"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..."
"I got all the value and more for the overall price.Provides comfort and trust-worthiness.Solid like a s.u.v. but drives and handles like a luxury car.
I'M so confident in quality and value I'm going to drive it for a total of 15 years before buying another."
"I own the 2003 Rav 4. I bought it new. It now has 170,000 miles and the only thing I have ever done to the vehicle is normal maintenance. It is reliable and a perfect small family car. I do wish it has three seats in the back but it is still okay for what we use it for. The MPG is around 28-30 on the highway. The engine is a little small to pull an AWD vehicle in the hills of PA. Otherwise it is perfect in every way & I cannot express enough how much we depend on this vehicle. We have no intention of getting rid of it till it just simply crokes! My personal goal is 350,000 miles. One note of interest...Keep it clean & you always feel you are driving a new one:)"
"Our primary complaint is comfort. It isn't comfortable for longer drives. Also, the seats took time to figure out how to remove. I feel safe and confident when I drive this car; I plan on a RAV4 being my next vehicle."
"Rock solid, never once broke down in 258K miles and 15+ yrs
Catalytic converter replaced at 200k miles (it was rated for only 100k miles!)
Had to replace sway bar and shocks around 200k miles, but was probably related to an accident around 150k miles
Mileage 22-23 mpg - city or highspeed highway. Driveing the speed limit on highway boosts the milage to 25+ mpg, but then you might fall asleep on the wheel :)
Headlights burn out about every 75k-125k miles
Marker lights burn out around 75k-125k miles
Around 225k miles, something is leaking oil. Est cost to fix 1250. But instead of fixing I just top off the oil every 1000 miles, and it runs just fine. Thats adding a nickel or two per TANK of gas, which is much cheaper than fixing it
Factory tires lasted only 40k miles. But Dueler alezna tires last 60k miles
The height of the cargo space with the seats removed is 12 inches higher than the 2016 RAV4. It is even 6 higher than the 2016 4Runner. I have transported large snowblower in this RAV but you cant get those same snowblowers into a 2016 RAV4 or 4runner!"
"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."