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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • Yes, you were driving a RAV4. The ride is not smooth at all. Worst SUV I test drove. The Highlander is a much better Toyota choice. And the Highlander has better styling.

    When I purchased, I opted for a Mazda Tribute instead. Great SUV.
  • I own a Mazda Tribute and a Highlander. Traded in a 2001 Rav for the Highlander. As for the ride, the Tribute is the worst of the three. Very noisy cabin and engine. Pros for the Tribute are its looks and acceleration. Bottom line, not up to Toyota standard of fit, finish, quality. I feel the RAV was the most fun to drive of the three.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    If the ride was rough, it might have been due to the tires left over-inflated by the prep crew (as I said, they left all 4 of mine at 50+). Recommended pressure is 29 (tho I use 32). Many were overinflated on the dealers' lots in the beginning of this model run (based on the experiences of other RAV-ers on, and possibly some still are.

    I bought an '01 RAV. Call me biased if you want, but I don't think it is noisy or rough. It is one fun ride.
  • Thanks for all the information on why my rav 4 test ride was so rough and noisy. It is possible that the tires were overinflated. I'm going to try a different dealer this weekend. I loved the HIghlander's smooth drive but I really like a smller vehicle with better gas mileage and the rav seemed to fit my need but I couldn't stand the noise!
  • Took delivery a few days ago and yes the tires were over inflated 40+ but the roof rails were correct with the arrows pointing forward. Thanks for the postings. The RAV4 [red-4WD auto]is my wifes; I drive a '99 Honda CR-V 5spd. She liked the high driving position of my car so we looked at the Escape & Sante Fe. Turned off by the Escape mostly due to the numerous 6 cyl. stall postings on this site. Couldn't take a chance that I would get one. The Sante Fe is a nice package and a good price but its a Hyundai...... The '02 CR-V looks to much like my '99. IMO the fold down rear seat feature on my '99 CR-V is more functional than the '02 RAV4 because it folds flat to the floor. The RAV4 does not leave a totally flat floor, but its seats come out easily where the CR-V do not. The dash & dash area impress as being more high tech and generate more eye appeal. The retro gauges are a slick touch and the upfront driver/passenger area has ample room to accommodate someone tall or large. The various hooks, pullouts & gadgets are clever and Toyota has that quality rep. but its way to early to comment on ride, features, convenience etc. Took a ride to AC and helped Donald Trump pay off part of his debt!
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Congrats. Hope you enjoy your new RAV.

    Watch how that little 4-cylinder loosens up with a few thousand miles on it. All in all, an impressive package. Not as quick as a Mach 1 'Stang, mind you, but still pretty good.

    A lot of dealerships forget to take the almost-invisible protective clear tape off the clock and audio display faces. I wonder if they took care of it on yours. They still didn't get the tire pressure right, though. I wonder how many sales are lost due to "rough ride"?

    By the way, I just learned that the rear seat backs will tilt down rearward to a full (I think) reclining position.

    So you bought a new vehicle, then went to AC to see Mr Trump. Nice work if you can get it.

    Good luck.
  • For suvshopper4
    You posters are amazing!! Yes there was clear protective tape over the clock display but not on the audio display. The rear seats go to about a 3/4 tilt, the wheel well intrusions prevent them from a full tilt. In the future I may install a CD changer [interface] with the existing CD/cassette/radio [not an RF modulator]. Audiovox and I believe Eclipse makes one; where is the preferred location for a changer? Has anyone dealt with any of the on line vendors, etc. etc.?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    macadam: Did you find the clear tape on the Hazard Flasher switch too? ;-)

    I just now read, on another site, a number of posters who said very good things about as far as service, including returns with no questions asked.
    If you order something from them, doing it by accessing thru will save you 15%.
  • For suvshopper4
    You were on the mark again; there was clear tape on the flasher switch. Anything else?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    macadam: Well, I'll let you find the bundle of twenty-dollar bills all on your own.

    Found the dash change bin yet? I was poking around and said to myself, there ought to be a change bin, let's see, right about -HERE. And voila.

    Love the cupholders, especially in front.

