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2012 Toyota RAV4

Research, photos, specs, and expertise

Toyota RAV4 highlights

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5

RepairPal reliability rating

4.5 out of 5


  • V6 engine choice delivers decent performance mixed with good economy
  • Responsive to drive and comfortable, too


  • Interior quality feels and looks dated
  • Four-cylinder engine is underwhelming

Mileage (EPA estimate)

22 city, 28 highway, 24 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)


2012 Toyota RAV4, a family-favorite crossover, ends generation strong

Toyota was a pioneer in the compact crossover SUV marketplace, introducing the RAV4 to the U.S. back in 1995. The 2012 model is Toyota's third generation of RAV4, and it bows out for an all-new 2013 model. That the 2012 RAV4 remains competitive even in its final year underlines just how right Toyota got the formula. It successfully mixes car-like dynamics, good EPA-estimated fuel economy, plenty of space, and the looks and upright driving position of a crossover. Inevitably, it's showing its age—the interior looks dated compared with newer rivals, while the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and its four-speed automatic also betray its advanced years. It's still a capable family car, though.

The lineup comprises a base entry-level model, the Sport, and the Limited at the top of the range. The base model makes do with steel wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth® connectivity, and a six-speaker stereo. You can upgrade the looks with the Value package that adds alloy wheels, a roof rack, rear privacy glass, a sunroof, and upgraded upholstery. But then you might as well go for the Sport, which gets all that as well as sport-tuned suspension for a sharper drive. The Limited reverts back to the regular suspension but gains convenience equipment including keyless entry and ignition, automatic climate control, and automatic headlights. And for 2012, the Limited adds Entune​​™ electronics that allow access to some popular sites like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Open Table. If you want leather upholstery, you'll need the Premium package on either the Sport or Limited model. We'd recommend getting the V6 for the extra power it brings, but you might want to look at the all-new and improved 2013 model.

All Toyota RAV4 years

New for 2012

  • RAV4 trims have been upgraded with Bluetooth Technology and DVD Video System as standard equipment this year.
  • Run Flat Tires and Entune features are now available as options on select trims.

Explore Toyota RAV4 details

Base 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • CD Audio
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • DVD Video System
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Side Airbags
  • Traction Control

Optional Features

  • Alloy Wheels
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • DVD Video System
  • Fold-Away Third Row
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Sunroof(s)
  • Third Row Seat

Drive type


Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type


Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 41.8"/R 38.3"

Head room

F 40.8"/R 39.7"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity


Max towing capacity

150/1500 lbs.



5 reasons to buy the 2012 Toyota RAV4

1. Space to stretch out

As a compact crossover, the 2012 RAV4 offers a more spacious cabin than what you'd find in a standard sedan. There's plenty of room for front- and back-seat passengers to stretch out—and the rear seats recline for added comfort. The driver's seat also comes with standard height-adjustment, which can come in handy for taller drivers who want to optimize headroom.

2. Available V6 power

While the standard engine on the 2012 RAV4 is a 2.5L four-cylinder at 179 hp, this crossover SUV is also available with an upgraded V6 engine. The 3.5L V6 engine produces 269 hp and is a great option for those who prefer a little extra power behind the wheel.

3. Plenty of storage

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 boasts storage solutions galore, starting with a whopping 36.4 cu-ft of dedicated cargo space behind the rear row. Meanwhile, the second row of seats on this crossover can fold completely flat, extending cargo space up to a full 73 cu-ft. Loading and unloading from the cargo area is a breeze, thanks to the lower load floor. Throughout the cabin, the 2012 RAV4 is equipped with plenty of clever storage for small items, including spacious door pockets and a generously sized glove box.

4. Great fuel economy

Thanks to its compact size, the 2012 RAV4 is a great option for drivers looking to cut down on stops at the fuel pump. The 2012 RAV4 base trim with 2.5L four-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined.

Meanwhile, models equipped with the available 3.5L V6 engine and front-wheel drive still get a respectable EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined.

5. Available third row

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 was among the only vehicles in its class to offer an optional third row. This third row was available as an option on the Limited trim and bumps seating capacity from five to seven passengers, if only for small kids. This can be a great seating solution for larger families.

Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

RepairPal reliability rating


RepairPal gave the Toyota RAV4 an overall reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Toyota RAV4 3rd out of 27 among Compact SUVs.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Toyota RAV4

2012 Toyota RAV4 trims

More about the 2012 Toyota RAV4

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