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2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport Utility Crossover

4WD 4dr 4-cyl 4-Spd AT Ltd (Natl)

Starting at | Starting at 21 MPG City - 27 MPG Highway

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  • $25,880 original MSRP
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2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport Utility Crossover

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport Utility Crossover

The RAV4 straddles the line between compact and mid-size SUVs, but its price is more in sync with compact competitors, making it a good deal for those who want space for the family. Its fuel economy is also enviable, especially with the 4-cylinder engine. Yet with the optional V6 it's very quick--faster than some sport sedans. And with the new Sport Appearance Package, shoppers who don't like the style set by the external spare tire finally have an option.

What's new for 2009?

The RAV4 gets a mild restyling, an upgraded interior, and a number of other changes for 2009. Most notably, the base 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine has been replaced by a new 2.5-liter one that's not only more powerful but also more fuel-efficient.

Model Strengths

  • Freshened styling
  • roomy interior
  • fuel economy
  • safety features
  • 3-row seating available

Model Review

A 179-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is now standard on the RAV4, with a 269-hp, 3.5-liter V6 available. The new 4-cylinder engine utilizes variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust valves, along with a variable induction system to assure good low-RPM torque. The 4-cylinder includes a 4-speed automatic transmission, while the V6 is matched to a 5-speed automatic; both transmissions have a revised grade logic that reduces the frequency of shifting on steep, curvy roads.

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2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport Utility Crossover

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2009 Toyota RAV4

Source: The Car Connection

Experts at TheCarConection.com understand that you want to be armed with plenty of information when you make your next car-buying decision. Researchers have scoured the Web for useful observations regarding the 2009 Toyota RAV4. TheCarConnection.com's editors combined this input with their own driving impressions to bring you a smart, inclusive review of the RAV4.

Looks are a little deceiving for the 2009 Toyota RAV4, which rides and drives more like a car but has a taller, more trucklike stance--along with a spare tire that hangs off the back as in some of the most rugged truck-based SUVs. Unlike many other compact crossover vehicles, it wedges a third-row seat in back. The biggish compact slots into the Toyota lineup between the Matrix hatchback and the now large-midsize Highlander.

The Toyota RAV4 gets a modest styling update for 2009, with a restyled grille and front bumper, improved fog light trims, and redesigned tail lights. A snappy Sport Appearance Package adds a clear bumper protector and takes away the exterior spare tire.

The 3.5-liter V-6 engine available in the 2009 Toyota RAV4 offers an impressive 269 horsepower, making it the most powerful vehicle in its class. The standard engine is a more fuel-conscious, 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 179 hp. This is a boost in performance over the 2008 model, and Toyota says the new engine has been "optimized for performance and fuel efficiency." All RAV4s are automatic-only, with V-6 models getting a five-speed automatic, while four-cylinder versions use a four-speed automatic. Each engine in the 2009 Toyota RAV4 can be combined with either front- or four-wheel drive in a system that sends all torque to the front wheels in normal driving for efficiency, or up to 45 percent of torque to the back at up to 25 mph.

With either engine, the 2009 Toyota RAV4 is very smooth and refined. The larger engine gives the RAV4 the ability to sprint with hot-rod-like authority or pull off astonishingly quick passes. The V-6 is good for hilly terrain or heavy loads, but otherwise, the four is just fine--and more fuel-efficient. The standard four-cylinder is economical and surprisingly peppy throughout the rev range, with enough torque to move you briskly from a standstill, provided you're not carrying a heavy load, but passing power is just adequate.

The 2009 Toyota RAV4 rides on a wheelbase that was lengthened several inches as part of a redesign for 2008, and it results in a more settled ride. It's smooth and well damped, and though the steering doesn't provide much feedback, the RAV4 corners confidently.

The longer wheelbase provides substantially more interior/cargo space, including an available third-row seat and seven-passenger seating capability. The available third-row seats in the 2009 Toyota RAV4 are too small for any adult to use. But when they're not occupied by children, they stow nicely in a recessed area of the cargo floor. The RAV4's interior feels spacious and well designed, with an attractive two-tier instrument panel design, good seats, a nice upright driving position, and plenty of storage spaces.

The RAV4 has done quite well in crash tests, with four- and five-star results for frontal impact and five stars for side impact in the federal tests, plus top "good" ratings for frontal and side impact from the IIHS but a "marginal" rating for rear impact. Driver and front passenger front-seat-mounted side airbags, along with first- and second-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags, are standard on all versions of the 2009 Toyota RAV4, along with electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes. All-wheel drive, stability and traction control, and electric power steering come together in a single system with Toyota's VSC stability control. All 2009 Toyota RAV4 V-6 models and all four-cylinder models equipped with a third-row seat come standard with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC).

There are three 2009 Toyota RAV4 models: base, Sport, and Limited. Base models even come well loaded, with air conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, and a six-speaker sound system. The options list includes an upgraded JBL sound system with Bluetooth interface, heated seats, and a power moonroof. The Sport brings a sport-tuned suspension, heated mirrors, and appearance extras; the top Limited model adds bigger wheels, fog lamps, a different grille, upgraded seats, dual-zone climate control, and a tonneau cover, among other items.


The Bottom Line:

The 2009 Toyota RAV4 is a thoughtful choice for families looking for space that doesn't come at the expense of fuel economy.

Printable Version

2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Opt
Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Back-Up Camera Opt
Handsfree Wireless Opt

Security

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport Utility Crossover

Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Warranty*
7-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty**
1-year of Roadside Assistance***
160-Point Quality Assurance Inspection
CARFAX® Vehicle History Report"****

Certified customers are eligible for standard new car financing rates*****

*Whichever comes first from date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. The Comprehensive Warranty covers any repair or replacement of components which fail under normal use due to defect in materials or workmanship. (Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.)

**Whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. See your Toyota Certified Used Vehicles dealer for warranty details. Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. For AL, FL, GA, NC & SC, warranty coverage differs in the following ways: 7-year or 100,000-mile Toyota Certified Limited Powertrain Warranty coverage begins on January 1st of the vehicle's model year and zero (0) odometer miles and expires at the earlier of seven years or 100,000 odometer miles.

***From date of Toyota Certified Used Vehicle purchase. Covers most services, including flat tires, lockout service, jump starts, fuel delivery up to 3 gallons and towing for mechanical breakdown or collision recovery to the nearest Toyota dealership. Services provided exclude any parts required. Coverage not available in Mexico. See Certified Warranty Supplement for warranty details.

****Beginning December 1, 2005 CARFAX® Vehicle History Reports" are a required part of every Toyota Certified Used Vehicle. See your local dealer for details.

*****Rates mentioned are for standard new car rates, and do not include new car specials or subvented rates. Not all buyers will qualify. Financing available through Toyota Financial Services for qualified buyers only.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 7 years / 85,000
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection All TCUV vehicles must pass a comprehensive checklist that includes a 160-point inspection. This way you can rest assured that your pre-owned Toyota is in perfect condition. To see full inspection list visit http://www.toyotacertified.com/inspection.html
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 1-year of Roadside Assistance from date of TCUV purchase.
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

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2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport Utility Crossover

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