1999 Toyota RAV4 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

1999 Toyota RAV4 SUV


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Toyota RAV4 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 127 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/27 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…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (10 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

218,000, best car ever!

by on
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!

Cute little car

by on
Vehicle: 1999 Toyota RAV4 4dr SUV

I love this little SUV. The large windows offer good visibility. It's fun to drive & feels very light and peppy, although it sometimes struggles with getting up to speed (especially on the freeway), b/c the engine is small. MPG is OK, but tends to be low when city driving + running AC/heater. The trunk has a LOT of space, & rear legroom is adequate. Interior is kind of bland, but at least it's not an eyesore. Safety is good (by '99 standards) but sometimes the car's balance seems a little precarious, especially when turning at high speeds. Otherwise, this is a reliable little car. I don't see it dying anytime soon, but if it did, I'd buy it again.

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

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.

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