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 2 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
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.
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

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
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
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
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 available; standard from 2004. ESC standard from 2004. Side and head protection air bags available from 2004, standard from 2007.
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

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.

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

"$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

"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)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

"radiator top tank cracked"

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

"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)

"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 Unsure 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 Unsure 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 Unsure 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)

"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)
Clock

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

G M., OH (2000 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"One baackup light out"

G M., OH (2000 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 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

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

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

"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)

"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 Unsure 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)

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

Anonymous, QC (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 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 Unsure 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)

"normal rusting after 17 years"

Gary S., ON (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)

"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)

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

Seat belts

"Front seat passenger seatbelt very difficult to lock"

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

"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 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaking

"Brakes often develop an annoying squeal"

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

"replaced master cylinder"

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

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

"faulty pressure switch"

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

"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 Unsure 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

"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)

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

Anonymous, BC (2000 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 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)

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

Driveshaft or axle

"Half shaft had to be replaced"

B G., SC (2000 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
4WD/AWD components

"transmission gears"

Anonymous, CA (2000 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 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)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Hole in exhaust pipe at connecting joint to engine"

Anonymous, FL (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 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)

"Rusted in two places"

Anonymous, ON (2000 Toyota RAV4 L 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 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)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

"Replaced at 100k; broke at 145k"

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

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

"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)

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.

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

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