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Toyota RAV4 Real World MPG



  • 22t22t Posts: 2
    Our '08 4WD V6 Limited model gets 26 mpg for 50/50 city/hwy driving at 5,000 total miles so far, using 10% ethanol gas. No complaints about that. I cruise the interstate at 74 mph but will drop it to 65 when all the semis do and will expect mpg to improve a little. The V6 does not work nearly as hard (or loud) as the CRV 4-cylinder we test drove before we decided on the RAV4.
  • mexateckmexateck Posts: 9
    For everyone who is having issues with lower fuel mileage, please check your tire pressure... and in fact wheel alignment. The OEM Yokohamas are absolutely atrocious btw... so I can guarantee that part of the problem can be attributed to the tires themselves.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    For the record, I just drove a round trip to Montauk [262 miles] on exactly 8 gallons. That's 32mpg+. We're talking flat terrain, A/C on, CC on 55mph, no traffic. Your mileage will vary.

    PS - My Geolanders show very little wear at 10K miles. The 32psi cold pressure rose to 36psi [hot] at the end of the run.
  • 22t22t Posts: 2
    Also for the record, I drove our 08 V6 Rav4 4WD Ltd round trip from Madison, WI, to Mpls, MN, 570 mi, and made a special effort to use only 87 octane unleaded gas without ethanol. I achieved 30.2 mpg. I had to use only 2-lane hwys to avoid the flooded interstate and ran at 60-65 mph. My advice: slow down and avoid ethanol.
  • watsacwatsac Posts: 49
    Bought a 2008 RAV4 LTD 4x4 3.5L V6 in March, 2008. Just now (August) getting about 2000 miles on it. It is used primarily by my wife around town although we have taken a couple of long highway trips.

    For all of the CITY style driving miles (1,039), I am averaging 16.8 MPG.
    For all of the HIGHWAY style driving miles (897), I am averaging 25.3 MPG.
    This makes for a disappointing combined average of 19.9 MPG.
    The EPA estimates are 19/26; I am close to the HIGHWAY number but no where near the CITY number.

    Does anyone know if there is a pre-delivery Toyota procedure that is similar to the Honda pre-delivery procedure known as the ILP (Idle Learning Procedure). The Honda ILP is "supposedly" done by the techs prior to vehicle delivery. However sometimes it is not and, if you do it yourself after delivery, your MPG numbers will increase dramatically. I know because I just did this on my 2008 Honda Fit which only has about 1500 miles on it.

    If there is a comparable Toyota procedure, I would like to know about it so I can re-do it myself and possibly get better MPGs.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    I don't know what the Honda ILP is, and I've never heard of it at Toyota. What I do know is that your LTD is making a lot of short trips; you have the larger, thirstier engine, with AWD, and you haven't come near to breaking it in - I've seen a dramatic improvement in engine smoothness and MPG after 6,000 to 8,000 miles. ['07 I4 AWD Base] All of that said, I find the most important factor is the driver's right foot. Experiment with different driving styles, and let us know what happens.
  • Just completed a two week road trip using seven tank fulls. All mileage was with the A/C on, tires at 33 psi, avg 80 degrees F, and loaded with people/luggage.

    28mpg - Hwy some rolling hills; 60-75 mph
    25mpg - Hwy; 75-80 mph
    23mpg - Hwy; 75-80 mph
    22mpg - city (Oil changed to Mobil 1 synthetic 0W20)
    24mpg - Hwy; 75-80
    24mpg - Hwy; 75-80
    26mpg - Hwy; 65-75

    Average 24.5mpg
  • sage3sage3 Posts: 47
    Did the synthetic oil change your mpg's?
  • sage3sage3 Posts: 47
    On my second and third tank I got 24.5mpg's (about 1 mpg less then the computers estimate), I only have 600 miles on her yet, I drive conservatively so I anticipate an improvement after break in. Anyone know when I can expect the break in mileage to improve?
  • barnowlbarnowl Posts: 18
    Glad to begin hearing about the 2009 model with the new 4-cyl engine and transmission.

