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The Expected Mileage Of A Toyota RAV4

How many miles can a Toyota RAV4 last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand RAV4, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:

On average, a Toyota RAV4 lasts between 230.000 – 250.000 miles. A RAV4 needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.26 times per year, with a 10% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, RAV4 owners spend an average of $429 per year on repair costs.

Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll first explain in more detail how many miles a RAV4 can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a RAV4 costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!

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How Many Miles Can A Toyota Rav4 Last?

We have scrutinized seventeen thousand and twenty-seven Toyota Rav4 units to find the average mileage data (not computer-generated), which will give us a clear picture of its reliability. We have organized all of that data into simple mileage intervals and have presented it in the table below:

Amount Of MilesPercentage Of Cars
Cars With 150.000+4.2%
Cars With 100.000 – 149.0008.99%
Cars With 45.000 – 99.99929.82%
Cars With 0 – 44.99956.93%

From our experience, if a vehicle can achieve more than 3% crossing the 150k mile mark, it is deemed reliable. When we performed all the calculations, the data for Toyota Rav4 crossing the 150k mile was 4.2%. Typically, this value is considered reliable, but in the case of the Toyota Rav4, we expected more than 5% as most SUVs give more than 5% in this range.

Most of the Toyota Rav4 units on sale have not even crossed the 100k mile mark, while the majority are below 50k mile. This data suggests that some underlying problem makes owners sell their Toyota Rav4 at such low miles. We will look at common issues and the annual maintenance, which will also give us an idea about its reliability.

Also read: The Types Of Gas A Toyota RAV4 Uses (Explained)

How Reliable Is A Toyota Rav4 Compared To Its Competitors?

The data was quite surprising when we compared the compact crossover SUV segment to see where the Toyota Rav4 stands. The competitors have shown even lower percentages than the Toyota Rav4; in fact, they could not cross the minimum 3%, which is required for them to be considered reliable.

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Toyota Rav417,0277274.2%300000
Volkswagen Tiguan6267520.82%200000
Mazda CX-574661001.34%230000
Jeep Cherokee139582902.07%350000

This data suggests that Toyota Rav4 is one of the most reliable compact crossover SUVs. When we compared the highest mileage data, the Jeep Cherokee took the lead by a considerable margin – 50k miles more than the Toyota Rav4. But the majority of the Jeeps are still below the 150k mile mark.

This comparison has proved to be a silver lining for the Toyota Rav4. We will now compare the Rav4 with other Toyotas to see why the 4.2% is not as good of a percentage for a Toyota badges vehicle.

Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other cars regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)

How Reliable Is A Toyota Rav4 Compared To Other Toyotas?

We performed the same scrutinization to several Toyotas and have presented those calculations in the table below. We have also compared the highest mileage data of all these Toyotas to see where precisely the Toyota Rav4 lies.

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Toyota Avalon27632649.55%360000
Toyota Camry1850315338.28%350000
 Toyota Yaris99210110.18%260000
Toyota Rav417,0277274.2%300000
Toyota Sequoia173549828.70%370000
Toyota Sienna616672011.47300000

Toyota Rav4 came dead last when we put it against other Toyotas. The data shows how well the rest of the Toyotas are performing. But it does not mean that Toyota Rav4 is not reliable, and it only means that others are more reliable. However, the highest mileage data of Toyota Rav4 is very promising; it beats Toyota Yaris that had more than 10% crossing the 150k mile mark. 

How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?

For the Toyota Rav4 to be considered reliable, it should have low annual maintenance cost. Numbers crossing the 150k mile barrier would not mean anything if lots of repairs are required for that purpose. A reliable vehicle can cross hundreds of thousands of miles with minimal repairs and maintenance.

We looked at eight different model years and have presented their annual maintenance cost in the table below. The data shows that the yearly maintenance cost is quite reasonable as it is in the $400-ish range, one of the lowest in the industry.

Model YearAnnual Maintenance Cost
2021$429
2020$424
2019$429
2018$390
2017$429
2016$429
2015$385
2014$428

To know for sure if the Toyota Rav4 lives up to the expectation, we need to go through all the common problems that it might pose.

Toyota Rav4 Common Problems

NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the car isn’t having any problems that I should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.

Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.

High Oil Consumption

Worn valves and pistons are considered the main reason for excessive oil consumption in your vehicle, which you might even notice between oil changes; these are likely to be caused by irregular oil changes that end up forming sludge.

There is a way of fixing this problem which is mainly just taking care of your engine only by changing your engine oil every 3000-3500 miles so that your engine won’t make sludge and other parts of the engine won’t be needing replacement. Oil change cost will be around $110 on average.

