How Long Do Toyota RAV4 Last?

TaxiHack is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

The Toyota RAV4 has been in the market since 1994.

When it was introduced, it was loved by consumers due to the fact that it offered a lot of cargo space while keeping fuel economy at the level of compact cars.

Even today, it is one of the highest selling SUVs on the market.

With the RAV4 very close to touching the three decade mark, everyday there are new people that ask the question, how long do Toyota RAV4 last?

It has an expected range of up to 250000 miles. That is not a great number, but it is not bad either.

You could continue with your research or stick around to find out more about the Toyota RAV4 and what goes on under the hood of this SUV.

This guide will not only be talking about its reliability but its longevity too.

I would recommend reading it completely to get a better idea of the vehicle you are considering getting. Let’s jump straight into it!

What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of A Toyota RAV4?

Wondering about the Toyota RAV4 life expectancy? Read my in-depth guide

The Toyota RAV4 has a lifespan of anywhere from 200000 miles to 250000 miles.

Now, this was already discussed in the introduction. I thought it would be better to discuss in a bit more detail.

If you take a look at this mileage number and convert it into years, then you can expect the Toyota RAV4 to last around 13 to 17 years. That is a lot of years!

Now, these numbers have been taken after taking into account the fact that the average American drives a vehicle for around 15000 miles on an annual basis.

So, this is just an estimate. They may or may not apply to you, but this is what is to be expected from the Toyota RAV4.

Does Toyota RAV4 Last Longer Than Other Similar Vehicles?

This section is one that you may not have expected. I have compiled a list of three of the Toyota RAV4’s top competitors and will be putting them against it.

From reliability to number of complaints, everything will be tested to give you a clear understanding of which one is better.

Let’s begin!

1. Toyota RAV4 Vs. Chevrolet Equinox

The first SUV that has been chosen is the Equinox, from Chevrolet. This one is a solid vehicle and is actually a direct competitor to the Toyota RAV4.

Let’s see how it holds up below:

  • Although this is pretty rare, the number of complaints on both of these SUVs is shockingly close.
  • The Toyota RAV4 has 2500 complaints while the Chevrolet Equinox is at 2600. But the Equinox did come out a decade later, which means the RAV4 is the winner.
  • Next up is reliability. The Toyota RAV4 scored a 79 out of a 100, which is decent but not that great.
  • The Chevy Equinox, on the other hand, was able to earn an impressive 84, making it the winner in this round. This data has been taken from JDPower.
  • The Chevrolet Equinox is not able to last longer than 200000 miles. This is lesser than the 250000 miles that the Toyota RAV4 can achieve.
  • This translates into a three year difference, which is significant. So, the Toyota wins once again.

Although the Chevy Equinox put up a decent fight, the Toyota RAV4 was simply in another league.

Despite the fact that it is a bit more reliable, the RAV4 lasts longer and has fewer complaints, which has earned it the title of the winner.

2. Toyota RAV4 Vs. Ford Escape

The next SUV on this list is the Ford Escape. This is another brilliant compact SUV and goes head to head with the Toyota RAV4.

Let’s see if it is any good or if it is just another mediocre SUV:

  • The Ford Escape has a considerable larger number of complaints as compared to the Toyota RAV4.
  • It has crossed the 4500 mark, which is 2000 more than what was reported for the Toyota RAV4. The interesting thing is it was released in 2001.
  • Honestly, I did not think that any SUV could go lower than the 79 that the Toyota RAV4 scored. Looks like I was wrong.
  • According to JDPower, the Ford Escape has managed to score a 77 out of a 100, for reliability, which is not great.
  • This last round is finally the one in which the Ford Escape has managed to gain some ground.
  • It is able to last for 250000 miles, which is finally on the same level as the Toyota RAV4.

There is no denying that the Ford Escape is a great SUV. But when compared to the Toyota RAV4, it simply does not stand a chance.

So, if you had to choose between the two, I would definitely recommend opting for the RAV4.

Related: How Many Miles Can A Ford Escape Last?

3. Toyota RAV4 Vs. Honda CR-V

Another highly famous compact SUV that has managed to get on this list is the Honda CR-V. It is a solid SUV and has been loved and cherished by thousands of people all around the world.

