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Toyota RAV4 Real World MPG



  • After reading all reviews, etc. regarding mileage and seat discomfort with the Rav4, there are some issues that Toyota will need to resolve if they want to stay in business. First, they (Toyota) had the recall issues on numerous vehicles, and now I believe there will be lawsuits from customers with back problems due to the discomfort from the driver seat of the Rav4. No matter how much I adjust the seat, after driving for 15+ minutes, my back hurts. The arm rest on the door, and in the middle do not align properly with the body.

    I'm more upset that I have to make car payments on it, for the next 3 years. I doubt if I'll be able to trade it in for a good price, since there have been so many complaints.

    Any suggestions on how to get rid of the car quickly and painlessly, expense wise?.
  • a_ba_b Posts: 4
    With 35,000 miles, my 2009 base 4wd 4 cyl is averaging 25.1 mpg combined. I drive 75% highway, 5% city and 20% suburban. I drive 75-80 mph on the highway and pretty much have a lead foot.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    You're already into the "it's a used car so it's worth less than new" area; but new RAV4's are selling well, so you might do best with a private sale. JMHO.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Those are good numbers for a "lead foot". At least 2 mpg better than my 2007 with a light foot. They're a testimony to the efficiency of the revised I4 engine.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576

    Used RAV4s sell fairly quick. They also bring good trade-in value. You can go to Edmunds, or Kelly, and NADA for value of your used RAV4. You need to know that before attempting to trade or sale.


    I don't know which year model you got, but our 09 has a steering wheel that tilts and telescopes. Yours may have it also. That does a lot for "Fine Tuning" the driving position.

  • Just drove from Fla to Mn with vehicle loaded, round trip 3200 miles, I got 28 mpg with ac on and driving 70-73mph. One tank was without the air con. on, I had a little over 30 mpg. Vehicle was a Rav-4 with 6cyl, limited. year 2008. Total mileage on vehicle now is 22,200. My only complaint is the wyning noise between 25-45 mph. Toyota dealer says all 08 6 cyls have it?? Harry
  • yumvyumv Posts: 3
    edited March 2011
    Just bought Toyota Rav4 2004, 2WD 2.5L. I drive 90% on heighway with no traffic jam (65-75 mph, 35 miles each day), and around 10% city. It's my first 500 miles on the car. Avarage consumption is 21mpg. What might cause this huge consumption?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,993
    2.4L or 3.5?

    Either way, the highway mpg should be better. Maybe if you put it on cruise control at 65, maybe that'd help.

    Otherwise, check the easy stuff first, like your tire pressures.
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  • yumvyumv Posts: 3
    edited March 2011
    2.5L 4cyl ( I tried to drive both with cruise control and without it, no difference. Engine revolutions are usually between 2000 and 3000, I try to keep it close to 2000.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,993
    edited March 2011
    That's funny, we call it a 2.4l. I didn't think the 2.5l came out until 2009.

    Anyway, you should be closer to 27 on the highway per the EPA rating. Not sure what's going on though. The other easy thing to check is the air filter.

    Any owners have any feedback?

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  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    edited March 2011
    I was under the impression that the 2.5 liter was introduced in the '09 RAV4s,and models before that used the 2.4L.

    Lots of things can contribute to good or poor mileage. Our RAV4 is primarily driven by my wife. She generally averages 22+ mpg commuting the 24 mile round trip miles to work, plus local running around. I generally better that by 2+ mpg.

    Where she drives 65-75 when possible, I drive 55-65 mph. She gets 27ish on the freeway and I get more in the 30-32 mpg under the same conditions. While she leaves her foot on the throttle until the last minute when approaching a stop then braking rather hard, I coast to it and need very little brake pedal. While she accelerates to get back up to speed going up hill, I maintain speed and gain the speed going down the next hill on on the flat . She also tends to run close to the car ahead, requiring a lot of getting on and off the throttle.

    Try to remember that using the brakes waste fuel, And the more often and harder the breaking, the more fuel is burned. The major difference between hyway mileage and local driving is the use of the brakes. And of course idle time.

