Why Are Used Toyota RAV4 So Expensive? (Answered)

The Toyota RAV4 is a high-class vehicle known for its SUV characteristics skillfully blended with a compact nature.

It is also renowned for its interior design and safety features and has gained popularity among its counterparts.

The Toyota RAV4 has built a name for itself as being safe, reliable, and efficient, amongst other things. However, if this justifies its high purchasing price, why does used Rav4 remain expensive?

Used Toyota RAV4 are expensive because they come with various high-tech upgrades and features. More so, this vehicle’s quality, fuel efficiency, reputation, trustworthiness, and reliability increase its demand in the aftermarket. Moreover, with the scarcity in chips which has slowed down car production, admirers are forced to buy the used Toyota Rav4, thus increasing its demand and, by extension, its cost.

Is RAV4 a Luxury Car?

Used Toyota Rav4 So Expensive

The Toyota RAV4 is indeed a luxury car. It is a compact crossover SUV which is fuel-efficient with a spacious cabin.

In addition to its impressive and comfortable interior design, it also has a good exterior design and sufficient cargo space.

The Interior quality is affluent for higher trims, but smaller models do not attain this standard.  

Its interior is quite simple and standard with a modern look. You can see this characteristic in the soft and delicate plastics across the dashboard and doors.

There are also aluminum trimmings on areas like the door handle, on the steering wheel, and around the air vents. 

Further, Rav4 has an infotainment display placed high on the dashboard to access its features easily.

Therefore, it becomes easier for you to take glances while driving, although I will not recommend doing this for safety reasons.

The RAV4 comes with other features like hard, brittle plastics on the grab handles, around the glove box, and central armrest.

The seat varies from black cloth, leather, and even faux-leather seats covering contrasting blue stitching. 

Further proof that Rav4 is a luxury car comes from its mechanics. Therefore, it is no surprise that the labor cost for the repair and maintenance of this vehicle is relatively high.

However, this is not because of any complexity in repair; instead, mechanics charge high for labor considering the Rav4 a luxury vehicle affordable only by people who have enough cash to spare.

The RAV4, however, holds its ground as a compact crossover SUV and its features make it unique from other brands.

The recent RAV4 boasts of the following interior and exterior dimensions:

  • A Wheelbase of 105.9 inches
  • The passenger volume of 98.9 cubic feet
  • Front and rear Headroom of 37.7 inches/39.5 inches
  • Front and rear Legroom of 41 inches/37.8 inches
  • Cargo volume (behind second row/first row) of 37.6 cubic feet/69.8 cubic feet.
  • Overall width of 73 inches
  • Overall height (with antenna) at 67 inches
  • Overall length at 180.9 inches etc.
  • Sitting capacity of 5 

Are Used Toyota RAV4 Reliable?

If you are in search of a dependable vehicle, then Toyota Rav4 is a worthy option to consider.

That is because this vehicle has proven countless times to be a classic model of automobiles for its reliability, capacity, and durability.

However, even though a used Toyota Rav4 has the same features as a brand new model, the fact remains that a used Toyota Rav4 would have depreciated, at least to a small extent.

Nevertheless, according to Car Edge’s estimation, the Toyota Rav4 hybrid depreciates only by 40% after five years, 27% after three years, and 16% after a whole year.

Furthermore, this review shows that a used Toyota Rav4 retains its value by78% at the end of two years. 

Additionally, amid other designs and features, a forward collision warning has also been put in place on this car to ensure your safety receives paramount importance.

You can also find the rearview camera on this vehicle, which helps you navigate behind you without turning your head. 

Further, the blind-spot monitoring standard that helps you watch your side and rear blind spot when reversing from out of a driveway or parking space has also not been excluded, thus improving the vehicle’s usage reliability.

Is Toyota RAV4 Expensive to maintain?

The Toyota RAV4 is pretty affordable in maintenance cost, and it usually costs around $429 to maintain annually.

