by Dagwood55 on Jul 12, 2006 Vehicle: 2000 Toyota RAV4 L Special Edition 4dr SUV
Bought used with 75K miles, now at 87K. No problems. Solid, dependable, reliable, fun to drive. Looks, drives and sounds like it's still brand new. Interior looks like new. No squeaks or rattles. Easy to park. Has lively acceleration, still gets 30 mpg on hwy, 24-25 around town. Considered AWD but went with FWD and automatic and this car is GREAT on snow (Firestone tires). Love it so much, we bought another!
by Tom & Lois on Aug 28, 2004 Vehicle: 2000 Toyota RAV4 L Special Edition 4dr SUV
We watched Rav from day-one. In 2000,
my husband surprised me for my B-day
with a RAV4L (ltd edition). I love the
large windows & almost no blind spots;
I sit up high enough for a birdseye
view without needing a ladder to get
in! I love the smaller steering wheel
and it turns on a dime; park it
anywhere. The mileage can't be beat for
highway road trips; city isn't bad
either. Seats are formed & back-
supporting. Everything is at your
fingertips. It's a dream to drive. I
love my RAV4L, can you tell? Get
The RAV4 SUV remains largely unchanged for 2000. A new cupholder design and the extinction of the two-door RAV4 convertible are the big news for '00.
The mini-SUV business continues to grow with more manufacturers jumping into the fray every year. Largely comprised of car-based AWD vehicles, the territory of this market has been staked out by Chevrolet, Honda, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, and Suzuki. Toyota, too, recognized this potential boom early on and jumped into the action with the introduction of the '96 RAV4.
A 2.0-liter, 127-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 versions use powertrain components from the long-defunct Celica All-Trac. Four-wheel antilock brakes are optional on all RAV4s. Minimum ground clearance measures 7.5 inches.
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. It offers some initial pep when pulling away from stoplights, but any serious attempt at acceleration results in nothing more than noise and vibration. The engine gets particularly obnoxious above 4,500 rpm where underhood clatter is enough to stifle conversation between passengers. This would be more acceptable if accompanied by even a modest form of forward thrust. Unfortunately, it's not.
The interior is not a bad place to spend time. The ventilation controls are easy to understand, the stereo outstanding, and the individual bucket seats are quite comfortable. Even with the rear seat up, cargo space is a healthy 26.8 cubic feet. Fold down the second seat and that number jumps to 57.9 "moving-into-my-first-dorm-room" cubic feet. Adults placed in back will most likely whine about a lack of legroom, however.
While the RAV4 was never a hot rod, its lack of power when first introduced was forgivable in a world of Sidekicks and used Amigos. But with Honda CR-V making 145 horsepower, Suzuki offering a V6 Grand Vitara, and Nissan fielding a 170-hp Xterra, the RAV4 is rapidly becoming an "also ran" in this burgeoning market. Throw in 200-hp V6 competitors from Mazda and Ford, and Toyota could find themselves in a rare position for this company: at the bottom of the heap.
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