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Toyota RAV4 pre-2006



  • i_luv_toyotai_luv_toyota Posts: 350
    Any news yet on any updates?

    This board is moving just short of a glacial pace!
  • ravenousravenous Posts: 13
    3rd fave after Santa Fe? "Value" can be very subjective. If a vehicle has sluggish acceleration and shoddy build quality, I'd say its value diminishes a bit. And, much as I hate to admit, appearance has value, too!

    My 2 cents; nothing personal.
  • sacstate1sacstate1 Posts: 189
    I have read unofficially that the Rav4 will be phased out in '05 for a new off-road design code named FJ40 by Toyota. Have you heard/read anything on this unproven topic?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    what I read is that when they bring in the FJ40 for the 2006 model year they feel it will compete too much with RAV, which is why they are dropping RAV. But RAV will apparently run through its life cycle and for a year or so they will be sold concurrently.

    The FJ40 is a two-door mini-ute styled to look like the original FJ40 Land Cruiser from the early 70s. It will be more trucky and suited to offroading than the RAV. I believe it is supposed to compete directly with Wrangler, or something.

    Perhaps by then there will be such an enormous market for crossovers that Toyota will decide to keep the RAV and introduce a gen 3.

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

  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    Just read where the 2004 is getting, along with some minor cosmetic tweaks, the Highlander's 2.4
    4 cyl......I believe they said it was good for 160-161 hp in the it's more than competitive with the CR-V, new Outlander, Forester (but not turbo) etc. I really hope they keep the Rav4 around for a 3rd generation. Now that it's got a decent engine, it can grow a bit to better compete with the CR-V. And please, give the next gen. a proper hatch, or maybe a split tailgate like the Element. I think the FJ40 will be more hard-core off-road, so there is plenty of room (and market share) for Toyota to keep the Rav4.
  • I don't think Toyota should drop the RAV4, because like wheelz4 said the FJ40 will be geared to offroad (ie rough ride, high climb in height, etc), whereas the RAV4 is geared to pavement.

    Toyota will lose market to people who want a small on-road SUV that can handle minor off-road (like fire trails) situations if RAV4 is dropped permantly.

    With the 2.4-liter engine, the RAV4 finally eliminated the power problem, so move over CRV, Toyota's coming through!!

    I don't think Toyota would go through the trouble of upgrading the engine if the car was going to be dropped in a couple years, so I personally think the RAV4 will stick around for a while to come.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    they haven't upgraded the engine, they have merely dropped in a different engine they already had...but I agree, it would be a big mistake for Toyota to drop the RAV. I remember when it was new for the second gen, it was their best-selling "SUV", and sales are still pretty good now, 3 years later...and this 2.4L engine will make a big difference...I wonder how much mileage will suffer, if at all.

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

  • hal9001hal9001 Posts: 28
    I am interested in buying a new RAV4 next year when I move to Minnesota (got a Corolla now)
    I would like to know what kind of gas mileage people are really getting, as opposed to the mystical EPA figures. Please include equipment; auto/manual, AWD/FWD; driving style, terrain, temperature and anything else you might feel pertinent. Thanks a bunch
  • ravenousravenous Posts: 13
    I live in the flat, humid tropics of Louisiana, and I generally drive a vehicle hard. (With the RAV's awesome response/handling/braking, it's just too much fun to do otherwise!) I routinely get 24-25 mpg in the city. Last spring, we drove to Dallas, TX and actually got 31 mpg on one of the tankfuls. There were 3 of us in the car, and we ran the air conditioning most of the way. Equipment:

    2003 model, Sport Package
    16-inch wheels

    Good luck! If you're like me, you were hooked on the first test drive!
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    hal9001: My 2001 RAV, AWD, auto trans, driven easily, has gotten 24.8 mpg over its first 44,000 miles, mostly on flat land, mixed suburbs/highway driving, mixed temperatures (20-95), some a/c. Best I've gotten on a tankful was 28 on the interstate a couple times.

