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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • That's for sure - although it does have ABS! In fact, the Forester ABS is 4 channel/4 sensor, and I'm not sure if this is as complex as what the RAV4 has. The TCS on our 03 Accord works really nicely with the ABS for those slippery days.

    Opinions vary greatly, and I have no opinion other than last winter's Honda TCS, but as far as winter driving is concerned, traction importance seems to be (1) good tires (2) Full-time AWD (3) Part-time AWD (4) traction/stability control. The first two are proactive systems, whereas the last two only start to work for you once you are already getting into trouble, and are therefore reactive systems. Toyota and Honda AWD only kicks in when there is wheel slippage, and Subaru's is full-time. Traction Control (TCS) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) are also reactive systems - but then, so is ABS!

    The backseat room in the CRV is freakin huge, at least compared to the tight Forester. I am assuming the RAV4 comes somewhere inbetween, although I seem to remember RAV4 backseat room as quite comfy for my 6'1" frame.

    The three are very close together for horsepower and torque, and therefore will be close for mileage as well. The wildcard is the new (for 2004) Forester XT, which is faster than 90% of all vehicles on the road - probably not a selling point for many of those hauling ballerinas and their gear!

    2005 Toyota Highlander is supposed to have a hybrid option, and if what I am reading about the Prius is true, that could be one awesome midsized SUV!
  • Made by Waag:


    BUT, installation cannot be combined with the Toyota hitch package for towing (according to the Waag website).
  • I'm also looking at the updated RAV4 here in Canada. Something to clear up: as was previously noted, the US model RAV4 now has stability & traction control standard and side airbags optional -- but neither of these features are available at any price for Canadian buyers. To keep the price in their target range, Toyota Canada opted to not include these items in the Canadian 2004 RAV4. Ditto the rear discs and six-speaker stereo. South of the border only.

    Logically, the Forester seems the better buy, with its limited-slip rear diff, side airbags, four-wheel discs, better stereo, auto climate control, more advanced AWD system (with auto tranny), etc. (Note that Toyota's AWD system is also full-time, NOT reactive as in the CR-V. Given this I would expect that there's a similar requirement re keeping the tires within the same specs as with a Subaru).

    All that said, I'm having trouble warming up to the look of the Forester. It's a little too family truckster-ish for someone like myself without a family. So, I'm still waiting for the local Toyota dealership to get a new RAV4 in for me to look at.
  • Go down to your local Subaru dealership. Ask to test-drive a Forester XT. I predict you won't worry about what it looks like... and to be honest, it seems like many of the small SUVs are getting closer to the Forester look than they are getting away from it.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    I have 3 beefs with the rear door/ door mounted spare combo of the Rav4 (and the CR-V, for that matter). They are more damage prone (and expensive to repair) in a collision. They block you rearward vision to a certain extent. They make curbside loading/unloading a pain in the a** as the right-swinging door totally blocks your path.
    This design is a major inconvenience and long overdue for a change. Honda does it better on their Pilot and especially their Element and Toyota does it better on just about every other SUV they make.
  • I agree that the Forester XT is a fantastic ride, but it's priced $3600 higher than the most expensive RAV4, so it's more likely that people will cross-shop the Forester XS against the RAV4 C or D. The Forester looks better on paper, but I feel about ten years too young to be seen in one. At any rate, just had a call from the Toyota dealer here saying their first 2004 RAV4 is in, so I have a test drive booked in for this afternoon.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    About the new engine- the 2.4L provides 23 lb. ft. torque more than the departed 2.0L mill, in addition to 13 more hp. Additionally, the torque peak is lower, which, given the assumed responsiveness of the transmission, should by my estimation, drop 0-60 times by about a second, which you will definitely feel through the seat of the pants.

    (I believe C&D clocked the 01 RAV4 AWD auto to 60 in 10.2, so I'd expect low nines for that model, now.)
  • Well, so much for the test drive. The salesman told me he'd call if they hadn't PDI'd it yet and it wouldn't be available for a drive. Didn't get a call, so I go over there and surprise! it isn't available. So I got to look through the window. The new charcoal interior looks a little more upscale than the previous light grey. The new MP3/CD radio has a shiny silver face that brightens up the interior a bit. However, lease financing at 7.7%? Give me a break.
  • You were right, cbmorton... no traction control or stability control, and a single unit to look at. The 2003 RAV4 wasn't on my list, and this new Canadian one isn't doing much to move up. It looks like it will be Forester vs Element for me.
  • to considering the Forester again as well. Still can't warm up to the look, but I like the interior a lot, the Sube's reliability quotient is higher, and their finance rates are lower. Neither Toyota nor my dealer seem overly interested in moving the new RAV at this point, and I don't want to wait 2-3 months or more until they get motivated!
  • Thanks all for your speedy replies - and alpha, since I'm pretty much of a neophyte when it comes to all these terms, were you saying that I really would notice a difference in acceleration with the new RAV4 engine?