Recalled Takata Airbags

Toyota RAV4, along with Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Tundra, and Lexus SC430, was called for recall for replacing Takata airbags effective immediately as they were causing severe injuries to drivers.

If you are unaware of whether your vehicle has an airbag or not, you can find out by using your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the NHTSA.gov site. It would take around two hours to replace and install your recalled airbag, free of cost.

Battery Defects

The 12-volt battery of the Toyota rav4 approximately survives 3-5 years on average. It is being considered that a 12-volts battery can cause a fire which is highly possible even if just +ve terminal of the battery touched the battery frame only. This contact can cause a short circuit, leading to power loss or a potential fire case at the end.

The replacement cost of a battery for the Toyota Rav4 is $50 to $250, which varies from model to model. The power drainage issue was resolved in the update of September TSB 0095-20.

Also read: 7 Common Problems Of A Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

ECM Transmission Failure

Toyota RAV4 faced automatic transmission failures throughout its generations, especially 2001-2008. The latest generation, despite the updates, is still facing the same issue in some vehicles.

If you hear noises like clunking or buzzing, it might be because of transmission failure. A burning smell from the engine could also be a sign of transmission, so if you notice any of these signs, contact your dealer right away.

Considering replacing the Rav4 transmission can easily cost you around $3700, including labor and fluid changes.

Also read: Toyota RAV4 Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Is a Toyota Rav4 A Smart Buy?

The selling point of the Toyota Rav4 is its ability to retain its value over the long run. These Toyota Rav4s only depreciate about 40% in the first five years, making them one of the least depreciating vehicles in the market. On average, the depreciation is about 50% for every other vehicle, and some are close to 70%. So this 40% is excellent.

According to our research, the Toyota Rav4 has good reliability ratings, low maintenance cost, lower depreciation, and most important of all. It has a smooth ride.

When you are in the used market trying to find a good Toyota Rav4, make sure to check the service history and the title. Salvage titles might appear lucrative, but you should stick to the clean-title vehicles. If you are not mechanically inclined, having a salvage title should be the last thing on your list.

Are you in the market for this Toyota? Don’t forget to check out our extensive list of the largest Toyota dealers per state!

Toyota Rav4 Maintenance Schedule

To keep your Toyota Rav4 free of all those repair needs, you must show dedication to the maintenance schedule. If you keep a tab on regular maintenance, you will not ever be stranded on the road due to some mechanical issue.

The most critical thing that keeps these mechanical things running, apart from fuel, is the fluid that keeps the internals lubricated. Once that lubrication is gone, frictional forces are readily available to seize the engine and cost you thousands of dollars on repairs. The first thing on the list of maintenance is engine oil replacement.

Before/On Every 10,000 Miles

Most manufacturers suggest a maximum of 10,000-mile interval for the engine oil replacement, but it is better if you keep it at 5000 miles. It is even better if you change it before 5000 miles; the sweet spot is at 4000 miles. It costs a bit more on the oil, but it will save you significant repairs on the engine later on. Further maintenance include:

  • Oil filter replacement
  • Tire rotation
  • Brakes inspection
  • Inspecting all the fluid levels
  • Lubrication where needed

Before/On Every 20,000 Miles

  • Cabin air filter replacement
  • Brake oil inspection and replacement if necessary
  • Inspect the underside of the vehicle, if there is rust, carry out the rust prevention treatment
  • Inspect the brake pads, rotors and calipers
  • Recalibrate the system to remove any bugs

Before/On Every 40,000 Miles

  • Replace the transmission oil
  • Replace the brake pads if they are wornout
  • Replace the rotors and calipers if required
  • Replace the brake fluid
  • Examine the engine by a scanner tool, and see if it has any codes

Before/On Every 60,000 Miles

  • Examine the suspension components and replace the worn out parts with new ones
  • Inspec the steering system
  • Inspect the PCV system for any leaks
  • Examine the exhaust system
  • Replace the spark plugs
  • Clean the fuel pump and see if the fuel injectors are clogged

Before/On Every 100,000 Miles

  • Replace all the fluids in your Toyota Rav4
  • Have it detailed, it will remove the dirt from those crevices that might start rusting if the dirt is not removed. Plus, you will have a fresh looking Toyota Rav4 ready to go on a cuirse.

Other Maintenance Tips

  • Do not let mud stay on the chassiss, it would start rusting
  • Try to park your vehicle under a shade
  • Do not use less than 87 of octane