2004 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Review: 2004 Base 4WD RAV4 5 Speed

2004 Toyota RAV4 - Consumer Review

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2004 Base 4WD RAV4 5 Speed
By BrianBiker on


2004 Toyota RAV4 AWD 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)


I bought the RAV4 for my wife because she liked the looks and we have had good experiences with Toyotas. I would have preferred an Element, but she hated the appearance. Anyway, now that we have it, it is growing on me. It is somewhat underpowered, even with the new 2.4L, so if you drive quickly, avoid the automatic, as it will be constantly downshifting, which is very noisy. With a 5 speed it is O.K. Handling is also O.K., it seems a little less precise than a 2003, although that is from memory. Steering and pedals all have a very light feel. But reasonably enjoyable to drive, especially for an SUV.

Best Features

Excellent in the snow - I took it up Blue Mountain, about 1.25 miles at 11% average grade with some very tight corners, after 8" of snow and before the plows. Easy up and easy down. Rear seat flexibility is very useful, bikes fit in the back upright with one seat removed.

Worst Features

Standard stereo is awful. Horrible mid- bass boom, more from the rear speakers. If you shift the fader completely to the front, it is listenable, but still pretty poor. Seats are a little on the short side. Check carefully if you're longer-legged.
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