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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • Good morning to all; just returned from the mountains yesterday, and the traction control on my 4wd did a great job over some icy spots.
    I realize many of you are anxious about the dash rattle; I too have that from time to time. However, may I again ask for input on HOT CDs...on yesterdays road trip, the first and only CD was hot to the touch, so I went back to the theory is that the hot air circulated through the heat and defrost is somehow gaining access to the player....any similar problems out there?
    And, about two pages back, a driver inquired about rear end damage and the possible role a hitch would play in a rear end collision. For experienced and new RAV4 owners, I think this issue could bear a little more discussion. My dealer explained in detail that though there is no bumper visible to the naked eye, the rear bumper area IS a dynamic crush crumple zone specially designed to act as a traditional bumper would. The tire cover material has been changed since 01 to be much less rigid in a crash, thus diminishing the damage the cover previously did to the rear window. Another RAV4 owner here has installed a T bar in the tow slot which projects beyond the spare's dimensions so that IT would be the first thing to contact someone elses bumper or a telephone pole or whatever. Obviously if we take proper care in backing we minimize damage WE may do, but what about the other guy hitting us in the butt?
    Your input on these two issues is appreciated.
    Safe driving.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    ..I have a new '04 RAV and have not experienced the "hot CD" problem - warm but not hot and no warmer than other car's CD players. As to the rear end potential damage problem: I would think that adding any kind of towing hitch/bar that is far enough out to be effective will create two more problems - 1. pedestrians could bang their shins on it and 2. it would probably be so low down that it would offer little protection if someone rearends you. Not sure how a tow bar or ball offers much protection anyway. I'm going to enjoy mine without worrying about the issue at all. Oh, and BTW, no sign of the infamous dash "rattle" on mine (touch wood). 8~)
  • Highway safety institute did 5-mph bumper tests on 2001 RAV4. The RAV4 got a "poor" rating.

    "The Toyota RAV4, like a number of other sport utility vehicles, has the spare tire mounted on the tailgate. This design, which is predominately for styling reasons, guarantees excessive damage in a whole range of rear collisions," said Brian O'Neill, president of the institute.

    I hope the 2004 model can do better.
  • 1davao1davao Posts: 114
    Here's another Waag bumper. Would this defeat the crumple zones designed by Toyota? Has anyone installed this bumper?

  • I recently got rear-ended in my 2004 rav4.. three months of owning and already an accident..

    It actually involved three cars. My car was the first, a jeep grand cherokee was the second, and a '90 something sedan was the third and the one who caused the whole accident. The traffic was rather abrupt - stop and go, and the third car just didn't put on their brakes. Sadly the jeep decided the best way to try and prevent an accident was to get as close to my car as possible..

    The third car was in horrible shape - hood crunched, the whole deal. The jeep was almost in perfect shape.. the trailer hitch had just shattered and there were a few scratches and paint flakes.

    As for my rav4.. the tire crunched down. No damage to the windshield. HOWEVER.. the entire back still had to be completely replaced. Everything was cracked, I guess. It cost around $1900.. (I believe $1899.02 was the exact cost) and took two weeks to get repaired even with my cousin knowing the mechanics.

    .. and it's not even completely fixed. I'm missing my spare tire and hard cover. Apparently there's a second cover underneath the hard cover and that's very difficult to find.. I take small comfort in the fact if anyone rear ends me again, they'll have to deal with the four bolts sticking out from where the spare tire usually sits.

    Just in case anyone was curious about the actual expenses/experience of a rear collision.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    The price of $1900 to repair the rear-end damage doesn't sound that bad to me; I would have thought it would be higher than that (of course, depending on how fast the Jeep was moving when it hit you). It doesn't take much these days to eat up $1000 in body repairs. I previously had a 2000 4Runner that a friend backed into a big metal waste container and broke the rear tail light and bent the bumper a little bit. Cost over $1200 to fix. Assume the other guy's insurance paid for your damage?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    "My dealer explained in detail that though there is no bumper visible to the naked eye, the rear bumper area IS a dynamic crush crumple zone specially designed to act as a traditional bumper would."

    I believe that the bumper-area is a crumple zone, but I strongly doubt that it offers any protection like a traditional bumper would.

    Occupants are given some protection by sacrificing the sheet metal, IMO.
  • The jeep had stopped and a few seconds later, the third car slammed into the jeep, pushing it into me. I was surprised that the entire back door had to be replaced. My first thought was relief that the back glass had not been broken.. after reading stories on edmunds about the tire shooting up and shattering the windshield, I was a bit apprehensive. My relief was for naught since everything had to be relaced anyway.

