By Trustworthy Toyota on
2003 Toyota RAV4 Fwd 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
We've now had our RAV for 4 years and it's still running like new. We had a Corolla before this that had absolutely zero problems. I perform my own mechanic work so I thought I'd give some feedback in that respect. 55,000 miles with no oil leaks anywhere. Oil filter location is the easiest I've ever experienced. The motor has a timing chain, not a belt. Annoying rattle developed around the glove box and finally narrowed it down to plastic grommets that hold plastic panels under the windshield wipers. A design flaw in my opinion. The battery is tucked under this area which makes it difficult if you ever needed a jump start. We invested in a Black & Decker jump starter just in case.
Gas mileage is wonderful. We can make it about 350 miles on a single tank, which translates to about 30-miles per gallon. Removable back seats allows more cargo area than our Nissan XTerra. And most importantly, it's a Toyota, so it'll never leave us stranded.
Auto transmission has sluggish and downright dangerous response. It would actually seem more powerful if the transmission could keep up with the engine. We're always very careful about passing. I've counted up to a full 3-seconds of high rev before the transmission kicks in.