Editors at TheCarConnection.com find that the 2009 Toyota RAV4 offers the kind of fit and finish drivers expect from Toyota: top-notch.
In the front row of the RAV4, ConsumerGuide registers "ample headroom and legroom" but comments that "long-legged drivers may want more rearward seat travel." Seat comfort is praised by all, with the exception of ConsumerGuide, whose reviewers are "divided on RAV4's seat comfort and driving position," with some testers feeling the latter is too bus-like. "The seats look expensive and are comfortable for hours," says Car and Driver, and MyRide.com remarks, "The front seats are supportive but not overly firm, with modest bolsters and decent thigh support." Kelley Blue Book likes the base model's "durable fabric-covered seats," as well as the "higher-level cloth" that "dresses Limited and Sport models."
Toyota stretches and widens the RAV4 enough to squeeze in a third-row seat, but it's a kids-only affair that "requires a high step-in," according to ConsumerGuide. The second row, says ConsumerGuide, offers "ample headroom and legroom...on a comfortable bench." Motor Trend also praises the "triple-folding rear seat that reclines."
Cargo room and storage are judged impressive in "five-seat versions, which have two convenient storage wells in the rear floor area for added utility," says ConsumerGuide. Access to the cargo hold, however, is criticized by some reviewers, who feel that the side-swinging rear door is inconvenient and "a little odd these days...complicating loading and unloading when you're parked along a curb," reports Motor Trend.
Ergonomics, switchgear, and the quality and fit of parts are "Toyota grade, which means excellent," in the words of MyRide.com. ConsumerGuide takes issue with a "too-flimsy glovebox lid and low-grade headliner material," however, as well as some squeaks and rattles in their tester examples. On the plus side, "the gauges have large, legible markings," proclaims ConsumerGuide, who also note "the controls are easy to locate and simple to use."
Road noise seems to intrude a bit much at highway speeds for some.