Toyota RAV4 pre-2006

suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
I read on the CarTalk site that either Click or Clack himself wrote that, during their test, the RAV was all over the road in wind gusts of only 20mph. I believe he may have been testing the previous model RAV, but still, I'd like to know if this is a problem. Anybody else out there have any experience on how these puppies handle in the wind? Thanks.


  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    How do owners feel about the on-ramp acceleration of the RAV with the automatic trans? I'm not too concerned with stop light to stop light speeds; I'd just like to know if I'd feel safe getting up to a 65 mph merge. Appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
  • mcpaganomcpagano Member Posts: 6
    I recently bought an automatic 2001 Rav4 for my daughter and I drove it for a couple hundred miles on the highway. I had absolutely no problem at all merging from ramps at 65 mph. It definately had more than enough power on the highway.

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    Thanks for your feedback, mcpagano. It helped.
    I went ahead and bought a new RAV4 on 1.13.01, and I agree that the power is adequate, the auto trans is very sophisticated and smooth, and the economy is outstanding. Exactly what I've been looking for. Well-engineered, well-built, nice styling, with 4WD, and under $21k. What a world. eric
  • iminsurchofsuviminsurchofsuv Member Posts: 2
  • canadianclcanadiancl Member Posts: 1,078
    I think, technically, they design the AWD to temporarily disable when ABS kicks in. This is from something I've read. Maybe more technically-inclined members can help out. But in any case, you shouldn't worry about a vehicle having both ABS and AWD.
  • kwalker5kwalker5 Member Posts: 1
    I live in Phoenix, Arizona and found a 2WD Rav-4 automatic with:
    1. Quick option package
    2. Roof rack with center rails
    3. Rear privacy glass

    Sticker was listed as $20,570.

    Their "invoice" that they showed me said $19,119.

    They would not go below $19,600.

    So, I don't know if they showed me a "made up" invoice to negotiate from or if that was a real one.

    Just wondering what kind of "deals" you guys got and what you finally ended up paying for your RAV with options.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    For my RAV 4wd, auto trans, the Quick Order option package, and several minor extras, total sticker $21,835, I paid $20,950 USD. This is in Southern New Jersey, mid-Jan. I am happy with the deal and the vehicle. Good luck to you.
  • dianne4toyotadianne4toyota Member Posts: 343
    That car sounds familiar, but I think the Az invoices must be higher than CA invoices. A car like that for me is a Quick order package, 5-spoke alloys, privacy glass and roof rack, MSRP 20970 but the invoice with all that isn't even as high as the 19119 you posted. Something's fishy. I am pretty close to invoice for these, but that AZ cost seems too high. You may be right.

