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Old 06-06-2010, 09:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Canada The best year for a RAV4?

I have a friend in the city looking for a Rav4. She is not a mechanic and looking for a reliable vehicle. I've always drove 80's Toyota's and I currently own/drive a 1989 4wd pickup and a 1987 Tercel 4wd. I didn't recommend an older Toyota for her as I do maintenance on these Toy's myself but I figured a 90's Toy would be better for her.
My question is, is there an ideal year for the Rav4? She is not against buying 'new' but I wondered if there has been a Rav4 model that has stood the 'test the time'? I'm inclined to go with the 4 cylinder model as both my older Toy's have 4 bangers (3AC and 22RE) and run amazing as well as being good on gas. I would also think the 4wd would be nice although she is in the city. Standard or auto doesn't really matter.
I'd appreciate owners of all years to way in.

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Old 06-06-2010, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Stay away from 2001, its the first year for the 4.2 and they have been issues with these.
I think the 96-2000 are by far the best little suvs EVER. 98-2000 have better lights,a little more power and better ignition.
The autos are about bulletproof,5th gear pops out on 5sp but can be fixed incar.
Around 100,000-150,000mi you will get a puff of smoke at startup, valve guides
but is not a problem.
Use good correct parts and fluids and do NOT do a trans flush just drop pan. Change water pump when doing timing belt.
Repair and upkeep records are real important,about must have. with normal upkeep they go easily 250,000
In these times make sure you see that check engine light comes on when key is turned on,I have seen many that were unhooked to hide troubles.
Expect to pay for a good one but it will be well worth it.
Tell your friend to RAVON!!!
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree, Look for before 2001. The newer ones though more powerful and roomier than the pre 2001 models seem to have more problems, owing to Toyota's cost cutting measures
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