Other than a handful of minor gripes about materials, very few reviewers have anything negative to say about the Toyota RAV4 with respect to its seating, comfort, and assembly quality. The third row is a joke for adults, though.
Seat comfort in the RAV4 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 buslike. "The seats look expensive and are comfortable for hours," says Car and Driver, and MyRide 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." A couple of other reviewers mention the need for more rearward travel for long-legged drivers.
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."
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.
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 generally praised. "The gauges have large, legible markings," proclaims ConsumerGuide, and "the controls are easy to locate and simple to use." MyRide calls the interior materials "Toyota grade, which means excellent," ConsumerGuide, however, takes issue with a "too-flimsy glovebox lid and low-grade headliner material," as well as some squeaks and rattles in their tester examples.
Road noise is slightly intrusive, according to some comments. Ride comfort and bump absorption on the fully independent suspension are good, though a bit harsh at times in the Sport model. Motor Trend feels the "ride is really a lot stiffer than it needs to be." "Test models with 17-inch tires showed little impact harshness on sharp bumps and ridges with only mild jitter on washboard surfaces. Sport version with 18-inch tires are not noticeably harsher," reports ConsumerGuide.