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    You say in #9, "I am pretty close to invoice for these". How close is "pretty close"? ejp
  • aljeffriesaljeffries Member Posts: 2
    I need to find a dealer that gives these fair deals I have seen posted.,My local dealer wants full MSRP,
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    I'm surprised the dealer wants full MSRP.
    However, when I bought mine (Southern NJ, 1/13/01) at $855 under sticker, it was the last 4WD model the dealership (Classic) had on the lot. So if a dealer really wants to make it a supply-and-demand hold-out-for-top-dollar affair, I guess he can.
  • chetan1chetan1 Member Posts: 1
    This is the first car I am buying and I really need some advise as to how to go about the whole thing. I have totally fallen in love with the new RAV4
    I need pointers as to how to go about negotiating the price for a 2WD with sun roof and leather seats and cd player and so on......
    which package is the most appropriate to my requirements....I hope one of you'll or all of you'll should be able to make this a wonderful experience...
    thanks and I appreciate your help
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    To find a fair price, just go to the New Car section of this site, choose your car, price it out with the options you prefer, and see 1) what the dealer's invoice is, 2) the MSRP, and 3) what Edmund's says is a fair price to actually pay, the TMV. It is not gospel, but you will be much more knowledgeable before walking into the dealership.
    Good luck. Great vehicle.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Member Posts: 541
    Check out the "2001 Toyota Rav4 Deals" thread over in the Smart Shopper forum.
  • deanmrdeanmr Member Posts: 1
    Bought our first RAV4 -1997 - second one in 1999 - bought 2 ravs L's last week. these are the best by far. dependable-good gas mileage-comfortable. great resale.
  • dlancydlancy Member Posts: 1
    It seems that RAV4s w/ Limited Slip Diff are fairly rare. How critical is it for driving in deep snow or loose sand? We don't need it for rock hopping.
  • surfsnow1surfsnow1 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought my 4th Toyota and 2nd Rav 4 about three weeks ago. I love Toyota's dependability and have never had one in the shop (since 1990). I have a RAV L with everything available on it, incl. the ltd slip diff opt. I live in Colo. and we just had quite a snowfall that built up on the roads. I'll have to say I did not have to adjust my driving (except speed, of course) and did not fish or slide. I was impressed. I don't know how necessary it is, but it worked. I do not care for the slow exceleration due the heavier weight, but it's great fun for the $. I toyed with Jimmy, Santa Fe and Montero Sport, but opted for what I know.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    I commute like 70 miles a day for work, and drive mostly highway. Do the 2001 RAVs blow around in crosswinds alot? How is the fuel economy and acceleration with the automatic? And how reliable? Being a Toyota, I expect it to be almost bulletproof. But I figured I would ask some real owners before buying. Comments appreciated.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    Hey 19 (any Steely Dan fans?), vocus.
    I asked that question in #1, about RAVs in the wind. I went ahead and bought one, and had my first real windy day recently (30+ mph gusts?), so I took my rig out on the interstate to try it out at speed. I could feel the wind on the vehicle, but it didn't feel too bad. Just had to keep alert. As far as passing trucks pushing it around, no, not like the full-size vans that I've owned.
    And as far as acceleration and fuel economy with the auto trans, both are pretty decent. There is a bit of a hole in pick-up going from mid-speed on up which you need to anticipate, but it does pull strong overall; off the line, the package is pretty good, with good sound too. And my miles per US gallon were at 22.4 most recently, mixed driving, temps 20-40F, just over 1,000 miles on the odo. However, I did find that my tires were overinflated (all 4 at about 37, v. the recommended 29), so I probably was getting better mileage than I should have.
    I too expect the Toyota to be bulletproof. So far I'm very happy with the RAV. Good luck.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    The mileage sound about right per the Consumer Reports test that just came out in this month's issue. The new RAV4 is their top-rated small SUV, above the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute, and Subaru Forester. I cannot wait to test drive one. The last generation felt alot smaller inside to me (I am 6'3 and about 270 lbs.), but the new one is great inside. I especially like the "industrial" look of the dashboard around the stereo. Does seem like alot of dealers aren't dealing though. Luckily, I have a Carmax Toyota near me (Laurel, Md.) and their prices seem pretty reasonable. I, of course, am probably gonna wait until summer or so, and the prices will be a bit lower then.
  • dimka448dimka448 Member Posts: 2
    Check this website, I found it very helpfull. All ins and outs of everything you need when buying a car:
  • writersfwritersf Member Posts: 1
    My new 2001 has an annoying tick-tick-tick sound that comes from the area where the center of the dash meets the windshield. It appears to be the grille through which defrost air blows, vibrating against the underside of the dash with every little bump in the road. This is a fit and finish problem that I'm sure (I hope) the dealer can fix. Has anyone else had this particular adventure?
  • dannykadannyka Member Posts: 115

    While researching the RAV4 I heard about the same noise you're talking about. Apparently, it's fairly "common." What I recall is that it seems some padding is missing somewhere up by the windshield. Try going to one or both of these sites and searching for "noise" or "dash" in the current forum or archive. I think you should be able to get more info on it. or

    Hope this helps.

