in 2012 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $18,635 - $23,962
Original MSRP: $22,650 - $28,650
MPG: 22 City / 28 Hwy
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Used Car: 2012 Toyota RAV4 Review

Review Last Updated: 8/28/14

The Toyota RAV4 has an available third row, outstanding cargo space and a high reliability score. The 2012 RAV4 also pleased reviewers with its athletic available V6 engine and comfortable ride.

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 is ranked:

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 comes with a four-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic transmission, and reviewers agreed that the base RAV4 offers good acceleration in most driving conditions. However, many recommended upgrading to the more powerful V6 model, which delivers impressive acceleration and great passing power. The base 2012 RAV4 gets an EPA-estimated 22/28 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. The V6 model gets slightly lower estimates, with up to 19/27 mpg city/highway. Test drivers liked the RAV4’s accurate steering and strong brakes, and some appreciated its smooth ride. While the RAV4 earned praise for its controlled handling, some reviewers noted that SUVs like the 2012 Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-7 are a little more athletic.

Overall, reviewers said that interior materials are appropriate for the class, but they thought that the 2012 RAV4’s cabin falls short of the quality found in rivals like the 2012 Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V. The Toyota RAV4 seats five, or seven with an available third row. Test drivers said that the RAV4’s first and second rows offer plenty of head- and legroom, though the available third row isn’t very adult-friendly. Standard on the RAV4 is a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, an auxiliary input, Bluetooth and a USB port. Optional features when it was new include push-button start and navigation. Overall, reviewers were happy with the RAV4's easy-to-use controls and gauges. With 73 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats folded, the 2012 Toyota RAV4 offers exceptional cargo space for the class. However, the RAV4 has a passenger side-hinged cargo door, which reviewers said can make packing cargo difficult if parallel parked in a small space.

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 earns a higher reliability score than many competing compact SUVs.

Other SUVs to Consider

The 2012 Honda CR-V also has great cargo space for the class, and reviewers said the CR-V’s seats are easy to fold. The CR-V also earns better fuel economy estimates than the RAV4 and comes standard with a rearview camera.

If seating for seven is a must, the 2012 Dodge Journey is also available with a third row. The Journey also comes with standard features that are rare for the class, including push-button start and a Uconnect infotainment system with a touch-screen interface.

Compare the RAV4, CR-V and Journey »

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