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8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 8.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Toyota RAV4 Review

The 2011 Toyota RAV4 ranks among the best SUVs in the compact SUV class. The RAV4 has a roomy, comfortable interior, refined handling, and a good reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Muscular available V6 engine
  • Good reliability rating
  • Spacious cargo area
  • Roomy first- and second-row seats
  • Cramped third row
  • Lower safety ratings than top rivals

2011 Toyota RAV4 Overview

Is the 2011 Toyota RAV4 a Good Used SUV?

The 2011 Toyota RAV4 is a great pick if you’re shopping for a used compact SUV. It can do a little bit of everything. The RAV4 can seat up to seven passengers and it has a large cargo area, making it just as practical for transporting the family as it is for hauling bulky items. It’s available with a choice of peppy yet efficient four- and six-cylinder engines, and it rewards drivers with nimble handling and a cushioned ride. The RAV4 also rates highly for reliability.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 88 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 2011 Toyota RAV4?

You can expect to pay between $9,000 and $16,200 for a used 2011 RAV4. These figures are based on listings for the 2011 Toyota RAV4 on our site. The average list price is $12,500. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2011 Toyota RAV4 Cost to Own?

The RAV4’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $23,900 – or around $4,800 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. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used RAV4. That said, there are a few perks that come with buying a new model. The 2018 RAV4 has a much nicer cabin with higher-quality materials. It also has more advanced safety features like forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control, which come standard in all models. If this refinement or these safety features are important to you, opt for the newer model.

Read about the new Toyota RAV4 »

There aren’t any options if you’d prefer to buy a new SUV at this price point, however there are good alternatives if you widen your search to include small cars and hatchbacks. The 2018 Kia Soul and Honda Fit start at just over $16,000 and each offers great passenger and cargo space.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Toyota RAV4 Is Best?

The RAV4’s third generation spans the 2006 through 2012 model years. These models all offer similar features, so you can save money with an older RAV4 within this generation while still finding a comparable SUV. The big point to consider about this generation is the four-cylinder engine. The four-cylinder found in the 2006, 2007, and 2008 RAV4 models is susceptible to high oil consumption. The later 2009 to 2012 models have a different engine design, which isn’t as prone to this problem. Stick with these models if you want a four-cylinder RAV4 from this generation. Notably, the V6 isn’t affected by this issue.

You may also want to consider a fourth-generation RAV4 (2013 to 2018). This newer RAV4 has a ritzier interior, more advanced safety features, and better fuel economy. On the other hand, it’s not available with a V6 engine or an optional third-row seat. Those two features are limited to the RAV4’s third generation.

Compare the 2010, 2011, and 2012 RAV4 »

How Reliable Is the 2011 Toyota RAV4?

The 2011 RAV4 has a good reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about RAV4 reliability »

2011 Toyota RAV4 Recalls

The 2011 RAV4 is affected by a number of recalls. Toyota is recalling models due to faults with the windshield wipers, power window switch, heated seats, rear seat belts, front passenger air bag, side curtain air bags, and rear suspension links. Make sure these recalls have been addressed before buying a used RAV4.

See more information on Toyota RAV4 safety recalls »

Which Used Toyota RAV4 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2011 RAV4 is available in three trim levels: Base, Sport, and Limited. Many shoppers will find that the Toyota RAV4 Base model has everything they’re looking for. It comes equipped with an AM/FM radio, CD player, six speakers, an auxiliary audio input, cruise control, power windows, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, cloth seats, and a side-opening tailgate with a spare tire carrier.

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

See 2011 Toyota RAV4 trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Toyota RAV4 Warranty

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles that are less than six model years old. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully. This is one of the more comprehensive certified pre-owned programs among nonluxury automakers, according to our research.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the RAV4?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2011 RAV4 the second-highest score of Acceptable for roof strength and a top score of Good in all other areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave a harsher review. The RAV4 earned just three out of five stars for overall and front crash safety, along with four stars for rollover and side impact safety. The 2011 RAV4 is available with a rearview camera.

