2017 Toyota RAV4 Review

The comprehensive Toyota RAV4 review


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Toyota Rav4
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finder score: 76.33%

Avg. critics score: 76.33%
3 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of WhichCar, Car Show Room and Motoring to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
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Critic reviews

WebsiteRatingNotable quotes
Motoring69%"By the end of the week the RAV4 had cemented its position as a good all-rounder."Read more
WhichCar80%"The Toyota RAV4 kickstarted the whole city-focused SUV craze, and it remains one of the more popular. It has grown into a mid-sizer that rides nicely, corners well, has great front seats, and comes with automatic emergency braking as standard."Read more
Car Showroom80%"Regardless of which RAV4 you settle on, you’ll end up with a tough-as-nails, efficient, comfortable, and dependable workhorse that will get you from point-A to point-B on time, every time.">Read more

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How does the Toyota RAV4 compare with its peers?

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Number of seats Boot displacement ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score Read Review | Find a deal
Mazda CX-5
5 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Toyota RAV4
5 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Kia Sportage
5 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Hyundai Tucson
5 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Nissan X-Trail
7 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Jeep Cherokee
5 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Honda CR-V
5 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Mitsubishi Outlander
7 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Renault Koleos
5 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website
Mitsubishi ASX
5 seats
5 stars
Read Review
Find a Deal
on Georgie’s website

Compare up to 4 providers

The complete Toyota RAV4 review

Toyota RAV4 pricing and overview

The Toyota RAV4 is often credited as the vehicle that kickstarted Australia's SUV movement. But by 2017, there were a lot more SUV options than there used to be, and many reviewers agreed that the RAV4 had a hard time standing out among them.

It might not have excited in any particular way, other than perhaps for its reliability, affordability and ease of maintenance, but it was well kitted out and might be a very practical purchase.

As one reviewer said, it’s a car you buy with your head, not your heart.

Toyota RAV4 2017 variants

Prices indicate the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).
Click on the price of the model you are interested in to compare monthly repayments across a range of car loan products.

2L Petrol 2WD 6-speed manual2L Petrol 2WD CVT2.5L Petrol AWD 6-speed automatic2.2L Diesel AWD 6-speed manual2.2L Diesel AWD 6-speed automatic
RAV4 GX$28,550 - $29,450$30,590 - $31,490$33,650 - $34,490$36,710 - $39,060$38,750 - $41,100
RAV4 GXL$35,390 - $38,490$38,450 - $38,490$43,550 - $45,125
Cruiser$44,490 - $45,400$50,500
Used RAV4 pricing
Used 2017 RAV4s seem to have held their prices relatively well. We based our figures on the Red Book.
  • Second-hand petrol GX manual 2WD models privately fetch between $19,600 and $21,800.
  • A used GX automatic 2WD petrol model can go for $21,100 to $23,400.
  • Sellers of automatic, AWD GX petrol models typically ask for $23,200 to $25,700.
  • If you're after a GXL 2WD auto petrol model, you'll have to pay around $25,000 to $27,500.
  • An AWD diesel GXL automatic RAV 4 still commands used car market prices of $29,700 to $32,600.
  • When new, you'd have to pay $38,490 for a petrol AWD automatic GXL. Privately, they go for $27,200 to $29,990.
  • Diesel 2017 RAV4 Cruiser AWD models sell for between $34,700 and $37,900.
  • Petrol versions sell for between $31,000 and $34,000.

Engine and performance

There are three different models in the RAV4 range and five different options among them.

  • GX. This was the basic variant, starting at a wallet-friendly $28,550 and running to $34,490. It offered a full spectrum of engine, drivetrain and transmission options.
  • GXL. This was the mid-range option, starting at $35,390 and running to $45,125. A manual transmission was off limits to the GXL, but you get all the other options.
  • Cruiser. The range-topping Cruiser, starting at $45,400 and running to a very dear $50,500. It was available with the most options and equipment.
2L Petrol 2WD 6-speed manual2L Petrol 2WD CVT2.5L Petrol AWD 6-speed automatic2.2L Diesel AWD 6-speed manual2.2L Diesel AWD 6-speed automatic
Power107kW @ 6200 RPM107kW @ 6200 RPM132kW @ 6000 RPM110kW @ 3600 RPM110kW @ 3600 RPM
Torque187Nm @ 3600 RPM187Nm @ 3600 RPM233Nm @ 4100 RPM340Nm @ 2000 RPM340Nm @ 2000 RPM
Towing capacity (braked)800kg800kg1,500kg1,200kg1,200kg
2L Petrol 2WD 6-speed manual2L Petrol 2WD CVT2.5L Petrol AWD 6-speed automatic2.2L Diesel AWD 6-speed manual2.2L Diesel AWD 6-speed automatic

Across the board, you won’t find as much power or torque as equivalent vehicles might bring, but unless you know you need it, such as for towing or overtaking on hills, you might not miss it.