    The third car did pay for everything. Not having my car for those two weeks and having to be shuttled by my mother to classes did suck, however.

    I'm finding random pieces of plastic in my rav4 as well.. I'm not quite certain where they've broken off from.

    As for actual rav4 owning experience.. I really do like mine. Of course, my last car was a '90 4runner and compared to that, anything new is pretty nice. I went between the cr-v and the rav4.. in the end, went with the rav4 since they got out their 2004 models before honda did and my cousin knew the toyota dealers and was able to get us a good deal. I like the exterior of the cr-v better than the rav4.. but the interior of the rav4 is better than the cr-v imho.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    I happen to prefer the exterior looks of RAV4 over the CRV and I think the interiors are both good. I think you made the right choice as the CRV has the reactive AWD and the RAV system is superior. Hope you find out where all those bits of plastic come from. It's crappy when you get hit like that when your car is so new. Good luck.
  • I've decided to buy a 2004 FWD L RAV4 and would like opinions on getting an extended warranty? Is it really something I need to consider? I have a '94 Toyota p-up that I have zero problems with. Yet, my 2000 Chrysler Sebring has had some issues (hence why I am going back to Toyota). So, is it worth the addittional $$?

    The other question is pricing. MSRP is $22.7 and the dealer is only willing to take $500 off the price. His reasoning is that he's giving me full bluebook on the Chrysler that I am trading. Think this is a fair deal? The MSRP is standard for the area (Richmond, VA). and Yes, I have the time to check out the other 4 dealers in the area. Except...this is the only one that has the color I want (green). The other option is I can sell the car and then go haggle but I am not sure I want to hassle with selling the car.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    Purplecat - it really depends on how long you plan to keep the RAV. If you think you're keeping only 3 or 4 years, I wouldn't get the extended. If keeping much longer, you might consider it. Toyotas are generally pretty well built and dependable but every once and a while there is a dud. I think you can defer the decision up to the end of the existing 3yr. warranty. Check on that, then decide.
  • All that said, I hope Silversyren is ok, and suffered no serious injuries.....
    Thanks to 1 Davao for the bumper link...I like the looks of it, but I wonder if it will do much good if whatever contacts it contacts the tire as well, since I think the tire extends out further.
    Silversyren, take a look at the bumper link, and tell us if you think it would have done much good in your accident.
    If we find someone that actually has the bumper, then maybe the thing to do it put the silly tire sans cover in the cargo area, dress up the 4 bolts with some cosmetics(we could get a pretty good contest going on that) and be safer all the way around.
  • chrizchriz Posts: 3
    It all sounds like it would be cheaper to install that extra bumper right away...safari style!
    Is anybody experienced with Toyotas own bumpers/ Grill Guards and how they work in action! I know they look good, but at the end of the day it won't save my car or my wallet.
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    Hello, I'm new to this discussion because I'm contemplating purchasing a new Rav4.

    My question is has anyone with a Rav4 tried carry a bike upright in the back (presumably with the seats folder forward). I can easily remove the bike's front wheel and, if necessary, the seat/seatpost. I realize that the bike can be easily carried flat or on a roof rack, but I'm curious about inside space. I need the bike to be upright to give my 2 dogs and other luggage space. Is there an easy way to lash the bike to the side with bungie cords (i.e. any tie-downs)? Thanks for any info.
  • Hi Folks,

    With a long New England commute of approx 112 miles round trip I was wondering what you folks are getting with your new 2004 AWD and auto trans RAV's? Current ride is a Frontier Crew cab and although I love the truck and it's been reliable as all get out, I need something better on gas. Max mpg I think was about 18. Currently considering the Subie family, Outback Sport and Forester along with the boost HP from Mitsu Outlander. I decided to give Honda rest. Current 99 ODY Van has had a good deal of problems and I don't care for the CRV style. With the new HP gains in the RAV4, it's worth a look. Also what are you averaging for cost with no extra's other then auto on the base model.

