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Common Problems With 2019-2024 Toyota RAV4

Despite a few shortcomings in earlier models, the fifth-generation RAV4 continues to be a shining example of Toyota's dependability.

In its fifth generation, the Toyota RAV4 continues to be a very safe pick. In typical Toyota fashion, it scores high, reliability-wise. With that said, the current iteration of Toyota's best-selling, compact SUV is old enough for it to be detailed information about the common issues.

The numbers from JATO suggest that in 2022, over 1.0 million units of the RAV4 were sold worldwide. The US and Canada account for 43 percent of those sales.  

With that said, I decided to scout a plethora of specialized websites and Toyota RAV4 forums, while also getting some feedback from owners, directly. It's safe to say, Toyota RAV4 is the most mass-produced, Japanese SUV, and there are plenty of people sharing their experience with it.

I am focusing on model years 2019 to 2022 since these are old enough to provide detailed information. With that said, here's what you need to look out for when on the market for a 2019-2024 Toyota RAV4. 

Although Toyota's RAV4 SUV is consistently among the most reliable models in its class, I think it's important to take a look at how the model's reliability has evolved over the different model years. 2019 was the first model year for the fifth-generation RAV4, which typically means these are the most problematic. The 2019 RAV4 is no exception It has the most service recalls of any model year – seven.   

2019 Toyota RAV4 service recalls for the following problems: 

1. Power-steering failure 

2. Fuel pump failure 

3. Suspension control arm failure 

4. Air Bag failure to (properly) deploy  

5. Engine and/or engine cooling problems 

6. Clogged drain plugs 

7. In-car electronics failure 

The most serious issues owners report on the 2019 Toyota RAV4 are engine issues, mostly related to oil leaks or loss of coolant, as well as transmission issues. Owners of the hybrid RAV4 report problems such as corroded high-voltage wire and depleted battery life after just 2.5 years.

According to the consumer reports, this has been a recurring theme throughout most model years. Other common issues owners have reported, throughout the different model years are water leaking from the roof racks and some customers complaining about water getting in from the hood gap due to missing or bad headlight seals (which cost $20). Some people also have complaints about the A/C not working adequately, and the GPS not responding in some early models. 

Overall reliability score for the 2019 Toyota RAV4: 4.6/ 5 (, 76/ 100 (J.D. Power), 8/ 10 (Vehicle History), 4.5/ 5 (RepairPal). 

For 2020, things are looking slightly better. The 2020 Toyota RAV4 issued six service recalls, most of which carry over from the 2019 model year. These concern the following: 

1. Air bag failure to deploy  

2. Driver airbag may not deploy properly 

3. Fuel pump failure  

4. Engine and/or engine cooling problems  

5. Suspension control arm failure 

6. Loss of power-steering 

2020 Toyota RAV4 reliability score: 4.7/ 5 (, 74/ 100 (J.D. Power), 4.5/ 5 (RepairPal), 9/ 10 (Vehicle History). 

For the 2021 model year, Toyota seems to have taken care of almost everything that was wrong with the earlier model years of the RAV4. The 2021 RAV4 has only one service recall and it concerns the air-bar failure to deploy. And yes, we are talking about the infamous case with Toyota's airbags, supplied by Takata. 

Consumers are a lot more satisfied with the 2021 Toyota RAV4, compared to previous model years.

This is also reflected by the 2021 RAV4's reliability score: 4.9/ 5 (, 1/ 100 (J.D. Power), 9/ 10 (Vehicle History), 4.5/ 5 (RepairPal). 

For 2022, things are not that different. Once again, the Airbag issue persists, and once again Toyota issued a recall for it. Aside from that, most customers report they are satisfied with their 2022 RAV4. 

For 2022, the Toyota RAV4, once again, scores high: 4.5/ 5 (, 81/ 100 (J.D. Power). 

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is still not old enough to give a clear picture of how the model is performing. Unlike the rugged and soon-to-be-replaced, Toyota 4Runner, the fifth-generation RAV4 is still young. With that said, J.D. Power has predicted a reliability score of 91/ 100, which is very good. Things stay the same with the 2024 model's predicted reliability rating, although it remains to be seen.  

Is Toyota RAV4 still a good pick in 2024?

2024 Toyota RAV4

Overall, the Toyota RAV4 has its shortcomings, but the vast majority of serious issues have been resolved over the first two model years. So far, the 2021 model year seems to be the least problematic and with the least amount of complaints from owners. The fifth-generation RAV4 continues to be a safe pick and great value for money.  

There is a good chance, the 2025 RAV4 refresh could feature more hybrid tech, similar to how the 2024 Land Cruiser became a hybrid-only model. How would this affect reliability, I wonder?


Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.