Buy another one with a permanent 4x4 system
The engine uses oil, too much according to my opinion, but OK according to the local Toyota dealer. The main light is really poor.
A brief review of the Toyota RAV4 2.2 diesel 136 hp, manual transmission.
I bought my Toyota RAV4 brand new from the local Toyota dealer in Norway in May 2007. Since I live in the middle part of Norway, we have a bit of snow and ice covered roads in 5-6 months each year. The car is OK for driving in the local area. It is even more than spacious for me, my wife and our two children on vacation and holiday trips.
Overall: it is a OK car, but not more than OK.
It should have been better sound isolated, since it is way too noisy while driving on winter roads. The 4x4 system is far from good enough. It is good enough to bring you up and down the hills, yes, but not anything more. Why can’t I turn off the anti spin systems? It would definitely have helped the ability to navigate in bad conditions.
I recently drove 800 km on snow and ice covered roads. The 4x4 system is functions well as long as you drive aggressively, but if you raise your foot off the accelerator pedal, you lose every bit of power on the rear wheels, which results in the sad fact that the car tend to lose its road grip in any curve you hit a little too hard.
What I really can’t understand is why Toyota can’t reprogram this car's 4x4 system to have a switch for permanent 4x4 with a minimum 70/30 distribution between the front and rear wheels.
My recommendation after 75.000 km in my own RA4 on more or less all types of road conditions: If you want a SUV for the average family on asphalt and graveled roads, it is a good SUV. In wintertime it is mainly for driving in your local area, and in case of needing a 4x4 now and then on snow and ice. But if you are driving longer distances on snowy conditions, buy another car with permanent 4x4 systems - for instance a Subaru. The RAV4 system and the equal systems are simply not good enough.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 16th November, 2010