Used 2002 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Reviews
You see them everywhere, except in junkyards. I've been in and out of a few over the last year hunting for parts for my Grand Marquis. I haven't seen a Rav 4 yet. I'd like to get a spare steel wheel but I always turn up empty. If you want a car that's affordable, easy to handle, somewhat economical, and really reliable you won't go wrong here. Lots of cargo room if you fold down the rear seats. Even more if you lift them out ! Not the most stylish vehicle on the road but it's not hideous either. Mines full time 4WD so it might be a little more aggressive when it comes to cabin noise but it's livable. Superior road handling. Average everywhere else which truly isn't a bad thing. You could spend almost double on a Lexus but would your 5 or 6 bags of groceries in the back know or even care ?
I bought my 2002 Rav4 as a certified used car from a Toyota dealership 3.5 years ago. In the first few months I took it in several times for minor bits here and there, no big deal. In the last year I have had to have the window edges re-wrapped due to premature? rusting (500.00) a new speed sensor (500.00), and found out the drivers side door was missing over 10 screws and that was why the lock mechanism was able to be pulled out and back window could not be rolled down. Now I find out the transmission computer is broken, and the transmission is probably ruined to the tune of 5,000.00, which after reading reports online is very common. Really disappointed, I thought this car would last.
Bad camshaft had to be replaced at 90k miles. Vibrations and noise from manual transmission at 80k miles -dealer could not find anything wrong. Started slipping out of 5th gear at 100k miles requiring new transmission. This car has been babied and driven gently by one owner. All preventative maintenance performed regularly.
Don't buy Toyota. Read the reviews here. All of them. Some people even posted a good review before the on- board computer fried and then burn the transmission. Or before the engine burnt from the known oil sludge problem. Then wrote another bad review. I paid $14,000 used. Good deal private party with 40k miles. At 88k miles the engine blew-up from oil sludge. I didn't know about the "oil sludge recall" until after I had it rebuilt for $4,500. Then at about 97k miles the jerking shifting started. This is my daughter's car so I took it in to my mechanic. He said on board computer $1300 and the transmission is cooked because of the computer problem. $5,600 for rebuild and new computer (cont'd
I originally posted at Edmunds how I loved, loved, LOVED my Rav4 at time of purchase back in 2002. However, car started jerking last week, couldn't accelerate, so towed it to dealer, went online, and discovered the brain/transmission problem! Paid over $1300 to replace the brain, and have no faith in my car anymore. Dealer couldn't guarantee it won't start lurching again, so it's time to switch from Toyota, sadly. A company that doesn't stand behind a problem that it knows exists at least when I trade it in, I can show I paid to 'fix' the ECM, but I pray the car just gets retired rather than potentially hurting another soul!
We I was looking for a car I back in 2006 grabbed the consumer report and this car showed the best rating of all (not only small SUV). I bought it used and through these years (today 2010) I have confirmed day by day that the reports were true. The Rav4 is spacious (you can easily remove the back seats) for cargo and passengers. The spare tire gives the sporty "Jeepy" look and unlike other cars there is no sacrifice of space to accommodate the tire inside the vehicle, so all that space left is yours to fill. Thanks to this the height of the base of the trunk is at or below your needs. Just go and compare this with other cars, you will find they are much higher.
As with my 2 forer Toyotas, Camry an 4runner it is relia ble and has thiooughtful amenities. I need a vehicle with good traction for my work, and with fuel economy. The ride is better than my 94 4runner, and is affordable
Car handles great in snow, rain. It is SEVERELY underpowered and I had to replace the catalytic converter at 62,000K ($2200). Transmission started slipping shortly after at 74,000K (new ECU, $2800). My average mileage is 20.8, so no sipper at all. Now at 100K the transmission is starting to act up again so its going out the door before it becomes my issue. Will never buy a Toyota again.
Bought used with 14,000. Very well maintained. At 84K the transmission lurched. Learned that the ECM ($1,300) was defective and may have affected the transmission. Have never had a transmission problem with 8 cars purchased - some with 200K miles. I WILL NEVER BUY A TOYOTA AGAIN.
I've had my Rav4 for nearly 8 years and the only issue I ever had was with the engine light coming on within the first 2 or 3 years. Since the car was still under warranty, the O2 sensor that was causing the light to go on was replaced/repaired, and I've had no problems at all since then. With a standard transmission, it not only gets over 25 MPG even in city traffic, it also has great pick-up. I like having plenty of room. It came in handy when I moved. Removing and replacing the rear seats is challenging (but doable) for me, but for someone who isn't petite it might not be too difficult. I still think it's a good looking car, too. It's one of the wisest purchases I've ever made.