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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • I live in the Chicago area. There are plenty of Rav4's in stock here, but most are silver. I have yet to see a blue one. Maybe I should check it out.

    I can understand why you would want the AWD model. If I were in Montana I would go for the AWD model too.

    Thanks again!
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    for sure - it's called Spectra Blue Mica, and it's metallic - it is a deep, mid-range to darker blue that just glistens in the sunlight. Mine is the blue (we get solid colors here so the bumpers, side protector strip and wheel arches are blue also)and I added the chrome side step bars and (of course) it has the mag wheels. Got a second set of after-market mags to run with my 4 winter tires - so it looks good summer and winter. Look the colors up on the Toyota website.
    I think the blue is the nicest but it is a subjective call for sure. Good luck!!
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    We've been following the discussion of this board for some time and after narrowing our choice between 5 speed versions of the CRV and RAV4 we have decided to go with the RAV.

    In the end we liked features in both vehicles and have no bias for or against either manufacturer since we currently own a 92 Toyota MR2 and 94 Honda Civic and both of those cars are far superior to anything we owned previously from Detroit or Germany.

    We liked the additional cargo space of the CRV for my bike, but I can easily disassemble it and make the fit in the RAV, plus the RAV factory rack will accept Thule and Yakima bike mounts according to those man. websites. The RAV felt more car-like, and the FWD version is more fuel efficient that the AWD CRV we were considering (primarily because of the options pkg, not the AWD since we live in the south). With gas expected to top $3/gallon this summer the roughly 500 lb weight difference with roughly equivalent torque/hp is substantial and that factored into our decision.

    Interestingly, it's easier in my area to get a better deal on a CRV than a RAV4 despite the fact that the CRV appears to be outselling the RAV by a considerable margin. But that may also be due to the fact that we are ordering a RAV equipped exactly the way we want it rather than getting one off a lot or through dealer trade.

    The beauty in ordering one, however, is that you purchase exactly what you want rather than what (in this case) Gulf States Toyota thinks you should get in terms of options bundles with you car. Thus, no extraneous (for us) Extra Mile Pkgs and the like. Of course we have to wait 5-6 months for delivery, but we aren't in any rush.

    In the end the best price we could get on the RAV4 is 6% over Dealer Wholesale (according to the Consumer Reports price sheet I bought) and a little less than 4% over invoice whereas the CRV was 5% over Dealer Wholesale and 3% over invoice. In OK we pay a 3% excise tax based on actual price paid, not MSRP, to the state plus tag and title, but it is not part of the total paid to the dealer.

    We ordered our FWD, 5 speed, Everglade Green RAV with the following options: Factory Installed:(AW),(UP),(GY),(KE),(DR),(RF),(MG). Port Installed: (CF),(NI),(P4) For a grand total out-the-door Price of $21,455. It's not an AWD or Automatic, but it's obviously better than $5500 cheaper than the Edmunds road tested 2004 RAV.

    We could have gotten the 5 speed EX CRV for $21.090

    I don't know if any of the above info will be useful, but I figured I owed something to the group for all the helpful information gleaned from these discussions. Obviously, in the end, the best choice is what best suits each driver/owner's needs, but both small "SUVs" are well made and have excellent reliability. And both appear to have legions of admirers.
  • wombenwomben Posts: 1
    My wife's 2001, while at a stoplight, began surging which she couldn't overcome with her brake - hitting and moving a large SUV in front of her........has anyone else noted surging in their RAV4? There was a recent recall for Camrys for a surging problem.
  • Dang... I don't think I could wait 5-6 months for a Rav4. It will be nice when they start building them state side. The local Toyota dealer here told me they plan on building Rav4's in the US around 2006/7.

    Anyway, here in Chicago the CR-V's are cheaper priced, but I believe it is because they have a large supply here in Chicagoland.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Other Canadian members have the right flag flying; I don't know why yours is missing. Try tweaking your Profile and logging out and back in. (link's at the top left).

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    Steve, Host
  • After all the searching I've done, I have not seen the blue color you're describing. I thought it was to dark. However, if it is the same blue that I have seen on new Camry's and Corolla's blue would have to be my #1 color choice. The 2005 Escape has a new blue, but it looks faded and dull (IMO).

    BTW, I replied to a Ford dealer here, I told him I was buying a Rav4 for the following reasons:

    "Price (value), depreciation, quality and mileage were key factors."

    This is what he replied back with:

    "I believe that the Ford Escape is a better value for the reasons you stated. . .

    Plus...When given the choice.....I buy American."

    I then replied back to him the following:

    "That is your opinion; however, go to,, and others. Look at the history and ratings. Isn't a lot of Fords made in Mexico and Canada (nothing against my Canadian/Mexican friends, I was just trying to make a point)? Toyota has many models built in the US. I think the buy American phrase is a bit blurred. My vehicles are assemble at various plants throughout the world with parts from numerous countries. To say that buying a Ford means you're buying American isn't true, you're just buying from an American company that has vehicles built all over the globe.

