If you want a small SUV for driving mainly on pavement, you won't go wrong with the RAV4. It has nimble handling and a respectable ride. A fully independent suspension also helps make the RAV4 feel more like a car than a truck. All-wheel drive is available, but it has no low range for serious off-roading. Acceleration is leisurely; the engine is a bit boomy when revved.
    Alerts
    There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

    Road Test Results

    Performance
    Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
    NA
    0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
    Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
    NA
    Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
    NA
    Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
    NA
    Comfort / Convenience
    Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
    NA
    Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
    NA
    Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
    NA
    Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
    NA
    Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
    NA
    Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
    NA
    Fuel Economy & Emissions
    Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
    NA
    CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
    CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
    CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
    Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
    Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
    NA
    Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
    NA

    Owner Reports

    Worse Better
    Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
    2000
    2001
    2002
    2003
    2004
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    2007
    2008
    2009
    2010
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    2015
    2016
    2017
    2018
    2019
    2020
    2021
    Reliability Trouble Spots
    Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
    Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
    Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
    Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
    Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
    Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
    Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
    2000
    2001
    2002
    2003
    2004
    2005
    2006
    2007
    2008
    2009
    2010
    2011
    2012
    2013
    2014
    2015
    2016
    2017
    2018
    2019
    2020
    2021
    Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
    Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
    Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
    Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
    Safety Equipment
    ABS and ESC standard from 2004. Side and head protection air bags standard from 2007. FCW and AEB standard from 2017.
    Model Summary
    If you want a small SUV for driving mainly on pavement, you won't go wrong with the RAV4. It has nimble handling and a respectable ride. A fully independent suspension also helps make the RAV4 feel more like a car than a truck. All-wheel drive is available, but it has no low range for serious off-roading. Acceleration is leisurely; the engine is a bit boomy when revved. And as you'd expect, the manual transmission provides sprightlier performance than the automatic. The front seats are small but firm and supportive; the rear seat is cramped. Loading the cargo area is easy, however. The RAV4 is due for a redesign for the 2001 model year.
    Seating
    2 front, 3 rear
    Drive Wheels
    AWD, Front
    Warranty
    Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

    In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

    Read more about extended warranties
    Body Styles
    4-door SUV
    Transmissions Available
    • 5-speed Manual
    • 4-speed Automatic
    Engines Available
    • 2-liter 4 (127 hp)

    Owner Reported Trouble Spots

    The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2000 Toyota RAV4 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

    Body Integrity

    Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

    What Owners Say

    Air or water leaks

    "water was leaking and it was determined the water pump needed replacement"

    Anonymous, MA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "The Water pump has gone out numerous times in the 10 years we have owned the vehicle and it frequently over heats"

    Anonymous, TX (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "radiator top tank cracked"

    Leonard M., FL (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Squeaks or rattles

    "Seems to be a belt or pulley connected to the AC and fan...have adjusted and it is better...everything still functions."

    Anonymous, PA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Over the past 8 years the car rattles like something is loose. It comes and goes and the car repair can never find it. The last time I took it in for the 90K service I got it back with major rattling, though not all the time. It's very odd"

    Anonymous, CA (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Dashboard area squeaks unless the road is smooth"

    David H., IL (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "lots of noises in under carriage"

    Joel L., PA (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Tailgate latch needed repaired"

    Scott D., CO (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Wind noise

    "Driving more than 60 mph occludes any communication within the vehicle and makes it very difficult to hear the radio without turning the volume very loud."

    Greg L., FL (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Suspension

    Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

    What Owners Say

    Ball joints

    "just making noise; did not fix yet"

    Joel L., PA (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Power steering leaks

    "Fluid was leaking. Dealer replaced hoses. Still leaked. Dealer replace pwer steering pump and rack and pinion. Loud grinding noise. Returned to dealer. Replaced defective pump. Dealer only charged for original hose replacement, approx $700."

