2003 Toyota RAV4 GX 2.0 turbo diesel
A RAV4 all reasons
Nothing. Perfectly reliable. Oh, there was a buzz from the gearstick when lugging in low gear.
Charismatic, sturdy, strong and reliable go-anywhere family transport.
Difficult to fault as an all-round family car. Handles like a saloon car, which is unusual amongst 4x4s, economy is mid-high 30s, which is great for the gutsy performance on offer. Accommodation is superb for 4, fine for 5, though the boot could be slightly bigger and have a wider opening.
All fixtures and fittings are of a very high quality, nothing has broken at all despite hard family and business use.
Looks good, interior wears really well. I am trying to think of a real fault and cannot. Sure, its not gonna climb Everest, but as an all-weathers Family car its excellent, even the recent snow didn't stop us. Could use a remote stereo control on the steering wheel and, erm...It's a real step up in quality and charisma from our previous Citroen Picasso. Highly recommended to anyone who wants a fun workhorse with personality and ultimate reliability.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th February, 2004
Original poster here.
Well my RAV4 went today after 4 ultra-reliable years of service.
44k miles isn't a huge mileage, but the car coped well.
The interior proved really difficult to keep clean, with even water staining the fabric of the seats. This is a problem with kids and a dog.
Also there really isn't that much room in the cabin for a big-ish car. Not that comfy for three across the rear split bench.
The seats proved quite heavy and awkward to remove and replace to accommodate large loads, and the tailgate not quite opening fully was also awkward to load.
However the car was peerlessly reliable and the engine is better and smoother now at 45k miles than it was at 1000 miles. No rust, and still cleans up very well.
If you want a go-anywhere family estate, and you don't need acres of space the RAV4 comes highly recommended.
Replaced by a pathfinder.