Product Reviews

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The RAV4 has been redesigned for 2001, and is our top-rated small SUV. This new version comes only as a four-door and is a little roomier, but it retains its youthful styling. The flexible interior includes a rear seat that lets you fold and remove each half. Theres still no six-cylinder engine.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
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01*
02
03
04
05
06*
07
08
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13*
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16*
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Overall Reliability Verdict
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2001 Toyota RAV4 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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)

“The check engine light came on--was checked and reset. It came on again 4 months later--was checked and reset. Both times it indicated the catalytic converter needs replacing and I am now facing $1500+ to have that done”

Anonymous, AB (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Failure of the catalytic converter”

Anonymous, FL (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“"Check Engine" light comes on and off regularly”

Stuart P., CT (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“caused Engine light to turn on”

Anonymous, ON (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced the catalytic converter for the 4th(+?) time, along with (again) all 4 O2 sensors, and fuel injectors (2nd time). Also the main wiring harness. So, hopefully the repeated replacement of the converter will not recur in the future. Hopefully. Aside from the converter failures, the RAV has been excellent & durable & well designed”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“EGR have been issues from about the fourth year of ownership and continues”

Anonymous, NY (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The catalytic converter failed & I had to have it replaced”

Doug F., OR (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“Replaced all four sensors twice on the car. First time Toyota did all four for $2000, second time did myself for $400 in parts and tools. Dealership ripped me off completely and its so easy to replace them”

Anonymous, FL (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“"Check Engine" light comes on and off regularly”

Stuart P., CT (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Both sensors needed replacement within the year”

Anonymous, MN (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“died”

Darius S., MD (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“check engine light constantly appearing after repairs”

Anonymous, AR (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Check Engine light. Replaced a bad sensor”

Anonymous, MI (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I spent $1000 to get check engine lights to turn off and pass my Smog emission test”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“caused Engine light to turn on”

Anonymous, ON (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Third O2 sensor I've replaced on the car and cost $510”

Anonymous, GA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light on with codes for catalytic converter. There was a recall for this due to parameters being to tight but previous owner did not get it done. Now it is our headache. Car runs fine but has check engine light on”

Nikita M., NY (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 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

“Leaks around skylight seal which has shrunk with age and for which there is no replacement available from Toyota - difficult to monitor 2 small drain holes and keep clear”

Ed B., WA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“windshield has never sealed, squeaks bad from day one, replace 3 times., once under warranty. and water has rusted the frame at the seal now”

Charles L., MI (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

“Unbelievably noisey to drive, especially under windy conditions”

Abigail D., MN (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Leaks around skylight seal which has shrunk with age and for which there is no replacement available from Toyota - difficult to monitor 2 small drain holes and keep clear”

Ed B., WA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Road noise and rattles”

Erwin Z., CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“from purchase the vehicle has had all manner of squeaks, rattles and noise. it is a very noisy ride all around”

Robert R., TX (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Normal wear for a 14 year old car that's been used on primitive mountain roads”

Karl G., NM (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Intermittent rattle inside dash”

Bob S., WA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“entire car is very dependable trouble free car, but it has a lot of squeaks and rattles bad”

Charles L., MI (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Squeaks and rattles have been a problem from Day one. Mostly from somewhere in the dash”

Anonymous, NY (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“an otherwise great vehicle is made less so because of a loud ride. the vehicle is just loud”

Robert R., TX (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“Clutch failed requiring replacement at a cost of $2,000.00”

Anonymous, TN (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to replace worn out clutch”

Anonymous, ID (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

“my clutch started to feel differently & I had less power in each gear”

SUSn Z., CO (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Transmission completely failed and had to be replaced”

Stephen D., ID (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Fifth gear popped out of gear and would no longer engage. Was told to replace or rebuild transmission. Went online to a forum and was able to replace fifth gear and hub myself without removing transmission, saving myself over $3000”

Anonymous, FL (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Transmission fluid pump failed causing permanent shift to neutral, $4000 to repair at 167,000 mi, approx”

Paul S., CO (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Transmission had to be replaced”

Anonymous, TN (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“I had some transmission issues 7-8 years ago and had a power flush on the transmission, mostly correcting the issue. Since that time it had occasional slipping and I basically babied it know that any work would require pulling the engine. One day it would not shift out of second, I parked for a few hours and then it would not shift into reverse. I had the transmission in for service and everything needed replacement”

Anonymous, WA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The transmission had problems which was diagnosed as needing a complete replacement. When I first bought the car they had reprogrammed the transmission computer but I think now that it should have been replaced. I have noticed odd shifting problems in the last couple of years and is very similar to complaints online about the computer”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“We felt the transmission slipping 2 years ago, just over 110k miles and we modified the computer chip. The modifications failed in 5k miles so we installed a rebuilt transmission”

Anonymous, OR (2001 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

“Wheel well trim moldings loose”

Paul S., AZ (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Side decorative panels have had to be replaced, not attached well”

Abigail D., MN (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The paint is sun burned. Clear coat is peeling”

Laurie J., OR (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The paint cracked and rust appeared, particularly on the roof”

D B., CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Trim on outside door panels is peeling off”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Paint has been peeling for a few years. Looked into getting car repainted but was quoted $1500. Dealer's body shop said paint for all cars during this model year was bad”

Cindy P., CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Paint is peeling on most surfaces”

Paul S., CO (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Paint has faded so that different body parts do not match. Trim has discolored and faded and cannot be renewed unless replace d with new”

Eric D., MA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The clear coat over the base color of tan is peeling off and is nearly gone. The base color looks dingy and faded”

Paul S., CO (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The exterior body is rusted”

D B., CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 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

“The vehicle is 16 years old and has held up remarkably well. I consider the ball joint replacement regular well and tear”

Joyce P., MI (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering leaks

“had to replace power unit for leakage”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Front struts needed replacement at 220000 miles”

John S., WA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“rusted and replaced”

Anonymous, CT (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to be replaced”

Anonymous, MN (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear end suspension was too rusted for an alignment and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, WV (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“RR oils spring was broken. Replaced both sides, and install new rear shocks at same time. All DIY”

Anonymous, BC (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

“Wore out, and about time too”

Anonymous, BC (2001 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

“this was a result of the computer failure. Resolve with new computer”

Gary B., MI (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Because of the defect ECM or ECU, it caused rough shifting”

Anonymous, TX (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission computer

“Primary engine/trans computer failed (common problem, recall exists). