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2006 Toyota RAV4



  • goosiegoosie Posts: 4
    Edmunds can only report on the car(s) its testers drove. And their review makes clear that the test RAV4 didn't have the problems some consumers are facing:

    People report that the acceleration mechanism in (both the 4cyl and v6 versions of) the RAV4 fails. The described problems are in both directions: (1) failure to accelerate (more than the mere “normal” “hesitation”), and (2) rapid, uncontrolled acceleration with no, or light, pedal depression.

    Descriptions of the problem(s) can be found by searching the "complaints" section of the NHTSA's website for the 2006 RAV4. As you'll see, the bouncing baby remodel already has 22 safety complaints. The acceleration issues are sprinkled among them. (http://www-

    Also see multiple internet forums, including this one on
    Make sure to see the posts before and after it (in the thread) on Edmunds and see also other forums on,, etc., for other people’s descriptions and comments.

    Also, as a kicker, there was an 8/5/06 Wall Street Journal article discussing Toyota's impressive 39% profit increase on a 13% revenue increase, and observing that it is due in significant part to cost-cutting measures that have been accompanied by quality control problems (that have in the immediate past included, according to the article, negligent safety oversight by Toyota executives).

    We bought a 2006 Honda CRV. We'll get a RAV4 if and when Toyota pulls itself together.
  • moejezzmoejezz Posts: 1
    I own a 1998 Honda Accord V6, a 2004 VW Touareg V8 and most recently a 2006 Honda CRV. I won't even talk about the VW in this discussion since it has been the bain of my existance for the past 3 years. However, I have been extremely disappointed with the CRV since I purchased it. I has had multiple electrical problems along with a minor transmission problem. My in-laws have had similar electrical issues with their 2005 Odyssey. However, I have been extremely happy with the '98 Accord with close to 130,000 and still running strong without any issues. So if my experience with Honda is indicative of a potential trend, in my eyes Honda better ensure that they keep their eye on quality also.
  • jeffworkjeffwork Posts: 20
    What part of the country do you live in? Toyota is still showing the 2006 info for the midwest.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Growing pains, perhaps? Toyota is building more volume than ever and growing so fast it's hard to maintain the level of quality and reliability they've been known for such a long time.

    I bet they iron these issues out soon enough. The 07 Camry Problems board is very busy, though. Again, it may be because so many are sold, so more complaints will exist, but with the same % of reliable cars as before.

  • goosiegoosie Posts: 4
    The acceleration problem isn't a "reliability" issue in the sense that, for examply, the car won't start. Reliability issues are acutely annoying (I just got rid of a VW Passat and so could go on for days about the extreme irritation and dissatisfaction that reliability problems yield).

    But safety problems are frequently qualitatively distinct from reliability issues. If your car won't start, that's very, very annoying. But if your rolling into oncoming traffic when - surprise - the car will not accelerate for a few extra seconds, that's different. That's a head-on, or T-bone, collision.

    Almost certainly the Toyota problems are being caused by increased production. But that's no answer. First, you're still just as likely to get a problem car, statistically speaking (and maybe even more so, if the failing mechanisms are also increasing in RELATIVE frequency b/c overall oversight is being spread between fewer cars). Second, I believe that car makers (and all manufacturers, actually) have an obligation to produce only that number of cars that they can put out without literally fatal flaws.

    Of course, there is another option - the one seeming exercised by Toyota. A manufacturer can continue putting out as many vehicles as people will buy and worry about the ramifications later. In terms of dollars and sense, it's almost certainly in Toyota's financial interest to take this latter approach.

    And obviously people are free to take whatever risks they like in terms of pros and cons of purchasing cars. I don't even own a RAV4 with a problem, so it doesn't really matter to me personally one way or the other. I only posted the information because the thing that caused me not to buy the car was imagining rolling into traffic (or unsuccessfully merging onto a highway) with my 2 yo strapped in the back seat. So I thought other people (with or without kids) should have the opportunity to make an informed choice.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    "So I thought other people (with or without kids) should have the opportunity to make an informed choice."

    I would think the choice could be made if you test drive the car you are going buy. I know some people with Highlanders had this problem. My V6 never had a hesitation. They either have it or they don't. It doesn't happen later in ownership.

    "A manufacturer can continue putting out as many vehicles as people will buy and worry about the ramifications later."

    Tell me about it! I bought a '05 VW GTI. They apparently had been having bad coils for two years!!! They knew the '03s and '04s had bad coils and had not fixed the problem when I bought my '05. Just kept selling them. I of course knew nothing of this at the time until I heard of the massive recall which included my car. This cured me of ever buying another VW/Audi product. And I grew up with the OLD VW bug.
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    I am in NY. The Toyota site is a little messed up but 2007 info is there. If you go (no zip code entry yet) and then select SUV and get to RAV4 you will see all info for 2007 including basic truck and options. If you then go to e-brochure you can download general e-brochure and should be able to get an e-brochure for your area. From that you can see what options your region will bring in. From that you can see the prices also. In my case for example, Sport does not get JBL for NY! (In 2006 it was no side curtain bags in NY!)
    I have looked at e-brochures for several regions so I think it is all there.
    I think it was late last Friday I could do a build and buy and get 2007 but since then it again shows 2006.