    Very nicely thought-out rigs, these RAVs.
  • jjc7jjc7 Posts: 3
    I talked to a Toyota salesman on the phone today regarding the price they were getting for the rav4, he said last week it was $600 below sticker, this week it is $300 below sticker. He claims Toyota is slowing the shipments down after the 9-11-01 diaster. Has anyone heard of this decrease in shipments? I'm in the Philly area.
  • Nope, I haven't heard that, I was just at a few Toyota dealers and they never mention that. I think the guy was just trying to bait you a little. Here in SE Wisconsin there is a lot of Toyota deales and I'm planning to check them all out to make sure I get the best price.
  • 20992099 Posts: 63
    Thanks for the tip about the tape on the clock and warning flasher . I would have never found it! My wife bought a 2001 RAV4 about a month ago and loves it. It's a 4WD version, we have about 1300 miles on it and are getting around 23.8-25 mpg so far. Do you think this is about average? Also am looking at a spare tire cover and am wondering if the $400 dollar Toyota one is worth the money. I like the idea of the "hard" color co-ordinated cover, but am wondering if there is another option. BTW, we bought ours from a small rural dealer on October 5 and paid $700 under Edmunds TMV at the time. We are happy with the car and was the only gold 2001 RAV4 left in this whole state! Dealing with small dealer was smooth and pleasant after all the stories you read here. They didn't try to sell us any other "extras", we made our offer, they countered, I said I made my offer and if you can't do it I understand, sales manager came out and said okay. That was it. Total "fees" were $19.75!!! All in all a pleasnat experience. Thanks for all your interesting posts here about the RAV.
  • Glad you like your Rav-4, I'm trying to talk my wife into buying another Rav-4 (her's is a '96) but she said she don't like what they did to the body style. I also have a Rav-4 but I'm planning on replace it with a 4 Runner or something like that. Both our Rav's came with Spare Tire covers so we didn't need to buy any but you may what to try and go to the Toyota section, they have all type of stuff there and I'm sure you can find it cheaper then what Toyota would charge.
  • 20992099 Posts: 63
    Thanks for the quick reply. I will check out the link for the tire cover. BTW, we bought a 2001 because we liked the new body style, so to each his own I guess!! They do ride a lot better than the older ones..we test drove one in 97 and my wife didn't like the ride. Also I think there is more room in the 2001/2002...ours has the moonroof and I have plenty of leg/head room and I'm 6' 6". Only thing I don't like so far (and its very minor) is that the headlights don't come on/go off automatically like in my car. I do like the orangish color of the dashlights though.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    jjc7: Yes, I have heard that the RAV supply has diminished in the US, but have heard no reason why. Maybe they expect the worst in the US economy after 9/11, and there are other markets they want to sell to. Don't know, though.

    2099: Mileage should keep going up over about the first 10k miles. But now at 15k, I find it dropping a bit! Don't know if I am driving it significantly more agressively, but that is possible. I got up to a thousand-mile average of about 25.5, last 1k avg more like 24. Auto trans, AWD.
    I have a bare spare, and like it, so no help here.
    Glad you like your RAV too. Thanks for the kind words.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    RAV on.
  • After the first 500 miles, wifes RAV 4 has gotten 22.6 MPG, decent, but should improve somewhat after breakin. [My '99 CR-V pushes 25 MPG]. Just had keyless entry installed and the fob has an aux. for a remote start. I've looked at a CD changer that interfaces with the existing radio, brand is Audiovox. Anyone know of other brands that interface? Before I bought my '99 CR-V I considered the RAV 4 but I was unable to fit in the front with the wheel at full tilt & seat full back. [I'm 6'4 & 215] What a difference in the new model!!! Loads of room for the driver and the seat is a nice firm hold. I would not have purchased it under the old specs.
  • I'm 6'3" with a 33 inch inseam and a LONG torso. I used to have problems with legroom in cars - but now I have more problem with HEADROOM than

    I'm in immediate need to purchase a fully loaded SUV - tried out the Toyota RAV4 and Highlander. Even in the Highlander, my head was slightly bumping the moonroof. (Same in an Avalon - the new Camry was the best of all of them I sat in!)

    Are there any decent decked out ($30-35K) small/medium SUVs that have decent headroom (and legroom)?