  • hoodyhoody Posts: 25
    Anybody seen a site with any info on what the 05 RAV4 will look like?..... I gave up on the Hyundai santa FE after reading about all the problems with their tranny..... but like the looks of their new 05 Tucson....... but will look at the 05 RAV4 first...
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    I do not think the '05 model is slated to be materially different from the '04. No new model of RAV4 is coming for about 2 or 3 years (as far as I am told). The '04 got the larger engine and some minor facelifting so doubt '05 will be much changed. Not proven fact, just opinion.
  • My wife and I own a 2001 Rav4 and recently have experienced the need to purchase a new alternator and the labor costs that go long with purchasing and installing the alternator($480 per the dealer). Here's the funny thing.. the car will be THREE YEARS OLD in april....where's the quality in that? Of course Toyota will not replace the part due to that the car has 51,000 miles on it. I've voiced my frustration with the main office and the dealer here (Longview Texas) is not willing to cooperate because they have the mind set as some other dealers do...You need us, we don't need you! With that said, Toyota has lost my support as a perspective buyer, much less a return customer.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    All vehicles are built by man and machine and parts/components sometimes fail; sometimes even sooner than we think they should. Bear in mind that overall Toyota products experience less problems than many other makes. Check the reliability charts in Consumer's Reports or the JDPower surveys. Sorry you have a problem but you might have been even less happy with a different kind of vehicle. And you are out of the warranty period.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    One of my Toyotas had the original alternator at 140,000 miles, and this was with mostly short trips, but my friend's Honda Civic had an alternator go at about 60,000 miles (mostly long trips). 60,000+ on one of my current Toyotas, zero problems. Alternators can be a little strange/tempermental, but Toyota is the most reliable brand of car in it's price range, if you consider the sources cited in the post above. Sorry to hear about your luck.
  • If you have a good mechanic have them replace it and save some money.
  • I just wanted to say "thank you" to those of you who read my complaint and voiced your views, but the fact remains that if Toyota wants to pride themselves on product longevity and quaility, they need to take care of their customes. If not, I'm sure the nissan,and honda dealers will be more than happy to accept my business.
  • Forget the dealer, it is only a 30 minuts job (may be less). I had my Celica's replaced for only $130.00 (part + On-site labor). Your RAV4 should be under $200.00. Save another $280.00 for your next tire replacement.
  • Anyone else tried the 3M clear tape on the windshield fix?
  • I am looking to buy a small SUV, and looking at the Rav4 and CRV...what kind of mileage does the RAv4 get? How are the Toyota dealerships service wise? Interested in a 2004 auto perhaps "L"...are AWD available in CA? Will be test driving this weekend...but dont want to wait 3 or more months to special order...thanks, Bee
  • QualityQuality Posts: 17
    Just picked up the new unit yesterday. Actually, I was quite impressed with the way the new Rav 4 looked when I set my eyes on it. The pictures that they print out with the specs and prices don't tell you what the vehicles look like in real life. It has grey bumpers which works very well with the grey or flint body The fake hood scoop is a nice touch too. Anybody else have a 5 speed? Very easy to drive on flat, but hills take time to get used to Feels like a very well built, quality vehicle.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    beebee13 - I went thru the same process about 2 months ago and got the RAV4. Being in Canada, the trim levels are different but I got the "C" package which is just about everything except moonroof and leather. It depends on your needs - if you need lots of space for people and gear, don't mind the reactive AWD (not true AWD) and the looks of the CRV, it's a good car. Gas mileage will be about the same RAV to CRV. I prefer the RAV over the CRV for styling, fun to drive, true AWD (better than CRV's system) and Toyota reliablility/resale. Depends what you need; both are better than many other choices in same catagory (small SUVs - although they are really just tall wagons as neither are useful off-road).
  • beebee13beebee13 Posts: 38
    Thanks for the input!! no off roading,just driving dogs and teenagers around! I like the looks of the RAV 4 (always have!)...of course so does my teen...says the CRV is too square-off like the Element...anyway, will be test driving myself since it will be my car (my husband test drove RAV before)...thanks again, Bee
  • mickeymickey Posts: 3
    I bought a 2004 RAV4 over a CR-V EX because

    1. RAV4 has more standard safety features (4-disc ABS, EBD brakes, VSC+traction control, tire pressure monitoring, audio controls on steerling wheel, and side air bags option)
    2. RAV4 is made in Japan
    3. RAV4 looks better
    4. RAV4 is quieter and has a smoother ride
    5. RAV4's supply is better, so that I could buy one at invoice.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    The RAV is about 250 lbs lighter with same hp/torque so likely is faster; RAV feels better to drive (subjective call) and RAV has superior AWD system. And agreed, the RAV does look a lot better - I think the CRV is very bland/boring.
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