    I test drove the new 2005 2.3L yesterday, weak and loud. And the gas mileage isn't much of an improvement over the V6."

    I haven't received a reply. Of course a Ford dealer is gonna say that, if they didn't he wouldn't sell any cars. It's the same for any other car dealer, they are going to say their vehicle is the best yadda, yadda, yadda. But in my opinion and tons of others, including Edmunds and Consumer Reports, the Rav4 is a better pick for me.
  • wannaravwannarav Posts: 5
    I'm new here and I am looking for some help...I've pretty much decided on this model but... I will be hauling about 600 lbs (just an estimate) on a daily basis mostly highway driving. I need to find out if a 2.4L motor with FWD is going to handle the load. I am buying new and planning to keep the Rav for a long time. I was also considering extended warranty just in case. I can't afford to have any unexpected repair expenses that are over a couple hundred bucks. Its not in the budget. A deductible is a bit more reasonable. I am counting on Toyotas reputation to hold out. My prior car had to have the engine replaced, without the warranty I could not have had it done. I don't have a back up car and rely on my car not being out of service for any length of time. Any input will be appreciated. Thanks!
  • wsommarivawsommariva Posts: 157
    I believe 600 pounds is within the limits. You should be able to find the max weight recommended, somewhere - maybe Edmonds or the Toyota site.

    My wife has a 2002 RAV4 - with the 2.0L engine. I remember hauling at least 600 pounds of lime in it and it was a bit of a struggle. Add 240 for me and 100 for the wife for a total of 940. If your weight approaches this consider a vehicle with a bigger engine. IMVHO.
  • wsommarivawsommariva Posts: 157
    Never heard of surging before. Check the Camry site. Maybe they have discussions on the issue. Did you call the dealer about this? Did it straighten out? Anyone know if this car is drive by wire? or the traditional cable set up?
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I've read the '01 RAV is drive-by-wire, and I assume all newer models are too.
  • 600 lbs should be fine. Consider this, if you had 4 adults each weighing... say 185 lbs. That would put you at over 700 lbs. The Rav4 was designed to carry 5 people. In my opinion you should be okay.

    I wish some current Rav4 owners would post here more often.

    As of today I have yet to buy my Rav4. They won't give me much for my trade-in so I'm trying to sell it before I buy the Rav4. The two local dealers keep calling me about twice a week. I think when I do sell my car I'm going to get a deal on the Rav4 that I want. The funny thing about this is the CR-V prices here are dropping. You can get a 2004 CR-V AWD EX for 21k. But they would have to drop the price considerably for me to purchase a CR-V. The Price to Ugly factor ratio would change too. LOL
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    smsuv is experiencing the same issues we faced before ordering our RAV4. In my area (OK) there is an abundance of both CRVs and RAV4's on the dealer lots we visited although probably more CRVs total.

    Whether American Honda is offering dealers extra incentives or dealers are more motivated to unload stock they are cheaper than an equivalently optioned RAV4.

    Like smsuv we found the RAV more aesthetically pleasing, and a more car-like drive. I think that if we lived up north where travel in snowy conditions is a more constant issue we might have leaned more to the CRV despite aesthetic issues. However, even though I believe the Toyota AWD system superior to the Honda AWD, we would have been priced out of the AWD RAV4. The funny thing is I spent 30+ years of my life living in MI and WI and drove awful rwd American made sedans for all, but one of the years I lived there and somehow managed to survive.

    Smsuv is smart to sell their old vehicle rather than trade it in because the dealer will always gouge you on the trade-in (or look for additional profit somewhere else) and because it will take that issue off the table and make your negotiating much simpler. We have also found great financing through Capital One (there is a link on Edmunds site). It's something like 3.4% right now, which is substantially better than any lender in our area and approaches some of the best manufacturer financing.

    Given that RAV4s aren't selling that well--at least in my area does anyone know why Toyota isn't offering any incentives? My local dealer has about 6 Ravs on the lot, 2 of which are 2003 models. Could it be because they are imported rather than made in the US/Canada/Mexico?
  • bpraticobpratico Posts: 23
    I'm currently driving a 96 RAV with 140k miles - not one thing has gone wrong (not even a light bulb has burned out.) The vehicle has been phenomenal, and I'm looking to get a new RAV sometime down the road.

    I've looked closely at the CRV and Forester XT, even the Honda Element - but keep coming back the RAV. I've been so spoiled by the RAV's reliability so I'm leery of anything else.

    I'm waiting for "confirmed" rumors of what Toyota will do in the 2006 RAV model year (which would be released in the fall of 2005).

    Rumors abound of the RAV being discontinued in 2006, or continuing with a V6 option of the RAV in 2006, etc.

    Anyone out there know someone who works for Toyota and can give us a confirmed rumor?
  • Don't wait, go buy your next vehicle. You can't go wrong with any of those you picked. You just need to factor in your needs and taste, however, if you wife falls in love with the vehicle then that is probably the one you should buy. You must make her happy.