    Side note: I had to special order a Nissan Maxima and waited 5 months to get it WITHOUT a moonroof - I would rather NOT go through that again. And I need to get my hands on a new SUV by the end of the year.

    [Also, I am trading in a 2000 Toyota Land Cruiser - about $36K trade-in value.]

    Bud Hinckley
  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 4,708
    Ilive in new york.i could give you a dealer in new jersey if your looking to buy a 02 rav4.HOW DOES 100. DOLLARS OVER INVOICE SOUND.DONTlet them con is not selling rav4 like when they first changed the shape.HERE'S MY EMAIL BDARL21@AOL.COM. I always had a soft spot for philly. my mom grew up in south philly. lambert st.

    2016 BMW X-5 35i, 2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2012 MB ML350

  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 4,708
    i have been to 4 toyota dealers and all i see are row's and row's of 02 rav4's.if you have to go out of your state it would be worth it.the toyota highlander the salesman told me he gets 900 over invoice.what gets me is there's about 35 of them on his lot you could bet he's not selling them anytime soon.IF I WAS BUYING A HIGHLANDER i know that 900 would be down to invoice or right around there. you have to play the game. most cars,suv's are out ther to be had. thats why i love this forum. its us aganist them.I'M FOR THE CONSUMER.THESE dealers will try to rip you off every chance they get.

    2016 BMW X-5 35i, 2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2012 MB ML350

  • I remember when I bought my Rav-4 back in 1997, the saleman try to pull the same thing, saying that the Rav-4 (some what of a new car at the time) was $1000 over invoice. I knew he wanted me to play the game so when I reached into my back pocket to get my wallet out (to recieve is business card) I made sure that I had his competitor (down the street Toyota dealer) card right on top so he would see that I was looking at other dealers. To make things very clear to him, I had my wife, the night before, write down the price of what I really wanted to pay for the car on a small piece of paper, so when he saw that little piece of paper with the other business card, he assumed that was the price the other dealer was able to make with me. I made it very easy for him to assumed that himself. I told him that I needed to make a few stops and I MAY come back, he told me to wait so he could talk to his boss. I asked if I could go with him and he said "no it would only take a second". I knew I had him, since I noticed he went into the break room and not into the room where the manager was located. He made a "speical" arrangement with his manager and I got the car for what I asked for. Funny thing, that guy was let go about 2 weeks later. Too bad, but Dealer beware, I'm in the market for a new car! hehehehe!
  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 4,708
    ITS GOOD TO hear a story like yours.ONCE you know what car/ suv you want, no the invoice price its all down hill from there. unless like i said earlier demand is much greater then supply. good luck on your next purchase.

    2016 BMW X-5 35i, 2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2012 MB ML350

  • I'm afraid that might happen if I don't get this 4Runner before the new ones come out later this year! Thanks Brian125
  • For anyone looking to buy a Toyota in the New York metropolitan area, I recommend Queensboro Toyota in Jackson Heights, 718-335-8600. Their internet sales manager is Bruce Edelman, ext. 124. Website is, e-mail is With very little fuss, Mr. Edelman was able to give me pretty much what I wanted, a leftover 2001 RAV4, AWD, 5 speed, L package without too many superfluous options (just a spoiler and $900 wheels) for $500 over invoice. I did better on my trade-in with them than I did with anyone else, $100 over the Galves price, because they have a used car lot down the street and aren't going to job out the trade-ins.

    This came after dealing with more than a dozen other dealers in person and online and no one else gave me an honest price--no one. Other Toyota dealers claimed to be cutting me a deal by reducing their prices to MSRP and they insisted that I could not trust the internet. In fact, I was ready to give up and wait out the winter, but one of the internet queries came through with Queensboro. Now I am driving a new car and feel much better.

    By the way, I like the car. It seems quiet at highway speeds, has okay oomph to reach 60--in fact, I have to watch it on back roads--and handles wonderfully. I do wish it had a little more passing ability, but otherwise am pretty satisfied. I am a stick-shift driver, so I can't judge the automatic. The stereo is pretty good as is climate control. I can't quite get the folding down and up of the rear seats, but that will come with time. I feel very safe in it.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    dplatnyc: You said some dealers were only willing to reduce the price to MSRP. Do you mean there is a mark-up above sticker on the RAV in your area?

