Home Model Specific Issues 2010 Toyota RAV4 Problems – Reliability, Value, Pros And Cons

2010 Toyota RAV4 Problems – Reliability, Value, Pros And Cons

by Kelvin Yates

Are you interested in buying the third generation RAV4 and you are interested in learning the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems? Well, if that is the case, then you are in the right place because, in this article, there will be a lot to cover on this topic.

Performing research before you jump out there on the market and decide to purchase a used vehicle (or, should I buy a new car, instead?) should be one of your top priorities. Why we are saying this? Well, we are not saying this for no particular reason.

Out there are hundreds of models that you can purchase and countless model years. And each of these model years has some issues. Usually, each of these generations carries certain problems. Then, when a new generation is introduced, you face other problems. That’s how cars go.

So, when purchasing a used car, you should try to learn some of the problems that the specific model year of the vehicle has and not do broad research because that way you will accomplish nothing. And since you are here, you are at the right place because we are going to cover only the 2010 model.

First, we are going to learn more about what is the RAV4, and what are its pros and cons. Then we will cover the specs of the model, the price, as well as the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems, and the reliability score. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

Toyota RAV4

Now before we dive into more complex topics like the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems, let’s first take a look at what is the RAV4 in general. There are a lot of people facing similar problems, confused, and want to learn more about this model and what exactly is this RAV4 all about.

So, let’s cover this really quickly before we cover the pros and cons of having a RAV4. So, what is the RAV4? Well, the RAV4 is a compact crossover that is built by Toyota since 1994. And as of today, there is a total of five generations introduced to the market, with the newest model being released in 2018.

This is a compact SUV, which means that it is really small when compared to other SUVs out there. This SUV basically has the size of a compact car but is jacked up with a bigger body as well bigger ground clearance.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Problems

And people like it, they like to have an increased ride height compared to your classic compact car like the Corolla which is built basically on the same platform as the RAV4. It is more expensive than a compact car. But we think it’s worth the money since it is an overall safer vehicle and it has a much softer suspension.

And not only that, but you also have the ability to enjoy a bit of off-roading with the RAV4, especially if you have the AWD model. It is not as good as a Toyota 4Runner. But for some mild off-roading, it will get the job done.

And here we come to the pros and cons. Which we are going to cover next before we discuss the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems.

Toyota RAV4 Pros And Cons

Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the Toyota RAV4 before we dive into the specs, as well as the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems.

Knowing the pros and cons is often useful because when you know these facts, you just know whether or not this model is the way to go as a future purchase. So, let’s cover them in the following chapters.

And while you’re considering a RAV4, it’s worth looking at other Toyota RAV4 competitor models on the market. For your consideration, do check out our guides on the Toyota RAV4 vs the Honda CRV (and the CRV Hybrid vs the RAV4 Hybrid), as well as the Toyota Venza vs the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.


Now let’s start with the pros of the Toyota RAV4 and learn more about the positives when it comes to purchasing one of these models.

The biggest pro of the RAV4 is probably the increased ride height that this model has and the overall improved safety compared to your standard compact car.

The RAV4 sits taller and basically protects the driver a little better compared to your regular sedan. And this model is the perfect way to enter the SUV game, nothing too gigantic like the 4Runner or the Highlander. But enough for most people’s needs.

This is why if you drove a sedan whole your life, adapting to the RAV4 would be a lot easier compared to a bigger SUV. And not to forget the practicality, the RAV4 is simply a very practical vehicle that you can use for loading stuff.

The next pro is the power that you get. The RAV4 2010 has decent engines including a 3.5L V6. So, with this engine, power is never lacking.

Also, the reliability of these engines is really good. More about that, we are going to discuss later on when we are going to dive into the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems. Now let’s cover the cons.


When it comes to the cons of the RAV4 it is worth noting that there are not many of them. There are hardly any deal breakers for most people. But we found a few that will share them with you.

The biggest con is probably the interior. These models are from 2010 and might feel outdated compared to modern contemporary designs. You will not have a lot of soft-touch materials inside and especially on the lower trim levels, your experience might be on the cheap side.

Usually, Toyota does not add the good stuff in the Toyota models but it adds them in its Lexus lineup (this is what makes Lexus a luxury car brand). So, if you want something more luxurious, the Lexus RX from this era would be the way to go. Just be mindful of the Lexus RX 350 model years to avoid.

The second con about this model is probably the spaciousness. Which can be a challenge for some people who are used to the comfort of a bigger size vehicle.

This is why you need to test drive the RAV4 first in order to see if it meets your needs in terms of size and overall practicality. But more on that, we are going to cover later, when we are going to discuss the specs of the RAV4 and the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems.

Toyota RAV4 Review

Now let’s take a look at a review of the 2010 RAV4 before we cover the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems. Watching a review of the model is always a good thing.

This is why we attached one of the reviews done by the Redline Reviews YouTube channel where they go through the specs of the V6 model of the 2010 RAV4 model. If you are more into reading, follow us while we cover some of the specs before we dive into the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Specs

Now let’s discuss the specs of the 2010 RAV4. In the following chapters, we are going to cover the most important specs of this model.

