Used 1998 Toyota RAV4 SUV Consumer Reviews

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$1,355 - $2,869

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My work horse!

Kathryn Porter Leary, 03/16/2017
4dr SUV
30 of 30 people found this review helpful

***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!

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Life is a Cabernet!

Susan, 05/18/2016
L Special Edition 4dr SUV
11 of 11 people found this review helpful

Very reliable and holds to its value. A car you can own for a long time.

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A winner as used 4x4 - safe, fun

bluesmobile, 06/01/2010
13 of 14 people found this review helpful

5 Speed manual. Recommended - if you find a good one. In my top 30 list out of about 300 vehicles I've driven (owned over 100 of them). Getting 26 mpg highway (60-65 mph), after switching to Amsoil synthetics in engine, tranny, and rear end. Recommend this for long life as well. Very safe - handles well (2 door not so much), ride is surprisingly plush and comfy, great visibility, likes to rev, will run all day 75. My wife and daughter really like it. Mine has 130,000 miles on it now and i think it'll make 250,000 if looked after. Manual tranny is weak link - watch out for grinding gears and 5th slipping out. Expensive repairs unless you're real handy.

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Great Compact SUV

Jon, 09/15/2010
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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.

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Excellent!!!!

Mark, 07/27/2006
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I cannot begin to say how good this car is. I bought it with only 50000 miles on it. It now has over 100,000 and has never had a single problem with anything in the car. I have found in my years of experience that toyotas are by far the best car on the market. They are sturdy reliable and are good even into the higher mileages. My next car will definitely be another toyota. Excellent car!!!

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I love my RAV4

Massage Therapist, 10/13/2004
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I purchased this vehicle in April 1998 so I could make out calls. My massage table fits so easily in the back, as does groceries and luggage. The car has taken me and my friend on many out of town trips. I have never had any mecanical problem. I have only done routine maintenance.There are no rattles nor are there any cracks in the dash. This is my 6th vechile and by far the best one I've owned.

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Toyota Rav4... Say no more!

Nathaniel Smith, 07/04/2017
4dr SUV
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

'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

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My Little Rav

Fran DiNapoli, 10/14/2017
4dr SUV AWD
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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.

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Old Faithful

Carol, 04/13/2009
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Finally replacing Old Faithful after over 10 very reliable years. Seats are losing their bounce and it's showing it's age a bit, but still runs like a charm. The 2.0 4cyl is a bit wimpy for hwy driving, but MPG is great. I truly wish the US would build affordable quality products. The materials/fit & finish are so chintzy in comparison, or incredibly overpriced. Looks like another import vehicle again for me.

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Great Vehicle

MSB, 02/12/2010
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Absolutely great vehicle. Bought with 112,000 miles- have driven for 1 1/2 years with no problems. Runs like a champ. Plan on giving to daughter to drive 5 years from now. Should easily get another 150,000 on this vehicle.

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Awesome

Morgan, 06/01/2005
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

My Mom bought this car used in 1998, and puts absolutly hammered it with miles. We are now at about 205000 miles. But it has never had any major problems. It is a great car and I would recommend it to anyone. Especially with gas prices being the way they are. (27-29 mpg)

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Great Car But...

JK, 10/02/2009
8 of 9 people found this review helpful

I have owned the car for 9 years and overall it has been very reliable. However, it has not been without problems. Cons: An emissions sensor had to be replaced at 70k (over $700 repair). The front struts had to be replaced at 75k ($1200 repair). The actuator rod for the driver door remote auto-lock mechanism failed at 80k (It's a $1000 repair). Finally transmission failed at 128k. Overhaul parts and labor put the repair at over $3400. A little underpowered and a little loud at highway speeds. Pros: Better than my Jeep Cherokee in the snow and rain. Comfortable driver position (I am 6'1"), good turning radius and great handling. Fun to drive.

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Great City vehicle

Jeffrey J, 04/01/2006
8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Very good city vehicle. I bought the car used with 76,000 miles. I researched before I bought a used car, and the RAV4 came very well recommended. It has not let me down so far. AC works great, noise on the highway is minimal, and no one can complain about the gas mileage. Only complaints are a rear door that rattles a bit over bumps, and a drivers seat that I wish would go back one click further (I am 6'1).

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Great mini SUV

montclan, 04/08/2002
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

This mini-SUV Toyota has the build quality, fit and finish that Toyota products are known for. It performs well within the constraints of which it was manufactured. The power and fuel efficiency are as advertised, and in around town driving it performms well. The ride is great and the maintenance has been nill. Ideally it could have 10-15 more hp, but then the gas mileage would decrease. I've had no problems and it seems to be a great fit for my needs. The resale value seems to be holding up well and I plan on years of trouble free driving.

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Perfect for Tucson, AZ

desert rat, 11/11/2004
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Bought this '98 Rav4 in 2001 for driving around town and light off-road excursions. It has been extremely reliable and performs well in Southern Arizona. Handles well in tight spots and seems to be holding up to the rugged road conditions in "The Old Pueblo." Took it off-road a few times and the AWD was perfect on dirt roads. The 4 cyl. engine is a little underpowered, but great fuel economy. No major problems in over 3 years.

