Jim P.

Go with the V-6 for something fun to drive or if you need more towing/hauling capacity. The 3.5-liter V-6 with 263 horsepower makes the compact Toyota RAV4 a surprisingly quick SUV. Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds with available tow package, which is 2,000 pounds more than the 2.5-liter four-cylinder (179 hp).

Gas mileage, cost and reliability aren’t significantly different between the two engines, so it’s not a huge compromise going with the larger engine. If fun-to-drive and towing capacity aren’t important to you then the four-cylinder should get you around just fine and save you a little dough.  


The V-6 adds around $2,000 to the RAV4’s MSRP. It’s an available option on all trim levels — Base, Sport and Limited — in front- or all-wheel drive. The V-6 gets 2 mpg lower in EPA-estimated combined gas mileage ratings for front-wheel-drive models and 3 mpg lower for all-wheel drive. Most of the gas mileage sacrificed by going to the V-6 is in city gas mileage ratings; highway ratings are only 1 mpg lower than the four-cylinder.

2009 Toyota RAV4 gas mileage

Engine drivetrain city/highway/combined mpg

Consumer Reports predicts above average reliability for both engines, citing the four-cylinder’s reliability as “Much Better than Average” and the six-cylinder as “Better than Average.”

As for Bluetooth, information on the 2010 RAV4 isn’t available yet. For the 2009 RAV4, Bluetooth comes on the higher-end Limited trim ($24,490) as part of a $1,559 package. Toyota also offers “Blu Logic” hands-free phone connectivity as a $299 stand-alone accessory.  

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on July 24, 2009 in Toyota , Toyota RAV4 , What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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