    Anonymous, UT (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "$700 repair"

    Anonymous, ID (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "minor leak was 90% corrected with LUCAS Power Steering Stop Leak"

    John L., NY (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Shocks or struts

    "the rear shocks were leaking and need to be replaced"

    Anonymous, IL (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Old time to replace"

    Don B., OH (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "At first, we were told we needed to replace them at a cost of over $700. After we had to spend more than $700 on the power steering, the shop said the shocks and struts weren't really too bad and could last a bit longer"

    Anonymous, ID (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "I paid $1000 to have all the struts and shocks replaced and after 15 years of driving, that was the only problem with the suspension system as they wore out with age"

    Anonymous, MI (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "rear replacement first time"

    Anonymous, QC (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Climate System

    Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

    What Owners Say

    A/C compressor

    "A few months ago, it would work but then the light would start flashing indicating it wasn't working. Now it flashes as soon as I turn it on."

    Julinda A., IN (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "AC does not work after several visits to service department"

    George R., WA (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Blower (fan) motor

    "Rattling sound when blower turned on. Mechanic said he could repair it but if we could bear the noise he would suggest "just live with it. He thought it was leaves that some how got caught in the vent system"

    J G., NY (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "The blower would work irratically for past few years. Now it is not working at all. The car overheats, a lot, the water pump has been replaced at least 5 times since 2007, the raidator once, and it still over heats and loses water. Not sure how but"

    Anonymous, TX (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Electrical failure

    "May also be relating to cooling, but a section of the electronics, radio, clock has all gone out in last month. May just need a fuse but haven't had time to check. One good thing about a Toyota is it keeps on ticking, even when other parts fail"

    Anonymous, TX (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Refrigerant leaks

    "Cooling was restored with addition of refrigerant about 10 months ago."

    Greg L., FL (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "slow leak that is impossible to find. Leaks out over 3 years"

    Anonymous, QC (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Exhaust

    Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

    What Owners Say

    Exhaust leaks

    "Burning smell in interior of car and rattling sound under car. When having pipe to and from manifold replaced had to use expensive Toyota part; no copy parts available."

    Sandra P., WI (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Exhaust leak due to corrosion and crack in central exhaust pipe"

    Anonymous, MN (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Hole in exhaust pipe at connecting joint to engine"

    Anonymous, FL (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Muffler

    "It evidently had a hole in it, so I had it replaced. However, the new one is extremely loud and I am not sure why. I have not taken it back to where the work was done, because I do not have a good feeling about the business. My daughter had taken her car in before going on a long trip. She was told she would need $1200 - $1900 worth of work done to make it safe enough to drive. She took it elsewhere and paid $225 - $250 for the needed repairs. She drove the car from Kansas City to Las Vegas and back a year later with no problems."

    Anonymous, KS (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Pipes

    "The front connector on main pipe (?) from the muffler to the front of the vehicle developed rust and that end of the pipe fell down to the pavement."

    Julinda A., IN (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Rusted in two places"

    Anonymous, ON (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Paint/Trim

    Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

    What Owners Say

    Loose exterior trim or moldings

    "gasgets and trim showing signs of age and are coming loose or starting to rust"

    Anonymous, OH (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

    "The clear-coat over the paint has been peeling and cloudy for a couple of years...makes me feel bad about the car...totally cosmetic, but disappointing."

    Anonymous, PA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "normal rusting after 17 years"

    Gary S., ON (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "The clear coat is peeling off (mainly the roof). It started with a small bubble here & there. After it rained, just about then entire roof's clear coat had bubbled, with water getting under the clear coat. It began to peel really bad when it dried"

    Donna S., CA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Rust

    "Rust very obvious in left rear wheel well, just below gas tank filling nozzle area"

    Anonymous, MN (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Rust on Right rear fender. Repaired"

    C D., MA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Electric System

    Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

    What Owners Say

    Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

    "alarm for door did not function properly and had to be disarmed; it was interfering with the engine electrical system, and the car would not start randomly; once the door alarm was disarmed , it has worked perfectly"

    Kyrus P., FL (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Clock

    "Stopped working... Driver's side window slow to close"

    G M., OH (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Cruise control

    "I have had two new chips put on in the past and it is now out again. They seem to only last 3 years"

    Anonymous, OH (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "The screw fell out and the housing and the contral need to be fiddles with to get it to work"

    Kathleen K., NY (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Exterior lights (other than headlights)

