2014 Toyota RAV4 Expert Review

3.4 Overall Score
Performance 3.5 Comfort 3.3 Styling 3.3 Value 3.7

Editor's Overview

The 2014 Toyota RAV4 remains true to the size and spirit of the last two generations, but makes improvements over older RAV4s, specifically in design, fuel economy and order simplification. The 2014 RAV4 offers an upscale interior, cutting-edge audio and infotainment options and an efficient use of space. It also provides a reasonable sticker price and good resale numbers.

You'll Like The 2014 Toyota RAV4 If...

If you’re shopping for a compact SUV with good cargo space, a car-like ride and a low sticker price, the 2014 Toyota RAV4 is worth a look. Audio buffs will love the straightforward Entune audio system that includes apps and Bluetooth audio streaming. Those seeking an all-electric SUV will only find it in the 2014 RAV4 EV.

You May Not Like The 2014 Toyota RAV4 If...

If you’re looking for power, handling or off-road ability, the 2014 RAV4 won’t impress you. The AWD Subaru Forester offers a powerful turbocharged engine and is more capable when the road turns from asphalt to dirt. The Ford Escape and VW Tiguan also offer turbocharged engines and better handling.

What's New

The 2014 Toyota RAV4 gains four new Entune audio choices, including Entune Apps Suite on up-level trims. The Limited gets a new Technology Package option that includes Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Alert and Auto High Beam. The battery-powered model carries over unchanged and is based on the prior-generation RAV4.

Interior Features

The RAV4 for 2014 uses high-quality plastics and soft-touch surfaces to create a comfortable and inviting interior. Even base LE trims have contrasting colors, always a good antidote for blandness. The only piece out of step is faux carbon-fiber cladding around the doorsills and gearshift lever. Leather is no longer an option in top models, which now receive a leather-like material called Softex that's also in the RAV4 EV. We found the driver’s seat comfortable even in base models with cloth, and especially so in the Limited trim with Softex and added lumbar support. Rear legroom is good and the one-pull folding rear seats are easy to operate.

Exterior Features

One of the biggest aspects of the RAV4’s 2014 design is something that’s missing: the spare tire that has resided on the rear of these SUVs ever since they were tiny 2-door runabouts in the mid-1990s. That isn’t the only relevant change at the RAV4’s posterior. The compact SUV has a rear door that swings up instead of out as on previous-generation RAV4s, making it easier to access and helping shield you from rain as you load groceries. Top-line Limited models feature a power liftgate that can be adjusted to raise to a customized height. The limited-production Toyota RAV4 electric vehicle retains a modified body from the last-generation RAV4.

Driving Impressions

A short time behind the wheel of the Toyota’s RAV4 for 2014 reveals a vehicle that is well-balanced, quiet at highway speeds and smooth riding over most surfaces. Acceleration is tepid but acceptable, with the RAV4 making the 0-60-mph run in under 10 seconds. To help when passing or merging, Toyota equips the RAV4 with a Sport mode that quickens throttle response and holds shift points longer; the Sport setting also firms up the steering feel. The system includes an Eco mode aimed at maximizing fuel economy at the expense of acceleration. Eco mode is fine if you’re not in a hurry, but we found the lazy throttle response annoying, leaving the system in the Normal mode for most of drive. The RAV4 EV, meanwhile, is surprisingly quick thanks to the peak torque of 273 lb-ft from its electric motor. In sport mode it can zip to 60 mph in seven seconds. In ordinary driving the RAV4 EV feels comfortable and composed. Its EPA-rated range is 103 miles.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the 2014 Toyota RAV4 starts just under $25,000. A top-of-the-line Limited edition with AWD and options can reach around $30,000. The RAV4 EV, available to California buyers, has a higher price of $50,660. At its starting price, the new RAV4 is in line with the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, two of its strongest competitors. Other compact SUVs, such as the Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Santa Fe, start at lower prices. But, because of the RAV4’s simpler trim level and minimum of extra add-ons, you don’t have to worry about reaching the mid- to high-$30,000 prices that can come with other loaded vehicles in this segment. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the new Toyota RAV4. In resale price, we predict that the RAV4 will retain its value well in the years to come, on par with the Honda CR-V, better than Ford’s Escape but below the Subaru Forester.

Notable Equipment

The 2014 RAV4 is available in three trims: LE, XLE and Limited. Base LE models come nicely equipped with 6-speed automatic transmission, Entune 6.1-inch touch screen, rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM/CD system with six speakers and auxiliary/USB inputs. XLE trims add a power moonroof, Entune with HD Radio and iTunes tagging, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, and front seats with extra bolstering and French stitching. Limited models get a power liftgate, Softex leather-like seating (heated in front), 18-inch wheels, leather-trimmed steering wheel, Entune Premium audio with navigation and apps and push-button starting. All 2014 RAV4s have eight airbags (six for EV models), stability/traction control, and two years/25,000 miles complimentary maintenance. RAV4 EVs are loaded with dual-zone climate control, navigation and Toyota's Entune smartphone-enabled system.

Notable Options

All RAV4 trims except the EV can be equipped with all-wheel drive, which enhances traction in wet weather and on dirt roads. Other options vary by trim level and include a navigation system with Toyota’s Entune telematics system that includes voice recognition and various apps for everything from making reservations to finding sports scores, JBL premium audio system with 11 speakers, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. For the RAV4 EV, a Level 2, Leviton 240-volt home charging system is available.

Favorite Features

BLIND-SPOT MONITORING

Once a safety feature reserved for luxury vehicles, this option is now available in the RAV4 to warn you when drivers enter the side area of your vehicle that you can’t see. Additionally, the system has Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn you when other vehicles are approaching as you back up.

