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I have been a fan of Consumer Reports for many years. I have often found they're reliability data, collected from thousands of drivers, helpful when picking out a new or used car. Because CR doesn't accept advertising of any kind, you are getting more honest info about cars.

In the latest CR, the RAV4 comes out on top for reliability among the compact SUV's. This data was one of the things that lead to us getting a RAV4 as opposed to other small SUV's.

One thing puzzles me though...the "Owner Satisfaction" data. The RAV4 only has AVERAGE owner satisfaction while several other SUV's (all less reliable than the RAV) get ABOVE AVERAGE or higher owner satisfaction. Some of these other SUV's include Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Honda CRV. The Subaru Forester scored an EXCELLENT for owner satisfaction and it had the highest score. Again, it's reliability is not as good as the RAV4. This satisfaction data, like the reliability data, is not the opinion of a few people at CR. It is data collected from thousands of drivers.

My question for people here is this:

Why do you think that despite the RAV4 being the most reliable small SUV, it trails several other small SUV's for owner satisfaction? What do you think holds the RAV4 back compared to the other SUV's listed above that leads to people being less satisfied?
 

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I have been a fan of Consumer Reports for many years. I have often found they're reliability data, collected from thousands of drivers, helpful when picking out a new or used car. Because CR doesn't accept advertising of any kind, you are getting more honest info about cars.

In the latest CR, the RAV4 comes out on top for reliability among the compact SUV's. This data was one of the things that lead to us getting a RAV4 as opposed to other small SUV's.

One thing puzzles me though...the "Owner Satisfaction" data. The RAV4 only has AVERAGE owner satisfaction while several other SUV's (all less reliable than the RAV) get ABOVE AVERAGE or higher owner satisfaction. Some of these other SUV's include Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Honda CRV. The Subaru Forester scored an EXCELLENT for owner satisfaction and it had the highest score. Again, it's reliability is not as good as the RAV4. This satisfaction data, like the reliability data, is not the opinion of a few people at CR. It is data collected from thousands of drivers.

My question for people here is this:

Why do you think that despite the RAV4 being the most reliable small SUV, it trails several other small SUV's for owner satisfaction? What do you think holds the RAV4 back compared to the other SUV's listed above that leads to people being less satisfied?
I have no idea unless I owned the other vehicles.I do know that after 7 years I am Satisfied with the Reliability of my Rav4 -LOL...best vehicle I have owned. Side note my sister just bought a 2017 Subaru Forester Limited after her husband saw that CR where the Subaru got a 83 overall score.I guess I'll ask her in 7 years what she thinks , my other sister just bought a 2016 Rav4 ...
 

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Probably there are relatively simple reasons - the current generation RAV is reliable, a good vehicle overall, but it doesn't have either the fun or enthusiast factors of comparable SUVs, and possibly is less enjoyable regarding creature comforts, maybe drivers aren't as pleased with such aspects as the dash electronics - quite a number of criteria enter into a driver's opinion about their vehicle. Some of those are rather subjective and difficult to quantify,

By contrast the Gen. 3 RAV V6 at least had the thrill and enthusiast factors. Having driven 4-cyl. SUVs the V6 is a comparative blast, but then that obviously is my performance bias-colored observation.
 

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That's the thing--length of ownership. Satisfaction surveys taken from new car owners will always be high--but will they still be as satisfied 3 years or 5 years or 8 years down the road? That's why I pay no attention to those J.D. Powers reports on "initial quality" of vehicles.
 

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If you click the info icon on the CR website, you'll see these descriptions of the terms.




Owner Satisfaction
Indicates percentage of owners surveyed who would definitely purchase the same vehicle again. Based on data for the latest three model years. Models marked * are based on only one or two years worth of data because of limited data, model unavailability, or a major redesign.






New - Predicted Reliability
Predicted reliability is our forecast of how well a model is likely to hold up derived from our latest Annual Car Reliability Survey. We averaged a model's Used Car Verdict for the newest three years, provided the model did not change significantly during that time. Refer to Reliability History for more detailed explanation.






Used - Reliability Verdict
The used car verdict shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all trouble spots. Because problems with the engine major, cooling system, transmission major, and drive system can be serious and expensive to repair, our calculations give extra weight to problems in those areas.
 

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Perhaps the RAV4 is appealing to a generally more modest, non car lover crowd who's main interest is reliability. These folks would not be all that interested in an "owner Satisfaction" question.
Personally I have owned:
A KIA Sportage which I really liked. Not the most reliable car. After about 60,000KM it's reliability really went down hill fast.
A Subaru Outback which I really liked. Front end problems vibrated wandering, poor quality upholstery. Poor dealer, poor manufacture, poor car. Worst new car I have ever purchased!
A RAV4 for the last 3 years, which I really like. Great Car, great dealer. Other than oil changes we have only spent $120.

If I was in the market for a new car today I would purchase another Rav4.
 

