2009 Toyota RAV4 Review

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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

The 2009 Toyota RAV4 is a thoughtful choice for families looking for space that doesn't come at the expense of fuel economy.

Experts at TheCarConection.com understand that you want to be armed with plenty of information when you make your next car-buying decision. Researchers have scoured the Web for useful observations regarding the 2009 Toyota RAV4. TheCarConnection.com's editors combined this input with their own driving impressions to bring you a smart, inclusive review of the RAV4.

Looks are a little deceiving for the 2009 Toyota RAV4, which rides and drives more like a car but has a taller, more trucklike stance—along with a spare tire that hangs off the back as in some of the most rugged truck-based SUVs. Unlike many other compact crossover vehicles, it wedges a third-row seat in back. The biggish compact slots into the Toyota lineup between the Matrix hatchback and the now large-midsize Highlander.

The Toyota RAV4 gets a modest styling update for 2009, with a restyled grille and front bumper, improved fog light trims, and redesigned tail lights. A snappy Sport Appearance Package adds a clear bumper protector and takes away the exterior spare tire.

The 3.5-liter V-6 engine available in the 2009 Toyota RAV4 offers an impressive 269 horsepower, making it the most powerful vehicle in its class. The standard engine is a more fuel-conscious, 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 179 hp. This is a boost in performance over the 2008 model, and Toyota says the new engine has been "optimized for performance and fuel efficiency." All RAV4s are automatic-only, with V-6 models getting a five-speed automatic, while four-cylinder versions use a four-speed automatic. Each engine in the 2009 Toyota RAV4 can be combined with either front- or four-wheel drive in a system that sends all torque to the front wheels in normal driving for efficiency, or up to 45 percent of torque to the back at up to 25 mph.

With either engine, the 2009 Toyota RAV4 is very smooth and refined. The larger engine gives the RAV4 the ability to sprint with hot-rod-like authority or pull off astonishingly quick passes. The V-6 is good for hilly terrain or heavy loads, but otherwise, the four is just fine—and more fuel-efficient. The standard four-cylinder is economical and surprisingly peppy throughout the rev range, with enough torque to move you briskly from a standstill, provided you're not carrying a heavy load, but passing power is just adequate.

The 2009 Toyota RAV4 rides on a wheelbase that was lengthened several inches as part of a redesign for 2008, and it results in a more settled ride. It's smooth and well damped, and though the steering doesn't provide much feedback, the RAV4 corners confidently.

The longer wheelbase provides substantially more interior/cargo space, including an available third-row seat and seven-passenger seating capability. The available third-row seats in the 2009 Toyota RAV4 are too small for any adult to use. But when they're not occupied by children, they stow nicely in a recessed area of the cargo floor. The RAV4's interior feels spacious and well designed, with an attractive two-tier instrument panel design, good seats, a nice upright driving position, and plenty of storage spaces.

The RAV4 has done quite well in crash tests, with four- and five-star results for frontal impact and five stars for side impact in the federal tests, plus top "good" ratings for frontal and side impact from the IIHS but a "marginal" rating for rear impact. Driver and front passenger front-seat-mounted side airbags, along with first- and second-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags, are standard on all versions of the 2009 Toyota RAV4, along with electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. All-wheel drive, stability and traction control, and electric power steering come together in a single system with Toyota's VSC stability control. All 2009 Toyota RAV4 V-6 models and all four-cylinder models equipped with a third-row seat come standard with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC).

There are three 2009 Toyota RAV4 models: base, Sport, and Limited. Base models even come well loaded, with air conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, and a six-speaker sound system. The options list includes an upgraded JBL sound system with Bluetooth interface, heated seats, and a power moonroof. The Sport brings a sport-tuned suspension, heated mirrors, and appearance extras; the top Limited model adds bigger wheels, fog lamps, a different grille, upgraded seats, dual-zone climate control, and a tonneau cover, among other items.

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April 21, 2015
For 2009 Toyota RAV4

Versatile, reliable vehicle with average fit, finish and performance.

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I bought the Base V6 AWD version in 2009. Noise levels inside the cabin are quite low due to engine, road or wind noise. Comfortable on the highway although I tired with the base seats on long trips. It has... + More »
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June 5, 2016
For 2017 Toyota RAV4

The 2016 RAV4 XLE is a very nice car to own and drive

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My Toyota RAV4 XLE is a 2016, 2017 is not out. I am enjoying owning and driving this SUV. The only thig I don't care for is the seat material. They could have picked a much better looking fabric.
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December 29, 2016
2016 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4-Door LE (GS)

Good, solid, reliable, dependable, comfortable.

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Functional, not high tech, but has what I need. Easy to get along with. Not sporty in the corners, so it's more peaceful to drive. Sits up high, feels solid without feeling heavy. I get 34.5mpg on highway, and... + More »
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May 15, 2016
For 2016 Toyota RAV4

pretty decent vehicle

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functional ,not exciting reliable a Toyota built to satisfy all your needs.
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February 13, 2016
For 2016 Toyota RAV4

I love this car

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I have this car xle in white and i have alot of extra stuff that i added . Love this car especially the rims . I got alot of attention with this car . This is my favorite car so far.you would not regreat... + More »
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December 20, 2015
2016 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4-Door Limited (GS)

Delighted with my new Limited

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I traded in my 2005 RAV4 L, and this new one is head and shoulders better. It has nice style (better details than the 2015, although the same basic body style). The interior (black faux leather) is gorgeous as... + More »
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October 11, 2015
2016 Toyota RAV4 FWD 4-Door XLE (GS)

2016 RAV4 is good in performance but not for style

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I've driven a RAV4 for 3 years and NEVER got any problems with the engine performance. I love it, but not so good with the body design that's less aggressive, but i see the 2016 model improves
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October 8, 2015
2016 Toyota RAV4 FWD 4-Door XLE (GS)

The exterior front end design look angry and frowning and needs to be redesigned not attractive.

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I like the new Hybrid design and inclusion of the new safety package. I think being lower to the ground has benefits for handlng however, should be higher for ease od access even with the 17inch tires.
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September 20, 2015
1996 Toyota RAV4 2-Door Automatic

1/4 Million Miles of Dependable Fun and Reliability

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When I decided on a second-hand RAV 4 in 98 it had won the contest against a Jeep hands down. This was a car that I could comfortably commute in and it gave me the option for some fun on weekends that required... + More »
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December 20, 2015
For 2015 Toyota RAV4

Not good. Terrible customer service

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Their customer service is absolutely and surprisingly terrible and provoking, they depend on the big name of Toyota so they totally do not care about their customers. I bought a 2014 RAV4 from the Toyota... + More »
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