  • cypriancyprian Member Posts: 2
    Via e-mail I was given a quote of $400 above invoice on a 2001 RAV4. Is this too good to be true? Think there is a catch somewhere?
    Has anyone else had a good, bad or otherwise experience with Toyota dealers in MA?
  • bob346bob346 Member Posts: 12
    my toyota had the same problem, it is outside in the cover under the wiper blades, it seems they have to put some felt to stop the tips of the plastic from tapping against the windshield.also there seems to be noise in the rear glass on both sides it is like crackling sound can you advise, hope this the way it took the dealer about 1 hr. to fix the problem in the windshield.
  • dianne4toyotadianne4toyota Member Posts: 343
    PLease email me offline re: this? Thanks!

  • stablefordstableford Member Posts: 1
    After breaking in the engine, are there any opinions on the best rpm for shifting gears. Since the peak torque is at 4000 and best hp at 6000 I'm thinking I may want to take to around there for shifting. Any comments, sites, implications for engine health, etc. Thanks.
  • soaringeagle1soaringeagle1 Member Posts: 1
    I am considering buying a 2001 Rav4. I just want very good quality, basic features, dependability and price. I am concerned about the new aluminum engines durability over time. Any opinions or experience? Likewise, the base fabric in the new Rav4 seems very cheap to me. I am comparing to other Mini-SUV's. If it will wear very well, I can accept the look. I would appreciate any feedback.
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    I don't know exactly what you are looking for in a SUV so I can't compare it to other models you are looking at but I can say JD Power rated it higher than the CRV, Blazer and Tracker for intial quality. Only thing with the Rav 4 is no V-6 available, but other than that you should be happy with it for a around town smaller SUV.
  • mpgmanmpgman Member Posts: 723
    Love the Rav-4. Was curious as to why Toyota doesn't even offer side air bags when even Echo theoretically does. Any word on whether these will become available soon? Also, ABS appears very hard to find. Would like feedback on the pros and cons of the 2wd compared to the 4wd. Do you really need 4wd for most NY/NJ/DE/MD/VA driving conditions? How much of a real mileage penalty is there on the auto for 4wd compared to 2wd? Tx.
  • rsspasrsspas Member Posts: 1
    When looking at the new RAV4s from behind, the rear tires are NOT perpendicular to the ground. They seem to angle out at the bottom. Although its ever so slight, I'm concerned about early tire wear and need to wonder if this is normal. Is this a concern to anyone but me?
  • canadianclcanadiancl Member Posts: 1,078
  • mikezakmikezak Member Posts: 95
    Today I had my first experience using Autobytel in trying to purchase a RAV4. Unfortunately it was not a pleasent experience -- not because of the dealer, or the price (only $500 over invoice) but 'supposingly' how Toyota is manufacturing and marketing the RAV4....bottom line is that it seems it not what the customer wants thats important, rather what we give the customer.

    To get the a While RAV4 with an L Package and ABS, the dealer said "I can see that 124 of white RAV4 coming into the region in the next 2-3 weeks have Moonroofs,and the wider 235-60R tires. Two items I did NOT want. Ugh. And the Limited Slip was NOT being made at all by Toyota.

    Excuse me Toyota - but are you listening to customers or not. It is this 'take it or leave it attitude' that has got me all worked up. Even the dealer told me that "Toyota seems to make up batches of cars a certain way for a certain amount of time, then makes a different batch for awhile". Is that customer service or what???

    Can anyone post the regional Customer Service number for Wissonsin. I want to talk to someone in Toyota, letting them know how disappointed I am as a potential customer.

  • southpaw51southpaw51 Member Posts: 1
    Had the 2001 Rav4 with L package out on the highway for the first time and the wind noise was deafening. Stopped several times to try and figure it why - roof rack?,antenna? opened and shut doors, opened ans shut windows. Think maybe it's the wheel mud flaps/guards that come with the car because they extend out past the contour of the car. Anyone with any ideas on cause? fix?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    Southpaw, post #36:
    I've got the RAV (not the L package, though), with mudflaps, and I don't notice any wind noise.

    I've heard that sometimes the crossbars on the roof rack can be installed backwards (they have front-directional arrows on them), and this causes noises.