    What type of driving are you reporting on?, highway, mixed? If it's mixed, what percent is city and what percent is highway?
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    When new, my '07 AWD 4cyl averaged only about 21 mpg. At about 5,000 miles, things improved to about 24-25mpg. Now, at 12,000 miles, I'm getting 27-28mpg - 1/3 each city, highway and short suburban trips. 32+ in straight highway runs. I try to have a very light foot. I expect winter grade gas and temperatures to knock 1 or 2 mpg off that. Keep us informed!
  • ces1938ces1938 Posts: 61
    Boy I sure envy you guys and the fuel economy that you are getting with your Rav's I have 24500 miles on my 2006 4cyl Rav 4 and get pretty well the same gas millage has when it was new, if I really baby it I am getting around 18 to 21 mpg of gas... at least gas has come down to $2.69 a gallon here so that helps.... I would not think quite so much about it but I sold my 2002 Honda minivan to buy the Rav 4 for the increased fuel economy... but would you believe it but the minivan got better gas mileage than the Rav, especially out on the highway.... needless to say I am soooo disgusted with this car... :mad: :cry:
  • sdc2sdc2 Posts: 780
    FWIW my 08 AWD V6 has been getting 26-28 mpg highway and 20-24 city. And I am not the slowest driver on the road...I am at about 8500 miles. I haven't noticed any dramatic change in mpg since I got it, but I don't keep obsessive track, I just do the math in my head when I fill up to check for dramatic changes in mpg that might signal a problem.
  • sage3sage3 Posts: 47
    I drive 50% berbs of Buffalo, but then again in this area traffic moves very well, we rarely get bumper to bumper and 50% highway.
    I noticed my Rav's computer mpg estimates have gone up from an average of 25 mpg's to 28 mpg's since the vehicle hit about 650 miles on the odometer.I hope that the mileage will actually go up once I do the figures at my next fill up! I drive about 19k annually so I will update as frequently as the true mpg's change.
  • sage3sage3 Posts: 47
    Latest figures on 50% highway 50% suburbs:
    My calculations Computer Estimates
    26.1 26.9
    24.6 25
    25.3 25.4
    I'm guessing that the drop resulted from the switch to "winter gas"
    I am hoping/estimating it will go up to 26/27 mixed driving in the spring.
    I must say that this new engine is peppy and with the above mileage it's a thumbs up from me. I had a V6 highlander 4wd that got an average of 21 mpg's with about the same amount of torque.
  • I'm glad to see the (mostly) good mileage reports everyone is getting, but I could really use some help on buying a 2009. If anyone is willing to share their buying experience on an '09 RAV, I would really appreciate it. Please reply to my post 2422 on the "Prices Paid..." forum. Thanks all.
  • Hi! After 14 years and almost 255,000miles on my '94 4-cylinder Camry, I will soon be picking up my new V6 Rav4 4x4. I guess I broke in my Camry OK because I've always exceeded the EPA 24/30 rating by a few mpg, but
    1) I can't remember what I did, and
    2) I'll bet vehicles have changed a bit over the years.

    I know I'm trading some mpg's for the extra oomph and extra height, but I'd appreciate any advice you can give for breaking her(?) in properly. I'm excited about my new Rav4 :) (I've had them as rental cars a couple of times) but MAN! AM I GONNA MISS MY CAMRY! :cry: Tks!
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Read the owner's manual for proper breakin driving habits.
  • I'm on my second tank of gas and I think I'm doing ok with the mpgs. My highest sustained trip average was 29.7, but overall, I averaged 27 for long highway driving, 22 for around town, and 24.5 for combined that included horrible Thanksgiving highway traffic. So far (700 miles), it's been fun to drive and it handles beautifully :)
  • The best MPG I have gotten is 32.31 on the highway which because I was going downhill and coasting a bit too. :-)

    I averaged about 27.21 on the highway going 75-80 MPH (my mother-in-law's boyfriend is a speed demon)

    The lowest in town MPG i have gotten is 18.25 because of using the heater in the car to stay warm.