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Interesting point, guilimus

I have noticed that other people who we know who own a RAV4 aren't what I would call "car people." They seem to be more the kind of people who just want to get from point A to point B without any problems. Their cars are secondary to other things in their life. This is, of course, just my personal experience.

It is also true for me personally. I would rather give up a few extra "look-at-me" type features to get more reliability. I HATE it when things aren't working properly, be it my car or anything else in my life. I just want my car to work. I don't want to have to tinker with it or pay someone else to tinker with it.

My car isn't what I consider the fun in my life--my car GETS ME TO the fun in my life. If that makes any sense.
 

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That's the thing--length of ownership. Satisfaction surveys taken from new car owners will always be high--but will they still be as satisfied 3 years or 5 years or 8 years down the road? That's why I pay no attention to those J.D. Powers reports on "initial quality" of vehicles.

+1, and especially the comment about JD Power "initial quality" awards. I've always suspected that there is some sort of payback to JD Power from those award recipients . . .
 

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+1, and especially the comment about JD Power "initial quality" awards. I've always suspected that there is some sort of payback to JD Power from those award recipients . . .
They are paid for the information they gather..........

While many believe that knowledge is power, J.D. Power and Associates operates on the principle that information is money. J.D. Power collects information regarding consumers' likes, dislikes, habits and tastes regarding the selection, purchase and satisfaction with a given product, then packages this valuable information and sells it to the producers of the product.

Companies pay J.D. Power upward of $100,000 for this valuable data in order to better gain an edge over the competition, because the competition is paying for this data as well. The survey results help manufacturers design and sell products that consumers want and shows them how consumers feel about products already on the market.


When I sold various brands of powerboats the more quality oriented manufacturers paid for what the consumer thought about their products through JD Power. This alone led to many favorable changes in manufacturing and design for future models. The dealers had been telling them about the needed changes for years but to deaf ears. Once the consumer got involved they paid attention.
 

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...In the latest CR, the RAV4 comes out on top for reliability among the compact SUV's. This data was one of the things that lead to us getting a RAV4 as opposed to other small SUV's.

One thing puzzles me though...the "Owner Satisfaction" data. The RAV4 only has AVERAGE owner satisfaction while several other SUV's (all less reliable than the RAV) get ABOVE AVERAGE or higher owner satisfaction....

Why do you think that despite the RAV4 being the most reliable small SUV, it trails several other small SUV's for owner satisfaction? What do you think holds the RAV4 back compared to the other SUV's listed above that leads to people being less satisfied?
I think CR is spot on with this. The RAV is highly reliable. But the biggest complaint, gen to gen is the ride quality--too stiff, resulting in an "average" ride rating, and I think this is reflected in overall owner satifaction over time. It remains to be seen if Toyota finally fixed it with the 2016 models going forward. It's one of the most commonly asked questions: Did they improve the ride?

For me, as the main mechanic on this car, I LOVE the reliabilty. The primary driver, on the other hand, is maybe less than enthusiastic while absorbing potholes and rough roads. Not a deal-breaker for either of us-- but still a flaw that drags down satisfaction.
 

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For example, Nokia phones are more reliable tha iPhone. But users satisfied with iPhone.

Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk
 

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I bought the new 2013 RAV 4 because of reliability and I purchased the Limited Edition with every upgrade possible. I wish it had a V6, full size spare (but not stuck to the back door, like in previous models). The navigation system is terrible and they gouge you for upgrades. I am a car enthusiast but I want reliability given just how much new cars cost and how quickly they depreciate. On that note, that is another point for RAV 4. It depreciates but at a slower rate. The Softex seats are better than leather and in general...with the exception of other minor issues: no upper tray for the centre console, no overhead sunglass compartment, no compass, no rear 12V outlet, etc., it has been very reliable.
 

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They (J.D.Power) are paid for the information they gather..........

That is interesting and not surprising, and I could suspect that Consumer Reports does the same without compromising their published recommendations although I couldn't find any evidence of that. But I still wonder whether J.D. Power receives kickbacks from makers of their Initial Quality awarded products and services. I once contacted J.D. Power to complain about their having given an Initial Quality award to a company whose supposed quality was so poor that the company had been lampooned by other publications and users for having the worst "initial quality" which they had ever experienced. The response from J.D. Power was that the award had been given because of favorable consumer input!
 

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I just drove my sister new 2017 Forester Limited. Wow it looks like a space ship inside with all the gadgets. Road like you were gliding on the road. If the reliability holds up certainly something I would consider... reliability is the most important thing to me.
 

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I almost bough 17 Forester. I have few Subarus before. We have so many of them on the road and it does not look unque.

How do you like Subaru Starlink infotainment?

~ 2016 Toyota RAV4 Limited Electric Blue ~
 

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I just drove my sister new 2017 Forester Limited. Wow it looks like a space ship inside with all the gadgets.
I had the same experience driving my sister's new Outback. She couldn't tell me what half the buttons were for! It has the 6-cylinder and handles really well.
 
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