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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    That would be my best advice. This car almost overmatches its engine in weight, being that it is only a 2.0. Plus, it has lots of wind resistance due to its high stance. Therefore, if you bring it down to, say, 70 mph, you will probably bring that mileage up to more like 24.

    No, you cannot arbitrate with Toyota over the mileage, and it is not a lemon unless there is something specifically, mechanically, wrong with it. The mileage figures on the sticker are merely estimates put there by the EPA, and they state you could get a wide range of mileage around their numbers.

    My experience has been that I can always get the freeway number around town, because I have a very conservative driving style. I can usually exceed the highway number by at least 10% on an all-highway drive. HOWEVER, THE SOLE EXCEPTION to this for me was the RAV. This car is rated 23/27 in AWD, which is the model I had for a couple of weeks, and in all the driving (more than 1000 miles) I did, I could never get more than 25 mpg in that car. Since you quote 29 mpg for highway, I am assuming you have a 2WD instead. So the best you could hope for is maybe 26-27, unless you drive SUPER-FRUGALLY (believe me, I already drive fairly frugally all the time!).

    And no, you did not wreck the engine by going 85 mph in the break-in period (and by doing sustained speeds for extended lengths of time, if I can read between the lines accurately). BUT, the guy who owns your RAV when it turns over 100K miles is going to hate you! LOL

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

  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Do you drive with Overdrive engaged? It makes the RAV "less" powerful (go up hills with and without O/D engaged and you'll notice it) but you gain in mileage.
  • Thanks... (it is a 2WD) Yes, I always drive with the OD engaged and I realize i will get better milage going slower... however, the milage in standard city driving has not gotten above 20.1 yet either so I think, that it may not be just the speed issue...

    I am looking at my sticker now and the little average milage disclaimer says "milage will vary with conditions ... blah blah blah, but results reported to EPA indicate that the majority of vehicles with these estimates will achieve between 20 to 28mpg in the city and 24 to 34 mpg on the highway..." at this point... I would love to get 24mpg on the highway,
    my experience with cars is limited... but I compare it to my old little honda civic, that was driven under the same conditions (i realize the rav 4 is not a honda civic coupe) and the gas milage was still much higher in the city than the highway.... guess I'm just looking to hear that the gas milage will improve... at least somewhat over a certain period of time... but once again... any advice is great - Thanks!
  • My RAV's mileage kept improving over the first ~10,000 miles.

    I take it easy on takeoffs, because heavy acceleration is a mileage killer.

    At 31k+ total miles, on an '01 with auto trans and AWD, I am typically getting mileage of 26+ (60/40 hwy/suburbs) up to 29+ (all highway, 70mph).
  • I have an '02 RAV4 L with the normal roof rack. Does anyone know if the center cross rails can be removed?

    Would be easier for washing/waxing and when the snow arrives if the cross rails can come off.

    Anyone know of a good WWW site for buying tire chains? I have to have them by law here in CA, although don't plan on using them with the AWD.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I've had good luck getting my last two sets at thrift stores - both times in original boxes with the size clearly marked, and both sets worked!

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • Yes, the cross-rails on the roof rack can be removed. It is the reverse of the original installation. Maybe a tech at the dealership can tell you, as I think all roof racks are dealer-installed (not by the manufacturer, nor at the port).

    The guy who bought my rack did it, but I don't remember how, for sure.

    I kind of remember that you have to ~carefully~ pry off the side-rail end pieces, then loosen the cross-rails and slide them back and off at the end of the channel.

