Best Years for Toyota RAV4 to Buy in 2024

Toyota introduced the RAV4 in 1996 in the United States. It is one of the best-selling compact SUVs in the USA.

However, some of RAV4’s model years have issues, and some are not considered the best model years.

So, if you want to buy a used Toyota RAV4, you should consider the best model year instead of the worst model year.

From its introduction to the present, the Toyota RAV4’s model years are divided into five generations, which are:

  1. Fifth Generation: 2019-Now
  2. Fourth Generation: 2013-2018
  3. Third Generation: 2006-2012
  4. Second Generation: 2001-2005
  5. First Generation: 1996-2000

In this long journey, some model years of the RAV4 provide high-performance and trouble-free experiences to their users.

That is why those model years get high-reliability ratings and are considered the best model years of the Toyota RAV4.

In this article, I have listed the best model years of the Toyota RAV4 and also provided important tips on how to choose a used Toyota RAV4.

Best Years for Toyota RAV4 to Buy New or Used

The Toyota RAV4 has five best model years, including 2009, 2010, 2016, 2017, and 2018. The latest 2022 and 2023 Toyota RAV4s are also less problematic and perfect for buying.

Let’s discuss why these model years are the best.

1. 2009 Toyota RAV4

2009 Toyota RAV4

The 3rd generation 2009 Toyota RAV4 comes with a new design and more features.

This model year has a better reputation than its previous versions.

The best sides of the 2009 Toyota RAV4 are:

  • Enough cargo spaces
  • Better passenger capacity
  • Advanced safety features
  • 2 engine options: 4-cylinder and V6
  • Great fuel economy
  • Smooth maneuverability
  • Manageable dimension

Base, Limited, and Sport are the three trim options of the 2009 Toyota RAV4.

The 2009 RAV4 gives great performance with the V6 engine.

The resale value is another important factor when buying a used vehicle.

However, a vehicle’s resale value is dependent on several factors, such as vehicle conditions, age, maintenance and accident history, trim levels, etc.

The 2009 RAV4’s resale value is around $3,450 to $10,530.

Its annual maintenance cost is $450.

2009 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Reviews (Out of 5-Star):

  • Comfort: 4.4
  • Value: 4.5
  • Interior: 4.4
  • Exterior: 4.4
  • Performance: 4.6

2009 Toyota RAV4’s Reliability Ratings:

  • D. Power: 83 out of 100
  • RepairPal: 4 out of 5-star
  • Edmunds: 4.4 out of 5-star

According to CarComplaints.com, this model received only 68 complaints, where most problems are easy to fix.

2. 2010 Toyota RAV4

2010 Toyota RAV4

This is the second-best model year for 3rd generation Toyota RAV4s.

The problem number for this model year is less, and owner satisfaction is high.

The 2010 Toyota RAV4 offers a slightly redesigned interior than the 2009 Toyota RAV4.

That is why both model years are almost similar and offer high performance, maneuverability, and fuel economy.

The 2010 RAV4’s resale value ranges from $3,000 to $11,500.

Its annual maintenance cost is approximately $430.

Compared to other SUVs, the 2010 Toyota RAV4 is less expensive in terms of annual maintenance costs.

2010 Toyota RAV4’s Consumer Reviews (Out of 5-star):

  • Comfort: 4.4
  • Values: 4.5
  • Interior: 4.2
  • Exterior: 4.4
  • Performance: 4.6

2010 Toyota RAV4’s Reliability Ratings:

  • D. Power: 85 out of 100
  • RepairPal: 4 out of 5-star (rank 3 among 26 compact SUVs)
  • Edmunds: 4.3 out of 5-star
  • Kelly Blue Book: 4.4 out of 5

2010 Toyota RAV4 received 76 complaints on CarComplaints, where only 10 were related to the engine and others were minor issues.

3. 2016 Toyota RAV4

2016 Toyota RAV4

The most reliable and less problematic model year of the Toyota RAV4 is the 2016 RAV4.

This is because it provides many advanced features and technologies.

The 2016 RAV4 is perfect for balanced ride comfort and secure handling.