    I usually average around 20 MPG in town mileage.
  • rich1813rich1813 Posts: 8
    Have a 2008 Rav4 Limited. I've replaced the oil - it's the 4cyl without 4WD. I use Mobil 1 synthetic, and due to the bypass feature noted on the oil filter in manual, I buy the Toyota filter from dealer - about the same price as in auto parts store. I use the 0-20W. Owners manual for the 4cyl says 5-20W is OK, but to replace it as soon as you can. I think the 6cyl uses the 5-20W as std.

    Curious question - when the engine is running and hasn't warmed yet, and you shift into reverse, it clunks in a bit, and then when shift into drive, it engages a bit harder. The issue goes away if the engine warms for a few minutes and the rpm drops slightly. Any one else have similar issues?
  • tchestertchester Posts: 1
    Thanks for your comparison of real world numbers to the computer numbers! Your numbers are amazingly close, with the real world fairly close to the computer numbers, down by 0 - 3%.

    I got much worse real world results comparing to the computer numbers.

    Here are the real tank MPG vs. the computer estimates on a trip from San Diego County to the Grand Canyon and back on 23-27 April 2009, using a 2009 Rav4 2wd with 7000 miles on it (I don't know the engine size, but the car was pretty peppy, so it may have been a 6 cyl):

    tank MPG Computer MPG Comparison of Actual to Computer MPG
    28.0 29.6 -5.4% SD County to Kingman, AZ
    26.6 29.8 -10.7% Kingman to GC to near Prescott
    30.1 31.8 -5.3% near Prescott to Quartzite, AZ
    25.5 26.1 -2.3% Quartzite to SD County

    Nearly all of the above was highway mileage. The computer mpg was reset at every fillup. All fillups except the initial one were done by me in a consistent manner. The computer numbers are off by 2 to 11%!

    Does anyone know why the computer mpg isn't accurate? It should be bang-on, since it knows how much gas went into the engine, and it knows the mileage

    BTW, at least some of the variation in the above numbers is due to elevation differences, since the mpg depends strongly on whether one has a net uphill or net downhill.
  • Driving from South Lake Tahoe to home (San Jose), I was able to get 33.31 MPG but that was because it was mostly down hill + coasting. :)
  • It was only 120 miles round trip to San Francisco and back to San Jose round trip, I average 29.33 MPG going 67 MPH. :)
  • robh1robh1 Posts: 1
    I picked up a new 2009 RAV4 V6 Sport 4 weeks ago. My average mileage around town during the first 3 weeks was 24.1mpg for the initial 1,500 miles. I just returned from a 5-day 1,300 mile trip to Montreal from Michigan. During the 600 mile drive to Montreal got 28.2mpg driving 65-75mph. On the return trip we took some side trips and got stuck in over an hour of stop-and-go traffic in Toronto, but still managed 27.1mpg. All mileages are from the vehicle computer and were not checked against fuel purchases.
  • My wife and I are going on a cross country road trip from here in San Jose to Smithfield, NC. Then from there to Washington DC, then home. So it'll be more than 6k miles in our 2008 Rav4 w/ 4WD from July 6th-August 2nd. :)
  • slr9589slr9589 Posts: 121
    got an 2008 plain jayne rav 4 with 31k on it . I am now consistently getting 29.5 mpg"s across the boards...not bad...though the unit downshifts a lot in cruise control.
  • Here is what my wife and I got driving from San Jose, CA to Smithfield, NC. From there to Washington DC and then home.

    I-40 E to NC and then I-80 W back home.

    28.12 (~70 MPH)
    29.18 (~70 MPH)
    29.65 (~70 MPH)
    29.28 (~70 MPH)
    30.27 (~70 MPH)
    26.78 (~70-75 MPH)
    27.89 (~70 MPH)
    28.80 (~70 MPH)
    23.63 (50% in town & HWY)
    23.59 (50% in town & HWY)
    23.59 (50% in town & HWY)
    28.06 (~65 MPH)
    23.96 (50% in town & HWY)
    26.61 (89 Octane with 10% ehtanol? I am not sure on how much ethanol. I nearly ran out of gas on that tank!)
    27.07 (~65 MPH)
    25.04 (~65 MPH)
    29.92 (~65 MPH)
    26.82 (~65 MPH)
    31.41 (going down some mountains most of the time)
    30.65 (going down hill)
    28.47 (~65 MPH)

