Toyota Rav4 XA30, the official “I want to speak to the manager” car. Before it was a popular phrase. Toyota Rav4 XA30, the OG middle-class soccer mom chariot.

Back in 2007 the crossover hysteria was kick started with the Nissan Qashqai, but the automotive genre that goes by the motto “in life it’s better to show that you can do off-road than to be able to do off-road” was made popular by the Toyota Rav4 XA20 . A compact SUV and a curiosity in its time, the Rav4 XA20 came with an interesting proposal: A car that looks like an SUV, has some off-road qualities and comes with small engines and relatively low maintenance costs.

Toyota immediately understood that the people who bought the Rav4 rarely went off-road. They immediately understood the fact that most of the buyers are women. So they listened to the statistics and came in 2005 with the Toyota Rav4 XA30, a replacement that was oriented even more towards tarmac than rough terrain.

Toyota Rav4 30 – The official car of “Could I speak to someone else?” A manager if possible? Please, thank you.”

You know her. You have already made the image in your mind. If you have worked in retail for at least 5 minutes, then you definitely recognize her. Wearing fur coat, sunglasses even if you are in a store in a mall, with a purse on her arm and an old touch-button phone in the other hand, this lady always has demands from you and from the store . Usually talks directly with the manager when she wants to buy something, because she has known him or her for some time and no longer has to say what she wants to buy. She is simply presented with the products.

Mind you, the Toyota Rav4 XA30 held a higher car status than a VW Tiguan and represented the peak of cross-over cars in the 2005-2010 period. The Toyota Rav4 XA30 is to women what the Audi A4 B8 is to men: A status car which proves to the world that you have sort of succeeded in life. Sure, these days all these middle-class soccer moms have flocked to the Audi Q5 and the Toyota Rav4 XA30 remains a rare sight on the streets, but now atleast it’s being driven by those owners who are very satisfied with the quality of the car.

Toyota Rav4 XA30 Engines


  • 2.0 1AZ-FE of 150 horsepower – Carried over from the old Rav4, the old 1AZ-FE honorably continues its duty on the Toyota Rav4 XA30 and is the main engine for Europe. With an engine block lifespan of approximately 300,000 kms / 180.000 miles, this engine will not cause you any other particular issues. Just the standard stuff that comes with age. Like arthritis. And writing birthday cards. And complaining about today’s youth. 
  • 2.0 Valvematic 3ZR-FE of 158 horsepower – Like the 1AZ-FE engine, it is designed to last about 300,000 km, as long as it gets quality oil changed at regular intervals. The issue however is that it received the Valvematic unit and it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” it will fail. And it will fail expensively.
  • 2.4 2AZ-FE of 170 horsepower – The middle child of the Rav 4 XA20 petrol engine family, with the same engine block that lasts only up to 300,000 – 400,000 km after which it must be replaced. Good thing that the engine was retired in 2008 and is a rarer presence on the streets than is food in a college student’s fridge.
  • 3.5 V6 2GR-FE of 272 horsepower – If the 2 litre diesel was the backbone of Europe and the 2 litre petrol was the backbone internationally, then the 3.5 V6 was the backbone of the USA Rav4. The tried and tested 3.5 V6 from Toyota, used heavily on the Camry and which needs no introduction. From a reliability standpoint it only suffers from a short-lived water pump that needs to be replaced every 50,000 kms, the throttle body that needs to be cleaned occasionally and the coilpacks that die prematurely. Man I wish they brought this engine over here…This is why we can’t have nice things.


  • 2.0 D-4D of 116 horsepower – Coming to returire the old 2.0 D-4D, the 2 litre diesel on the Toyota Rav4 XA30 comes with a timing chain to improve it’s reliability but loses on the headgasket reliability side. It’s not as serious as the 2.2 version, so the engine still remains a more stronger diesel than a farmer who chugged down 5 bottles labeled ” XXX ” and is ready to show the local bull who is the boss on the ranch.
  • 2.2 D-4D of 136 horsepower – Same 2.0 D-4D, but with slightly more power, slightly higher running costs and slightly more sensitive injectors. In fact, it was such a good engine that the Toyota Rav4 XA30 received it for only 1 year under the hood. 
  • 2.2 D-CAT of 177 horsepower – Rather Famous for melted cylinder head gaskets and destroyed cylinder heads, this technological abortion has a shorter life expectancy than any conversation I have with a girl. If you still insist on buying a 2.2 D-CAT, make sure the engine and/or the headgasket have been replaced.


Toyota Rav4 XA30 General Issues

  • Funny noises that can be heard from the steering column when turning the wheel in the parking lot. This is happening thanks to the seals made from gum chewed for 5 minutes by a Chinese worker who came to sabotage Japan through terrible work ethic. Either you replace the seals, or you play the music louder.
  • The spare wheel is mounted in such a way that a soccer man cannot take it off, physically. Moreover, the spare wheel makes the boot so heavy that the same soccer mom cannot fully open it. So most models come without a spare wheel. Either you buy run-flat tires and cry alongside your BMW colleagues, or you get a repair kit, or you drive around and hope nothing bad happens. #yolo. Either way, it’s not like the general public for the Rav4 XA30 knows or is willing to change a tire.
  • Not so much of a bug as it is more of a feature, but you should know that the Toyota Rav4 XA30 is not suited for towing trailers and/or caravans. Others have tried it before you and they fried the flywheel and the clutch more than a student going to a 12 hour Rooftop Party fries himself.


Toyota Rav4 XA30 Verdict

A fair car for it’s target audience. It has a higher position behind the wheel that allows you to look down on the rest of the traffic. It has a respectable ground clearance that allows you to climb the kerbs and park wherever your reproduction tools want. It is not very capable off-road because the chances of doing off-road are microscopic anyway.

It looks good even today, sort of imposing and sort of old-money expensive. It is reliable. It doesn’t even chug down on fuel that much. Speed ​​is not relevant when you are a urban driver. Personally, I’m not a Toyota Rav4 XA30 fan because I’m not a cross-over fan in general. I’m not a fan of cars that look off-road capable but can’t do any real off-road. But for the target audience, the Toyota Rav4 XA30 was the most expensive and luxurious cross-over until the Audi Q5 arrived. And even after the arrival of the Q5, the Toyota Rav4 XA30 remained a status car.

What engine do I recommend? Considering the fact that it will be mostly bought by people who know little about cars and who don’t care enough to learn, then the classic 2.0 D-4D that is the backbone of Europe is the right choice. If instead you want strong sensations and a comically fast car, then the 2.4 170 hp petrol engine is the most correct choice.