    The changes for 2007 are very small. Side curtain bags are standard on all models, JBL with bluetooth/Satellite radio is availalbe (but JBLit seems only on some models in some areas etc.) Also I see body side modlings as and accessory now.

    Prices are really not changed much if you count the side bags in the basic price now. And JBL cost is up some due to bluetooth I guess.

    If you go to you will see they are showing some 2007 RAV4s as "coming in". My guess is in a month they will be in everywhere.

    Good luck!
  • goosiegoosie Posts: 4
    "I would think the choice could be made if you test drive the car you are going buy. I know some people with Highlanders had this problem. My V6 never had a hesitation. They either have it or they don't. It doesn't happen later in ownership."

    The test drive point is an interesting one. I hope you're right (and also that people do test drive the actual car they're buying, and not, for example, the first one in the storage line bc it's the same configuration, but different color).

    But I think it's possible for the test drive not to tell the whole story, and here's my theory as to why: The Rav4 has a (public, undisputed) mechanism built into it to save gas. It apparently does this by "evening out" accelerator depression and this is almost certainly why, under the most charitable interpretation re: Toyota's honesty, people are continually told that some hesitation is normal.

    But what if the (no-acceleration) failure requires a certain combination of speed and rpm (and also perhaps, engine temperature or some other variable ingredient)? I test drove three RAV4s and each of them had hesitation issues, but not failures, at different speeds and under different circumstances.

    The V6 never hesitated off the line (to the contrary, it was trigger-happy) but noticeably hesitated at least once before kicking in power at speed. It was noticeable enough for the dealer to offer an unsolicitated explanation as to "normalcy."

    The 4 cyls had their own hesitation circumstances. I didn't know of the failure issue until after testing so I wasn't noting the hesitation issue circumstances when I drove. All I noted at the time was some "unresponsiveness" and "choppiness" (we were going to buy the V6 for this reason). But I want to say that their issues were at speeds below 30 mph and included inconsistent acceleration from "rolling" stops.

    My concern with test-driving solace is that it may be possible to drive a "failure" car for a good while before causing a failure. Particularly if the failure occurs when rapid acceleration is suddenly called for, such as can occur (here in New York, anyway) making lefts across traffic, merging onto highways, etc. How often do those scenario come up in a "normal" test drive? (I intentionally created a highway-merge-or-pass situation in the v6 and again I didn't do it to test for failure, I did it to see what the v6 could do.)

    So, I assume you're right that hesitation issues don't sprout from the driveway months into owning a RAV4, in the sense that they would suddenly appear where they didn't before.

    And I hope what you implied is also right, that issues will be present and obvious from the getgo, rather than failure issues sprouting up out of hesitation issues at the unlucky moment of the perfect speed and rpm (and whatever other ingredient(s) may play a role in the mechanism(s)). And of course, again, that people actually drive the car they buy (which, as you may have picked up, I tend to doubt, at least around here in NY where dealers inventory seemed to be stored in lots on, seemingly, Neptune).

    And by the way, I can already hear the answer to part of what I've said being, "People who don't test drive the exact car that they're buying get what they deserve." But I can't agree. Someone who drives the exact car they're going to buy, but in a different color, has the right, in my view, to receive a car that is mechanically identical to the one they drove. Or, at a minimum, for any dissimilarities to not fall into the category of "catastrophically distinct." Of course, that's just my view. But I'd hope it's shared by others, including, in particular, people at Toyota.
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 2,284
    Hello. We're looking at the RAV4, but we're unsure about the performance of its 4WD system. We want to take it skiing to Lake Tahoe. No off road, or anything like that, just highways. However, there will def. be some deep snow at points.

    How capable is the 4WD system? Anything good/bad about it? We were told (by a Subaru dealer) that the 4WD system on the RAV4 only works under 25mph. Is that true.

    Thank you in advance.
  • quickdtooquickdtoo Posts: 266
    The 4WD lock which is controlled by a button on the dash, only works at speeds up to 25mph, in 4WD lock, the torque split is fixed at 55% front/45% rear, above 25mph, the torque split could be something less to none, depending on detected wheel slip conditions. From a standing start the split is also 55% front/45% rear, always, locked or not.

