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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • MY message #1009 is misleading. There is a big price increase in the US, but that is because many more features/options that were optional in prior years will be standard in 04.

    To penske fan--The new engine is the same 4 cyl. that has been standard in the Camry for several years. And keep in mind the Camry actually weighs more than the RAV4. This engine is probably one of the best 4 cyl. engines ever made. I think it will be a big improvement for the RAV4. It should be smoother, quieter, and more powerful than the previous engine. I do not know for sure about the timing belt/chain; but, my guess is that it has a timing belt.
  • hal9001 - very cool site, thanks. I can't see much difference in the front end.

    reklawc - Camry engine o.k. by me, I rented one before and was very impressed with the power to weight ratio and the gas mileage.

    I was in the market for a CR-V, until now :0
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the 4-cyl from the Camry uses a timing chain.

    In transitioning to the '04, they have basically eliminated the "stripper versions" that were all but impossible to find anyway. To my mind this is a good thing...a vehicle like this should have things like A/C standard since much cheaper cars do nowadays...

    the 4-cyl in the Camry w/ auto is rated at 23/32 mpg...I am hopng that since RAV w/ 4WD is about the same weight (actually a touch less) fuel economy will come up a little from the 22/27 rating the current 4WD auto version gets...

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

  • canoe2canoe2 Posts: 128
    There is timing belt on 2.4L engine.
    Yes, the Camry is heavier but RAV4 uses 4x4 so I expect the overall performance (acceleration) and fuel economy would be less than Camry.
    Here is the last minute change for RAV4, I wonder would be any problem later on ?
  • Regarding your questions about RAV on a long trip:
    Don't get me wrong, I'm crazy about my "baby" around town, but I have to admit it leaves a bit to be desired in the long-range comfort department. The arm rests are not padded very well, and the seats are less than ergonomic, at least for MY ailing lower back. I rode in the back seat on a recent 120-mile jaunt, and I found it cramped and awkward. I'm of average height/weight (5'9", 175 lb).

    But it sure is fun to drive!
  • Toyota didn't update their webpage for the 2004 RAV4? Isn't it kind of dumb to announce prices and then NOT update the actual product page?

    Hate to break it to you Toyota, but everyone should be off of '03s by now, so just give us the 2004's please!
  • The 2003 model is irrelevant crap now, nobody wants them, so give up extending sales events so your web lackies don't have to update the site. Once you announce the prices, that should be it right there! Not a second later. It's been a whole week since you announced prices for the 2004 RAV4, so like I said before the 2003 (and prices) is (are) irrelevant now.

    I know I've posted my displeasure about Toyota's US website before, but it has now pushed me beyond my limits.

    Please email Toyota ( and let them know your displeasure involving their glacial website updates!
  • The RAV4 page has been finally updated!
  • The National Dealer Meeting was held earlier this week and many, many Toyota corporate people were there. That could be a reason why the website wasn't updated as soon as you would have liked.

    Sorry but the 03 isn't "irrelevant crap now" they are still on many dealers lots and customers still want them and the incentives that are available on the 2003's. Remember, the small percentage of the population that visit here are not reflective of the buying public as a whole.
  • Could anyone point me where the hell air filter is located in Rav 4. Just don't say it’s under the hood. Thanks
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Big black box on top of the engine that has the decal "2.0 liter vvti". Has a big black intake hose attached. Intake is right behind the left headlight. Takes 5 minutes to change the air filter. This is for 2001 - current.
  • Man. My wife keeps telling me that I am blind and now I see it's true. I can't believe I couldn't find it. Thanks
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You guys are touchy in here this week - gas prices got y'all down or is it the chill in the air?

    Relax and enjoy your ride a bit more! You could be stuck in a 60's chromevinylmobile you know.

    Steve, Host
  • Makes the imminent purchase of the 2004 Forester XS a little less certain, but still my biggest beef with the RAV4 is that no rear bumper/tire shell in the back. I really hoped they might get away from that design (as would Honda with the CRV).

    Still, this is a good looking vehicle that makes me pause... uh, 6.8% financing, Toyota Canada? Yeah, right!
  • As I'm driving everyday I keep checking out this problem but find it a bit confusing. It looks to me as though they do have a bumper but that the tire hangs down and covers part of it.

    What's it like to park a car like this with that extra tire sticking out? And isn't the CRV the same, really? Aren't you going to end up hitting the tire rather than the bumper if you just happen to "tap" another car while parallel parking?
  • While in theory that sounds good (bump the rubber tire all you want, while protecting the body), (a) the hard shell will crack with minimal contact, and (b) there are a bunch of heights and angles not covered by the tire when getting hit from behind.

    The proof? Check out the IIHS test results for low speed (5 mph) rear collision damage.

    That Forester, which also scores better than the RAV4 for general safety according to the IIHS as well, starts to look much better in comparison. The 2004 RAV4 got closer, but I still think the Forester rules the roost in this category (I feel very uncomfortable sitting in the CRV driver's seat, even though by the specs it looks very roomy... go figure!) (I really like the Elephant, er, Element as well, but my wife gags when she sees it, or thinks about having to drive it sometimes).
  • Well thank you fryingbologna, that's a sobering sight for sure. Hmm, there goes my idea of a nice small car, I guess. You're right of the small SUVs the Forester is the winner.

    I appreciate your taking the time to reply to my post!
  • I am many months into researching my next vehicle, and I am far from a mechanical kind of person, so if I can save someone a bit of time, it is my pleasure! I really don't think you could go wrong with the Forester/CRV/RAV4 as a general rule, but there are certain things that stand out for each model. In fact, while I like Subaru's full-time all-wheel-drive, I am discovering that all four tires must be within 1/4" circumference, or you risk damaging the differential(s). I never would have guessed that!

    Those of you who have not tried the Subaru discussion boards here at Edmunds, they are a gem. The regulars there have pretty much convinced me to go Subaru from their honesty, politeness and knowledge.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    You should note that Side Curtain airbags plus front side chest airbags, which would dramatically alter the RAV4s side impact test, are now available on the 2004 model. That, and the standard ABS/VSC, goes beyond what the Forester offers.

    Something to think about.
  • True, alpha - and those are the very things that got me to thinking about buying a RAV - plus the new slightly more powerful engine that I read about right here thanks to some thoughtful posters!

    Do I need an SUV? Nope, but I want a car that is good in snow and dependable. I have a 99 Subaru Outback..with just about 90K miles on it. It's been a good car...just replaced the wheel bearings and some other items...the coil, cracked distributor, etc.? Not sure of all the details...but it's beginning to show its age and due to my excessive driving in and out of NYC and my desire to be able to fit into more tight parking spaces - that's why I started to consider the RAV4, as it is so much shorter than most. Oh yes, and I often am transporting 2 or 3 others with their "stuff" in ballet gear, et al.

    Ideally I'd love to have an AWD, safe, hybrid! ;-)

    Maybe someday.
  • 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!
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