This figure is significantly lower than the average annual cost of $521 for other compact SUVs.

Though quite expensive to buy, the RAV4 has a cheap ownership cost, which is advantageous to the brand.

It is crucial to assess the maintenance cost of a vehicle before purchasing it. Routine servicing and repairs also help improve your car’s lifespan and reliability, which is also true for your Rav4.

So to help put the cost of Rav4 maintenance in perspective, here is the complete price breakdown for RAV4.

Toyota RAV4 Maintenance Cost

  • Average annual repairs and maintenance for $429
  • Tune-Up Cost for $300
  • Alternator replacement for $496 – $706
  • Oil change for $116 – $130
  • Wiper blade replacement for $130 – $145
  • Air filter replacement for $41 – $51
  • Battery replacement for $258
  • New brakes for $262 – $312
  • Coolant change for $266 – $281
  • New tires (set of 4) for $500 – $612
  • New tire (one only) for $125 – $153
  • New spark plugs for $115 – $150
  • Tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance for $79 – $100
  • New transmission for $3500
  • Tune-up for $280 – $321
  • Insurance for $1436 / year (average)

I would recommend that you get your RAV4 serviced at a Toyota dealership as long as it is still registered under warranty.

RAV4 Best Year to Buy Used?

The 2016 RAV4 is the best model to buy used based on historical data and reliable reviews. The 2016 RAV4 ranks amongst the top 10 most reliable SUVs.

It scored 86/100 for quality, good driving experience, and reliability while scoring 91/100 for best resale value.

It has also received several awards for its unique design and general performance after a 3months ownership period.

This model has an outstanding ability to hold its value and maintain its features, thus lowering the depreciation rate.

With the 2016 Model, a used Rav4 is as good as new when you consider its durability.

Consider a used Rav4, a brand new car if it has an extended warranty.

Nevertheless, the models listed below follow the 2016 model in the order in which they appear.

  • Toyota Rav4 2019 Model
  • Toyota Rav4 2017 Model
  • Toyota Rav4 2010 Model
  • Toyota Rav4 2018 Model

What are the Most Common Problems with Toyota RAV4?

 Toyota Rav4

Though a reliable model, Rav4 is still a manufactured product and, as such, is quite far from perfection.

Therefore, it should not surprise you to learn that this impressive car possesses some downsides unique to the model.

Still, these are easily repairable faults, but here is a list to give you an idea of what to expect.

#1. Transmission 

As we noted earlier, the RAV4 is known to have transmission issues, which has been a subject of complaint amongst drivers.

Drivers experience lurching forward of the vehicle, transmission lagging, failure in shifting correctly, or loud noises when shifting.

Such issues have led to multiple lawsuits filed against Toyota, forcing them to expand their warranty to cover transmission issues for 10years/150,000 miles.

#2. Oil Consumption

Overconsumption of oil has been a frequent complaint among RAV4 drivers and usually results from worn-out piston rings.

Usually, the problem surfaces when the odometer nears 100,000 miles and is most notable in the 2004-2008 models. 

#3. Exhaust Leakage

Exhaust fumes have been reported to leak into the cabin of the RAV4 by several drivers. This problem is more common in earlier RAV4 models, and you can resolve it by replacing worn-out gaskets.

You should also check that your catalytic converter and the oxygen sensor are in good condition.

#4. Steering Problems

Steering issues have also been reported about different RAV4 over the years. Most of these complaints included the clicking from the steering column, steering wheel failure, and power steering problems.


The Toyota RAV4 is a well-rounded vehicle with excellent interior and exterior design, cargo space, and cool features.

However, it remains very expensive to purchase even in the aftermarket due to its high quality, reliability, reputation, and other factors.

Though not exactly a luxury brand, it has gained recognition as quality, compact crossover SUV.

It is reliable to certain extents, and though it has quite some issues shared in its model, it remains a highly sought-after brand.

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