CAVERNOUS CARGO CAPACITY

Toyota’s team has worked their interior design magic to create a roomy RAV4. Cargo volume behind the front seats is a class-leading 73.4 cubic feet, and with rear seats that fold flat, all that real estate is easy to fill and use.

Under the Hood

The 2014 RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 176 horsepower, enough to get the SUV up to speed in a decent – but not the quickest – manner. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard and all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional. The RAV4 will eagerly tow up to 1,500 pounds. The limited-production RAV4 EV has an AC induction motor, lithium-ion battery, and single-speed automatic transmission. All RAV4 EV models are front-wheel drive and not rated for towing. Charging can take over 40 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet, but decreases to as low as five hours on a 40-amp, 240-volt outlet.

2.5-liter inline-4

176 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 mpg (FWD), 22/29 mpg (AWD)

AC induction motor

154 horsepower

273 lb-ft torque

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 78/74 mpg equivalent

Range on a full charge: 103 miles

Editors' Notes

While it’s true the RAV4 started the whole compact-crossover SUV genre, lately it has taken a backseat to competitors offering more features, better fuel economy and better styling. Some buyers may not like the deletion of the V6 engine option, but we think most will appreciate Toyota’s newfound commitment to better ergonomics and interior materials. Features such as a standard rearview camera show Toyota’s push toward customer safety. Another area important to consumers is fuel economy, and while not bad, the RAV4’s EPA numbers are bested by competitors such as the Mazda CX-5 and all-wheel-drive Subaru Forester. Likewise, the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape offer a more dynamic driving experience, while the Subaru Forester and VW Tiguan offer more powerful turbocharged engines. An all-electric version remains for sale in California.

Road Test Video Reviews

2014 Toyota RAV4 Owner Reviews

4.48
374 Reviews
59% 32% 7% 1% 1 star 0%
Leave your review Would you recommend this vehicle?
(Select your rating)

Great sport utility vehicle!

2014 Toyota RAV4

I bought my Toyota rav4 because of reliability and the style. It's a sport utility vehicle. The color is what I like the most. When i first bought it and drove it around my city, people were pulling me over or rolling down their windows to ask me what color is my car. I was amazed and thought I had the only color in my city until I saw one just like mine. The performance is great and runs like a sport vehicle. It has power for a 4 cylinder. The interior is cloth which is very is easy clean. Gas mileage is 29 miles per gallon but feels more than 32 miles per gallon. The only thing that happened to me was that the wheel bearing went out and the shift gear compartment gets stuck once in a awhile. This happened back in 2017 three years after I bought it and right after when the warranty expired. I had to pay the repairs out of pocket which was something I never expected to do for a car less than 5 years old. I would advise to purchase extended warranty if its offered. Other than that my car drives great. It climbs hills like I said has a lot of power. I used this car to move twice and it went thru a lot of loading and unloading. I bought home materials and gardening materials which fit when folding the back row. This sits 5 people total. It has a single CD player and Bluetooth capabilities with FM/am radio. It has plenty of compartment space. It has two cup holders in the front and two in the back row when you fold down the middle arm rest. It turns it into a two seater for back row with cup holder. It also has extra cup holders on each door. It has three charging capabilities for cell phones and comes with USB as well. My car is very reliable and like I said runs like a dream. I have never had any major problems other than the wheel bearings issue. It's a great car to buy.

- Elsie H

Toyota RAV4 is a great purchase, highly recommend

2014 Toyota RAV4 XLE

Overall I love my RAV4 and honestly have few bad things to say about it. It's not so big that I feel like I am driving a large vehicle but still has a lot space. The trunk is great and can fit more than I could ever need for 1 person, especially when the back row folds down. I've been able to use it to carry furniture and even enough luggage from 5 people during a trip. It's incredibly comfortable and has held up really well for a lot of those long trips too. Although while it seats 5 people, that can become uncomfortable and 4 is probably the max amount passengers would prefer. Performance wise I have never had any issues with my vehicle other than the standard maintenance. It drives great in snow, which I see a lot of in the Midwest, the 4 wheel drive is a must for me. A couple things I don't love about it that I think Toyota could improve on are: 1. The air circulation. Sitting in the back of the vehicle the air conditioning does not flow well as there are few vents for the air to circulate. Driving passengers on a hot day can be uncomfortable those in the car. 2. Miles per gallon/size of gas tank. The tank is pretty small in my opinion for a car of this size, filling up to only 12 gallons max when I am on empty. Additionally, I do find that I am filling up my tank quite frequently due to how small it is. When it is full I usually get around 300-350 or so miles until it's empty again.

- Kate D

Good value for a small family

2014 Toyota RAV4 LE

The Toyota Rav4 is a reliable vehicle. Our vehicle currently has 70,000 miles and other than regular maintenance we have not had to make any repairs to it. We have had to replace the battery four times, but we leave in a very, hot dry climate and that is not that unusual. We also needed new brakes at approximately 30,000 which I felt was slightly premature. It comfortably seats four, five is very crowded unless they are children. I don't feel like the inside of the vehicle was built very well and am a little disappointed in Toyota.The seating itself I do not find to be very comfortable. I feel that it was made cheaply. Also, we have cloth seats and they are wearing away. There is a plastic piece on the side of both the driver and passenger sides that is coming loose and will not seem to snap back into place. The center console latch also broke within the first few months of owning the vehicle. The trunk does have plenty of room and the seats fold down quickly and easily. We are frequent surprised with what we are able to fit. We recently put a small couch in there. Overall for the money if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive reliable SUV I think the Toyota Rav4 is a good option for a small family. I would not recommend it for anyone that would be transporting more than four people on a regular basis.

- Lynn R

Leave your review