"I'm the second owner of my 1997 Rav4 and at 218,000+ miles I keep hoping it will conk out on me so I can justify buying something new, but it just keeps on ticking! I have put nearly 100,000 miles on the car since purchasing it and have not had to do ANY repairs on it! It gets regular oil and fluid changes, checkups, etc., but that's it! I do admit that finally . . . about 5 or 6 thousand miles ago, a very small oil leak became apparent on my garage floor and it is burning a bit of oil now, but what the heck, look at the mileage on it! No compression loss at all so I'm tooling merrily along. We also have a 2000 Mitsubishi montero and with the seats folded down, there's more cargo area in the mighty Rav than in the Montero. I also love the AWD option - hands down better than any 4WD vechicle I've owned, and living in the boondocks, I've owned many. It handles EXCEPTIONALLY well in the snow and inclement weather. In 1997 it wasn't built to be a luxury car, so yes, there's some road noise and the seats aren't exactly Lexus type, but I've driven it all day before and the driver's seat remains more than adequately comfortable. It still idles perfectly - I was getting a smog check recently and the technician asked me to turn on the engine - I told him it was already running and he couldn't believe it. The cruise control works great - it doesn't slow down or speed up slightly, like some CC options. I did replace the stereo and front speakers a few years ago with some good equipment, but given the rig's road noise, I wouldn't put a lot of money into high end speakers. Oh yeah - the one thing that's always been "wrong" with it is when I put the fan all the way to defrost, for some reason the A/C light kicks on, but it doesn't affect the functionality. For a 10 year old car, I'm not gonna worry about that. For me, it's just been a great value, and a very dependable rig, I'd buy a new one in a heartbeat, if they weren't so dang expensive now!"
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