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A True Statement of Toyota Reliability!

Daily Driver, 08/29/2010
6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Though I believe Toyota is the best car brand on the road, I admit I was still a little bit skeptical about buying a '98 with a little over 100,000 miles but this has definitely been one of the best decisions of my life! The thing I love most about my Rav4 is how safe I feel driving it. Especially for those snowy/rainy days in Ohio; the 4wd gives me so much peace of mind! I travel 60 mi/day for school & in the 8 months I have owned it, I have put over 10,000 miles on the car already. So far, the only expenses has been 3 oil changes & 1 pair of windshield wipers. Toyota dependability holds true with this Rav4! I LOVE THIS CAR! & I will never drive anything but a Toyota again.

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My Rav4

GOTREALITY2, 07/26/2004
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I have had this car 1 year and have not had one big problem with it. Im very much pleased with its performance. I will buy another Toyota without hesitation.

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1998 Rav4 L

jackdave, 06/23/2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Just needs Capt'n chair arms for both the Driver and Psgr.!

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Excellent across the board

barbara211, 03/26/2003
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

This is the reason I love Toyota. A quality product, for an excellent value. I have 105,000+ miles on my '98 Rav4, and have had no major malfunctions. Regular tune ups and oil changes only.

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monica's review

prince, 03/08/2002
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I love my car. It is dependable and running very well.

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Best little SUV I've owned

Denton Dunn, 04/16/2019
4dr SUV AWD
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I own the 98 Toyota RAV4 AWD with the differential lock and this thing will go anywhere, snow, sleet, mud, or rain can't slow it down or stop it. I've owned it for 2 months now and I've already put 6,000 miles on it problem free. I purchased from my neighbor, he's the 2nd owner of last 11 years and did a very good job on the maintenance. Paid $1800 and it had 295,000 miles, no rust, no leaks, no issues other than that the CD player won't work or the cruise control but I'm fine with it because it's fun to drive and great on gas. Road noise is a little disturbing but that's the only flaw I have with it. Took it offroad just to see how the AWD worked and it really suprised me because as soon as the front wheels even begin to spin the back wheels start pulling...and you don't have to worry about locking it in like a 4wd, just go where you want and it will take u there...it also has a button that will lock the front and back differential so that all 4 wheels pull at the same time and once it reaches 25mph it kicks back out to awd...I love it and very happy that I purchased it, if you are considering buying one I'd highly recommend it as long as it's been taking care of and maintenance kept up on it, you can't beat them for their reliably and off-road capabilitys...they're really good vehicles.

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204,000 miles and still going strong

Gramma Birdie, 09/07/2019
4dr SUV AWD
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I purchased my 1998 RAV4 in 2002 and have loved it since Day 1. The AWD handles the ice and snow of Minnesota winters like a champ and the visibility via the big windows is a plus year round. It is not a quiet car - my grandsons called it "Grammie's noisy car" - but I have no problem hearing conversations or the radio while driving. The exterior has some dings but no rust; the interior and seats are still in really good shape, too. (And there is a lot of room to haul stuff!) I take care of it with regular maintenance and it takes care of me. Since I am now retired, I only put about 4,000 miles a year on it vs. 15,000 when I was working, but my RAV4 is still a joy to drive.

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My Purple Tortoise

hotbite, 08/07/2009
6 of 8 people found this review helpful

I've had my '98 RAV4 since 2004. It's ridiculously reliable...no repairs needed, just maintenance and it's got over 130,000 miles on it. My only real gripe about the car is the mileage. I'm surprised to read several reviews that praise it's mileage! For a 4-cylinder that has zero power, I am disappointed that it only gets 18mpg. I would have expected more. The cupholders are also not really usable. Not in a good location or capable of holding tall cups w/o spilling. Don't get me wrong...I love my RAV. It gets me from A to B with no problems. Knock on wood!

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Fun Car - Comfortable ride & good cargo

deitiphobia, 02/24/2003
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

This car is great. It rides smooth, performs ok offroad, is fairly quiet on Higways. Great fuel efficiency.

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Great Ride

hallbltmr, 06/24/2004
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

This was the fourth vehicle I have purchased and by far the best. It has the best gas mileage out of all SUVs and that's real important for me especially now with the high gas prices. I would recommend anybody that is looking to buy/lease a SUV to really consider the RAV4. I know when I replace mine it will definitely be with a new model of it.

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Peter

Peteriii, 03/16/2002
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

This is one of the best cars I have ever had. It has operated 100% effectively.

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We call her "RAVISHANKAR"

jim, 11/19/2018
4dr SUV
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

My son in law has been loaning me his 98' Rav4 to drive a 130 mile daily commute to work. He bought it used for $200 from a guy at work who didn't know how to drive a manual and had messed the clutch and transmission up a little. He took it to a local transmission shop for repairs and they charged him $800 which I thought was a rip off. Originally, I didn't like the car but after driving it 130 miles a day on the interstate and through the Ozark Mountains for fun, I really like it. So much that I am trying to buy it off of my son. It's a really good little mountain climber and just an overall pleasure to drive despite the occasional shifting hick ups.