Let’s see if the Toyota RAV4 can give it some competition:

  • The Honda CR-V not only was released three years later than the Toyota RAV4, but it has also managed to gather more complaints.
  • With the total number being around 3400, the Toyota RAV4 takes a comfortable lead in this round.
  • The Honda CR-V gains some ground in this next round.
  • It has scored a higher grade in terms of reliability. With it achieving an 81, which not considerably higher, it still has a better score than the Toyota RAV4.
  • The Honda CR-V can be driven for up to 300000 miles. That is beyond impressive.
  • The SUV is solid and will not cause many major issues. It also lasts longer than the Toyota RAV4 by 50000 miles, which is a considerable difference.

Although the Toyota RAV4 is a great truck, it cannot win against the Honda CR-V.

Despite the fact that it has almost double the complaints, Honda’s offering still has better mileage and is more reliable, which has helped it earn the win in this competition.

Related: How Long Does A Honda CR-V Last?

Life Expectancy Of Toyota RAV4 Car Parts

Now, this next section is one you should not scroll over. Vehicle parts are expensive. You need to make sure that you get every single mile out of them.

In the case of the Toyota RAV4, you should have an idea of the longevity of the hardware, so you can improve your driving habits. Let’s take a look at all of the major ones.

Average Lifespan Of Toyota RAV4 Brake Pads

The brake pads, that have been used by Honda, inside the Toyota RAV4, are not special. They are just as good as ones that are provided by competitors in their SUVs.

So, you can expect the OEM ones to last anywhere from 30000 to 60000 miles.

Now, that is a huge difference, and you might be wondering why? The only factor that can affect brake pad longevity are driving habits.

If you like to slowly brake at a stop, you can expect the lifespan of the brake pads to be maximum.

On the other hand, if you race or brake at the last moment, then the wear will be much quicker.

Average Lifespan Of Toyota RAV4 Battery

Toyota did not make any revolutionary change with the battery on the Toyota RAV4. So, it kept on using a normal lead-acid one.

You can expect this battery to last for a minimum of three years and as long as five or even six years. Once again, that is a difference of almost double.

In the case of a vehicle battery, there are many factors that can affect its lifespan. Even the temperature and weather are part of affecting it.

If you choose a replacement battery for your RAV4, then I would recommend opting for an AGM one. It lasts just as long but the same factors have minimal effects on the lifespan.

Average Lifespan Of Toyota RAV4 Tires

The OEM tires on the Toyota RAV4 are designed for on road use only.

This means that if you use them in extreme conditions, such as for off-roading or in snowy or wet areas a lot, they may not perform as good.

But in ideal conditions, you can expect the tires on the Toyota RAV4 to last you around 50000 miles. This roughly translates to three years of usage.

Even if you have not driven 50000 miles in three years, it is still recommended to swap out the tires.

As they have a limited lifespan, you cannot expect them to work in their full capacity after a certain time period. That period, in the case of the RAV4, is three years.

Average Lifespan Of Toyota RAV4 Transmission

Unfortunately, in the case of the Toyota RAV4, the transmission has not been designed to last as long as the vehicle itself. This is commonly seen and is disappointing to say the least.

Now the question arises, what is the expected lifespan of the transmission of this compact crossover SUV?

According to my research, it can last anywhere between 130000 and 180000 miles.

Now, even if you take the minimum number, it translates to almost ten years of usage. So, one major failure in a decade is not that bad.

But you must know that transmission repair or replacement is not cheap. The cost can easily cross the $1000 mark.

Related: What Are The Toyota RAV4 Transmission Problems?

Average Lifespan Of Toyota RAV4 Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are essential for the working of the engine. They are responsible for igniting the fuel which results in the vehicle moving.

Spark plugs, on the Toyota RAV4, are not designed to last as long as one would expect. They cannot cross the 40000-mile limit, which most probably means they are made of copper.

OEM spark plugs, on most vehicles, can last for 60000 miles or even more. So, it is disappointing to see that they are not as good on the RAV4.

But when the time comes for a replacement, I want to recommend that you get platinum or iridium spark plugs. They can cross the 60000-mile limit easily.

Average Lifespan Of Toyota RAV4 Key Fob

The final piece of hardware that I will be discussing with you today is the key fob of the Toyota RAV4.

Just like all of my similar articles, the key fob has been designed without any compromise.

What this means is that you will not have to worry about things such as it suddenly failing on you.

Your only concern should be the battery, which will easily be able to last you for three years. That is a lot of time for something so small.

Bu t in the case of the key fob, you don’t have anything to worry about. It will last as long as you want it to last.

