1998 Toyota RAV4 from North America


A reliable, quality built sport utility vehicle


Shortly after the car was picked up, we experienced a problem with the car getting stuck in park - yes, we fully depressed the brake. After the dealer "could not duplicate the problem" and asked us to "bring it in next time it happens" (duh, the thing couldn't be moved) we called Toyota USA. They arranged for a loaner (free) and had the dealer make some adjustments which fixed the problem. Too bad the local dealership was so unresponsive as they tarnished our view of Toyota.

General Comments:

This Sport-utility has been a good investment over the past 6 years. Other than our initial problem, we only have performed minor maintenance (oil changes, brake cleanings and one tune up) - other than that, no problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2003

1998 Toyota RAV4 LX 2.0 litre from Spain


An expensive, funny toy for everydays fight


Defective disc brakes, producing vibrations. Solved during guarantee.

Undefined plastic noises in the front panel (after 60.000 km).

General Comments:

O.K. : Fast (thinking in a 4-wheel drive), stable, smooth engine running, comfortable, easy to handle, safe (active and passive), agile, nice view through the windows and mirrors, low maintenance costs (tyres, brakes, filters, electrics,...), full plastic side protections, funny driving on road/city/highway/trails.

Bad : Noisy over 120 Km/h, bad view through rear window, high gasoline consumption (9,5 litres per 100 km in road drive), brakes block easily under rainy conditions (you can't get A.B.S. for this model!), no place for mounting anti-fog projectors, seats don't keep your body in place during sport road driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2002

1998 Toyota RAV4 4x4 2.0L gas from North America


The gutless wonder


Brakes, brakes, brakes. What gives with the squeal? Two different dealers looked at it and finally cleaned something or other and it hasn't squealed in over two weeks (yippee!).

Center console lid came off. Went to a Toyota dealer to get two screws to put it back on, but was told that they don't sell screws, they sell the whole console unit for $80US. No thanks. I'll glue it shut.

General Comments:

Comfortable front seats, extremely uncomfortable rear seats with no legroom. Seat belts for five, but pity the three poor people in the back seat. You may have to pry them out after driving for a while.

What is that thing under the hood? I thought they put engines in cars, but when you stomp on the accelerator, all you get is a bunch of noise. There is no go-power. There is a button on the dash that puts the transmission in "normal" or "power" mode, but pressing "power" just makes the engine louder when accelerating without giving more oomph. When travelling on the interstate and going up a hill (for example, an overpass... by no means a big hill), the thing down-shifts TWO TIMES! Tachometer goes to 4,000+ revolutions. People in the car wonder what just let go. After a while, they realize this is normal. This is one of the most underpowered vehicles I have ever driven. I must have been dreaming whenever I test drove this thing.

Overall, the whole package is a winner, despite the engine. Electric moon roof is a plus, CD-player can still drown out the road noise, reliability has been top notch (despite the brake noise), and you get used to the jellybean design after a while. My wife drives it (and loves it), I just pay for it. As for me, I drive a Toyota Tundra V8 4x4 Access cab. Now that has real go-power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd September, 2001

3rd Dec 2004, 06:21

I bought my RAV4 6 months ago, it's a 1998 model and has only done 26K, it's a nice easy car to drive, but when you accelerate hard nothing really happens just a lot of noise and and loud clonking noise, even when you press the ECT Power button I get the same result, is this normal? I had a mechanic have a look out, but he was baffled and couldn't find what caused it, maybe it should have had a 3 or 4 litre engine?



26th Apr 2009, 00:48

I have had a manual and an auto 98 RAV. The power is good in the manual, but the auto just can't get the power down for some reason.

26th Apr 2009, 16:40

I can't believe that the reviewer would actually glue the console lid shut on his wife's vehicle, rather than have it fixed or fix it himself.

I wonder if he would've done the same on his vehicle?

8th Jun 2009, 23:57

Haha I agree, where will she hide her make-up and lotions! Did this vehicle come with an optional larger engine, and can it tow anything (up to 2000lbs)?