I owned this car for 3 years till someone rear-ended me and totaled it. Let me elaborate: I got hit by someone going 45-50mph, the back end of the car was completely smashed in, and I ended up hitting the car in front of me as well, bending the hood/fender a little bit. Despite this, I walked away with a little bump on my head. If that isn't a testimony to this car's safety, I don't know what is. I loved this car. It wasn't fancy, and I bought it used from a private party so there were some quirks to deal with: back door handle jammed sometimes, passenger side power window didn't always go up, and after a while the cruise control became finicky. But other than that, it's a solid and reliable car with an engine that will run forever. You can load this car up, too...we put bikes on top, camping gear in the back, and still had room for 4 people comfortably. Acceleration is a little slow but what can you expect out of an SUV with 4cyl. I bought it with 196k miles on it, and in 3 years put over 60k on it and only had minor repairs. (Other than replace the timing belt, which was overdue when we bought it.) The only major annoyance was the brakes, they worked great but screeched and squealed in colder weather. Only when the car was cold, after it warmed up they were fine. I took it to my mechanic and he said it was because of the back drums getting full of dirt and debris; they vacuumed it out but to no avail. But other than that, I really enjoyed my RAV4.
Danger front k-frame rust out can cause fatal accidents.
Toyota and NHTSA know about this but they don't care.
check before you buy
check it if you own it
repair about $1.5-2k
more things to fix on this car 125k mi. than my old Dodge Caravan 173k mi.
never trust Toyota again
hard to work on
top heavy on turns
Toyota to stand behind product quality and safety
k-frame made of better quality metal and designed not to rust out so quickly
recall and notify owners of Rave4 safety problems
Back in 1999, my dad drove his RAV4L off the lot with 50 miles on the odometer. Today it has 320,000 miles. He still drives it everyday to work with no trouble. Throughout the years I've borrowed it to tow a log splitter and 20' foot sail boat. I've been in some crazy snow storms with the RAV and it did great. Took it over 100mph a couple times. Put kayaks on the roof rack.
It still has the original exhaust system, starter, alternator, battery. Oil changed every 3k. A/C still works. Not a spot of rust. Just regular stuff like brakes, shocks, tires, and timing belt every 100k.
I'm considering getting my own as a winter vehicle...just figured I'd share how great the Rav has been for my dad.