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RAV4 Review

raleda, 05/08/2002
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

I get lots of compliments on the way it looks. One of my friends knows that when we go off together, I automatically hand her the keys. I've had no mechanical problems, and I'm pleased with the way it's held its value. The leg room in the back seat is definitely limited, though. It seems to be designed for a single, a couple or a young family. I do wish it had a little more power.

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Reliable but dull

SeanM, 07/11/2004
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Its like a lifted corolla. Safe, reliable but dull. Looks OK but has the power of a hair dryer.

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Great car, but some drawbacks

rainman, 06/25/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I bought this car and put 50K on it without any problems. It drives great, is very comfortable, and nible around corners. It's just a pretty fun car to drive. I drove it across the cascases during the winter a few times and it works on the snow with ease. I would recommend this car for anyone. But there are some bad points: it's engine is very week. The gas mileage wasn't as good as I thought it would be and it's pretty damn noisy. Everything else about it was excellent, especially its reliability. The only thing i've had to do was give it the old oil change every 3K.

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Room for Improvement

rab2, 10/06/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A wholly functional around town vehicle. The four-door model is near perfect size for the family with one or two small children. Mechanically sound, if a bit noisy even with good tires. Smooth in high-speed corners. Paint and interior upholstery holding up well, even in Florida sun. Lots of visibility at all angles. Does groceries well. Not a long distance vehicle. Not a car I could get emotionally attached to.

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RAV4

AndreaH100, 12/21/2002
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I had one problem with the gas cap spring about a year after I bought it, but I took it to the dealership and it was fixed easily. Right now, I am having a problem with my auto door unlock and the auto windows that I need to get looked at. Aside from that, it has been a great car.

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If I won the Lotto

boycesd, 01/10/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

If I won the Lotto, I would buy another RAV 4. The '98 that I drive is my second RAV 4. It sits up high but rides like a car. It holds a ton of stuff, including my two big dogs. It can climb a phone pole. Easy to park, fun to drive, a low bed makes it easy to load and convert. Don't bother with an extended warranty, it's a Toyota and never needs anything but routine maintenance.

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Perfect small SUV

Zustman, 01/22/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

My family and I love this car! It is much more versatile than it looks. You name it and I've fit it in to this car. From a double bed mattress and box spring to christmas trees to childrens play houses. And it is a joy to drive. Who needs big SUVs?

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Great little SUV for Southern Arizona

Desert Rat, 09/28/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Bought this used Rav4 in summer of 2001 and have it driven 20,000 with no major problems. I drive mostly in the Tucson metropolitan area where roads are in terrible shape and the traffic is horrendous. The All-Wheel-Drive is great during summer monsoons and flash floods. The vehicle works well on back roads too, but I wouldn't recommend the Rav4 for serious off-road trips. I'm glad it doesn't have a big gas-guzzling engine. The Rav4's reliability and versatility make up for it's lack of engine horsepower.

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Great used car to purchase

LeX, 06/13/2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great trucklet for anyone single and guys who likes sporty but moderately big. I bought this '98 Rav4 recently (4 Days ago) at 140,000 miles. So far it's been great and smooth overall. I have checked everything (no leaks) and is standing tall and strong for a 7 year old car. Fuel economy would have been okay if it offered more power, but gas consumption is moderate-high for being underpowered. It's great for cruising but equipped with the ECT button that offers a higher rev for conditions demanding more power for speed. I hope it lasts for 100,000 or more with me, so I can come back here and give it more ratings.

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Extremely dependable

premdela, 12/24/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

We've had this for 6 years, and nothing - not even the smallest thing - has broken or failed on it. There are no rattles, squeaks, or noises that would normally come about as a car breaks in and ages. I am really impressed with the dependability/reliability of this vehicle. So much so that when it came off of lease (a 3 year lease), I bought it instead of trading it in.

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donna mama

mama donna, 01/01/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I liked the way the rear door opened from the side.......very easy to get groceries, luggage etc in and out. It has been a great vehicle to own and has been totally free of any mechanical problems.

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Excellent Quality

VEP, 01/25/2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I'm a tough critic but this car is as reliable as a Toyota gets. I have had over 20 cars and Toyotas have been the most reliable. Over 100,000 on it and I put on the last 50,000. Have done nothing but normal maintenance. Drive belt, tires, brakes, etc. No repairs at all for me other than maintenance. Like the standard features of the "L" version. Very sound quality parts. Feels solid and well put together for a small car.

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LOVE The RAV 4

TCJS, 09/18/2004
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

This is a great car for a single gal. I loved it until I had to trade it in for a larger car to go with my expanding family. A great first time car and fun to drive.

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Best little car ever! Great for in town errands

KB in 95403, 05/13/2020
L Special Edition 4dr SUV
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Served me well 22 years. Orig.Owner. Passed down to my daughter in 2006. Great little car for a new driver to practice in or just to bop around town, doing errands. 171,000 miles. Needs 2 spark plugs and may go another 5,000 to 10,000 miles who knows? IT'S A TOYOTA! Best little car EVER! Comfortable too. Good interior space, full size spare on back.

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