Namely, the dimensions, size, practicality, engines, fuel economy, safety, and also the price for which you can buy one of these models. Then we will move on to the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems.

Dimensions, Size & Practicality

As we noted previously, the 2010 model is a model from the third generation of the RAV4. Produced between 2006 and 2012.

The dimensions of this model vary because there is a short wheelbase and a long wheelbase. For the short wheelbase, the distance between the axles is 100.8 inches, while for the long wheelbase is about 104.7 inches.

The length also varies between 173 inches and 181.9 inches. The width varies between 71.5 inches and 73 inches and the height varies between 66.3 inches and 69.1 inches. The ground clearance of the model is about 8.7 inches.

Which makes it perfect for light-duty off-road use. Not really an SUV with the highest ground clearance, but still pretty good.

The curb weight of the 2010 model is about 3,360 lbs. The model has a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 lbs, a maximum payload of 1,070 lbs, and an overall gross vehicle weight rating of 4,430 lbs. But what about the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems? More on the problems, we will cover in a bit.

Engines & Transmissions

Now let’s discuss the engines before we cover the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems. First, we will start with the engines and then we will cover the transmissions used.

The base engine in this model is the 2.5L inline-4 engine that produces about 179hp and 172lb-ft of torque. The second, more preferable engine is the 3.5L V6. This engine makes about 269hp and 246lb-ft of torque.

In terms of transmissions, you get two options, a 4-speed automatic transmission and a 5-speed automatic. The 5-speed automatic is the more fuel-efficient of the two. The RAV4 hybrid version has a different transmission known as the eCVT. But what about the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems? More on the problems we will cover in a moment.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy of the 2010 RAV4 is really decent for current times. The 2.5L engine gets about 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined.

The 3.5L engine is thirstier but it also comes with a better 5-speed transmission and this compensates a little bit. This 3.5L engine gets about 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. But what about the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems? More on the problems, we are going to cover in a moment.


Now let’s discuss a little bit about the safety of the 2010 RAV4 before we dive into the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems. Is this model considered to be safe? Could it prove that SUVs are safer than most sedans?

Well, the model was tested by the IIHS, which is one of the two main governing bodies here in the US in terms of car safety testing.

And the model on their tests performed really favorably. It got “Good” scores on almost all the tests and the model’s safety was deemed good. Still, remember that this is a 2008 model. And since then a lot of things have changed. And you cannot expect this vehicle to perform in a similar fashion today, as it did in the past.

That’s why if you are into safety, it is always a smart idea to purchase something newer with a lot of safety features. But what about the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems? More on the problems, we are going to cover in a bit.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Value

Another thing that we would like to discuss before we dive into the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems is the value of the RAV4. For how much money this vehicle is sold on the used market?

In terms of price, this model holds its value really well. And even the cheapest 2010 models on Autotrader start at $6,500. And for a decent spec model with relatively low miles, you can expect to pay even up to $12,000. Which is a crazy amount of money, to be honest.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Problems

But that’s one of the perks of owning a Toyota. Toyota’s are always worth more on the used markets compared to a Ford or a Chevy. Mainly because they are highly regarded as reliable vehicles that can endure everything you throw at them.

So, this is why we encourage you to buy one. But not before you learn about the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems. And more on the problems, we are going to elaborate on next.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Problems

Now let’s dive into the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems. We will separate the problems into three categories. The first chapter will be about engine problems, the second about transmission problems and the last would be about other miscellaneous problems. Once we cover the problems, we will discuss the recalls and reliability. So, let’s dive in.

For more insight, we’ve covered the RAV4’s reliability before. That includes looking at the 2016 Toyota RAV4 problems, as well as the Toyota RAV4 model years to avoid, and the best model year for the Toyota RAV4.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Engine Problems

Now let’s discuss the Toyota RAV4 engine problems. What are the prime issues that these engines have? Are they a deal breaker? Well, let’s find out.

The biggest problem which is probably one of the common Toyota issues is the problem with oil consumption. These Toyota engines suffer from what we call your car burning oil, leading to high motor oil usage.

But it is concerning when this oil is not at the factory specifications. If the engine is burning more than a quart per 1,000 to 3,000 miles, then you should be worried. This is why it is advisable that you check if the car has a serious oil-drinking issue.

Check the tailpipe and see if there is black smoke coming from the exhaust. Check for the oil level (remember to learn where the oil should be on the dipstick, and whether to check the oil when the engine is hot or cold) and see if there is a big jug of oil in the trunk.

Usually, these are the dead giveaways when it comes to this specific problem. Another problem with the 2.5L engine is the water pump failure. Thus, you should act fast whenever you notice the symptoms of a bad water pump and consider the water pump replacement cost. This issue can happen and can cause the engine to overheat.

So, it is important to service the pump whenever you replace the timing chain. The 3.5L engine on the other hand has problems with the VVT oil hose that can fail. Also, the idler pulleys can start developing squeaking noises, as well as the water pump can fail on this engine as well.