It boasted excellent fuel consumption overall, but not quite enough to top the charts. However, like other SUVs, it offered eco mode and sports mode options alongside the standard drive to help you get a bit more impact or efficiency out of your drive.

  • Eco mode. This mode is more sluggish but provides improved fuel efficiency.
  • Sports mode. This mode provides a nimbler drive but increases fuel consumption.


Reviewers tended to agree that on the whole, the 2017 RAV4 might not have delivered as impactful a driving experience as its equivalents, but it was still plenty capable.

Some test drivers pointed out that its handling improved with speed, and the 2017 RAV4 might be most at home on freeways. If you take it for a test drive, you’ll want to make sure you try it across a range of speeds. You will probably also want to try out the eco mode and sports mode to get a sense of the real potential and limitations of the drive.

Naturally your choice of engine, drivetrain and transmission is likely to change the drive considerably.

  • 2L petrol 2WD. This engine is clearly most at home on sealed roads. The CVT, available with the GX and GXL, might offer a “lighter” driving experience than you want but it also comes with considerable efficiency benefits. It’s also the only alternative to a manual transmission on this engine type.
  • 2.5L petrol AWD. This engine provides a significant increase in power and the introduction of 4WD capability, which is available for the GX, the GXL and the Cruiser. If you want more grunt from the engine or plan on driving on anything other than asphalt, but don’t want to pay the premium price for a diesel engine, then this might be the sweet spot for you.
  • 2.2L diesel AWD. Your two options here are manual and automatic, which will naturally affect your driving experience in a big way.

Reviewers tend to agree that it had a fairly soft but dependable drive, although it might be somewhat sluggish and uncertain at the mid-speed range compared to its competitors. At higher speeds though, you might feel a bit more weight and confidence in the steering.

It also sits relatively flat and handles bends and corners well at almost any speed, and the freeways might be where it really shines. If you’re going for a 2WD 2L petrol model (GX or GXL only), then the highway might be where it’s at its best.

Reviewers also note that it offers a quiet ride at almost any speed, while many other SUVs are still experiencing issues with road noise across the generations.

If you like the sound of a somewhat uninspiring, but sedate, quiet and comfortable ride, then the RAV4 might be right up your street.

It’s largely a city slicker, but the RAV4 is still a fairly big car and you’ll probably feel it. You’ll get a nice spacious interior and functional space, but when fully loaded on a weaker engine, it might lurch more than you want.

With the older RAV4, you’ll want to consider whether you’ll be carrying heavy loads.

On and off road

Reviewers noted the balanced performance on and off the bitumen. As long as you’re not in a 2WD model, you can expect capable handling on snow, sand, dirt and other imperfect roads.

The suspension also seems to be tuned for flexibility and can handle the expected capably.

But it might not be the ideal option for more arduous terrain. Hills might prove frustrating and call for a run up before you can scale them.

Interior and other features

The technology

One of the highlights of the fourth-generation RAV4 is probably its technology kit. Even the basic models came with a range of features that might've cost you a lot more on rival SUVs.

This might be particularly good news for anyone eyeing the last-generation GX as a potentially good choice of SUV at a friendly price.

Essential features

All 2017 RAV4s, as well as many other recent Toyotas, include the Toyota Safety Sense+ suite, which includes the following:

  • Forward collision warning and autonomous braking. This feature automatically detects hazards and applies the brakes.
  • Automatic high beams. This feature can automatically detect oncoming headlights and switch the high beams on and off
  • Lane departure alert and steering control. If the cameras detect you drifting out of the lane, you can receive an alert. The steering control can gently guide you back automatically if you aren’t taking action following an alert. Some reviewers note that the lane departure alerts are somewhat hyperactive, and the system might be a little too alert for some conditions.
  • Sway warning system. This is probably better described as the coffee cup light. The sway warning system detects signs of tired driving – specifically swaying within your lane.
  • Active cruise control. The cruise control can detect and match speeds with traffic.

With all 2017 RAV4s, you’ll also find the following:

  • 6.1” touchscreen. This standard in-car touchscreen is built for practicality and easy navigability and also comes with Bluetooth, AUX and USB. It’s not as big or as luxurious feeling as what other SUVs offer, and the materials mean it might be somewhat more prone to glare, but it’s responsive, offers a good range of connectivity features and is well designed.
  • Reverse camera. This is an exceptionally useful feature, and one that you might happily let yourself become dependent on.
  • Front and rear parking sensors. You’ll find front and rear parking sensors on all RAV4s.
  • Hill-start assist control (HAC). This lets you maintain braking power for a short while after taking your foot off the brake pedal, so you don’t roll back while starting on a hill.
  • Rain-sensing wipers and dusk-sensing headlights. This feature is far from essential, but far from useless as well.
  • 4”2 multi-information-display (MID). This is a quick-check panel that provides essential information right in front of you, including speed, fuel, temperature and audio settings. It might take some getting used to, but once you are, you might wonder why more vehicles don’t have one.

