"from 2001-2005 there is a problem with the engine control module causing the transmission to miss shift.
warranty is good to 80,000 miles,
mine went out at 89,400 other than that I love the car.
If buying used make sure the ECM has been changed so you don't damage your transmission."
"I bought my Rav 4 brand new in 2001. Originally I was going for the Chrysler PT Cruiser, but after a dealer snafu I had to choose a different model completely. What attracted me to the PT Cruiser was the ability to tumble and take out the seats. This function on the Rav 4 made me a buyer. I have moved over 12 times (once across the country), and have moved nearly everything using my Rav 4 - Couches on the rooftop, chairs inside, boxes upon boxes.
I love the Toyota Rav 4. This car has been reliable and has paid for itself twice over in the 11 years that I have had it. Now that the car is over 200,000 miles, I'm seeking a new one but hesitant to because this one is like my baby.
Cons about the Rav 4: The high center of gravity means that you shouldn't take turns too fast. I have managed to lift two wheels off the pavement before. Ever since I got the vehicle I've had trouble with the check engine light. It just likes to be on - for NO REASON. It always says it's an oxygen sensor. But, I have changed the oxygen sensors, the oxygen manifold, etc. time and time again. Finally, I just gave up on it and it works just fine with that check engine light on. Be aware though - Having that check engine light on makes it difficult for registration in certain states."
Pros: "great price , fun to drive , front seat comfort"
Cons: "cramped back seat leg room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The ride and driving experience is wonderful.I get 26 mpg/city and around 30 mpg/hwy,even after 10 years. Never any problems,major or minor. Body integrity is great and I especially like the look of the tire on the back...it used to be unique,but not anymore. I have recommended the car to many people."
"250,000 miles with only significant problem that sensors needed to be replaced twice and water pump at 200,000 miles. Original power steering, master cylinder, alternator and BATTERY! Air conditioning clutch loud last 4 years. Catalytic converter needed cleaning. Plugs replaced twice -- 25.5 mpg through whole life."
"I am the happy owner of a 2003 Rav4 2.0L 4cyl automatic with Sport package 2wd (owned for 20 months and driven 35000 miles). I have used the 2.0L engine to tow a small trailer with my motorcycle on and it does ok. The engine tend to have high revs going uphill under load. I would suggest the upgraded 2.4L engine or the V6 if you are do long highway trips or live in a hilly area. The 2.4 was upgraded in 2004-2005.
Besides the high reving when under load, I have no other complaints! The ride is agile and smooth, the fit/finish and comfort in the cabin is adequate for me (6'3" 240lb man). I live in Iowa and have no troubles getting around in snow, heavy rain, ice, etc. and i have the 2wd model. I have been getting 21 mpg during the winter with mixed driving on mostly a 23 mile commute (11 miles of 55 mph high way and the other 12 miles in 45-35-25 mph in town driving). I have been getting as high as 27 mpg in the summer and driving "softly." regular MPG on an overall basis in the last 30,000 miles has averaged 24 mpg. That also includes about 5000 miles of light towing with a 4x8 canoe trailer and 3 canoes and gear. I haven't had one mechanicle problem yet... Ok well I did have the door lock on the passenger side front jam up and wouldn't work proper but the Toyota dealer took care of it for me (probably since my family is a regular customer... We have 6 from them...). I have 85,000+ miles on it thus far and don't have any complaints! Also something to consider is that you can talk any toyota dealer into doing the used car certification that gets you 6-7yr 100,000 power train warrenty. I bartered them into doing mine for free and I ended up with 45,000 and 3 years... better than they factory warrenty on a new one!!! Oh and if you are concerned with interior cargo area... it's there if you need it... i managed to get a chair and a half into the it by taking out the rear seats..."