This is a fun, little SUV but I would not recommend it if you have kids or any passengers that need to sit in rear seats. This area is very tight to enter through the side doors as they didn't allow enough space & makes it just about impossible to get in without squirming, squeezing & bruising. For the most part, it's been great & I love it. Manual 5 speed transmission is very hard to shift at times. I've had the clutch, flywheel, etc. replaced twice in the 14yrs that I've owned it. Toyota's have always been great, but as with everything these days, the price goes up & the quality goes down.
'98 Rav4, 70K miles, runs great, feels great, looks great, is great. Guys who know about old cars always stop, stare and compliment my ride. Several have asked if I bought it overseas... No! I bought it in the good ole USA. I found what I needed all in this oldie but goodie. My kids think its cute and they love it. I know I made the right decision. Did I mention only 70K miles??? Mint condition 9
***UPDATES: 410,000 (yes, those are 3 zeros after the comma) later and still kicking!! I would buy this car again and again! My hope is that my 5 year old will be able to take her driving test with it!***I bought my 1998 Rav4 off of a used car lot in 2006. It had almost 80,000 miles on it. It was my everything car! Daily commuter (160 miles round trip DAILY), dog shows, camping trips, Burning Man, kid shuttle, etc. It currently has 396,000 miles on it 10 years later. I would guess that half of those miles I added are highway and the other half are stop and go commute traffic. I have loaded it with gear for week long camping trips, 4 dogs in kennels, 3 kids with backpacks, stuffed animals and Goldfish Crackers. I was even able to put a Washing Machine in it (and still closed the doors)! Hands down the most reliable, convenient, easiest car I have ever owned. If it keeps on 'truckin', it will be the car I teach all 3 of my girls how to drive. There are ZERO blind spots. I have often joked that is it a 'fish bowl on wheels'. Maintenance costs have been minimal. My husband is a mechanic and he is in awe about the lack of attention he needs to give my car. Brakes are STILL THE ORIGINALS! (Take that, Bay Area traffic!)! It blew a head gasket about 3 years ago and he pulled it out and took it to a machine shop to have it fixed. The guys at the shop commented on the shape of the engine and that we should, 'keep this car forever'. I will. I know it will hit 400k within the next few months but I'm already looking at 500k! The only issue I have with it (and boy is it a minor issue) is the cup holders. They are placed just below the CD player (that I never use, but I digress) and they are too small for your standard commuter coffee cup. They will hold a coffee cup from any take out place but they holder are very shallow. The cups wobble and may lead to a mocha spilling directly into the CD player (it happened...it wasn't pretty...I don't use the CD player anyway). I wedge my commuter cup in between the passenger seat and the e-brake if I need to set it down. I LOVE MY RAV4!
I really enjoy driving my RAV4. I use it mostly for short trip driving in town, highway driving,and light off road driving. It handles great, and works well in all weather conditions. I use it for light off road driving, in pastures and meadows for hunting and fishing, and it performs fine. I have the front wheel drive model, and it still gets me around in the outdoors. The ECT Power button is pretty cool, faster acceleration for fun, and more power for towing light trailers, or making it up steeper hills. The reliability is great,and I like the way it looks. Acceleration in town is alright, on the highway it gets the job done, but it seems a little slow. All in all a great little SUV.
ECT button, fuel economy
a little slow accelerating on the highway (ect button helps a little)