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2010 Toyota RAV4 Review

The 2010 Toyota RAV4 ranks near the top of the compact SUV class. It offers a comfortable interior, a pleasant ride, loads of cargo space, plus good safety and reliability ratings.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong V6 engine
  • Solid reliability and safety scores
  • Generous cargo space
  • Comfy first- and second-row seats
  • Cramped third-row seat
  • Sport trim has a firm ride




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2010 Toyota RAV4 Overview

Is the 2010 Toyota RAV4 a Good Used SUV?

The 2010 Toyota RAV4 is an excellent option if you’re shopping for a used compact SUV. The RAV4 rates highly for reliability and crash safety. It’s available with refined four- and six-cylinder engines. The RAV4’s boxy cargo area can easily fit bulky items, and the SUV can even seat seven passengers in a pinch thanks to its available – albeit snug – third row. It’s quite a practical vehicle, though it’s not the only good pick in this class. Consider other top options as well, like the 2010 Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 84 Toyota RAV4 reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2010 Toyota RAV4?

You can expect to pay between $8,000 and $15,800 for a used 2010 RAV4. These figures are based on listings for the 2010 Toyota RAV4 on our site. The average list price is $11,600. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2010 Toyota RAV4 Cost to Own?

The RAV4’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $24,500 – or $4,900 per year. That’s better than average for a compact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New RAV4?

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 starts at $24,660. This new RAV4 outshines its predecessor with a higher-quality interior and far more advanced safety features. Many of these features, including forward collision warning with brake assist, come standard on all models. Updates like these make the 2018 RAV4 a much better vehicle, but at a steep price. If all you want is a spacious, reliable, and comfortable small SUV, a used 2010 RAV4 is up to the task for thousands of dollars less.

Read about the new Toyota RAV4 »

You aren’t likely to find any new SUVs that cost less than a used 2010 RAV4, but there are a few inexpensive alternatives. Hatchbacks like the 2018 Honda Fit or the Kia Soul offer an impressive amount of passenger and cargo space, and both start at around $16,200.

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Which Model Year of the Toyota RAV4 Is Best?

The 2012 RAV4 is the final model year of a generation that launched for 2006. Toyota made very few changes to the RAV4 over this generation, so you can find a similar array of features across all these years. There’s one major detail to consider, though. The four-cylinder engine found in the 2006, 2007, and 2008 RAV4s is prone to high oil consumption. The later 2009 to 2012 RAV4s have a different engine design, which doesn’t suffer from this problem. Stick with these models if you want a four-cylinder RAV4 from this generation. The V6 engine from this generation isn’t affected by this issue.

Opting for an even newer fourth-generation RAV4 (2013 to 2018) has its perks but also its drawbacks. The newer RAV4 has a much nicer interior, more advanced safety features (like blind spot monitoring), and higher fuel economy. However, it’s not available with a V6 or an optional third-row seat – two features that are unique to the RAV4’s third generation.

Compare the 2010, 2011, and 2012 RAV4 »

How Reliable Is the 2010 Toyota RAV4?

The 2010 RAV4 has an excellent reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about RAV4 reliability »

2010 Toyota RAV4 Recalls

The 2010 RAV4 is affected by a number of recalls. Toyota is recalling certain models because of issues with the power window switch, windshield wipers, rear suspension links, front passenger-side air bag, rear seat belts, and heated seats. Two recalls also address complaints of unintended acceleration. The remedies include a retrofitted gas pedal and different floor mats. Make sure these recalls have been completed before buying a used RAV4.

See more information on Toyota RAV4 safety recalls »

Which Used Toyota RAV4 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2010 RAV4 is available in three trim levels: Base, Sport, and Limited. We suspect most shoppers will be happy with the Toyota RAV4 Base model’s features. It comes standard with a CD player, six speakers, an auxiliary audio input, air conditioning, cloth seats, power windows, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and a side-opening tailgate.

The RAV4 Sport trim adds fog lights, alloy wheels, and stiffer springs and shock absorbers. The RAV4 Limited trim adds proximity keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a color-matched spare tire cover. Available features include a rearview camera, a touch-screen navigation system, JBL stereo, a moonroof, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. The RAV4’s third-row seats are optional only in Base and Limited models.

