A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota RAV4

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


Next Step

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Pre-purchase Car Inspection. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Pre-purchase Car Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(5,189)

Rating Summary
4,847
184
37
38
83
4,847
184
37
38
83

Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Buy and Sell Police Auction Cars
When drivers are caught violating certain traffic laws and deemed not fit or able to drive their vehicle away from the scene, police can choose to impound the vehicle. Although most owners eventually pay the impound fee to get their...
How to Buy a Car With a Lien on It
If you are trying to buy a vehicle and find out that there is a current lien on it, the process becomes more complicated. With a lien on the title, you may not be able to: Transfer the title into...
The Most and Least Expensive Cars to Own
Car value depends on purchase price, maintenance costs, and selling price. The Toyota Yaris, a discontinued model, costed $8000 less than in 2012.

Related questions

My Oil Pressure Light blinks when I come to a stop. What's wrong?
This is likely a sign of low oil pressure, which is usually caused by a leak or low oil levels. I would start by checking your oil to be sure the oil level is at the appropriate capacity. You should...
Car door alarm sensors keep going off while car is on, because of that I can't even lock my doors when it's off.
Hi and thanks for contacting Your Mechanic. What seem to happen is a door sensor / switch has failed. Turn on the dome light to door and shut all of the doors. See if the light dims after shutting all...
I have problem with my handle has nee toward to right side. I took to dealer and said alignment problem. I had alignment done in A
If the vehicle is pulling to one side as you drive and/or the steering wheel is not centered as you drive straight, that means the vehicle is not properly aligned or there is suspension/tire damage. Prior to performing an alignment,...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com