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2016 Toyota RAV4 Review

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 boasts solid safety ratings and one of the highest cargo capacities in the class. However, it ranks in the bottom third of the compact SUV class. Although its cabin is comfortable, it lacks style and has a slow infotainment system.  

Pros & Cons

  • Abundant cargo space
  • Supportive front seats
  • Excellent crash test ratings
  • Infotainment system can be unresponsive at times

New for 2016

  • Updated interior materials and exterior styling
  • SE trim added to lineup

Rankings & Research

The 2016 Toyota RAV4's #11 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Toyota RAV4 has a score of 7.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 38 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.4
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Toyota RAV4 Overview

Is the 2016 Toyota RAV4 a Good Used SUV?

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 is a decent compact SUV. It has good safety scores, a comfortable cabin, and more cargo space than most of its competitors. While those factors make it a practical family hauler, its performance is dull compared to its sportier rivals.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 38 Toyota RAV4 reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Toyota RAV4?

Our site has more than 1,400 listings for the 2016 RAV4. List prices range from $17,400 to $27,000, with an average of $21,500. Prices vary depending on the SUV’s condition, mileage, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Cost to Own?

Before you purchase a vehicle, take into account how much it will cost to keep on the road. The 2016 Toyota RAV4’s ongoing costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are an estimated $22,500 over a five-year period. That’s about average for the class. Competitors like the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain have five-year ownership expenses closer to $25,000. The Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 have estimates expenses near $21,000.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New RAV4?

A new 2018 Toyota RAV4 starts at about $24,500, which is $3,000 higher than the average price of a 2016 model. For 2018, Toyota made its Safety Sense suite of advanced safety features standard. For 2016, Safety Sense was available in all trims except the base LE model. You might be able to find a 2016 model with these advanced safety features for less than the price of a 2018 model. If so, go for the 2016 and save the money.

However, the 2018 model is a better choice for towing. When properly equipped, the 2018 RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 pounds (2,000 more than the 2016 can handle).

Read about the new Toyota RAV4 »

There aren’t many new 2018 models with a similar price to the 2016 RAV4. The 2018 Hyundai Tucson has a base price of $22,550 – about $1,050 higher than a 2016 RAV4’s average price. These SUVs offer similar performances and safety scores, but the Tucson has a better reliability rating.

If you don’t mind dropping down a class to subcompact SUVs, there are several models to consider that are in line with the 2016 RAV4’s average price. The 2018 Honda HR-V starts at $19,670 and is spacious for the class. The sporty Mazda CX-3 starts at $20,110, and the all-new and highly ranked 2018 Hyundai Kona starts at just $19,500.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Toyota RAV4?

The 2016 RAV4 has an above-average reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about RAV4 reliability »

2016 Toyota RAV4 Recalls

At the time of this writing, the 2016 RAV4 has two safety recalls. The first recall addresses the brake actuator, which may cause brake fluid levels to fall. The other replaces a label that incorrectly lists the SUV’s load capacity. Be sure a Toyota dealer addresses these recalls before you buy.

See more information on Toyota RAV4 safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Toyota RAV4 Is Best?

The 2016 RAV4 is part of a generation that launched in 2013 and has seen few major changes since. However, there were some significant changes for the 2016 model year, including the addition of a few new tech features and a light refresh to the interior and exterior styling. If you could care less about updated styling, consider saving some money with 2014 and 2015 models.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 RAV4 »

Which Used Toyota RAV4 Model Is Right for Me?

There are four trims available: LE, XLE, SE, and Limited. The XLE trim is likely to offer the best combination of value and features. It includes convenience and comfort features that the base model doesn’t, like dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, and satellite radio.

The Toyota RAV4 SE trim, which was new for 2016, is the sporty version of this SUV. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and a sport-tuned suspension. In addition, the SE trim adds push-button start, a remote power liftgate, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, blind spot monitoring, and Entune Audio Plus with a navigation system. The Toyota RAV4 Limited adds a larger touch screen, the Entune App Suite, and Toyota Safety Sense (a suite of advanced safety features). 

