be suitable for families with larger kids. 

When a Cars.com forum asked RAV4 owners what they rant and rave about, there were tons of things to say. While owners of the fifth-generation RAV4 love their 2019 – 2021 models, there are a few rants to consider. 

1. The stop-start feature has a delay 

With the 2020 – 2021 Toyota RAV4, you can take advantage of the stop-start system to save fuel while idling. But some drivers found this feature to be frustrating. One driver mentioned that the engine has a rough restart to pull away. There is a noticeable hesitation before accelerating, which can cause issues when merging in heavy traffic. 

Another driver complained that the start-stop feature causes vibration and a pedal shudder upon acceleration. It also causes the RAV4 to be rough upon parking. This driver disabled the feature and now doesn’t experience these issues. 

2. The RAV4 is surprisingly loud 

In most reviews, the only complaint that owners of the RAV4 have is that it’s loud. One driver shared that the sound insulation is the only downside compared to BMW. It’s louder on the freeway. 

An owner of the 2020 Toyota RAV4 mentioned that you have to turn up the music to drown out the loud noise. But another driver said the engine is a bit loud at higher RPMs, but it’s not too crazy. 

One driver explained that you don’t realize how loud this SUV is until you drive it a lot. The acceleration and road noise is loud. Another owner with 5,000 miles on their 2019 model agreed about the disappointing wind and road noise. 

3. The 2019 RAV4 could have transmission problems 

A 2021 Toyota RAV4 parked in the wilderness, the RAV4 is a new compact SUV with the most cargo room
2021 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Owners of the 2019 Toyota RAV4 often complain about the transmission. This doesn’t seem to be prevalent for the 2020 or 2021 models. One driver mentioned that it must be the worst transmission ever. The eight-speed transmission tends to jerk and hesitate at lower speeds. 

Another driver mentioned that they struggle with constant transmission issues. Their RAV4 lurches forward, slips, hesitates, and more. One owner warns that you should do a test drive to see if you can make do with the loud engine and slow acceleration. 

But these issues may not be deal-breakers. Not everyone will be bothered by the sound, you can turn off the stop-start feature, and the transmission seems to only struggle at lower speeds. 

When people rant about how much they love their Toyota RAV4 models, they mention its excellent fuel economy, value-packed tech, sporty handling, comfortable ride, and tons of standard safety features.

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