What Is Good Mileage For A Used Toyota RAV4?

The Toyota RAV4 is an excellent compact crossover SUV.

Buying a new one make sense as you will avoid all of the issues of a used one.

But if you make a decision with proper research, then a purchasing a used one actually makes more sense.

You are saving a lot of money and are not compromising on anything. In the case of the RAV4, you should not purchase one with more than 120000 miles on it.

As it can last for a minimum of 200000 miles, you need some years to drive this SUV. That is not possible if the one you get is almost at the end of its lifespan.

How To Increase How Long Your Toyota RAV4 Last

This is an excellent question. There are many ways of making sure that you can get maximum mileage from the Toyota RAV4.

Here are some of the major tips:

  • Rotate tires every 5000 miles.
  • Use dedicated tires for extreme environments.
  • Check for rust every now and then.
  • Improve driving habits.
  • Repair any issues as soon as possible.

The final point is perhaps the most important one. People tend to leave some problems as is. They are responsible for decreasing the lifespan of the vehicle significantly.

Refer to the next section to find out what kind of problems can be faced with the RAV4.

Problems That Limit The Life Of Your Toyota RAV4

When it comes to reliability, the Toyota RAV4 definitely does not top the charts. That said, it is pretty decent.

There are still some problems that many owners have had to face over the course of its two decades in the market.

Let me list them down:

  • Failure of the cylinder head gasket.
  • Failure of the water pump.
  • Slipping transmission.
  • Rodents chewing wiring.

You may be able to relate with most of the problems but the final one is pretty interesting.

Toyota opted for soy based wiring in order to be more eco-friendly. Looks like that did not work out well!

Related: Toyota RAV4 Starting Problems

What To Look For When Buying A Toyota RAV4

This is an interesting question. As it is not an electric or a hybrid SUV, the Toyota RAV4 has a huge checklist for buying a used one.

Fortunately for you, I have narrowed it down to the most important things that need to be checked:

  • Mileage.
  • Number of owners.
  • History of accidents .
  • Rust progression (if any).
  • Condition of the tires.
  • Condition of the transmission.

If you want a basic list for checking, then this is the one.

These things are important as they can give you a rough idea of how the SUV has been used and if it is worth your time to even consider it.

Related: Best And Worst Years For Toyota RAV4

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is The Toyota RAV4 A Reliable Car?

It is reliable but not very reliable. Considering the fact that it has had over 2500 complaints over the course of its ongoing lifespan, this means that it can cause some issues.

So, you cannot expect a trouble free experience with this SUV. From software glitches to driving issues, problems may pop up occasionally.

Q2. Does Toyota RAV4 Have A Lot Of Problems?

No, it does not. I listed down all of the common problems in a dedicated section above.

They are:

  • Water pump failure.
  • Cylinder head gasket failure.
  • Gears slipping.
  • Wiring being chewed by rodents.

These issues are to be expected with the Toyota RAV4. If you are buying a new one, then they may not appear immediately.

But they will start to cause issues over time, especially the one where the gears slip.

Q3. Is It A Good Idea To Buy A Used Toyota RAV4?

I think it is a brilliant idea to buy a used one. If you can find one that has less than 120000 miles on its odometer, I suggest that you should take a look at that SUV.

You should check it against the list that I provided to you in the section before this FAQs. You will be able to gain a clear understanding of whether the SUV is good or not.

Q4. Does Toyota RAV4 Rust Easily?

Rusting has been reported with the Toyota RAV4, but it is not very common. If your SUV has been driven for more than five years, then some signs of rust are completely normal.

But if the problem is in excess, then you may need to get your SUV rust proofed. That is why it is recommended to check for rust after every few thousand miles.

Q5. Is Toyota RAV4 Expensive To Maintain?

No, it is not! This must be good news for many of you. The annual maintenance cost of the Toyota RAV4 is $429.

That is lesser than the average for compact SUVs by almost a $100. I think that is pretty impressive. This also shows that it is a reliable SUV and will not require a lot of work.


So, how long do Toyota RAV4 last?

I think you got the answer to that question. What you may also be wondering about is the reliability of the SUV and the quality of parts that are present under the hood.

I have some good news for you. I managed to cover all of that in the guide above. Not only that but I also compared the RAV4 with its best competitors.

I recommend that you read that section because the results were pretty interesting.

I really hope that you got all the information you needed to make a decision of whether you want to buy this SUV or consider something else.