  • toddsteiltoddsteil Member Posts: 1
    I have 2 snowmobiles which weigh about 1000 lbs. Does anyone know if a RAV4 5 speed would be able to tow this much? I know it is rated for 1500 lbs, but has anyone tried to tow anything with their RAV4? Thanks.
  • scliffordsclifford Member Posts: 1
    Is there a dog gate option for the RAV4? I have a hyper dog and I'd like to relegate him to the cargo area, but he'd jump over the back seats in a heartbeat. Does Toyota offer anything in this area, or do you know of a good aftermarket gate?
  • mdolan777mdolan777 Member Posts: 2
    I have had an awful time fighting to get the options I want on a new RAV4. Now, I may be naive, but shouldn't I be able to get options that are listed in the brochure? And why in the world is ABS an option? Moreover, it seems almost impossible to get, which makes absolutely NO sense to me. I'm VERY frustrated with Toyota, because I really like the RAV4 over anything else, but they are making very difficult for me to give them 25K. Plus, the dealer keeps trying to push cars that either don't have the stuff I want, or stuff that I don't want, and it's very insulting to me. Has anyone else had this problem? What gives? Also, does anyone have a phone # that I can call to voice my complaints?
  • mdolan777mdolan777 Member Posts: 2
    As an addendum - how important is ABS? I mean, they have a car that supposedly (!) has everything I want except for the ABS, and I'm torn between giving in versus sticking to my guns. What do you guys think?

    P.S. - my 1988 car has ABS as standard equipment. What gives with modern cars?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    For whatever reason, Toyota has set it up so that certain regions get the ABS-equipped RAVs, and others get virtually none.

    I wanted ABS and Limited Slip Differential, but did not want to wait months to get them, so I bought an '01 RAV without it (and love the vehicle).

    There is a lot more info on this, and on your question about how much you may need ABS, at Great site if you are interested in RAVs.

    Good luck.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Member Posts: 541
    Important enough that I will never buy a vehicle w/o it !!. ABS has been standard on virtually all cars for many years now. I am appalled that Toyota is making standard safety features an option (and not just ABS; re: side airbags, VSC).

    Most younger drivers are not taught how to pump the brakes to prevent lockup. Nowadays most drivers (particularly those who have been driving less than 7 to 8 years) simply stomp the brakes as per ABS instructions. To me ABS is a no-brainer.
  • freein2016freein2016 Member Posts: 1
    We have a '96 Rav-4, 2wd, auto, 4door that has a BIG problem with the windows fogging on cold, damp days. We are using the A/C and we've used it in both fresh air and recirc, but NOTHING helps. It's all we can do to keep the windshield clear, but the side windows all fog up badly. We haven't had to add coolant so I dont think that there's a leak in the system, plus there is no evidence of heater core leak. The dealer doesn't even want to look at it and insists that I don't know how to turn on the A/C button. FYI... The A/C does work ok in the summer, so I know that the compressor is good. Thank you to whomever can help me before she gets driven off a cliff in the next snowstorm. Feel free to email me at [email protected] Thanks
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    If this is a new development with your 1996 RAV, then maybe you have a weather seal breakdown which allows water to leak into the cabin somewhere. This happened to a VW Golf I owned.
    It had a plastic-sheet type of seal on the door (inside, behind the upholstered door panel) which went bad, and water that would normally come in by the glass and safely drain out the bottom of the door was leaking into the interior.
    See if your carpets, etc, show any signs of moisture; if so, check the nearby seal areas.
    Good luck.
  • djpiazzadjpiazza Member Posts: 1
    I wanted a 5 speed with ABS so badly that I waited 5 months for my RAV. I ended up buying a lot of options I didn’t want like a moonroof and leather but now that I have them I love it! ABS , to me is CRITICAL if you like your life. I will NEVER drive another car without it.

