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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • Yeah, there are some big climbs up there. The Rav tended to "hunt" gears a lot on the steeper hills. Again, we have an auto, but I think with a manual, you may get better results.

    The mountain driving (I also drove around the Cascades in western Washington) is the only times I really wished the Rav had more power. Here in the relatively flat east coast, the Rav provided smooth quiet rides.

    kangssta - no probs here - we have a 2001 with over 28K miles, and I have to say the engine is flawless - gets smoother as you pile on the miles.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    suvshopper - Oh it's so fun to drive. Although I just realized that as a driver I don't have a grab handle while everyone else does. I have no troubles getting in the car, but ya know, some days you're just lazy...
  • Have been looking for a Honda CR-V for the past year. Kept holding onto my CRX to see how long I could avoid purchasing another car, and finally broke down (me, not the car). Went to the Honda dealership and started negotiating for a 2001 with 13K miles in my favorite green. They wouldn't come down and during the dance I checked out a '98 Rav 4 with 36K and took it for a ride. It had been a lease and was at the Honda lot. I had previously test driven both the old and new CR-V's. After driving the Rav 4, I was smitten. The drive and pep was substantially different. Went back in and (please tell me I didn't get screwed) paid $15,700 total, which included a 3 year 36K bumper to bumper extended warranty. It has cruise control and is an automatic. Thank for any reassurance! Oh, I live in Los Angeles, so no winter damage or the like.
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Glad to hear that you found the first generation RAV to have enough power for you.

    And since you're familiar with them all, I'd be curious to hear more details on the difference in power with the CR-V, both first and second generations, v. the RAV.

    Good luck with your new ride.
  • mathtypemathtype Posts: 33
    Does anyone know when the 2003 RAV4 is due to hit the showrooms?
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I don't know, but would it really matter? I only read that Toyota doesn't plan to raise the price, but no news on any changes for 03.
  • that I could see was the addition of a "Sports Package," which has a tubular roofrack, a more aggressive grille, and some other stuff.

    Oh yeah, it also has an "S" ("RAV4 S") badge to differentiate the model from the base RAV4 and RAV4 L.
  • Well, suvshopper, as I mentioned, I had been ogling the CRV for the last year now. I finally test drove it, and I felt like I was in a big cold capsule. It didn't have any character. The newer version even had less. It felt like a minivan, and has lost the charm of the first generation. I have been used to my little Honda CRX, and my gut just wasn't really into the CRV, but I so wanted it to be. After trying the '98 RAV4, that feeling was there. I don't need the "roomier" feel of the CRV.

    I do have a question for the RAV4 owner's. I have noticed that when I brake, there is a strange sound, like a whirring noise that fades as the car comes to a stop. I saw on another discussion board that perhaps there was a brake sound issue that could easily be fixed. Can anyone help me on this?
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Does the car have ABS? I notice that when I go from 60-0, I can hear the ABS pumping (whirring sound), but in slower traffic, the sound is almost inaudible.
  • diploid, i don't have abs...
  • caseycwcaseycw Posts: 11
    Well, I just checked out Toyota's site and they have the '03 info up. They have dug themselves deeper into the scenario of offering different options to different markets. I am glad I got an '02 a couple months ago.

    They are offering a new Sport model with an S badge, like the L package.

    Sport Package -- includes unique sport seat fabric, sport grille, hood scoop, tubular-style roof rack with polished stainless steel finish, gray painted fender flares, aerodynamic multi-reflector halogen headlamps with blackout trim, RAV4 S badging, defroster-linked CFC-free air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and door locks, color-keyed door handles and power heated outside mirrors, carpeted floor and cargo mats, and Deluxe 3-in-1 AM/FM ETR/Cassette/CD with 6 speakers.

    I did the build your own feature with a Southern California zip code and found that with an '03 4x4 model, the L package is not offered, only a couple Quick Order combos and the Sport Package. They gave a choice of popular combination offerings. They made it sound like to me they are not offering the L pkg on the 4x4 to the So Cal market. In my opinion, their optioning and combo offerings are going too far and getting too specific.

    What are your thoughts?
  • mathtypemathtype Posts: 33
    caseycw: IMHO, the worst thing about buying a RAV4 is the way Toyota offers an infinitude of options and then groups them in "popular option packages." It enables the company to advertise a deceptively low base price but, judging from this baord, it has also cost them a customer or two.

    As I'm sure you noticed, there isn't a heck of a lot of difference between the L package and the Sport package other than the "sportier" cosmetics. (Oddly enough, fog lights and privacy glass do nt appear in the Sport package.) I guess Toyota is offering the L package with the 2wd and Sport package with the 4wd to further distinguish these products. Another item of note for SoCal: If you want a manual trans, you've got to order the 2wd model; the 4wd comes only with auto.

    It seems to me, after reading the RAV4 e-brochure, that there is absolutely no difference between the 02 and 03 RAV4s (except for the availability of the Sprot package). Did I miss something?
  • caseycwcaseycw Posts: 11
    I completely agree with you mathtype. I hope my original message doesn't come across any different.

    As far as I can tell, there is nothing new for the '03s other than the Sport Package which basically is just some visual differentiations. I am glad I went ahead and bought an '02 as I wanted 4wd with the L pkg. As we have both noticed, for SoCal, that is not available together and I am not interested in the Sport's hood scoop and side tubes, etc.

    I do love my new RAV4, even with the limited power (42hp less than my previous car), discussed infinitely before. I guess I technically don't need more power, but it would be nice of course, especially living in a big mountainous region as I do. Turning of the overdrive does come in handy though.

