2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0 4 cylinder FWD from North America
About as reliable as it gets, and very good handling
In nearly 16 years it has had virtually no repairs, just regular maintenance: like drive belt, tires, battery, spark plugs, fluids, oil & air filters, brake pads, etc. Major components like engine, transmission, radiator, suspension, brake components ex-pads, steering, radiator, pumps, sensors, most electrical, etc are all original and still working just fine.
The only actual repairs I've done on it is to replace the brake lights, which had gone out after 13 years, and a fuse replacement; and I was easily able to those myself. Oh, and the cigarette lighter wore out after like 10 years of use, which I didn't bother replacing.
Top notch reliability! It is the most reliable car I've ever owned.
It has been well cared for though, carefully driven, and a bit below average miles per year with no off-roading or hauling, but still it's impressive for it to go 16 years without a single major repair of any kind. It's had one recall, for the O2 sensors, and that was in the first couple of years, about 2003.
The other most impressive quality is the handling. The handling is sedan like. It's a fun responsive car to drive.
Ride quality is good but not super-comfortable. You do feel the road a bit, which I actually like. It's just enough to give you good feedback, but not so much as to be annoying - a good balance.
I also like the fact that I can easily remove the rear seats completely, not just fold them down. This helps save on weight as well as space.
The engine is slightly under-powered for this vehicle - corrected in later models. You sense this especially when going over hills. Not a very serious issue at all, unless you're regularly carrying heavier loads, or 2-3 passengers, then it could be.
The only known major potential defect on this model is the resistor solder joints on the ECU, which can come apart and cause transmission malfunction. I've not had this problem though. If it does happen, you have to pull the ECU and resolder those joints.
There was some rattling from a door/power window when it was new. A couple of bolts were improperly tightened on assembly - a minor issue.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th February, 2017