I love my 2002 Rav4, HAVE 159k miles. Had the tranny ECM issue a few years back, Toyota replaced ECM for free(car had less than 100k miles ansd was less than 10 years old at that time. Replaced from struts and got spring strut assembly(about $300 TOTAL) took about 1 hour to swap out on lift. I plan to keep Rav another2-4 years and see no problem getting over 200k miles.
I bought my 2002 RAV4 at 106k miles. It is now at 118k and it runs as good as a new car. It is so comfortable and so reliable. Ive only had to do the basic maintenance which include oil change and brake change. It is so great on gas. It looks newer than a 2002. The paint and parts are all original and it rides so smooth. My only complain is the spare tire cover, unfortunately it is too difficult to remove. Other than that everything about this truck is great.
I am the 3rd owner. bought it with 60k miles. right now it has 150k miles. all I have done is changed oil and tires. It has been on rough dirt roads, countless snowstorms and numerous road trips of 1000+ miles. I have driven the piss out of this car and taken it on dirt roads it probably should have stayed away from. Toyota knows how to make a reliable motor and powertrain. There is a reason Toyota dominates other companies on reliability. This vehicle is a cockroach that refused to slow down.
Not fast by anyone's definition, but the manual transmission makes it fun to drive and lets you use all the power the plunky 4 cylinder engine has.
I bought my Rav4 used in 2006 with 34,000 miles. I have had absolutely no problems with it beyond normal maintenance. I have made multiple cross-country trips in it and have found it to be very comfortable even on long car rides. People can not believe how old my car is when they look at it. It still has its original paint, and people think it's brand new. I love the way it drive. It has a lot of road noise, but I knew that going into it. At 90,600, it's still going strong. I think I am one of the only people I know who not only loves my car but actually doesn't want a new one.
I have owned a 2002 for 5 years and while it seemed like a good car at first it is not. At 89000 miles the transmission died and is no longer covered buy warranty. After doing more web serarching I found that Many 2001-2003 Rav 4's have presented with this problem Toyota is aware of this but has not recalled. So unless you have monney in your pocket to shell out for car repaires don't buy.