    Any other thoughts/questions/concerns? Anyone?
  • I've had my RAV4 for about 6 weeks now. Very disturbed about the transmission. My boyfriend was driving and when I leaned over to get something on the floor, I hit the shifter (automatic) with my shoulder. The vehicle shifted into neutral while we were driving down the road. According to the owners manual this is normal - there is no lock for drive to neutral. Can anyone tell me why? I see it as a safety hazard. Also, when do you use overdrive? I do mostly city driving at 45 mph and in bumper to bumper. Thanks for any input
  • scnamescname Posts: 296
    She can't be 50.
  • anybody knows the differences between RAV4L and RAV4J?
  • There is no RAV4J available in the US.
    Could it be a model available only in Japan or Asia?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    All references to it that I find on Google are in Japanese - probably a good indicator it's not available in the U.S.

    SUVs; Aftermarket & Accessories
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Did we mention that TMV pricing is available for the '03 RAV4?



    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • My daughter is taking delivery of a 2002 RAV4 next week, and is wondering if it's advisable to drive it on a 400 mile trip (almost all freeway) that she needs to take soon thereafter. Is there anything in the manual on break-in requirements? Does anyone have advice on this?

  • Just picked ours up this week. According to the manual during the breakin period (first 1000 miles) you should:
    1. not drive over 55 mph
    2. avoid full throttle starts
    3. avoid hard stops during first 200 miles
    4. not drive slowly with manual trans in high gear
    5. not drive for a long time at any single speed, fast or slow
    6. not tow a trailer during first 500 miles.

    I would think a 400 mile trip, alternately speed once in awhile, would be a fine way to break it in. I have taken similar trips with other brand new Toyota's and they all ran great for years!
  • glzr2glzr2 Posts: 70
    Please explain what is wrong with Toyota offering an "infitudine amount of options" and why would they lose customers? I'm waiting on the 2003 4-runner, but the RAV4 is more economical, but I am only interested in the sport package with a few additional options. How is the RAV4 4WD system?
  • glzr2glzr2 Posts: 70
    sorry... I miss quoted mathtype. The quote was "infinitude of options"
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    There's nothing wrong with more options. But they're exactly that - options. I looked at a 4wd auto RAV4 on Edmunds, and the base price was roughly 19K. Checked the standard features list and thought Edmunds had made a mistake (they didn't). Drove out to my dealer and found out that things such as A/C, a CD stereo, and remote keyless entry were optional - and they were the only options that I wanted. I can understand paying more for ABS - but air conditioning not being standard on a 19K vehicle, gimme a break. In order to get the options I wanted, I had to pay for other options that were jumbled in with the whole package. As if I'll ever need mud guards.

    If it weren't for the low interest rates that were being offered at the time, and the rather good deal I got for the car, I would've headed back to the Honda dealer and signed the waiting list for a CR-V and pay MSRP (which wasn't much more, despite not being able to haggle).
  • stragerstrager Posts: 308
    Nothing wrong if one can get the desired options. The reality is Toyota is going to build whatever combination of options suits their target profit margins a particular month, and that's what you get. Of course, it doesn't matter if you don't mind paying $$$ extra for a bunch of things you really don't need. But most people do mind, and it's a big hassle to find a vehicle with the right options/colors.

    That's just one reason why younger buyers stay away from Toyota, because they don't have the extra $$$ to pay for unnecessary stuff. Not to mention the fact that you can quickly find the right Honda (LX,EX etc) without the options nonsense.
  • The RAV's full-time, 50/50 front/rear split all-wheel-drive system is, by all reviewer's accounts and my experience, flawless. Excellent in bad weather. There is no better system in a mini-ute. You don't have to engage it. It is always on and always working.

    I wouldn't know about it for off-roading, but I don't think serious off-roaders look at the RAV.
  • You really have to consider the QO (Quick Order) package the base RAV, and price one out accordingly.

    The QO package has all the basic niceties (a/c, power windows/mirrors/locks, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/cassette, cruise control), and I doubt you could find a RAV on a dealer's lot that doesn't have at least the QO.

    I think I got my money's worth (under US$21k with AWD and auto trans), and then some, with the QO package. And that was when the Gen 2s were new and demand was high (Jan 01). There are incentives and deals to be had now.

    RAV on.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I agree, suvshopper. But I still would've preferred everything on paper, as is. I guess I've been spoiled by Honda's method. It's the sticker shock that was the real annoyance for me.
  • I understand.

    You could get that, a RAV configured just the way you want it, but that would have to be a special-order, and that means a 2-3 month wait, and it's still a crapshoot, based on the experiences of others ("lost" orders, unwilling dealers, etc).

    After getting over your "sticker shock", you'll hopefully be happy with the vehicle/price in the long run.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Considering what is out there in the market of mini-utes these days, in terms of price and content, it is inexcusable that the RAV does not come standard with A/C and a CD player. Many a customer that I know of has been turned towards CRVs and Hyundais because of this pricing scheme of Toyota's. Just call the car a $19K car and make those two items standard - people expect them!

    And if you can throw in some power amenities, now you're really talking!

    It would AT LEAST be a little better if this pricing scheme were actually carried out in reality, but I defy anyone out there to find a 4x4 RAV with none of the packages - neither quick order nor L, or now sport in the '03 model. You just won't find one...and that is how Toyota is being very deceptive about the price on this vehicle, IMHO.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

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