See 2010 Toyota RAV4 trims and specs »

How Safe Is the RAV4?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2010 RAV4 a perfect five-star rating for side impact and driver-side front crash safety, as well as four stars for rollover safety and passenger-side front crash safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the SUV an Acceptable score for roof strength but Good scores in all other areas tested.

The 2010 RAV4 is available with a rearview camera.

See RAV4 safety scores »

2010 Toyota RAV4 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2010 Toyota RAV4 or 2010 Ford Escape?

The 2010 Ford Escape isn’t a great used SUV. Though the Escape has roomy seating and cargo space, it rates poorly for reliability, and its cabin materials are among the worst in this class. Stick with the RAV4.

Which Is Better: 2010 Toyota RAV4 or 2010 Nissan Rogue?

The 2010 Nissan Rogue doesn’t measure up to the RAV4, either. The Rogue offers tepid engine performance and a sluggish CVT transmission. Its ride quality doesn’t feel as polished, and the maximum cargo capacity falls far short of the RAV4.

Compare the RAV4, Escape, and Rogue »

2010 RAV4 Performance

How Does the 2010 Toyota RAV4 Drive?

The RAV4 is available with two powertrain options: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 179 horsepower and a four-speed automatic transmission or a 3.5-liter V6 with 269 horsepower and a five-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard with both setups; all-wheel drive is available. Acceleration is initially slow with the four-cylinder engine, but the RAV4 has sufficient power around town and at highway speeds once it gets moving. The V6 is the better pick because it shuttles the RAV4 up to speed confidently and offers strong passing power, even with a full complement of passengers and cargo. It also returns similar fuel economy to the four-cylinder engine.

Both models offer a refined driving experience. The SUV feels stable around turns, its brakes provide good stopping power, and the steering is responsive. The RAV4 Base and Limited trims continue to impress with a smooth and cushioned ride over rough pavement. The RAV4 Sport trim, however, is noticeably less comfortable over bumps and dips due to its stiffer sport-tuned suspension and larger wheels. The RAV4’s all-wheel-drive system allows this SUV to tackle snowy roads and muddy trails, but it’s not cut out for serious off-road driving.

Does the 2010 Toyota RAV4 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The RAV4 gets good fuel economy for a compact SUV. Four-cylinder models can return 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway (21/27 mpg city/highway with AWD). V6 models lower this rating slightly to 19/27 mpg (19/26 mpg with AWD).

2010 Toyota RAV4 Towing Capacity

The RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped with a V6 engine and the tow package. All models are rated to tow at least 1,500 pounds.

Read more about RAV4 performance »

2010 RAV4 Interior

How Many People Does the 2010 RAV4 Seat?

The standard RAV4 has five seats. A third row is available, and it increases the SUV’s seating capacity to seven. In either configuration, the front seats are comfortable and the driving position is relaxed. The second-row seats are similarly cozy, and there’s ample head- and legroom for tall passengers. The available third-row seats are very cramped, however. They are suitable for small children only. Cloth seats are standard; leather upholstery and heated front seats are available.

Though it is practical, the RAV4’s cabin isn’t very inviting. There’s an abundance of hard and cheap-looking plastics, and a fair amount of tire and wind noise makes its way into the interior at highway speeds.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2010 Toyota RAV4?

The RAV4 has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Features

The 2010 RAV4 comes standard with satellite radio, CD player, six speakers, and an auxiliary audio port. Available features include a touch-screen navigation system, a JBL stereo, and a rearview camera. The audio and climate controls are well placed on the SUV’s dashboard, and they’re very easy to use – just three knobs control the air conditioning and a couple buttons manage the radio and CD player functions. The optional navigation system consolidates these audio buttons, though it still remains pretty user-friendly.

See 2010 Toyota RAV4 specs »

Read more about RAV4 interior »

2010 Toyota RAV4 Dimensions

Toyota RAV4 Cargo Space

The RAV4’s 2-row seating configuration offers 37.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats upright and a spacious 73 cubic feet with these seats folded down. The 3-row configuration has similar overall cargo space, but it shrinks to 12.3 cubic feet when the third row is in use.

2010 RAV4 Length and Weight

The RAV4 is 15.2 feet long, and it has a curb weight of between 3,360 and 3,699 pounds.

Where Was the 2010 Toyota RAV4 Built?

Toyota built the 2010 RAV4 in Canada.

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