We owned this car for 12 years and it was as trouble-free as a vehicle could be. Basically, you never had to worry about something going wrong. Driver vision was excellent and seating was comfortable. We took it on four around-the-country trips and never had a problem other than a flat tire.
Bought my Rav4L new 12 plus yrs.ago. Most dependable vehicle I have ever owned. Drove it for over 800 miles a wk for work. Starts in sub-zero weather, when are expensive vehicles would not. Maintenace cost almost nothing. Usual stuff....tires,got 109,000 out of one set, battery, brakes, wiper blades etc. this vehicle has saved me a fortune !!! I'm retired and now my trusted vehicle is used for leisure, golf trips, ballgames etc. If I covered the odometer, you would think the vehicle has less than 50 K. Going to buy my wife a 2016 Rav, safe, dependable, fun to drive.
I bought this Rav4, AWD about 10 months ago. It is great to drive, ride and handling are good for it's size, power could use lot of help, and the economy has yet to break 25 MPG-it has dropped since we bought it, it is now down to 19 to 21 MPG. I removed the PCM and sent it to a repair facility to get the transmission problem corrected before it actually failed. The man who is repairing is said that the poor economy could be part of the PCM failing, even thought the transmission area had not failed yet. The outcome of this repair will be the deciding factor whether I keep this car or not.
Radio is C/D & Cassette and easy to use, I like the AWD, good brakes and handling, good ground clearance & sets high enough to make ingress and egress easy. I like the sideways opening rear cargo door. I like that it has a higher profile tire which makes for a better ride and less chance of damage to a wheel if it hits something on the road.
A/C and heat are very good.
Needs more power & economy. I had a 2000 Buick Century with a 3100 V6 which weighed more and had 2 to 3 times the acceleration of the Rav4, but got 20 to 25 MPG in identical driving.
The steering wheel is too far forward if you drive with the seat all the way back.
The dome light is located such that if it is turned on, the driver cannot see anything to the right of the center of the windshield--needs a double light that is directional and can be used for either passenger or driver without both being on. Needs a glove-box & console box light.
I rarely write reviews online but I want to share my experience with this vehicle...My RAV4 is in excellent condition until I hit 89K on my 2003 RAV 4 last month when it's started jerking on shifting. I'm 3 months passed out of extended warranty as per TOYOTA 10 YEARS/150,000 miles. I took mycar to the dealer but told me I need to pay $$$$ for the diagnostic and repairs because of out of warranty...Even calling TOYOTA Customer Relation is still no help..This is my last TOYOTA ever...You lost one loyal customer...I traded my RAV4 for a 2013 Honda Accord...
I have had this car since 2003...it is manual shift though. It is peppy and I can fit both my kids in it and all of our junk. It is reliable and I have no concerns whatsoever. The only issue I have had is had to replace the breaks. Love the car so much that we looked this year to replace our mini-van with something more efficient and considered another RAV-4 (ended up going with the corolla after really thinking do we need two mini-SUVs????)