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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • certainly , i reside in baltimore area, i test drove 3 '04 RAVs at 3 different Toyota dealerships . and every one of them had side/curtain air bags in them . So imagine my surprise to hear the good folks in Gulfs,West Coast,other locations, not having a CHOICE . i couldnt even imagine a Highlander or 4Runner without side/curtain air bag option. Yes , i agree whomever made that policy is 'shameful and reprehensible'.
    If my Toyota dealer told me i had to 'wait' for airbag option for my 04' RAV , i would had 04' CRV EX [side airbags standard] parked in my driveway now .
    your suggestion about Toyota Corp. stepping in and correct this wrongful practice is good one .
  • rhouser2rhouser2 Posts: 114
    yes you have a choice. refuse to take one of the lot and order one with what you want on it. it's that simple.
  • jcliffrojcliffro Posts: 108
    It isn't that simple to order a vehicle for someone who suddenly finds they want a new car and cannot wait 3 to 5 months. Toyota needs to fix this wrong or more people will do as Postal40 Hondas or other makes. And when Toyota is offering rebates on RAV4s, Highlanders and 4Runners ON DEALER LOTS of up to $1500, do you think it is fair to have to pay over $2,000 plus tax (loss of rebate and cost of side air bags) just to get that life saving option? I might consider looking in the Baltimore area rather than give my business to dealers or distributors who are contributing to this injustice.
  • No ,i do not think its fair that some of you have to pay over 2 grand and the rest of us dont ,for the right to own side/curtain airbags . those Toyotas are expensive investments,you buyers deserve better . I bought my RAV4 L from Carmax/Toyota dealer . while i was in showroom , i read that Carmax has locations in '20 cities'? Maybe you wont need to come all the way out to Baltimore to get your RAV . I also read that Toyota $750 rebate expires 8/31 ,any word on whether Toyota would extend it ?
  • jcliffrojcliffro Posts: 108
    Now helpful information like you have provided is what makes chat postings like this so invaluable. Great idea on contacting Carmax directly and thank you so much for your response.

    PS Maryland and WVA are the only 2 states to which I have not been, so picking up a new Toyota and seeing Annapolis, Baltimore, Cumberland and whatever there is to see in WVA and then winding my way back to New Orleans doesn't sound too bad to me. Kind of like those who take delivery of a new BMW in Germany, tool around and then ship it home.
  • rhouser2rhouser2 Posts: 114
    who told you it would take 3-5 months to take delivery of a vehicle you order? that's a bunch of crap! the salesman i talked to said it would take 6-8 weeks. not much longer than a domestic company. you have got to stop getting pushed around by these sales people.
  • jcliffrojcliffro Posts: 108
    were you present? was I pushed around? you have to stop making statements about situations you know nothing about. perhaps the sales people you talked to were taking you for a ride. you do seem like the gullible type to me.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Can we rave about the RAV and not about each other please?


    Steve, Host
  • JCliffro,
    you are welcome,i am glad to help you and other Toyota owners in this chat format. I myself , certainly learned a few things in here . Based on my experience , you would be satified with Carmax with their 'no haggle' prices [ my homework shows their prices match Edmunds' TMV prices]. That would give you more time to visit all the Maryland cities you mentioned . West Virginia is only 2 hour commute from here . Your idea is not bad at all , better than paying the local Toyota dealer a king's ransom and make you wait as they want you to endure [honestly ,who really knows how the delivery would take? ]

    Ride Safe and Happy
  • jcliffrojcliffro Posts: 108
    I urge anyone thinking of purchasing a Toyota RAV-4 to read the brief Associated Press report dated July 2004 on the test of a RAV-4 with and without side air bags/air curtains. The results were subsequently reported on DATELINE NBC. Just copy and paste the following link to your web browser. Note also that the Insurance Institute's full testing results can be found by clicking on the Insurance Institute's link found at the very bottom of the article.
  • jcliffro

    the link you provided about RAV airbags tests was informative . i even printed a copy to save with my RAV 'files' . my father had advised me to save brochures, factory stickers,EPA gas milegages ,etc, everytime i purchased a vehicle . his point was : if you ever decide sell to private party, those documents might come in handy .
  • ravalraval Posts: 1
    I bought a 2003 RAV4 AWD with Buffalo,NY worst winter driving conditions in mind (need to visit/transport my daughter and her stuff to University of Buffalo at anytime). Last winter there were enough snow storms, blizzard like snowfall,ice,sleet,black ice,and slush in Staten Island,NY(downstate)and northern New Jersey to drive RAV4 in HEAVY snow. With enough power,AWD,anti-lock brakes, Stability/Traction control,& safe driving habit I rated the RAV4 A1,'10',5star,EXCELLENT for winter conditions. ABSOLUTELY NO SKIDDING!! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the RAV4 AWD FOR ANY DRIVER AGE WORRIED ABOUT DRIVING ON SNOWFLAKES. Just don't forget to bring the scraper, and extra dry clothes (from boots to hats),blankets,food and water....just in case the road is blocked by disabled cars or trucks.
  • egretegret Posts: 10
    Has anyone had good/bad experiences w/the AC in v. hot weather (we're in southern Arizona), especially in the back seat (wanting to know how cool it will be for infant in car seat)? We've been looking into the 2004 with automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, and side air bags.
  • gogiboygogiboy Posts: 732
    My wife and I ran into the same problem as jcliffro and we certainly didn't feel pushed around.

    We tried--and failed--to requisition (Toyota's term for "ordering") a 2004 Rav4 w/ side airbags among some other options. We live in OK and went through our local small city dealer, who in turn had to go through Gulf States Toyota. We waited 5 months (mid-March to mid-August), before it became painfully evident that Gulf States Toyota couldn't or wouldn't get a vehicle for us. The salesman felt that it was the side airbags that made the requisition fail ultimately.