    With MTBE in the gas, I've found the mileage penalty to be 2mpg+. NJ requires this in winter. I was just in Maine (August), and a gas pump sticker said MTBE was added. If the sticker was correct, looks like they may use it year-round up there. Don't know about Minnesota.
  • Our '96 Rav suffered antifreeze mixing into the oil back in '99 or so. Under warranty Toyota replaced the head gasket I believe. Over the following year the idling was never right. They tried a multitude of things before finally installing a new short engine block 2 - 3 years ago....under warranty. Now I again am getting a cloud of white smoke on a cold start. I am fearing the head gasket again. I am also concerned Toyota will not be so friendly on the reapir now that the car is out of warranty. Could the head gasket be the problem--even only after 2.5 years and less than 30K miles? Anyone else have similar problems or did I just get a lemon? THANKS!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    (1) a little condensation in the exhaust first thing in the morning is normal.

    (2) if it is actually grayish smoke, that may be the valve seals, which may have hardened as they aged...this has been an issue with the last gen Camry, many of which were smoking first thing in the morning by 100K or so. If it is this, you can continue to drive it - keep an eye on the oil level.

    (3) if it really is the white steam cloud that comes from a blown head gasket, it will be easy to ascertain, because you will be going through a lot of coolant (check the expansion tank). In this case, don't drive it, as you will most likely wind up overheating somewhere.

    I kind of doubt you would get much help from is well out of the original warranty, and four years (you said '99?) since the head work they did before. You could always take it up with them though - you never know.

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

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I just heard that the '04 RAV4s coming into the Port of Portland OR have the 2.4 liter engine, probably the same one in the Highlander, with 160 hp.

    So it appears that the rumors were true. I was wrong in my earlier pooh-poohing prognostication.
    But I'm happy to hear there is more power for those that want or need it.

    Only problem is now we'll be seeing a lot more RAVs on the road, I'm guessing. Oh well.

    RAV on.
  • 96 Rav...I looked again this morning..the cloud was not as bad this time and was perhaps more greyish in color. All fluid levels are normal...we are due for out quarterly oil change as well. If it is valve seals like the prior gen Camry...shouldn't these have been replaced when the new short engine block was installed (this was actually in mid 2000 by the way). Could the new engine block have come with the crappy defective seals? The car has only 72K miles on it...probably 25K on the new engine...low for a 96.....this car sure does not represent that Toyota quality you are always hearing about. I could make the argument that American cars will go 200K (like you always hear about Toyota) if you include changing the gaskets/seals every 60K. I though these parts were worry free on Toyotas....
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    The valve seals are in the head, and not part of the short block (does not include the head), so they wouldn't have been replaced during that swap.

    I heard that the Gen 1 RAVs had some valve seal problems, but that Toyota replaced them free for owners with the problem. Some may have been out of warranty.
    Don't know if that would apply to your case after all this time, but it might be worth a try. The dealer / service manager might agree that this is a known problem.
  • Thanks...the grey smoke was much less today...I had to jump out of the car to even notice it....we'll see what Toyota says Monday...this was not that engine issue with Camry's where Toyota was denying repsonsibility and forcing folks to bring in receipts for oil changes was it....I have my receipts!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    that was engine sludging - completely different!

    if the morning smoke were really a blown head gasket, you would have overheated by now if you are still driving it regularly and not adding coolant. i will bet it is the valve seals - check with the Toyota service writer. There may be coverage for it.

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

  • 1996 RAV Valve Seals...Well it appears the valve seals replaced 2 - 3 years ago (but only 24K miles ago) have worn out and will cost $1300 to replace. They were replaced 24K miles ago when Toyota changed the short engine block. I feel the seals should last more than 24K miles....In fact even if they were the original seals with 76K miles on them they should not need to be replaced. I told the dealer to forget the repair and I would be contacting Toyota. They charged me $69 for the diagnosis/compression check that showed 185 on each cylinder---whatever that means. They also told me there is little chance of Toyota helping me out....and they certainly wouldn't be helping me out or supporting me. (They also told me my oil level was down 1/2 qt since my last oil change 3 months ago---I checked it beforehand and it was full and threatened they might even find sludge in there) We do you guys think? Am I unreasonable to expect seals to last more than 24K? Should I just ignore the puff of smoke on cold mornings until I get rid of the car? Does $1300 sound excessive for the job? This car was a lemon from the beginning---can't tell you how many times we were at the dealer culminating in the short block replacement. The car fine after that until now...
  • ak4net2ak4net2 Posts: 4
    I am looking to buy a new RAV4 (2003) or a Subaru Impreza 2.5T (2004) within 1 week.