    This is my second RAV (I wrecked my 1999 after 16 months and 58,000 miles) and the 2001 is much better than the first generation. Although I agree that Toyota’s manufacturing practices are questionable you always have the option to buy something else. I spend so much time in my car (I am a sales rep…42,000 a year avg.) that I want what I want and am willing to wait a little longer and pay a little more for it.
  • pnptmpnptm Member Posts: 5
    I'm seriously considering purchasing a 2001 RAV4 - I commute 100+ highway miles roundtrip so I'm interested in top gas mileage....would appreciate any insight on mpg I can realistically expect with the 4x4 5 speed (I cruise at between 65 and 70 MPH); how about driver comfort on an hour + commute?also, any feedback on the combined tailgate/bumper? it wouldn't seem to offer much protection, and be potentially very expensive to fix a minor collision (ie, backing into something)
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Member Posts: 1,110
    With auto trans, 4wd and just over 3k miles on odo, on my last tankful I got 23.7 mpUSg, maybe 60/40 hiway/local, temps 30-45 F, highway avg 65-70 mph.

    I expect tail/bumper repair is costly. However, my insurance seems reasonable to me, and they take this into account, presumably.
    [I try to remember to check my rearview mirrors.]
  • laurie26laurie26 Member Posts: 1
    I was very annoyed with my local Toyota dealer that it forced me to go to another city. Which I might add - gave me what I wanted and made me feel like more than a commission check for them. I don't know what's happening with Toyota. I think you should call the general manager of the dealership you went to. That's what I've done...
    Sometimes stories such as your's do not get to the GM's... I find in unfathomable that they would not be interested. I'd like to get the address to the headquarters of Toyota, if anyone has it. Their product sells itself, but feeling like nothing more than a few zeroes is not good selling practice. - Good luck...
  • a4man1a4man1 Member Posts: 1
    My partner has a 1997 RAV4 4dr 5 speed, AWD with 75,600 miles and the cruise control has been "jerking" when going up hill and eventually disengaging with the "cruise" light flashing. A dealer has had a crack at it twice, once he said low brake fluid, second time he said codes were stored in the computer that said computer controller and actuator were failing and they would cost $2,000 to repair. Dealer's suggestion: install aftermarket cruise for $275. I'm tempted to try something simple like lubricating throttle linkage to see if reducing its resistance would help. Anybody have a similar experience or suggestions. Thanks.
  • maggi1023maggi1023 Member Posts: 2
    I got may RAV4 about 5 weeks ago. I did LOTS of research on small SUVs first & of course looks were important. As far as looks ago-I liked the RAV4 best because it wasn't so boxy. I'm in NE Ohio & they don't advertise them around here. If I hadn't been researching them, I wouldn't have known about them. The dealer says they don't have to because they sell so well. They are bought pretty much as soon as they get them in-and they're not getting that many in. Because of this you may not get to be too choosy. We got more options than we really wanted, we have a black 4 door AWD L series with everything but leather, moon roof and roof rack. I'm glad we did. I really like the tinted windows and the hard spare wheel cover. I love the keyless entry and alarm system. I've lost the car among bigger vehicles a couple of times and I just hit the unlock button and the interior lights go on (they stay on for a while unless you put the key in the ignition & start it). If I still can't find it, I once hit the alarm button for a couple beeps to track it down. It's not that totally obnoxious sound that other cars have. We paid $23,100 for it including tax. We went to Classic Toyota in Mentor Ohio. Brian Olenchick there bends over backwards to try to get you what you want. He's really nice. As for the noise from the windshield, that was supposed to be a non-issue anymore. I drive a little over 25 miles to work-3/4 of it highway and get between 23-24 mpg. We've had a couple of nasty days & I had no problem at all. I've had no problems on windy days going 60-70 on the four lane highway. Overall I think I made a very good choice.
  • mikezakmikezak Member Posts: 95
    I have had the same frustration as you. As a result, last week I wrote a letter to the VP of Marketing at Toyota USA in California. I suggest that you do the same, as others have done so and said they have gotten results.

    I would like to start a grass roots campaign of sorts.

    If you or anyone else is interested, email me at [email protected] for the name, US Mailing mailing address AND phone number.

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