GXL additions

On top of the above, the GXL gives you a range of extras. They are mostly style and comfort upgrades, but there are also a couple of more utilitarian advantages.

Cruiser additions

Compared to the GXL, the Cruiser adds even more luxury and style touches, with some added comfort.

The interior

The RAV4 interior is generally designed for utility, practicality and comfort, although the 2017 model added some plusher touches compared to earlier models and includes a redesigned centre console.

The following are three majorly unique interior features on offer:

  • The standard touchscreen. It is practical, responsive and well-designed.
  • The MID. This shows you the things you need at a glance and is just behind the steering wheel.
  • Cup holders that accommodate mugs with handles. It’s a mystery why more SUVs don’t have this.

The interior surfaces also get considerably slicker as you climb the price range up from the GX to the Cruiser.

You have enough space in the front and back to get comfortable, but the seats might also be slightly firmer than other SUVs, so consider how well that suits you on a long trip. The rear air vents are also a bit lacking in functionality since they are missing directional controls and dual zone air conditioning only comes with the GXL and above.

The storage space is ample. It’s not a range-topper but it gets pretty close. You can put the rear seats down and take out the spare tyre to get even more space.

With all the seats up, you get a very reasonable boot capacity of 577L, or 506L with a full size spare tyre. Put the seats down and this expands to 1,666L.

Price and value for money

When new, the RAV4 spanned a particularly broad price range, almost doubling in price from the most basic GX to the top-of-the-line Cruiser. It probably started out slightly cheaper than most, but topped out at a pretty pricey level.

It might be quite hard to justify the price tag of the 2017 Cruiser since most of the features it added were luxuries and cosmetic touches. With a price tag that high, the Cruiser might have been designed for the Toyota loyalists who are happy to pay premium price for top-of-the-line everything.

On the other end of the scale, it’s very hard to argue with the value for money you can get with the GX. The interior features and driving experience won’t bring any revelations, but it boasted great safety characteristics and a solid electronics suite, which would probably cost you much more with other brands.

There’s also something to be said for the efficiency, reliability and solid manufacturer’s warranty that comes with your car.

If there’s one thing all RAV4 reviewers agree on, it’s that you buy this car with your head and not your heart.

2L Petrol 2WD 6-speed manual2L Petrol 2WD CVT2.5L Petrol AWD 6-speed automatic2.2L Diesel AWD 6-speed manual2.2L Diesel AWD 6-speed automatic
RAV4 GX$28,550 - $29,450$30,590 - $31,490$33,650 - $34,490$36,710 - $39,060$38,750 - $41,100
RAV4 GXL$35,390 - $38,490$38,450 - $38,490$43,550 - $45,125
Cruiser$44,490 - $45,400$50,500

RAV4 fourth generation reliability

Generally, the fourth-gen RAV4 appears to be a solid and reliable car. The only major comments online from owners were the shock absorbers failing or creating a rough feeling ride. You also need to check whether a RAV4 from this generation is included in the Takata airbag recall and if the issue has been rectified.

Compare some options to finance a Toyota RAV4

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From 4.67% (fixed)
3 to 5 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
NRMA New Car Loan
From 4.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p. a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
IMB New Car Loan
4.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
$275.12 ($250 Application fee + $25.12 PPS registration fee)
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
Latitude Personal Loan (Secured)
From 5.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
Loans under $5000 - $140
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.99% p.a. and 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Lock in a competitive fixed rate when you offer security. Loan can be used for any purpose and repayments are flexible. You can check your interest rate before applying with no impact to your credit score.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From 6.49% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.49% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Wisr Secured Car Loan
From 5.19% (fixed)
3 to 7 years
$195 (Includes PPSR registration and private sale fee, if applicable)
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.19% p.a. to 17.69% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $50,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

Plenti Car Loan
From 4.89% (fixed)
3 to 7 years
from $249 to $799
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From 3.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.99% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5.08% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 4.05% (fixed)
3 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.05% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From 9.99% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
SocietyOne Car Loan
From 6.99% (fixed)
2 to 5 years
from 0% to 5% of the total loan amount
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
Driva Car Loan
From 3.95% (fixed)
1 to 7 years
$295 (Varies by lender, starting from $295)
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.95% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
Symple Loans Personal Loan
From 5.75% (variable)
1 to 7 years
from 0% to 5% of the loan amount
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.

Compare up to 4 providers

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