    Did I mention before that you shouldn't bring your wife with you car shopping?
  • You state -> "Given that RAV4s aren't selling that well" How do you know? You might be correct though. I went back to a few of the dealers and saw the same Rav4's still on the lot.
  • beebee13beebee13 Posts: 38
    Has anyone put a bumper guard on their RAV rear bumper for added protection? Also, when did they stop making the 2 door RAV? Seen a few around...just wondering why they stopped amking them.
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    Smsuv--I really don't know how well the 2004 Rav4s are selling except from my own experience on the few lots I visited (mostly the local Toyota lot). I can't remember if I read it on Edmund's site, but there was a quote stating that part of the reason Toyota re-freshened the 04 Rav was that sales had dropped 50% from the 02 to 03 model. Of the four Toy. dealerships I visited all had 3-4 new 2003 models still available with an equal or smaller number of 04s.

    I also read--although I don't remember where--that the Jeep Liberty and Honda CRV are battling for first place in terms of total sales and that they were followed by the Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute twins. Don't know how far below the above mentioned small SUVs the Rav4 ranked. I tried accessing a website that supposedly offers sales figures, but couldn't download the info and now I seem to have lost the web address. Maybe someone knows where fairly up-to-date sales figures can be gotten.

    I certainly don't mean to claim any inside information or to mislead folks about how well a given vehicle is selling and my previous statements should only be viewed as anectdotal observation of a local trend. I thought if the Rav4 was selling poorly it might give me some additional leverage when buying, but the dealer can dispute the figures anyway, or may not care.
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    Actually the sales drop from 02 to 03 was 15%, not 50%, which isn't all that bad. Sorry! How much less than a CRV or Liberty would be helpful, though.
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    .. is shown right in the website under "colors" for the RAV4. Sorry, can't post pix of mine. Sorry to be so long in reply but I was away 10 days. I have recently seen this spectra blue mica color on US RAV4s so I know it exists in the US. Keep looking!!
  • wannaravwannarav Posts: 5
    I have been swaying toward a van but keep coming back to the Rav4. I'm so confused! I go to flea markets and need space for tables and merchandise, a cooler and room to sleep in if I choose to. Just not sure its big enough. I looked at vans but they seem too big. I checked out the CR-V found it to be well... after sitting in the Rav I don't need to say much LOL. With the price of gas the Rav looks real good! The V-6 do use more gas which is why I really didn't pay alot of attention to the Liberty or the Tribute. I have a Geo hatchback now but its just not big enough. I don't see doing flea markets the rest of my life, so a van would be good now, but not of much use later. I don't think that I will have another chance to buy a new car like this again. I want this one to last 10 yrs or more. If I quit flea marketing the Rav4 will still not be too big. Boy do I need HELP!!!!!!!
  • wannaravwannarav Posts: 5
    I just read that 2000 was the last year for 2 door Ravs
  • wannaravwannarav Posts: 5
    No news about that year, but at the 04 auto show a rep from Toyota told me that 06-07 could be a hybrid. Only toyota knows and they are tight lipped about what and when they do anything. Sorry it isn't much help.
  • fagglefaggle Posts: 5
    I have been told that it is necessary to put a new timing belt on the Rav4 at 60,000 miles and also to change several of the fluids in the drive train area. Is this necessary? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.....
  • rblelandrbleland Posts: 312
    YES - it is necessary. If your timing belt lets go, you will have a lot bigger bill to deal with (like a rebuilt engine). And fresh fluids is just inexpensive insurance. Just do it!!
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    Yes, do the timing belt, but I am pretty sure that most, if not all Toyotas, have non-interference engines, so if the belt breaks, you just stop, but no engine damage. Other makers, like Honda, have interference engines - belt breaks, engine is destroyed. Also, do the fluid changes.
  • We were looking for a bike rack for our 96 Rav (any suggestions).

    There seam to be 2 types in general, one that connects to the area where the spare tire is and racks that connect to a 2" hitch. To my surprise our RAV has the bumper in the back and when I pulled out the little rubber Toyota logo...low and behold a hitch. HOWEVER it appears to only be 1" square. Is this another one of those wanna be SUV features that are really meant more for show than play? Certainly I would never tow anything with this just bearly moves itself. Still if a bike rack can be hooked up here I'd like to hear about it. THANKS!
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    Response to 1342-1344

    I was told by the dealer from whom I ordered my 04 Rav4 that the Rav4 uses a timing chain, not a timing belt and that it never has to be replaced. I believe that this was backed up on Toyota's website.

    My 1992 MR2 has a non-interference timing belt which I replaced at 58,000 miles.

    Anyone have a clarification?
  • rickstratrickstrat Posts: 25
    Get a hidden hitch adapter for about $25 that gets you from 1 1/4 to 2" hitch receiver. Or you could buy a 1 1/4" bike carrier.
  • stragerstrager Posts: 308
    according to Toyota. I'm sure that's what will happen nationwide once the Scion rollout is complete. I considered the Rav before I bought my xB. The xB has more room than the Rav and has ABS, vehicle stability control (VSC), and traction control all standard for less than $15K. Check out the xB before you buy a Rav.
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