Great Toyota Reliability. Have owned for 12 years with no major mechanical problems. It has been the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. At 203k miles now and think I should hit 300k. No rust on the body in a bad NorthEast climate. Not the most exciting vehicle to drive, but it is very economical with a solid 4WD system. You really can't beat Ravs for their overall value.
More comfortable seats and upgrade the interior components.
Full-time 4x4 gives you traction all the time and you get a combined mpg of 25, that is amazing. I actually am a car moder (that means I modify my cars so they aren't stock). I suggest that if you want to change anything about this car it would be; get Yokohama AT/S tires for the best all around traction no matter the surface and the tires will last you forever, get performance intakes and filters to help with higher rpm performance. Those are very basic, if you are looking for anything better I suggest you go to RAV4world.
Versatility, Reliability, Excellent mpg for a 4x4
The 2.4L engine is a large improvement for the 2004-5, plus you can add a supercharger or turbocharger if you want more power for that engine.
I have to say- other than oil changes and tire rotations- the usual stuff; I have never had any major expenses (5 years- second owner). BUT In Feb 2010 I did have to spend 1700 on a new 'brain' and O2 sensor and battery. Now, it is in the shop again- sounding and feeling like a helicopter. So I have to give my old girl credit for 5 years (got her 2005) she has been an angel. Now she is being a bit greedy-but it is long over due. IF I have to buy a new car- I would get a RAV 4 again or maybe a highlander- little bit bigger and those are now HYBRID.
No maintenance (well preventative maintenance) until she was 10 years old!
I had this car for almost two years and I loved it. I drove back and forth from school and back about two or three times a month. It is the best on the highway with gas, dependability, barely any noise, smooth driving and so many more things to love about this car. This car was very reliable and saved so much money on gas. I went to the mechanics only for oil changes and that is it. This car is by far the best car I will ever have. It is pretty cute as well. SADLY, I had to give it up because we got into an accident but besides that it was the love of my life. If you're looking for a safe, good on gas, and dependable car this is the one for you.
There are too many things to love on this car for there to be a favorite but the best would be the money I saved.
A newer year for a more updated look would have been nice but the 2001 was great!