    We think that a lack of side airbag equipped vehicles being ordered/sent by/to Gulf States for their dealer network played some part as did are small local dealership's lack of clout. Other areas where folks can work directly through US Toyota probably have better luck with options and shorter turn around.

    In the end we bought a 2002 RAV4 AWD (AWD also hard to get in Gulf States) with 21,000 miles from a Lexus dealership. It doesn't have side airbags, but does have every other option except moonroof and spoiler. Plus we saved almost $6500 over a comparably equipped 04. My only complaint is that I wish the 02s had the 160 hp 2.4 engine for a little extra zip.
  • A/C works very well. Here in NJ, we don't experience weather much over 90 normally, but the humidity is high at times. I would guess that it would work fine in your clinate.
  • crhcrh Posts: 29
    I have also been searching for a RAV4 with the curtain airbags, and have been running into walls. There are definitely some around, but when you consider how many dealers are in the Washington DC metropolitan area and how many Ravs are on the lots, it is amazing to me that there aren't more with the airbags. This will be a third family car, driven primarily by a teen who has a 25 minute commute to school each day. My husband likes the Santa Fe, but I just can't make myself purchase something without those airbags. Unfortunately, that also pretty much limits us to a new car, unless we want to go to the expense of a volvo or something.
  • Does anyone know the rollover rating for the RAV4? I saw that an older version received 3 stars which seems pretty bad considering the Forester received 4 stars and still has a 16% chance of rolling over.

    Also, can anyone recommend a good Toyota dealer in the New Orleans area? A few years ago I purchased a car from Lakeside and their service dept. treated me badly.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    To view rollover ratings for individual vehicles, visit the rating section at

    The '04 & '05 RAV-4 hasn't been rated; the '03 4x2 got 3 stars.

    Steve, Host
  • =20040907b

    $100 or 0.5 percent on the base price.... I won't complain. Would anyone please post what their experience was in the past as far as what incentives were available at the very beginning of the model year? (I'm trying to make a decision if i should have a dealer locate an '04 with side air bags (potentially with options i don't want) OR order an '05 to specs AND still get a "hot deal/price".)

    Does anyone think side airbags will become standard on '05's? Toyota customer service tells me that headquarters continually pushes back the date for release of information.
  • That same press release says:
    "The RAV4 remains unchanged for 2005 after appearance enhancements in 2004."

    I guess that answers your questions about side airbags becoming standard.
  • Can anyone tell me what the issue is concerning the lack of a back bumper? It looks to me that it has as much of a bumper as other small SUV's like the CRV. Does anyone have the unfortunate experience of owning a RAV4 and being hit in the back? Please let me know because I'm considering buying a used '98/'99 RAV4. Thanks to all!
  • I've been hit hard in the rear at least three times in my life (Nissan and VW cars). In all cases, because of the rear bumpers, I experienced no damage at all. Without a rear bumper I would expect costly repairs. I wish our two RAV4 had bumpers as we plan to keep each about ten years.
  • wsommariva, do you have any idea what is the difference between the RAV4's rear compared to the CRV's and other suv's who wear the spare tire on the back? Wouldn't they all be costly to repair with this same set up? It looks as though the RAV4 has about the same set up as many other cars on the road as far as what looks like a bumper. What do you think?
  • spchan wrote:
    That same press release says:
    "The RAV4 remains unchanged for 2005 after appearance enhancements in 2004."

    I guess that answers your questions about side airbags becoming standard.


    I don't think that speaks about saftey features, only styling and the look of the vehicle. Then again wouldn't they want to boast such a great option which would be standard? I guess time will tell.
  • Another press release...

    ( d=2005Rav4_r)

     ...dated today states:

    "Front seat-mounted side airbags and first and second row side curtain airbags are available for RAV4, much like the level of passive safety features available in the brand's larger SUV models."

    Obviously the words "...are available..." mean that side air bags will be an option. So, no standard side air bags on the RAV4 for '05.

    There were several other press releases dated today for the RAV4 including feateures, specs and options. See this page: V4
  • I see they are still over stating the payload capacity on the RAV4. They had those numbers listed for the 04 models too. In side the drivers door are the specs and my 04 AWD auto says max load 760 lbs. It's made me feel a little ripped off.
  • If the CRV has a 5 mph bumper, which I believe it does I would think it would do much better in some hits. Since I've experienced at least three hits in the rear I'm concerned about the no rear bumper. When shopping for small SUVs in 2002, the CRVs were in high demand and therefore the dealers were getting sticker, when they had them. My plan was to drive them both and buy the one we liked best. We bought the RAV4 and are happy with it and now have a 2004 also.
  • I went to the local quarry to buy sand for my Fall lawn work. Without looking at the manual, I figured that a "5" seater's capacity would be around 1,000 pounds. So I shoveled in 1,000 pounds of sand. The car drove fine. I wouldn't recommend this for everyday driving, buy once a year I'm ok with it.
  • Thanks for your input. I'm still confused about the supposedly no bumper on the RAV since it appears to have what looks like what other small suv's and cars have. Oh well...
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,679
    It has no visible, exterior bumper. Yes, it will cost more to repair than a car with a regular bumper, but that is why you have insurance. The most you pay is the deductible, if your fault. The cost to insure a Rav is CHEAPER than my car, so the high cost to the insurance company to repair a hit to the rear is not an issue. Even a tap to a car bumper is over $500. Don't worry about the bumper - it really is not an issue.
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