Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota RAV4

toyota rav4 2012

While the Honda CR-V might have been the pioneer of the compact SUV market, there’s no question that the 2012 Toyota RAV4 is king of the class. Not only does the RAV4 come with your choice of either a four-cylinder or V6 (the CR-V isn’t available as a V6), but it’s also very attractive with a long list of great standard and optional features.

Key Features

Getting started on a hill can be a real worry for SUV owners, especially on those camping trips up to the mountains, but with the 2012 Toyota RAV4’s Hill Start and Downhill Assist control, your SUV will never roll backwards when you start. Likewise, the Downhill Assist will help you keep your speed down on steep descents to maintain better control.

The RAV4 also has a number of other safety features included in its Star Safety System, including but not limited to enhanced electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and increased vehicle stability control (VSC). These features will help you avoid accidents and other dangerous situations, keeping you and your family safe on the road.

Changes for 2012

All 2012 Toyota RAV4 models come with standard Bluetooth phone connectivity for hands-free talking and music streaming. If you go with the RAV4 Limited, you can also get Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with navigation.

What We Like

The RAV4 is very fuel efficient, and it’s definitely versatile. We like that it’s designed to feel great when driving around town but also to stand up to really rough terrain, as well.

What Concerns Us

While the V6 option is great and the fuel economy is very attractive, we wouldn’t recommend this vehicle for anyone who has a large family or if you think that you’ll need a third bench. You don’t want to find out that you need the extra space after you buy your SUV.

Available Models

Though you can choose from different features in different trims, the big decision with the RAV4 is the engine:

  • 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder

    • 179 HP at 6000 RPM
    • 172 lb-ft at 4000 RPM
    • 22/28 MPG (city/highway)
  • 3.5-liter V6

    • 269 HP at 6200 RPM
    • 246 lb-ft at 4700 RPM
    • 19/27 MPG (city/highway)

Major Recalls

There have been a few recalls for the 2012 Toyota RAV4 due to issues with the occupant sensing system’s calibration, an inaccurate label for the load carrying capacity, a potentially malfunctioning brake actuator assembly, and an inoperative windshield wiper. All of these issues can be addressed with a Toyota dealer.

Common Issues

The most common problem reported by 2012 Toyota RAV4 owners is the vehicle surging when coming to a stop. In most cases, this is covered by the recall and is not a problem after you take it to your Toyota dealership.

toyota rav4 2012 interior

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....

Related questions

Q: My car is bucking when I drive and then randomly stops shaking.

Hello. It does sound like there are a lot of issues going on with the vehicle. Before making such a hard decision I would really get a complete diagnostic of what is going on with the car. It may not...

Q: Transmission slipping, jumping, noises

It is possible your transmission is causing all the issues you have been having. If the valve body in the transmission is not sealing properly you may have an issue with the transmission trying to be in two gears at...

Q: How do you remove the head restraints?

While you should never drive or ride without head restraints, there may be times that you need to remove them. For instance, if you’re lowering the second row seats, you’ll need to remove the two outside head restraints (the center...