Love my Rav but anyone thinking of purchasing should research known issues (ECM)
170,000 km - Had ECU (computer) sent away for fixing ($500 US).
Other than that, normal stuff, replaced battery, oil changes, etc.
Rav4's from this timeframe (01-03) have a known issue with the ECM causing problems shifting (ie: double-shifts, hard shifting, etc). I knew it had a tranny problem when I purchased it, and I was able to research and get a quick fix for it (ECM repair on eBay). Tons of people have this problem and when it's fixed it causes the shiftpoint to be increased.
Great vehicle - absolutely love it. Tons of space, excellent handling and fuel economy. Burns less fuel driving long distances on the highway than making short trips into town.
Cons: (other than known ECM issue)
1) Mine is slow to accelerate, especially up hills. But since I live in the country it's no problem. I've had it on very long trips (halfway across Canada) and it drives & handles great at highway speeds.
2) Find handling in deep snow/slush horrible without studded tires. It's like being on ice, but you don't lose control, you just feel like you're moving all over the place. I got 4 studded winter tires and now I have no problems.
3) I know a couple people had this problem too. Brake dust from pads makes tire squeal when moisture is present. Pressing hard on the brakes when leaving driveway helps this go away quickly.
Absolutely love my Rav! Wouldn't want anything else.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th July, 2010