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 offers:

  • A hybrid powertrain option (available on Limited and XLE trims)
  • Most quieter interior
  • Electric AWD system
  • Advanced parking features
  • LED lighting
  • Advanced safety features.

The 2010 Toyota RAV4 comes with 4 different trim levels, including:

  1. Toyota RAV4 SE
  2. Toyota RAV4 LE
  3. Toyota RAV4 XLE
  4. Toyota RAV4 Limited

2016 Toyota RAV4 reselling value is $11,000 to $23,000, and annual maintenance cost is around $455.

2016 RAV4’s Consumer Reviews:

  • Interior: 4.5
  • Exterior: 4.8
  • Comfort: 4.6
  • Value: 4.6
  • Performance: 4.8

2016 RAV4’s Reliability Ratings:

  • D. Power: 84 out of 100
  • RepairPal: 4 out of 5.0 star
  • Edmunds: 4.2 out of 5 star
  • Kelly Blue Book: 4.4 out of 5-star

2016 RAV4’s get only 41 complaints based on CarComplaints reports, where all were minor issues.

4. 2017 Toyota RAV4

2017 Toyota RAV4

As a fourth-generation model, the 2017 Toyota RAV4 is the best.

The 2017 RAV4 comes with Toyota Safety Sense and advanced features.

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 gets 28 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in the city.

This fuel economy is better than most compact SUVs.

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 comes with 5 different trim levels:

  1. RAV4 LE
  2. RAV4 SE
  3. RAV4 XLE
  4. RAV4 Platinum
  5. RAV4 Limited

The Toyota RAV4 Platinum is a high-end new trim level provides a lot of luxurious features.

2017 Toyota RAV4 resale value ranges from $14,750 to $34,999.

Its annual maintenance cost is around $470.

Consumer Reviews of 2017 Toyota RAV4:

  • Interior: 4.7
  • Exterior: 4.9
  • Performance: 4.7
  • Comfort: 4.9
  • Value: 4.7

2017 RAV4 Reliability Ratings:

  • D. Power: 87 out of 100
  • RepairPal: 4 out of 5-star
  • Kelly Blue Book: 4.4 out of 5-star

The number of complaints for the 2017 Toyota RAV4 is 74, based on CarComplaints reports.

5. 2018 Toyota RAV4

Among the recent models, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 is considered to be the best model year.

The reported problems for this model year are very low, and its reliability rating is high.

This model year comes with 6 different trim levels:

  1. RAV4 LE
  2. RAV4 SE
  3. RAV4 Adventure
  4. RAV4 XLE
  5. RAV4 Platinum
  6. RAV4 Limited

2018 Toyota RAV4 resale value ranges from $22,435 to $35,500.

Its annual maintenance cost is around $520.

2018 RAV4 Reliability Ratings:

  • RepairPal: 4 out of 5-star
  • D. Power: 88 out of 100
  • Kelly Blue Book: 4.4 out of 5-star

2018 RAV4 Consumer Reviews:

  • Interior: 4.8
  • Exterior: 4.8
  • Performance: 4.8
  • Value: 4.6
  • Comfort: 4.8

What to look When Buying a Used Toyota RAV4

To get the best used Toyota RAV4, it is necessary to ensure the targeted vehicle fulfills the following conditions:

  1. The vehicle’s mileage should not be very high. Usually, 20k to 40k miles of vehicles are good to buy.
  2. Make sure you inquire about the vehicle’s history.
  3. Take the VIN from the vehicle owner, and with the help of the VIN, you can easily find out the vehicle’s all necessary information.
  4. Check the vehicle’s interior properly. A suitable interior will give you a joyful driving experience.
  5. Check the vehicle’s engine and nearby other components. Make sure they are in working condition.
  6. Ensure you test the vehicle by driving.

Conclusion

RAV4 is an outstanding compact SUV. Although a few of its model years have issues, most are reliable.

So, always choose the 2009, 2010, or 2016-2018 Toyota RAV4 for the best experience.

To learn more about other Toyota vehicles best years, check out the following articles:

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