1996 Toyota RAV4 4 cylinder. 2.2 from North America


Trouble free


I came in contact with this car when I married my wife in late 2000 when the car had 48000 miles on it. Now in june 2006 it has 124000. Since I started taking care of it we replaced the tires twice, front brake pads once, a/c radiator had to be replaced because a small accident (front collision), the tires on the rear were unevenly worn so the mechanic replaced the rear shocks at 75000 but I don’t think it was necessary, Never took the car there again. I do the brakes, oil changes, and replaced the filter, spark plugs, wires etc, once in a while. The driver’s power window stopped working for a while, but went back to work after we got a new battery. We keep 3 cars this is more or less the spare car now, we use it mostly for road trips and we love it because its reliability and economy. We love the fact that it delivers, I change the oil before every trip and that’s it. Maybe the fact that the transmission is manual helps those never break.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th June, 2006

27th Jun 2006, 14:16

Regarding the rear shocks - are you saying the tires still wear unevenly after replacing the shocks?

I have seen bad shocks cause tires to wear unevenly, that is, after they and the tires were replaced, tire wear was normal again.

1996 Toyota RAV4 2.0 four cylinder from North America


This was a good buy for a graduate student


At 120,000 miles I had $700 worth of neglected maintenance done. The car has been running fine ever since.

The check engine light came on at 135,000 miles. I had it checked out, and an oxygen sensor was going out. It was not an immediate problem, so I did not pay the $100+ to have it fixed. Now the light has gone off and the car drives fine.

At 136,000 miles the ignition switch broke. I bought a dealer ignition for $90.00, and installed it myself. Now it works fine, but I have separate keys for the door and ignition.

General Comments:

This car is extremely reliable. In nearly four years of ownership is has only cost me two new tires and the above mentioned maintenance.

Seats are exceptionally comfortable for small or short people.

For a ten year old car with high mileage it still runs very well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th March, 2005

1996 Toyota RAV4 2wdr 2dr 4 cylinder from North America


Fun, useful, stunningly reliable


Front brakes are the only slightly problematic issue (this is also noted in the DOT NHTSA issues site). Without special shims you get a constant brake squeal on stopping and it makes it very hard to judge the state of your brakes. Otherwise I am stunned and flabbergasted at how well built this vehicle is (and I have owned many vehicles).

General Comments:

I have the two door front wheel drive 5 speed and it is a joy to drive. Very nimble and agile on city streets, you won't know it if you are doing 90 on the highway, and extraordinarily trouble free mechanically. Inside the two separate fold up rear seats allow for plenty of room in case you decide to pick up a new dishwasher on the way home.

We have two kids and 120 lb dog so this is no longer our main vehicle. but if I had the four door and enough room for the dog with both kids I would drive the rav4 until either it or I gave up the ghost.

95k+ miles and nothing, but three front pad jobs. that is it. I will probably have the timing belt done soon, but that will be my first expense over the 3x$200 brake pad sets in 7.5 years.

My wife learned to drive on the five speed manual. we drive about 75% city and it is the original clutch. We even do light towing. Incredible.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2003

7th Nov 2004, 22:15

I own a 1996 2 door Rav that I bought used in 2001. I've had the exact same experience described in this reveiew. Front brakes replaced at 100,000 miles (39,000 when I bought it) and that's it.

The car sits on a Celica frame and most of the other mechanics including the engine are borrowed from the Corolla -- incredible engineering!!!

10th Jun 2007, 01:03

Rav4 means you have a 4wheel drive - that's why they call it rav4 -cheers.

27th Sep 2007, 22:20

Many 2dr rav4s are 2wd, so...

12th Oct 2007, 05:17

On what planet?

4th Jun 2009, 13:37

My Rav4 is only two wheel drive. No drive train to the rear wheels underneath. Still goes great.