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.

General Comments:

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

2001 Toyota RAV4 from North America


Not worth the money


All the cylinders went bad.

Check engine light stays on no matter what I do.

Automatic door locks stopped working eons ago.

The key entry to the driver's side went bad several years ago.

The coolant system sprang a leak and had to be repaired.

General Comments:

I bought this car because I believed that Toyotas were supposed to last well into 300K miles before causing any major problems -- boy was I wrong!

With less than 100K, the car literally started to fall apart for no apparent reason. I have been the only owner, I have never been in an accident, and I do not drive the Rav roughly.

It's almost as if they (they meaning Toyota) designed the car to fall apart right around the 100K mark. I have to open the car from the passenger side, and the check engine light stays on, so that is a major annoyance, I just failed emissions -- thanks for a piece of junk Toyota.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th June, 2014

2001 Toyota RAV4 Edge 2.0 litre from Australia and New Zealand


A total lemon


Rear brake rattle.

Faulty ECU at 186000 replaced for cost of $800.

As a result of the faulty ECU, the transmission failed and needed to be fixed. I asked the dealer for a full rebuild, which they said they would do. After forking out $5100 for the new ECU and rebuilt transmission, I drove off, only to feel the clutch from 1st to 2nd gear slip and flare on the downshift from 2nd to 1st.

I went back and they said they would re-flash the ECU.

It did not fix it. I asked to see the breakdown of the work done to my transmission. To cut a long story short, they charged me for a rebuild and showed that on my receipt, but only did a minor patch up repair on it instead. The same minor job elsewhere would have only cost $1350.

I am taking them to the tribunal over this fraud.

Engine rattle.

General Comments:

The car uses too much fuel for such a small engine.

Issues with dealer service and transmission problems make this car one to steer well clear of.

Avoid the 2002 RAV4 like the plague.

Will never buy or deal with Toyota again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th October, 2013