    Not too shabby I have to say. I'll try to drive 65 MPH next long driving trip to save money and gas. :)

    Edit: My wife and I own a 4 cylinder 2008 Rav4 4WD. We'll be trading it in for a 2008 V6 4WD or a 2009 V6 4WD sometime soon.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    If you own a 2006 – 2010 Toyota RAV4 and live in the Los Angeles area, please contact by August 12 if you’re interested in being contacted for more information on your vehicle ownership experience.


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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Sorry for the mess above. Program wouldn't let me correct, spell check or punctuate. Kept asking for my pass word and then rejecting it.

    Let's try again.

    New 2009 Rav4 Sport with 2.5 4I engine. Front wheel drive.

    We broke it in locally as this puts the engine through it's paces without maintaining a given RPM for long periods as a trip would do. For the 1st 300 or so miles we kept the RPM below 3000. For the next 300 miles the same with occasionally giving enough throttle to allow it to shift at closer to 4000 rpm. After the clock passed 600 miles I let it gently get up to around 2000 rpm and then floor board it allowing the tach to red line at 6000 or so. Then let off the throttle and resume conservative driving.

    For local driving my wife is getting 24-26 mpg. She was getting 20-22 on her 20003 Cr-V. Which she traded for the Rav4. We have been refilling the tank at the half way mark and the gauge "Average MPG" has been pretty much on the mark. One time the gauge said we got 25.4, but when hand calculated we actually got 27+. That didn't surprise me as the fill up before that the nozzle didn't shut off and gas ran out the top of the filler pipe, so it was over stuffed to say the least. On this fill up we let the pump run on the slowest setting and removed the nozzle when it clicked off the first time, as we normally do. So there was a discrepency in the way the tank was filled those two times, resulting in a fairly large discrepency between the gauge and hand calculations. Generally the gauge is within 2/10 to 5/10 of hand calculations which is close enough that we have learned to trust it.

    This past Saturday, with 700+ miles on the odometer, we took a trip of about 102 miles one way. Filled the tank before we left. And Zeroed the gauge and trip "B". Temperature was 78ish, so AC was not needed until we were nearly at the destination. The first 17 miles were back roads, light traffic, and some traffic lights. Once on the express way I set the cruise at 58 mph (2000 rpm) and occasionally gave enough throttle to force a down shift and run up to 65+ mpg then let it go back to cruise at 58. Made one rest area stop and the last leg was about 5 miles of back roads. Stopped to eat during this leg.

    According to the gauge, the entire trip "GOING" delivered 35.7 mpg. This seemed very high to me. The AC had been on since before reaching the 1st destenation and stayed on for most of the remainder of the day. Temp was now in the high 80s. We did 15 or so miles of local driving after leaving the 1st destination. This involved a lot of starts and stops and visiting, with light traffic.

    As we left to start home I reset the gauge to zero. First leg on the return trip involved near 20 miles of back roads, one stop sign, and 2 traffic lights. Traffic was light. Once we got to the expressway, I set the cruise at 63 mph. Occasionally throttling up to 70. AC still on. Just before arriving home we stopped for gas. The gauge said we got 32.0 mpg on the return trip. Didn't surprise me that the return yielded lower mileage, with the higher speed and the AC on . But still seemed high.

    Filled the tank and did the hand calculation. The result was 33.5 mpg for the entire trip. (228 miles and 6.8 gallons). Pleased with the mileage and pleased overall with the ride and handling.

    The driver seat feels good for short trips, but after 15-20 minutes the middle of my back , between the shoulder blades begins to ache. Would think that between the telescoping and tilting of the steering wheel and the seat adjustments, there would be the perfect spot. But not yet. Getting closer though.

    The arm rest on the door and the console are a bit too low when the seat is the right height. Also, the head rest touching the back of our heads is distracting, but we are getting used to it. These two items may be the reason the seat seems awkward.

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