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."
"Bought this car in 2005, with 15,000 miles on it. Eleven years and 275,000 miles later, it has never let me down! Have to put some money into replacing wheel bearings, struts, etc. this winter, but the engine still runs like a top. Can't bear the thought of parting with it. Wish Toyota still made this nice little compact model."
"I Loved this car so much, but had to stop driving due to medical issues. I gave it to my daughter and she has had minimal problems, normal maintenance for a 16 year old car. The reason for trading it was because she needed a larger car for 3 children, and the air conditioner finally gave up. Best car I have ever owned!!!"