    Hope this helps.
  • Michelin's "Cross Terrain SUV" tire does not come in a 215/70/16 size. The closest size they make is 225/70/16. Can I safely use this size? The NTB salesrep says that he thinks so ....
  • It should be OK. I think u can use up to 235/60/16. By the way, I plan to buy a 03 RAV4 AWD or 03 Corolla for my wife. She just got her liscense. Which is better for a female driver? I worry that RAV4 is harder to park and handle than a small seden.
  • It park and handle pretty much like a small sedan. In fact, the RAV4's platform is revise version of Corolla's platform.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Yup. The only thing that differs on the RAV4 is the rather large blind spot in the C-pillar.
  • I've read that the RAV is based on the Corolla's platform, I've read it is based on the Camry's platform, and I've read it is based on the Celica's platform. I don't think the wheelbase is the same as any of these vehicles, and I seriously doubt it is a unique RAV platform, so it is likely based on some revision.

    Where do I find out for sure?
    Is it specified in any official Toyota literature?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    I heard that it is a unique platform, but I don't remember where. I also remember reading that the AWD is from the Lexus RX300.
  • Is there a different on insurance between 2WD and AWD RAV4? How much is it around? Thanks.
  • Celica115: I don't think that there is a difference in insurance rates between a 2wd and 4wd RAV4. When my daughter got insurance for her new RAV a few weeks ago (through State Farm), the only option the agent asked about was the L package.

    If you want to investigate this yourself, the obvious thing to do would be to get quotes from a few companies. You could also try Also note that the current issue (October) of Consumer Reports has an article on car insurance that might lead to other sources of information.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Yes, the bigger tire size should work without rubbing, since the optional tires on the RAV are even wider, BUT you should rememb

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    er that your speedometer will be off, since the new tires are bigger...specifically it will read slower than you are actually going.

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

  • The Toyota Highlander, Sienna and the Lexus RX300 are built on the Camry platform. Of course it's also use for the Solara as well the Avalon and ES300. The Celica, Matrix, and RAV4 are all built on the Corolla. Let's not forget the Pontiac Vibe.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    how about let's FORGET the Pontiac Vibe??!! ;-)

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

  • Don't know why Toyota is exporting the Vibe back to Japan as the Voltz. The Matrix's look is more appealing to Asian taste. They have something call the Caldina that looks like the Matrix, but does do it for me. Anyway, at least the RAV4 made in Japan and imported here.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    for now, until they start building it in Ontario!

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

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Where did you get your platform info?
    Can you hook me up with anything on this from Toyota?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    and Highlanders sales are both up 30% over the same month (August) of a year ago...Toyota is scrambling to figure out how to be able to build more to meet demand...

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

  • I get most of these info from reading car magazines. But if you want to read articles about cars built on the Corolla platform, search the keywords "corolla platform" on Google. Do the same for the Camry platform. Toyota is not only one that do this. Virtually all of Honda/Acura cars are built on the Civic and Accord platforms. You get a shorter list of cars that aren't built on those platforms. Nissan is starting to do platform sharing, too.
  • I am 6'4", with about a 36" inseam. Any chance I would be comfortable in a RAV4?
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Can't answer that question for you cause I'm not that tall. However, I can guess that your rear passengers will practically have no legroom cause your seat will more than likely be pushed to its furthest position away from the steering wheel.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    RAV seems a bit squishy for a really tall person - I had the driver's seat on the furthest back setting, and I am 7 inches shorter.

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

  • caseycwcaseycw Posts: 11
    Jasper, you would have no problem with headroom in the RAV4. I am 6'1", have an '02 and the sunroof and have plenty of room.

    With your long legs, you may have some tightness under the steering wheel.

    A feature that might help is the cushion has a height/tilt adjustment.

    You would really have to take one for a drive to see with your situation, esp with visibility. When you do, don't forget the cushion.
  • rav4d2rav4d2 Posts: 3
    I've seen those cool RAV4 stickers on the hard spare wheel cover, but wondering where I can buy them. Anybody could suggest a few website that I can view the various sticker option?
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    My wife is interested in 2003 Toyota RAV 4 and Honda CR-V. The brochure on RAV 4 shows little elbow room for driver and all passengers. We also like the CR-V because it is bigger than RAV 4 and with more horsepower and 4-wheel disc brakes. But there is no leather seats and color-keyed bumper on CR-V. Any suggestions?
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