    Good luck with your new ride.
  • Yes, in the NY Metropolitan area and up in Sullivan County I found Toyota dealerships who quoted me prices above MSRP and refused to go below MSRP, insisting that I had my information wrong, that I couldn't trust the internet, etc. I ended up walking out of several of them. The worst was Manhattan Toyota--I could see that they were ripping people off left and right and I actually picked up a looseleaf binder marked "CONFIDENTIAL" from the saleswoman's desk just so I could show her that I was not wrong and she was ripping me off.

    Does this surprise you? I had a similar experience shopping for a Hyundai Elantra GT. I was constantly told it was a hot model and no one could even get them for MSRP--at least they were honest about cheating me, if you know what I mean.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    dplatnyc: You ask if I am surprised about mark-up.

    A little. First I've heard of it.
    The reason I asked is, I heard (about 6 weeks ago) that the RAV inventory was decreasing (for whatever reason), which would lead to less discounting by dealers. But I don't ~know~ that the inventory is (still) decreasing, so I wanted to know about any marking-up that is going on.

    So, what was in the binder marked "Confidential"? Invoice prices? Did the armed security guard then escort you out of the office?

    Thanks for the info.

    Oh, and it's true - you can't trust the internet.
    Trust me on this.
  • SUVshopper4:

    The Confidential Binder only contained the MSRP for the base models plus all the options, but it confirmed that column on the Edmunds TMV print-out and when we did the math together, the saleswoman had to concede that she was charging MSRP+$500.00. No guards came by, but the manager told me he would love to have my business--as I was walking out!
  • brian125brian125 New york / S.C. myrtle beachPosts: 4,708
    people i just bought a 02 loaded rav4L I LIVE IN N.Y. DONT BELIEVE what the dealers are telling you they are not selling theses rav's like before.they have rows and rows of them. I KNOW OF 2 DEALERSHIPS THAT WILL SELL YOU YOUR CHOICE OF RAV4'S IN NEW JERSEY FOR 100 OVER INVOICE. THERE NOT SELLING ANYMORE THE BIG DEALERSHIPS NO IT. dont get suckered. 500 over invoice in the n.y n.j. is to much.

    2016 BMW X-5 35i, 2013 Genesis 5.0 R-spec, 2012 MB ML350

  • al63017al63017 Posts: 149

    Frequently takes nose dive and hesitates when trying to make turn in front of traffic. Very dangerous since you never know if you will have that extra zip you some times need. Dealer said no problem found. Never had this issue with Honda CRV. If Honda only had the RAV 4 styling it would be a non brainer for me to buy Honda. Oh well to each his own enjoy your RAV 4 I like everything else but Accura MDX may be next for me. I push the shift button to turn over drive off and also put it in gear 2 automatic but no help when it takes this nose dive you just suddenly seem to have no acceleration or power. A really strange feeling you have to have it happen to you to understand it. I have floored it when this happens, given it a little more gas but nothing happens. This can happen in warm weather, cold weather, not related to how long car has warmed up. Have seen this posted as know issue here before.

    RAV-4 2001 with 13000 miles had this front brake noise and dealer (turned rotors/machined) and replaced pads. Seemed to fix problem but never had to have rotors repaired with this low of miles usually more like 40,000 miles. Just a heads up that there is a brake problem with Rav 4--saw this posted here a number of times and in RAV 4 forum. The real problem is when you need brakes the next time you have to buy new rotors since they say they can only be machined once. They are very expensive--Toyota should replace them with new ones--rotors since they are defective. I drive like a little old school teacher no riding brakes or sudden stops all the time-- so know I did not cause it. A first for me after about 25 different cars. Back to Honda next year or so--my CRV after 26,000 miles had never been to the dealer once. Love the style of 2001 RAV 4 traded in 2000 CRV but do not need the maintenance issues. Wonder if Highlander has any of these problems because I sure like the Toyota styling. The sudden loss of power concerns me the most wonder if anyone has heard of a fix for this issue as it seems to be an ongoing issue with RAV 4. If you take this to dealer 3 times for the same problem is it then a lemon law thing????
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