1998 Toyota RAV4 from North America


A nice car for the price


I have had a lot of problems with the brakes. They have put 6 different sets of pads, the last set being ceramic, on my car in less than a year and also turned the rotors twice. This is due to more than the occasional squeal. It is a constant metal to metal squeal. I have also put new rotors on, still to early to tell if this solves the problem. I can live with occasional squeal, but I don't like sounding like the school bus.

General Comments:

Drives very good in the snow.

Runs smoothly.

Other than the brake problem, I really do enjoy my RAV4. I like the fact that it's a sport utility, but not full size. It handles really nice and I find it very comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd July, 2001

22nd Sep 2001, 23:38

Amen to the brakes. I have a '98 4x4 and I've had it in the shop three times to two different shops for the squeal. Absolutely annoying! Last time they got it right. They said they cleaned something or other, and it hasn't squealed in over two weeks (whoopee! new world record!)

29th Jan 2003, 00:01

I work for Toyota, and can identify with both of you on the problem the RAV-4's (and Tundra's) have been having with their respective brake squealing. First of all, are you taking it to the dealer? Has a master tech gone on a road test to verify this concern? Also, ask them to make sure they are using anti-squeal brake shims (usually installed as a given, but aftermarket parts can be tricky- ceramic pads do not sound like a factory solution) because the shims can make all the difference. Best of luck, enjoy your RAV.

3rd Dec 2003, 14:37

I'm afraid I cannot relate to your problems. I purchased a RAV4 4x4 new in 1998. I have never had as much as a squeak out of the brakes, front or rear in the almost 6 years that I've owned it. Besides regular servicing, I've replaced one set of tires and brake pads in this time. This vehicle has been nothing, but absolutely reliable. The only real and unrelated issue that I have, is the lack of rear passenger legroom. Otherwise, a great little vehicle.

6th May 2006, 23:16

I, too, own a RAV ('97). The front brakes had been done at the dealership just prior to me purchasing it. At light pressure they squealed every time until a little more pressure was applied. It seems to get better and even disappear, only to return again. Then a couple of months ago it vanished. Except for the tight interior and the 20 mpg the all-wheel-drive extracts, it is a fun and reliable vehicle.

1998 Toyota RAV4 LX 4WD 2.0 L from North America


A very capable and versatile vehicle


Noisy rattle from the front fender liner. A warranty repair kit from Toyota is available for dealer installation.

General Comments:

A great little 4WD for use in the city or country. Handles snow very well (always a concern in Canada), gives a comfortable ride on the highway, and does a credible job green laning. My RAV4 has even been used to ford a small river!

Surprising amount of cargo space in the 5-door, especially when the rear seats are folded down.

Cabin well arranged, with ample head room, good visibility and good ergonomics. Long drives of more than 6 hours don't leave you feeling exhausted.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th July, 2001

1998 Toyota RAV4 GX 5-door 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

General Comments:

My wife's car.

Feels like space hopper after driving my other car (Subaru Impreza Turbo). Fits full size pram in boot without taking it to bits.

Rolls more than a car. 30mpg round town.

Front seats lacking in support slightly.

Panels a bit flimsy.

Very practical. Good visibility. Excellent levels of equipment (electric sunroof, windows, mirrors, a/c, heated mirors, lockable centre diff, surprisingly adequate radio). Group 9 insurance. Burns off Suzuki Vitaras.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th March, 1999