    Please advise. My criteria are: should have good pick-up/ power, good internal comfort, has to be automatic, OK-looks, milage and safety. Both I and my wife need to drive. Need not go off-road and rare snow here in Richmond. Therefore I am wondering if I really need AWD for FWD is OK. I may also indulge in a sun-roof but may need a aftermarket one for Subaru.
    I have got quotes of ~21000 for RAV4 and ~20000 for Subaru.

    Please do advise. Thanks
  • Look at the Honda CRV, save some $$$, get better acceleration, gas mileage and a roomier me the Rav4 does not compete...a Highlander on the other hand.....but then we are talking more money.
  • ltd2ltd2 Posts: 14
    it all depends on what you are looking for, a lot
    of people bought RAV4 solely because of its cuteness.
    i bought one for my wife months ago, every single day when i look at it, i feel like it is the most
    adorable car in the world!
  • Yes it is cuter....but when spending 20K+ I would think cute vs functional would be an issue! Good Luck with your RAV!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    (1) If I were you I would never return to that dealer - they sound like one of the bad ones.

    (2) 185-185-185-185 is just about perfect compression - sounds like the engine is otherwise in good shape. If the whole vehicle is in just as good shape, I would not yet give up on it if i were you.

    (3) The price is in the ballpark (out near the fence) for valve seal replacement. I would live with it if it were me, and check the oil a little more frequently...but

    (4)...I WOULD call Toyota just to see if there are any further goodwill repairs they would be willing to spring for. I would also let them know about the lousy service department my local Toyota dealer has.

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

  • Thanks, I will call Toyota...I post what their repsponse is.
  • I was about to buy a Highlander when I noticed the improvement in the RAV4 engine for 2004. Up until now I had ruled out the RAV because I usually take one very long road trip per year (6,000 miles), and assumed that the RAV would not be satisfactory(due to power)on such a long interstate type (65-80mph,10 hr/day)trip. I would be interested in any opinions or recommendations as to the suitability of the RAV for such a trip. Comments on road/engine noise, ride, comfort, hill climbing and descending with cruise control, would be appreciated. I have driven one around town and loved it. Also, any comparisons with the V6 Highlander would also help me decide.
  • The latest I heard is that the '04 RAVs with the 2.4 Liter engines will have 157 hp, up only a little from 148. Not much of an increase. Could be the torque will be significantly increased.

    I just took a 3,800+ mile, 11-day trip in my '01 RAV. Comfort was fine, road/engine noise wasn't bothersome (wind noise not noticeable), and the cruise control did fine going uphill (tho the engine let me know it was working harder), but seemed a little sloppy going downhill (which could be a speed-trap problem).
    Note: My speed was usually 65-69 mph tops, unlike yours.

    Mileage was very good: 26.6 using Regular 87 octane, even tho I did go thru several mountain ranges, and some of the gas pumps (Maine, e.g.) stated MTBE was added.

    I haven't driven a Highlander, but one with a V-6 would probably cruise easier (and use more fuel).

    Ya pays yer money, ya takes yer choice.
  • Toyota published the specs on the 2004 model last week. The 2.4-litre engine is good for 161 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque, increases of 13 and 23 respectively. Should improve driveability a fair bit.
  • but, does anyone know anything more about this engine? Timing chain or belt, how long has it been out, is it in the Highlander only, or is it in other models too?
  • According to Toyota press release, the price increase from 03 to 04 for the 4X4 Auto. Trans. is $1,725.
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