    Here is a good example of mileage differences. We took a trip of 100+ miles each way.
    Giong, the traffic was light and the temp was in the 70s. AC was not used. I drove the posted speed limits in the local portions and set the cruise on 55 on the freeway. Occasionally running the speed up to 65 for a couple of minutes while going down hill. Mileage according to the dash gauge was 35 mpg.

    Coming back, Used the AC, drove 5 mph over the posted limits and set the cruise on 65 with the occational run up to 75. Mileage was more like 30 mpg.

    Calculated mileage at the pump, end of trip, yielded something like the mid 32 MPH range for the entire 200+ miles.

    I expect that the mileage at a consistent 75 X-Way, 5 over local, and AC on all the time would have been more in the 25-27 mpg range.

  • When I back out of my drive way (in reverse), or when driving and press the brakes, sometimes I hear a grinding noise like the brake pads are worn. I took the car to get checked and the brake pads are okay (front and rear).

    Has anyone else had this problem.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Both the RAV4 and the Honda Ridgeline make a scraping noise when backing out of the garage and/or using the brakes the first time after the car has sat for a period of time, like over night. Worst if it has been raining.

    As far as I can tell, it is the light rust that has formed on the rotors while the car was just sitting. The pads are always touching the rotors a bit whether you are using the brakes or not. So as the wheels first start rolling the pads scrape the rust off. If you use the brakes, first thing, the noise will be louder.

    You can see the rotors by looking through the "spokes" of the wheels. When you get out of the car, after driving, the rotors will be shiny. The next morning they may have a light coating of rust.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Exactly correct, barbara51. Although I once owned a Buick that sometimes had a little rust on the rotors, it never made that scraping noise. Harmless either way, in my experience. Makes you wonder about the quality of those RAV4 rotors, though.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    I do not want to make excuses for Toyota but I have a 08 Tacoma that gets 21mpg in the summer but only gets 17-18 in the winter. My friendly non Toyota Mechanic who also has a Toyota tells me that Toyota's do not do well for MPG in cold weather. He says that it might be the fuel additives or the sensors that decide the fuel mixture.
  • 25.8mpg on daily commute into DC today. No a/c on and 2/3s rural roads with 1/3 downtown DC traffic. Max speed was 60mph on the open roads. Remember the drag is exponential with the increase in speed.
  • All i have to say to you is , hopefully your wife does not read this thread :)
  • I wasn't expecting a lot, but at least an improvement over my 2000 VW Passat 6 cyl, which averaged 24 mpg.
    2012 Rav 4, 4 cyl, 4wd disengaged, over 85% (flat) hwy miles, 7000 miles since july (2012) is averaging 23.5 mpg. And it's louder, rougher and accelerates like crap compared to the VW. Thank G-d it's only a 3 yr lease. Can't wait to be rid of it.
    I knew i'd be losing the passat refinements but expected a gain in mpg.
    My cars:
    3 corollas 80's - 90's, 1 camry 90's, 1 jetta wagen, 1 passat wagon. maybe a c-max is next...
  • I have a Rav 4, it is the worst car I have ever owned... I get between 18 & 22 mph and it is a little 4 rid of my Honda minivan to get better gas mileage...MISTAKE I am getting worse mileage with the Rav YYYYUUKKK and like you said the darn thing rides like a lumber wagon and it is just 2 wheel drive... If I were you I would not get the C-Max from what I have Consumers Guide say about that car...
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    My wife manages 23-24 mpg since 2009 and 30K miles with her 2wd Rav4 (4cyl). She definitely is no Hyper-miler! A 24 mile RT commute to work daily with plenty of traffic lights and moderate traffic. Then on weekends she does lots of "garage sale" shopping and other short trips.

    We've taken several trips in it and usually run the posted speed limits. Generally we get 31-33 mpg using the AC and cruise on North Georgia rolling hills.

    The Rav4 pushes more air and likely weighs more than the VW you refer to.
    You also have 4wd which will consume a bit more fuel, whether it is engaged or not.

    The wife's is the "Sport" model and does ride rough.

    If we had gotten 4wd, it would have also included the V6 engine.

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