See 2016 Toyota RAV4 trims and specs »

What Does Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 85,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. 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 from the initial sale date or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like a CarFax vehicle history report, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Toyota’s CPO program is about average for an affordable carmaker, according to our research. Hyundai and Kia both have better programs.

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How Safe Is the RAV4?

The 2016 RAV4 performs very well in crash tests. It was named a Top Safety Pick+, the highest award given by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In IIHS testing, the 2016 RAV4 received the top rating of Good in five out of six evaluations. In the passenger-side small front overlap test, however, it received the lowest rating of Poor. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the RAV4 a perfect five-star overall safety rating. It also received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in rollover and frontal testing.

A rearview camera comes standard. Available features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree parking camera.

See RAV4 safety scores »

2016 Toyota RAV4 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota RAV4 or 2016 Mazda CX-5?

You won’t find a more fun-to-drive crossover than the Mazda CX-5. Through tight corners, it remains agile and confident. Its base engine has modest power but excellent fuel economy. Luckily, the stronger available engine offers quicker acceleration with a negligible change in fuel economy. Additionally, the CX-5’s infotainment system is user-friendly, and its controls are easy to access and identify.  

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota RAV4 or 2016 Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is among our top-ranking compact SUVs and was named our 2016 Best Compact SUV for Families. Compared to the RAV4, the CR-V offers more back-seat space and better fuel economy estimates. It also has plenty of cargo space, though it’s a few cubic feet shy of the RAV4’s max cargo capacity.  

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota RAV4 or 2016 Ford Escape?

The Ford Escape is definitely the better-performing SUV. It’s available with two strong turbocharged engines that deliver zippy highway acceleration and good passing power. The Escape is one of the most agile compact crossovers on the market, delivering carlike handling around corners. In addition, the Escape has a spacious back seat. 

Compare the RAV4, CX-5, and CR-V »

2016 RAV4 Performance

How Does the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Drive?

A 176-horsepower four-cylinder engine provides the RAV4 with decent power and acceleration for local commutes. However, passing cars on the highway can be a challenge. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive is available. Steering is accurate and handling is composed. Still, there are several other compact SUVs that offer livelier driving dynamics than the RAV4.

Does the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Get Good Gas Mileage?

Like its engine power, the 2016 RAV4’s gas mileage is just decent. It returns an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is about average for the segment. The RAV4 Hybrid, reviewed separately, offers excellent fuel economy.  

Read more about RAV4 performance »

2016 RAV4 Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 RAV4 Seat?

The five-seat RAV4 has comfortable front seats that offer plenty of support. While the rear seats are adult-friendly, some competitors offer a little more second-row legroom. Cabin materials are sturdy and of good quality.  

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Toyota RAV4?

For child safety seats, there are three tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors in the rear seats. The IIHS gave the RAV4’s LATCH system its second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use.

2016 Toyota RAV4 Features

Standard features in the 2016 RAV4 include Bluetooth, voice recognition, a six-speaker audio system, and the Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touch screen and a USB port. Available features include a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and an 11-speaker JBL audio system. An upgraded infotainment system is also available. It comes with a 7-inch touch screen, a navigation system, satellite radio, HD radio, Siri Eyes Free, and smartphone app integration.

The Entune infotainment system is straightforward. However, its initial setup can be frustrating, and the system isn’t always responsive to your touch.

See 2016 Toyota RAV4 specs »

Read more about RAV4 interior »

2016 Toyota RAV4 Dimensions

Toyota RAV4 Cargo Space

The RAV4 leads the class in cargo space, offering 38.4 cubic feet with the rear seats upright. You’ll have 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, which is more than rivals like the Nissan Rogue offer.

2016 RAV4 Length and Weight

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 has an overall length of 15.1 feet. Its gross vehicle weight is 4,525 pounds for the front-wheel-drive model and 4,640 pounds for the all-wheel-drive model. 

Where Was the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Built?

Toyota built the 2016 RAV4 in Japan and Canada.  

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