See RAV4 safety scores »

2011 Toyota RAV4 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2011 Toyota RAV4 or 2011 Honda CR-V?

It’s hard to go wrong with either the 2011 Honda CR-V or the 2011 RAV4. Both SUVs have a good reputation for reliability, solid fuel economy, and generous cargo space. The CR-V has better interior materials, but the RAV4 is more flexible thanks to its available third-row seat and strong V6 engine (the Honda only seats five and offers a four-cylinder engine). Test drive both models to see which one you prefer.

Which Is Better: 2011 Toyota RAV4 or 2011 Subaru Forester?

The 2011 Subaru Forester is another good option. Like the RAV4, the Forester rates well for reliability, and it boasts a roomy cargo area, similar fuel economy to the RAV4, and peppy performance with its available turbocharged engine. Notably, all Forester models come standard with all-wheel drive. Give both of these highly rated SUVs a look.

Which Is Better: 2011 Toyota RAV4 or 2011 Nissan Rogue?

The 2011 Nissan Rogue isn’t as well-rounded as the RAV4. The Rogue’s four-cylinder engine feels weak and its CVT transmission is unrefined. The Nissan has a lower maximum cargo capacity than its Toyota rival, and its ride isn’t as comfortable. Stick with the RAV4.

Compare the RAV4, CR-V, and Forester »

2011 RAV4 Performance

How Does the 2011 Toyota RAV4 Drive?

The RAV4 is offered with two engine 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. The V6 is the better pick of the two. Though both engines provide fine passing power on the highway, the V6 is zippier at city speeds and its extra muscle makes it better suited for towing. Its fuel economy is similar to the four-cylinder’s as well.

Overall, the RAV4 is a very pleasant SUV to drive. It has responsive steering and a small turning radius, making it easy to park and maneuver in tight areas. The SUV remains stable around turns, and its brakes slow the vehicle confidently. The Base and Limited trims impress with a smooth ride on rough and bumpy roads. The Sport trim isn’t as comfortable though; it has larger wheels and a stiffer suspension. Regardless of trim, the RAV4’s all-wheel-drive system allows the SUV to handle snowy roads without fuss. However, with only 7.5 inches of ground clearance, the RAV4 isn’t intended for serious off-road driving.

Does the 2011 Toyota RAV4 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The RAV4 is quite fuel-efficient for a small SUV. The four-cylinder engine can return 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway (21/27 mpg city/highway, AWD). The V6 gets a slightly lower 19/26 mpg (19/25 mpg, AWD).

2011 Toyota RAV4 Towing Capacity

The RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 pounds when 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 »

2011 RAV4 Interior

How Many People Does the 2011 RAV4 Seat?

The standard RAV4 has five seats. An available third row boosts the seating capacity to seven. The RAV4’s first- and second-row seats are soft, fairly supportive, and they offer fine head- and legroom for adults. The second row can also slide and recline to better accommodate tall passengers. The available third-row seats are cramped, however. They’re best reserved for smaller children. Cloth upholstery is standard; leather seats and heated front seats are available.

The RAV4’s cabin offers lots of places to store small items, and its interior plastics should hold up well to years of abuse. That said, many of these materials look and feel cheap. A lot of wind and tire noise finds its way into the cabin at higher speeds as well.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2011 Toyota RAV4?

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

2011 Toyota RAV4 Features

The 2011 RAV4 comes standard with an AM/FM/satellite radio, CD player, an auxiliary audio port, air conditioning, keyless entry, and cruise control. Available features include a touch-screen navigation system, a rearview camera, JBL stereo, and a power moonroof. The audio and climate controls are as simple as they get – just a few buttons and knobs control everything – and they are arranged conveniently on the dashboard. The optional navigation system replaces some of these buttons with a touch screen. While its graphics are dated, the screen is easy to use.

See 2011 Toyota RAV4 specs »

Read more about RAV4 interior »

2011 Toyota RAV4 Dimensions

Toyota RAV4 Cargo Space

The RAV4’s 2-row seating layout provides 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 seating configuration has similar overall cargo space, but it drops to 12.3 cubic feet when the third row is in use.

2011 RAV4 Length and Weight

The RAV4 is 15.2 feet long and its curb weight ranges from 3,360 to 3,699 pounds, depending on configuration.

Where Was the 2011 Toyota RAV4 Built?

Toyota built the 2011 RAV4 in Canada.

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