    '06 Rav4 4WD System
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    The RAV4 AWD works at all speeds. It can be locked in AWD up to 25mph. Above 25MPH and at all speeds when not locked, it splits the torgue from FWD to AWD up to 55%/45% fron/rear depending on wheel slip. People at other sites have reported it works fine in deep snow. One downside to RAV4 is that the stability control cannot be switched off. I have learned from my Audi that turning it off can be handy at low speeds in deep snow.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What the Subaru dealer was probably trying to say is that all Subaru AWD systems are full-time, i.e. they are engineered for both axles to get some of the power at all times. The AWD actually acts as a center differential so that even on dry surfaces the AWD is engaged.

    Having said that, in deep snow a bigger issue will be ground clearance. Foresters have a bit more and that might actually be a more important advantage in those situations.

  • My experience is that the FOrds are less costly upfront...eoy clearance, rebates etc. but the Toyotas are way more reliable. I paid about 3K more for my Camry over a Taurus a few years back. I have not put a dime into the Camry sans oil changes and a tail light bulb replacement in 4+ years. I owned two Fords previously and they could not make that claim. So, if you are keeping the car long term....get the Toyota. If you'll switch cars in 3 to 4 years...get the Ford.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    And............if you sell your Toyota in two or three years, the resale value of the Camry vs the Taurus will more than make up for the original price difference payed.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The bottom line, the bare truth about the RAV4 AWD system is:

    It ISN'T.......!!

    In my region of the country if you want to go snow skiing you often must use tire chains in order to get past those folks with the funny brimmed hats.

    But almost all, if not all, Toyota and Lexus front wheel drive based AWD systems can only have tire chains installed on the front.

    A patently unsafe, even hazardous, situation, extremely high traction on the front versus the rear, as stated in every Toyota/Lexus owners manual.

    And for those of you STUCK with one of these Toyota/Lexus NIGHTMARES, disconnecting the MAF/IAT sensor while the engine is running, plugging it back in after the engine dies, will disable the VSC/Trac system for the next few drive cycles.

    That will allow you to use wheelspin to get UNSTUCK, at least from the low traction condition.
  • I'm a little concerned about the city mileage on the 2006 RAV4 V6. I have Sport with 700 miles and city driving only I am getting only 15MPG. My city driving is extremely conservative and I can not image what could be responsible for the difference between the sticker mileage of 21 and what I am actually getting city driving. Should I be driving more agressively in the city instead of trying to save gas???

    Highway driving alone I'm getting 28. Which is great and as stated on the sticker.

    But 15 city??? This is horrible and far from the 21 MPG stated by Toyota. My Ford Explorer V6 gets 15 mpg city.

    Is this an abberation or are others with the V6 getting very bad city mileage?

    Help please!!!
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Aren't you ever going to give up? Very few people give a you now what about chains. This is the type of on the demand AWD vehicle most people want... period. It's the type of system that is available in most cross-over vehicles these days. The concept is quite simple. It will give you optimum gas mileage and additional traction when required. If this is not the type you are looking for, move on to a model and manufacturer that best suits your needs. Please don't try to instill your needs/beliefs on others.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Very few people give a you now what about chains.

    If you're not one of them then I suggest simply scrolling past those messages that are of no interest to you rather than trying to limit the scope of what others talk about. :)

    tidester, host
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Thanks. You are right. I usually disregard repetitive posts. I'll revert to my customary ways. Sorry. Also, my apologies to wwest
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    Well your hwy milage says the truck is great. A few people report low city milage but none as bad as you seem to have. One person who reports regularly on another site with the I4 has been gettting low 15mpg in shortcity runs but 28-30 on Hwy. No one seems to know why exept summer ethanol gas or very short trips are common guesses.

    Keep us posted and hopefully something will change or an idea wil pop up.
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 2,284
    Thank you so much for all the replies. It all makes a lot more sense now. I think for highway driving during winter (Lake Tahoe region) the RAV4 with some snow tires will def. work.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That mileage does seem poor given it's summer and traffic should be lighter than normal. When fall comes in full swing it might actually drop.

    Then again, if you stop using A/C maybe hopefully it won't.

    Some people turn off the ignition at long stop lights.

  • ajg33ajg33 Posts: 13
    Has anyone driven their '06 RAV4 on the beach? I was wondering how the 4x4 system works in the sand...
  • OH okay thanks all for the comments. It helped a lot. God Bless :)
  • thecatthecat Posts: 535
    I drove on the beach 2 weeks ago. I have to confess, I was a little uneasy about it but had a friend nearby with a modified Jeep and a winch. After reducing the tire presure to 20 lbs .. didn't have a problem and never used the lock.
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    This was soft or hard packed sand?
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    I will get beat up from people saying there are not Toyota problems but from today's WSJ:
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    The page is available only to subscribers!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Here's the one paragraph summary from Yahoo News.

    Some models - Toyota doesn't say which ones - may get delayed up to six months to fix quality control issues.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Growing's hard to do volumes like this and still maintain quality.

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