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An important step in choosing a new vehicle is to research total cost of ownership information. This includes the vehicle’s repair and scheduled maintenance costs, fuel expenses, and of course, car insurance rates. If you go with the Toyota RAV4, Edmunds reports expected annual car insurance premiums of around $7,260 for five years, or $1,452 per year. This translates into a monthly payment of $121.
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By way of comparison, Edmunds estimates that Honda CR-V drivers will pay around $105 per month for car insurance, and Hyundai Tucson owners will owe around $117 monthly. Chevrolet Equinox drivers can expect average payments of around $113 per month. Although these estimates indicate that the Toyota RAV4 is on the expensive side to insure compared to other compact SUVs, your car insurance rates could be much lower or higher than these estimates. For individualized rates, get started by entering your zip code in the box.
Ownership Costs for the Toyota RAV4
Car insurance rates for the Toyota RAV4 may be on the expensive side, but the vehicle’s overall sticker price is mid-range. Starting at $22,475, the base model Toyota RAV4 is more affordable than the GMC Terrain, with an entry-level MSRP of $24,500. However, it can’t compete with the Jeep Patriot’s starting MSRP of $15,995.
Edmunds estimates that repair costs for the Toyota RAV4 will be zero for the first two years the car is on the road, but will total $732 over five years. These expected repair costs are very much in line with those anticipated for other compact SUVs like the Hyundai Tucson and the Honda CR-V, but they are a bit less than Edmunds’ repair cost estimates for Chevy’s Equinox.
Drivers can expect to pay about $3,434 in scheduled maintenance costs for the Toyota RAV4 over the first five years they own it. This estimate compares favorably with the $4,000 expected maintenance costs for the Equinox, but it is several hundred dollars higher than Edmunds’ estimates for the Tucson and the CR-V.
Those who do lots of city driving can expect to save a few dollars on fuel costs if they choose the Toyota RAV4 over the Honda CR-V. The CR-V gets just 21 city mpg, while the RAV4 gets 22 mpg. Both deliver 28 mpg in highway driving. For drivers who spend most of their time on the highway, though, the Chevrolet Equinox or the Hyundai Tucson would be more economical choices. The Tucson gets 30 highway mpg, and the Equinox gets 32 highway mpg. These differences may seem small, but they can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fuel costs over time.
Toyota RAV4 Safety Ratings and Features
The 2011 Toyota RAV4 has not been safety-tested by the federal government yet, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it solid reviews. In frontal-offset, side-impact, and rear crash protection tests, the RAV4 earned the best available rating, and it earned the second-best rating of “Average” in roof strength tests.
The federal government’s rating agency did test the similar 2010 RAV4, and gave it top scores for safety in side-impact crash tests. In front-end collisions, it received five stars for driver protection and four stars for passenger protection. The RAV4 also received a 4-star rollover rating, which is impressive for a compact SUV. However, if you’re looking for the safest compact SUV on the road, consider the Hyundai Tucson or the Volkswagen Tiguan. The IIHS designated both of these vehicles “Top Safety Picks” for 2011.
The 2011 Toyota RAV4 comes with a full suite of safety features, including brake assist, traction control, and anti-lock brakes. The RAV4 also features electronic stability control, which helps drivers regain control by applying brakes to individual wheels as necessary in the event of a skid. This technology will be legally required on all passenger vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds as of 2012, but the RAV4 is ahead of the curve. Other standard safety features on the Toyota RAV4 include the following:
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Electronic brake force distribution
- Active head restraints for the driver and front passenger
2011 Toyota RAV4 Reviews
Toyota’s RAV4 is ranked 1st on U.S. News and World Report’s list of compact SUVs. The Chevrolet Equinox comes in 2nd on the list, and the Honda CR-V takes 3rd place. Reviewers like the RAV4’s versatility and spaciousness, especially the optional V6 engine and the third-row seat. Both of these features are rare in the compact SUV class.
In terms of performance, the RAV4’s 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder engine is slightly more powerful than the CR-V’s, and it is available with 2-wheel drive and all-wheel drive powertrains. Consumer Guide approved of the 4-cylinder engine’s passing and merging capabilities, but said it was a bit hesitant when it came to downshifting. Edmunds called the optional 3.5 liter V6 “superb,” and although it will decrease the vehicle’s fuel economy slightly, U.S. News recommends the $2,000 upgrade if you plan to do any towing with the RAV4.
Motor Week and Edmunds both noted some road and wind noise, and several reviewers mentioned that the RAV4 has a noticeably stiff suspension. According to Edmunds, the Kia Sorento and the CR-V are both superior when it comes to handling, but Consumer Guide’s reviewer approved of the RAV4’s precise steering and confidence-inspiring brakes.
When it comes to the RAV4’s interior, reviewers are not overly enthusiastic. Edmunds describes it as “acceptable,” but notes that it looks “budget-oriented” compared to the more luxurious interiors of the Equinox and the CR-V. Available features include a navigation system, cruise control, a CD player, and MP3 connectivity. A telescopic steering wheel is standard as well.
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