So, whenever you want to buy one of these engines, first look for the water pump and if the engine has overheated once. You can check this if you get the service history since the gasket has to be replaced. Next, check for squeaks and other noises, as well as for blue smoke.

Overall, that’s all when it comes to the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems concerning the engine.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Transmission Problems

Now let’s discuss the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems concerning the transmission. Is the transmission in this model reliable? Let’s find out.

The standard automatic transmissions on this model, namely, the 4-speed and 5-speed are pretty much bulletproof.

But if you go for the hybrid model, you might have some problems. More specifically, the eCVT transmission used in the hybrid model can fail. What fails in this transmission is the planetary gear set inside and you basically have to rebuild or replace the transmission.

So, this can be an expensive problem. Our write-up on how much does it cost to rebuild a transmission and how long does it take to replace a transmission sheds more light on this. That’s why before buying, make sure that the CVT is in proper working order. Now let’s move on to the other 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems.

Other Miscellaneous 2010 Toyota RAV4 Problems

Now let’s discuss the other miscellaneous 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems. There are still some issues that are present in this generation as well. So, let’s cover them briefly before we dive into the recalls for this model.

The biggest issue for this model except for the engine and transmission problems is paint bubbling and rust development.

This problem with the paint is very often reported on carcomplaints.com, with a total of 28 reports only on this issue. As people noted, there was paint bubbling and peeling, paint chipping (necessitating that you learn how to fix paint chips on car), and holes in the wheel well liner.

If you want to learn more, do refer to our extensive discussions on how to fix peeling paint on a car, and the cost to repair a paint chip on a car, as well as how to fix chipped paint on a car.

This is why we recommend a thorough inspection for rust both on the paint, as well under the car. Make sure that the model that you intend to buy does not have a lot of serious rust on the undercarriage.

Also, there were reports about the 4×4 system reported by a few owners. This is probably a sensor-related issue or software-related problem. A simple trip to the dealership would sort things out.

And the last serious problem reported was the unintended acceleration from the car when applying the brakes. This problem was reportedly caused by the VSC light, similar to the previous problem that we covered. So, we covered the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems, now let’s cover the recalls.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Recalls

When it comes to the recalls, it is worth noting that there were a total of 13 recalls on this model we could find. More about the recalls you can read in the following link.

The most important recall because a lot of drivers crashed their cars was the problem with the accelerator pedal, issued in 2011. The floor mats got the gas pedal trapped and the accelerator went full throttle. So, be aware of this.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Problems

A Toyota RAV4 charcoal canister recall for this model was not reported. So, we couldn’t find any data on this subject for the 2010 model year.

Toyota RAV4 Reliability

We covered the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems, now let’s take a look at the reliability of this model, is this model reliable?

Well, absolutely, yes. This model is highly regarded by everyone for its longevity. The main problem is the eCVT transmission which can often break down and cause expensive repairs.

Besides that, the model is practically bulletproof. And another thing to note is the rust development. Especially if you live North or on the East Coast. Make sure that you inspect the car for rust thoroughly.

There is usually a lot of rust development in areas where there is a lot of salt thrown on the streets. To find out just how serious this can be, head over to our comparison between surface rust vs deep rust for more context. Now let’s conclude this article on the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems.

2010 Toyota RAV4 Problems: In Conclusion…

In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to the 2010 Toyota RAV4. We learned about the basic concepts of the RAV4, and the pros and cons. As well as the specs and price of the RAV4.

In the second part of this article, we covered the 2010 Toyota RAV4 problems. Namely, engine problems, transmission problems, recalls, and reliability. Overall, the RAV4 is a pretty good buy and you should definitely check it out.

Engine reliability

FAQs On The 2010 Toyota RAV4 Problems

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.


Back in the day in older generations, there were 4WD models. But the newest RAV4 models only have AWD. AWD as you know is always operating and does not require any driver engagement as 4WD. But it is also a bit less capable than 4WD for off-road. If you want a proper 4WD, you should go for the 4Runner.

Is RAV4 A Good Car

Definitely, yes. RAV4 is a really good and reliable SUV. There are issues here and there but nothing very significant that will put in jeopardy the reliability of the model. That’s why a lot of people are still buying it.

Are Toyota RAV4 Reliable

Yes, the RAV4 is a really reliable model. Nothing too different from the rest of the Toyota lineup. Toyota always makes sure that their quality is on par with the best if not the best in the car-making business.

Does RAV4 Come In V6

Only the 3rd generation built between 2005 and 2012 has a V6 engine. This is the 3.5L V6 engine. The rest of the models have either a 2.5L or a 2.0L engine.

Toyota RAV4 How Many Cylinders

RAV4 usually has four cylinders. If you have an engine that is 2.5L or below, it has 4-cylinders. If the engine is a 3.5L V6, it has 6 cylinders. Only the third generation of the RAV4 has a V6 engine available.

Does RAV4 Have CVT

Yes, the RAV4 has a CVT transmission. But only for the hybrid version. And this transmission is known as the eCVT. Other standard models are using regular automatic transmissions.

You may also like

Leave a Comment