    "One baackup light out"

    G M., OH (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Engine Minor

    Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

    What Owners Say

    Oil leaks

    "Oil has been dripping from engine area after latest oil change"

    Anonymous, MA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Cam and crank leaks - large local dealership did not replace these during scheduled timing belt service and the cost to do them separately was high. I see this as a service issue rather than a problem with engine reliability"

    Anonymous, TX (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "a seal had to be replaced, I think. this was the first major repair we'd ever had done to this vehicle and we've owned it since 2002"

    Anonymous, BC (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "faulty pressure switch"

    Anonymous, MA (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Brakes

    Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

    What Owners Say

    Master cylinder

    "replaced master cylinder"

    Donna H., TX (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Normal routine brake wear

    "New pads"

    Ralph P., CA (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Premature brake wear

    "Brakes seem to need replacing every couple of years. Thy often get squeaky first. Right front wheel bearing was also replaced"

    M S., VT (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Squeaking

    "Brakes often develop an annoying squeal"

    M S., VT (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Body Hardware

    Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

    What Owners Say

    Locks and latches

    "When I lock my vehicle, the passenger door behind the driver does not always lock, nor does it always unlock on the first attempt"

    Anonymous, MN (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Ignition key failure"

    Anonymous, MN (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Seat belts

    "Front seat passenger seatbelt very difficult to lock"

    Anonymous, OH (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Windows

    "The windows have a coating on to darken them. It is starting to deteriorate on a two of the windows, almost like a sheet is loosening"

    Anonymous, CA (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Transmission Minor

    Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

    What Owners Say

    Rough shifting

    "Transmission would pop out of 5th gear at highway speeds. Dealer wouldn't work on transmission and would have replaced the entire transaxle if they could have found one. Transaxle alone would have cost $2400 to $3200 without labor. My husband repaired the transmission himself for about $320, replacing 3 part that he bought on line."

    Donna H., TX (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Transmission does not synchronize well between gears while shifting causing gears to grind. Usually need to double clutch to get transmission into reverse"

    Wayne A., CO (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Slipping transmission

    "When trying to move the vehicle at low RPM's the clutch and or tranny rumbles and vibrates noticeably"

    Wayne A., CO (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Drive System

    Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

    What Owners Say

    4WD/AWD components

    "transmission gears"

    Anonymous, CA (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Driveshaft or axle

    "Half shaft had to be replaced"

    B G., SC (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Electrical failure

    "This was actually the LoJack alarm system that suddenly went off when I went to start the car in a parking lot . Every time I turned the key to start the alarm wailed.. Called 3A and the gentleman was smart enough to cut the wires and remove the device and wires. Car started fine and I have a hole in the dash where the system was originally installed at the dealership"

    Ed K., NJ (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Fuel System

    Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

    What Owners Say

    Emission control devices (includes EGR)

    "EGR valve needed replacing. Also, the IAC (intake air control valve) valve is not working properly & needs replacing for a 2nd time (first replacement was approx. 2012). The RPM fluctuates drastically from low to high when vehicle is sitting idle"

    Donna S., CA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Fuel injection system

    "replaced ignition coil and fuel injectors for cylinders 1 and 4"

    Donna H., TX (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
    Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

    "both O2 sensors replaced at >Can$1500 total - service costs are out of sight - a rip off"

    Anonymous, BC (2000 Toyota RAV4 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Transmission Major

    Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

    What Owners Say

    Clutch replacement

    "Just the age of the clutch that was replaced."

    Ed K., NJ (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    "Clutch would not stay in 5th gear. Kept slipping out of 5th"

    Anonymous, CA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Engine Cooling

    Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

    What Owners Say

    Radiator

    "FIRST: it's really a 1997 RAV4, but your stupid form doesn't allow me to enter anything earlier than 2000. Second: not complicated: radiator began leaking badly and had to be replaced urgently"

    Anonymous, AZ (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Engine Major

    Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

    What Owners Say

    Timing belt or chain

    "Replaced at 100k; broke at 145k"

    Anonymous, VA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

    Power Equipment

    Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

    In-car Electronics

    CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

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