I don't want to add to the recent Domestic vs Import debate here, but I've had
vehicle for about a week and would like to give my impressions. I normally drive
1984 Lincoln Mark VII with 142K miles on the clock. There was obviously an
It's a well used 2001 Toyota RAV-4 L with 85K miles, maintenance has been a
but pretty normal for much of the US driving public (at least that I'm familiar
The motor runs like a swiss watch. It was 8K overdue for an oil change and the
end was really noisy. The noise went away after service. You now can't hear it
from 10' away.
The gearing in 1-2 seems to max the motor out quickly, but after that it pulls
pretty good for a 4 cyl. At 55, the motor sounds like it's screaming (~2500rpm),
that, the noise goes away. Harmonics?
The 5-speed tranny 1-2 synchro is getting weak. Likely from being crammed into
while down shifting. The clutch has (what I've always called) that Toyota feel.
just different than the domestics and most other imports IMHO. It takes a little
getting used to. Upshifting is like slicing butter.
There is a lot of road noise in the rear (tires are nice condition and decent
quality Coopers). This observation was made before removing the carpet, etc. It
get much worse with the rear interior stripped. The ass end is just really noisy
this Rav 4..
It rides like a buckboard wagon! I switched from my Lincoln with air
the RAV 4 with NO suspension, so obviously there is a big adjustment. I also
79 F-150, just for reference. After a week, on lightly bumpy roads, this thing
over the place!. (air is at spec in the tires). Rumble strips drive it crazy,
stays in the lane.
The sound system has all the fidelity of a Campbells soup can. As a matter of
it makes the whole vehicle sound like a huge soup can. It's rally bad.
The brakes are really aggressive at 70 mph, for a few seconds, then they fade
to "normal" for an Escort. Below 70, the braking system reminds me of most small
The interior just screams "cheap" but it's durable. It "feels" ungodly cheap,
seems to wear like iron (it's likely all nylon). After 85K miles, it ain't
it's not tattered or worn much. The light tan color may add to my negative
Many of the controls are sticks on the column. Too many! The wiper switch is
way no matter what I do. I can't dim the headlights without turning on the turn
signal. There's just too much going on there.
The auto-down, auto-up drivers window just makes me want to kill myself! There
detents for manual control, but just try to feel them while driving.
With the windows up, this thing is a blast to drive. For a FWD kinda-truck
it scoots. It's a really fun car to cruise in. I hate to admit it, but, I like
Put the windows down and it's conversation hell. The airflow across the
negates conversation at any speed above 20 mph. The factory stereo is worthless
windows open. You can 'crank it up' to overcome the wind, but it sounds like
in a big tin can.
The CEL is on and it's tossing "catalyst efficiency" codes. Only happens on a
highway run.(Between me and the owner, ~35 miles) In town, nary a flcker. Uh-oh!
Sounds kinda like valve guide seals.
In all, the RAV 4 is a well made, fun little vehicle. The attention to
in different places than in it's domestic counterparts, in my observation. If
indicative of Toyota, it's certainly not the 'absolute quality vehicle' that
Just my inpressions, Tom