1999 Toyota RAV4 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

1999 Toyota RAV4 SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota RAV4 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 127 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1999 Toyota RAV4

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Unique styling, pleasant on-road manners, and a long option list for personalizing your RAV4.

  • Cons

    Anemic power reduces its otherwise capable off-road/people hauling ability.

  • What's New for 1999

    Leather seats and color-keyed body cladding are now available as part of the "L Special Edition" package. Color-keyed mirrors and door handles can also be had this year and the spare tire is now a full-size steel wheel with a soft cover.

Full 1999 Toyota RAV4 Review

What's New for 1999

Leather seats and color-keyed body cladding are now available as part of the "L Special Edition" package. Color-keyed mirrors and door handles can also be had this year and the spare tire is now a full-size steel wheel with a soft cover.


The mini-SUV business continues to grow with more manufacturers jumping into the fray every year. Largely comprised of car-based AWD vehicles, this new market will gain even more entrants soon as Ford, Land Rover, and Mercedes introduce small trucklets to the US. One of the early players in the game was Toyota, which recognized this potential boom early on and jumped into the action in 1996 with the RAV4.

A 2.0-liter, 120-horsepower engine hooked to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission powers the front or all four wheels of the different RAV4 models. All-wheel drive models use powertrain components from the now-defunct Celica All-Trac. Four-wheel antilock brakes are optional on all RAV4s. Minimum ground clearance is 7.5 inches on the four-door models; two-door RAV4s get .2 additional inches of clearance.

The RAV4 is an adequate around town driver, handling more like the car from which its platform is derived than a traditional SUV. Power is on the low side, however; the 120-horsepower engine works hard to drag this mini-ute up even small hills. The interior is not a bad place to spend time, offering fairly comfortable seating for four adults in the four-door models. The cargo area of the four-door is larger than one would expect, too, offering more room behind the rear seat than a Ford Crown Victoria. Two-door models are fine for singles or couples without children. The rear seat is tiny, and less than 10 cubic feet of cargo volume is available with the back seat up. On the plus side, Toyota does offer the RAV4 in convertible form while Honda's CR-V only comes with a hardtop.

We are fond of the RAV4, but there are a number of choices in this growing segment and we can't help but think that the more refined and powerful Honda CR-V might offer shoppers more of what they are looking for in a small truck: power, utility, and value.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Just bought

by on
Vehicle: 1999 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV AWD

Just bought this vehicle for under 4k. Have had it for a couple of weeks and am amazed. Over 142k on it and all it needed was a new windshield and battery. The drive is excellent and the quality of the interior is amazing for a vehicle this old. No squeaks or rattles. I am looking forward to having several great years of driving this vehicle.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Keeps on going after 320k

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Vehicle: 1999 Toyota RAV4 Special Edition 4dr SUV AWD

Back in 1999, my dad drove his RAV4L off the lot with 50 miles on the odometer. Today it has 320,000 miles. He still drives it everyday to work with no trouble. Throughout the years I've borrowed it to tow a log splitter and 20' foot sail boat. I've been in some crazy snow storms with the RAV and it did great. Took it over 100mph a couple times. Put kayaks on the roof rack. It still has the original exhaust system, starter, alternator, battery. Oil changed every 3k. A/C still works. Not a spot of rust. Just regular stuff like brakes, shocks, tires, and timing belt every 100k. I'm considering getting my own as a winter vehicle...just figured I'd share how great the Rav has been for my dad.

Love my little "beep beep"!

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Vehicle: 1999 Toyota RAV4 Special Edition 4dr SUV AWD

In 2007, I totaled out my 2000 Dodge Neon (good little car, too) and my brother and his wife gave me their 1999 Rav 4 L to drive. At first, it was a rocky relationship b/c I couldn't drive a standard...but once I got the hang of it, I learned two things: Standards are way more fun and this little truck is one of the best investments you could ever make! The truck had around 80K when I got it and I've put another 100K on it. The only thing I've had to do is replace the timing belt, which is an item you can expect to replace after time anyway. Other than diligent oil & fluid changes, I've not had to put any money into the "beep beep" and I think she'll stay in my family for years to come!

Having a hard time parting

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Vehicle: 1999 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV AWD


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

218,000, best car ever!

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Vehicle: 1999 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV

I bought the car used with 34,000 miles on it and I just traded it in yesterday for a Toyota Corolla. It was the lowest maintenance vehicle I have ever owned and would have bought another one, but w/the increased cost of fuel I wanted something with just a little better gas mileage. I averaged around 26mpg and I drove it pretty hard. I hauled animals to the vet, bags of feed for the horses and about anything you can think of. I have probably spent less than $500 in actual repairs the whole time I owned it. Other than that, just oil changes every 3K. I am going to miss my Rav4.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love our rav4!!

by on
Vehicle: 1999 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV

Bought the RAV4 used in 2004 for my wife. At the time it had 99K miles. Recognizing it was time for service, I immediately invested $400 to replace the timing belt, water pump, and replace fluids. 100K miles later (199K), this little truck is still going strong and continues to look brand new inside and out. Everything works except minor items (seat belt light blinks constantly on dash ). The maintenance is due again and I'm glad to invest another $400 to keep her going. Planning to pass along to our son in the next few years. We have had NO problems with this truck. Only replaced the battery, spark plugs, regular fluid changes, brakes, and tires. Would definitely recommend!

Talk About The 1999 RAV4

1999 Toyota RAV4 Discussions See all Started By

I have to recharge the battery of my 1999 Toyota RAV4 when I haven't driven it for a few days. The battery is not that old. How do I check if it's the alternator or another problem please?...

My first post here, We are looking into buying our first SUV. Although, I would like to get the MDX because I really like it, but at this time we can't afford it. So we are thinking of the Rav4 used....

Planning to buy Rav4, 1999 with 42K miles. Looks okie. Seller wants $8900, as i never bought any car before. Pls help me to shower some light....

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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