2003 Toyota RAV4 Base 2WD 2.0 from North America


Avoid at all costs


Infamous RAV4 ECM/Transmission problem. Luckily I caught it within days and have sent the ECM for repair. Here's the deal.

Toyota has been swarmed with these RAV4 repair orders, and does little about them. I was 2 months over the warranty when my ECM failed. I called Toyota, and was told time and time again that they would do nothing. A supervisor called me to tell me the same thing, and that we had no customer loyalty, even though there are 3 Toyotas in the house, and practically hung up on me before I was done speaking. This is a poorly engineering product that leads to a failure, but Toyota does not see it that way. A computer is not a wear and tear item, and should not break ever, leading to more repairs. I could understand if the transmission broke on its own, but how in the 21st century does Toyota screw up soldering resistors to a computer board, a task that is 100% robotically controlled? The ECM probably needs a layer of weather-stripping to keep moisture out and the contacts happy.

Regardless, this is utter nonsense. I feel bad for people paying thousands of dollars to fix their transmissions, because Toyota does not give a damn about its customers a second longer than they have to.

Selling all 3 of our Toyotas, and will NEVER buy their overrated trash ever again, Scion and Subaru included.

Aside from that issue, I have to change headlight and taillight bulbs on this car yearly, because they don't last for some reason. Driver's window goes down halfway and gets stuck and won't come up. Driver's door lock actuator stopped working and has to be closed and opened manually. Key-fob remote works whenever it wants to. Rust is forming in the rear wheel-wells.

This level of issues is unacceptable for a "quality" made vehicle that only has 74,000 miles and is driven by a 55 year old lady! I have not had half as many problems with my Honda Civic, which mind you is nearly twice as old (1997), has twice the miles (152,000), and is driven by me, a 24 year old, who is harder on a car than his mom.

General Comments:

Rough ride, underpowered, poor sound deadening, all of which I could get over if Toyota would look after its customers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st July, 2013

2003 Toyota RAV4 from North America


Disappointed in Toyota's efforts to rectify these situations


I bought my 2003 RAV4 from my grandmother who purchased the car new from a dealership. She didn't drive the car much, nor did she drive it too rough for the type of car it is.

Lo and behold without any warning to me whatsoever, the car started jumping from 1st to 2nd by slamming itself into gear. With not even an idea anything was wrong with my car, it had to be parked and towed within a couple of hours time.

I am amazed at the amount of negative reviews about the transmission in the make and models of the RAV4 from 2003, and that no recall or anything has been done about it. This is my first and last Toyota, there is clearly no customer service, or worry hear from the manufacturer in providing a good reliable product, or fixing the mistake that has clearly risen to the surface.

I bought the car because it was easier on me being a single mother, and having to haul my son in and out of the car. Well, single mothers cannot afford the $2700 fix I just maxed out my credit card with either.

This car has not nearly enough miles to be having the transmission go out. I am thoroughly disappointed in the lack of proactive attempts to help out Toyota customers.

These reviews speak for themselves, save yourself the money. Stay away from RAV4s, and who knows, maybe Toyotas in general. I know I will.

General Comments:

The inside is roomy and comfortable.

I like the fold down seats.

This car has a nice trunk area, that is convenient to access.

Transmissions in these cars do not last for as long as they should.

Road noise for such a small SUV is rather ridiculous.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd June, 2011

2nd Jun 2011, 17:07

Before you buy any vehicle out there... new or used... read the Consumers Reports Annual Auto guide that comes out every year in April... it will give you the best and worst new and used cars out there...

Also take any car you might buy to a mechanic.. even when buying from a friend or relative... with parts through the roof and mechanics charging 80.00 an hour to work on even the smallest of things on a car... you can't take chances...

Also with the economy being in a slump, people are hanging on to their good cars longer, and selling their lemons and problems cars as quick as they can...