    My Subaru Outback Limited '99 wagon really does not have the pick up needed to merge on to a very busy highway with the kind of entrances on some of the highways I drive daily in the NY metro area - the West Side Highway and the Hutchinson River Parkway.

    fryingbologna, I was reading a bit about the Forester XT and am not really sure what it's all it a turbo? I got a laugh out of your mentioning my ballerina's and their gear...actually I feel an awful lot like a yellow cab driver while I'm in Manhattan and I do want a car that handles well and can move out of the way fast. This is in part, why I thought that I'd prefer a car that was not quite as long as the Outback wagon...the Forester isn't that much shorter I don't think.

    But agreed, wheelz4, it is a dumb way to have the back of both the RAV and the CRV open on the side. Very short sighted.

    Oh yes, thanks for the bumper guard and the photo - that is something I would never have known about!

    I'm not sure if it was on this thread or not - but someone mentioned something about insurance "shock"...and I'm wondering what the differences might be between say the RAV and the Forrester? Naturally, I realize our costs will be different down here in the USA vs Canada...

    Appreciate your post! Thanks!
  • I've tried to float that boat, but the cap'n says, "ARRRGGGHHH!!!". I guess the XS Premium w/ Leather is the cost cut-off! We now have the AWD/FWD options on both the SL and SE, so the AWD SL is about the same price as the Forester XT. The 2003 VW Passat Wagon AWD has 2.9% financing right now, but cost will be in the Murano SE FWD range. Past that, nothing holds my interest much.

    I think I have the go-ahead to make the push to buy over the next two weeks. We are supposed to get 15 cm of snow tonight (that's 10 feet for you Americans!) (no, it's actually only about 4 inches), so I may be quite motivated come 6:30 AM tomorrow morning!
  • You owe me a beer! We posted at the exact same minute.

    The XT is a turbo, likes Premium gas and enjoys long walks on the beach... because of the added cost of premium gas, and the lower MPG (you lose 5-8 MPG going from the XS to the XT) I have given up on the XT. I knew nothing about the Forester until the past year, and I believe it comes out on top in the small SUV category when looking at a balance of safety, reliability, resale, practicality and dorky good-looks. I have never owned a Subaru, none of my friends own Subarus, and I would buy a Nissan yesterday if there was a model with the features I wanted at the price I am willing to spend. I like to think of Subaru now as, "The other Nissan"!

    Insurance-wise, I know the Forester is a bit more than the CRV (not much) here in Canada, so I would think the RAV4 would be in the same ballpark... er, hockey rink!
  • bologna, you clearly have more of a vested interest in making the right AWD vehicle choice than I do down here in southern Ontario!

    I also like the Murano, but my price cutoff is the low 30s, and I'm a five-speed person anyway, so that simplifies things a lot.

    Insurance-wise, I got some quotes for a year's insurance on several small SUVs, including the Forester, RAV4, Escape/Tribute and Freelander. The RAV4 was the most expensive of them all, and the Forester was the cheapest, almost $600 less than the RAV4. Could be you're paying for that rear 'bumper' design on the RAV4 on your insurance bill.
  • I had a feeling that the RAV4's lack of bumper might up the ante - thanks cbmorton. I suppose I could call my insurance company to check it out.

    Have yourself a nice cold one on me, fryingbologna... I figured it was going to be more of a gas guzzler so I will indeed pass on the XT.

    My latest brain storm was along the lines of researching a "higher" quality of car - but a certified used or, as they euphemistically call them, "pre-owned".

    I should probably just hang on to my current vehicle a bit longer - but it's interesting to research and try to take all the info. in.

    Many thanks all, again!
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,936
    In case you missed it earlier:


    Steve, Host
  • Thanks Steve!

    What exactly is this navigation system?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Sorry if I jargon-ed you to death. In essence, all I was saying is that if you are used to the old RAV4, you will certainly notice a positive difference in the new one. I *assume* the same when compared against your 99 Legacy, though I am not certain, b/c I have never driven that vehicle, whereas I've drive the Camry 4, which is similar in weight to and uses a version of the RAV 2.4L

  • Alpha01, I understand what you're saying. The best thing for me to do is go down to my local Toyota dealer and ask for a test drive!

    By the way, is the only way to get an insurance quote or ball park figure to have the VIN number?
  • spleckspleck Posts: 114 has 2004 RAV4 listed on their inventory pages (presumably these are in transit), along with VINs. My insurance company (USAA) can give online quotes without a VIN, although I don't believe they have the 2004 RAV listed yet.
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