"I love my Rav! It is the best car I have ever owned!! It is big enough to cart around all of my equestrian equiptment and on occassion I have had to use it as the farm vehicle. It is easy and comfortable to drive. It is nice and compact while still offering so much room on the interior. The only complaint I have about this car is that I had to replace the transmission about 3 years ago."
Pros: "Great gas mileage, reliable, great in all weather"
Cons: "I have no cons for this vehicle"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I absolutely love this car! It is outstanding in every kind of road condition. It has safely got me through ice storms and blizzards. Gets great gas mileage. Has lots of room, I am always saying there is very little I can't haul around in my Rav. It it completely reliable, have never had any issues with it. Gas, oil changes, new tires, wipers and a battery is all it has ever cost me after purchase. I highly recommend this car!"
"I bought my Rav4 4WD used, and couldn't ask for a more reliable vehicle. Aside from replacing and an emissions sensor, I have spent nothing on repairs (knock on wood), just scheduled maintenance, brake pads and tires. It runs well and is great transportation.
The only fault I have with this vehicle is its back door design, which opens left to right instead of a "hatch" design --down to up-- which I prefer. In use, I have discovered if you park on the right side of a city street and want to unload items from the cargo area to take inside, the door blocks your way to the curb, which can be irritating and inconvenient when parking on a crowded city street. If you are loading or unloading items into the cargo area, a bottom-to-top door opening design also provides some protection from rain or snow. Also, when it snows, the owner must remember to clear the rear roof area very well, otherwise upon opening the door, the accumulated snow falls directly into the rear cargo area and all over whatever you have in there. And, there is no "ledge" on the floor of this area to keep the items placed here from rolling out onto the ground. For example, if you put groceries back there, and the bag of oranges you just bought falls over, when you open the back door they'll all roll out onto the street. Lesson learned: I bought an accessory to hold my grocery bags. Maybe the 2006 and newer models have addressed the floor issue, but I can see that the door still opens from side to side.
Other than the back door issues, this Rav4 model is a great mode of transportation!"
"Bought a newer '03 after having a '97 RAV4 for about 8 years. We will lose about $2k fo having the RAV for 8 wonderful years.
Love our new one - Could have bought a Chrysler PT Cruiser (cute!) for under 11K (new) but paid more to get our '03 RAV4 for $12,450 ++. Are we crazy? We don't think so. Thought about buying a brand new one but I'm retired and my wife is still working. Guess who drives the newer RAV4?? :-)"
"My wife and i bought this 01 rav4L and this thing is a beast in the snow. Im an avid 4wd off roader with a seriously modified tacoma and this rav 4 got around as good or better and i have big mud tires on my truck. This last week we had a record snow fall of 22 inches the snow was up past the bumper, full size 4wd trucks were getting stuck all over on our roadways. This rav4 drove 60miles in this snow and i even stopped on a few occasions to let salt trucks go by in snow past the bumper and the rav didnt ever come close to getting stuck I even pulled a couple vehicles out of the ditch with it. Their all wheel drive system routes power to whichever of the four wheels that have traction similar to a traction control set up. Most conventional 4wds only have one wheel in the back and one wheel in the front that spins while in 4wd, This vehicle uses all 4 if need be. The only problem we have had out of this is a coil pack went out that also fried the catalytic converter which was covered under an 80000 mile emmissions warranty. This thing gets 28 mpg in the city or the highway, theres no difference hardly at all. The 5spd trans. might have something to do with it. The 01 and newer ravs have vvt engines that have timing chains so i like the fact that i wont be having to replace a timing belt every 80000 miles. We also owned a 1st generation rav4 that had a 2.0 4cyl with a/t and it didnt have near the power as this one or as good of gas mileage plus it had a timing belt instead of a chain."
"I bought my RAV new in 2001. Except for 1 sensor that needed replacing 6 years ago, and having the front brakes replaced after 8 years, it has been problem free. I take care of it with scheduled oil changes, inspections, etc. so it has been very good to me. I've never owned a car this long .. and I think buying it was the best thing I ever did."
Pros: "highly reliable, superb value, rock solid, fun"
Cons: "not the prettiest looking car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought a 2001 RAV4 as a starter car when I got my first job. I thought I would buy a new in 5 years. But 13 years and 225,000 miles later, I still plan on using the 2001 RAV4 for a few more years! After 200,000 I have had two repairs - struts, sway bar bushings for ~$750 and a new catalytic converter for $1400. While >$2000, I expect the car to last another 30k miles at least without any major repair.
This car has never once failed me when I needed it. Snow, rain, slush, mud, trails, highways you name it. I have move my belongings in it several times, used it transport snow blowers, generators, lots of garden stuff, home repair stuff like boards, drywall what not."
"2003 Rav4 had no major problems until it hit 8 years old.
Needed a new catalytic converter and 3 cylinders and spark plugs for $1800, a year later at 9 years old it needed a new water pump, exhaust system, wheel rod, tires, and battery for total $2000.
This car is easy to drive because of small dimensions and higher height than a sedan. Very easy to parallel park because it's so short to fit in very small spots. Fortunately original cost of car is cheap - got it under $20000 new. Will probably keep and maintain if repair costs are under $2000 per year."
"My girlfriend bought her RAV4 brand new in 2002 and it ran well for 98K miles with no problems. Until 1 day her transmission stopped shifting properly. After a bit of online research I thought that it might be the ECM (Toyota has has a service bulletin out on this since 2005). I brought it to a shop and sure enough a new ECM fixed it. A lot of people were not as lucky as we were & their ECM's ruined their transmissions. After a bit of arm twisting Toyota reimbursed us for the repair $1200. I figured that they should pay because they knew of potential problems with their 2000-2002 ECM's since 2005. Lots of people had to pay for new transmissions on their own. Other than that this car and the 3 Toyotas that I've owned have been great."
Cons: "Transmission, interior, door locks & paint."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Transmission went out at 83,000 miles and cost $5,000 to repair. Considering I'm an old lady that also drives like one... that's just beyond poor ! Cheap interior & driver door lock doesn't work anymore. Engine reliability has been good so far but only at 110000 miles thus yet. Also, paint already oxidizing."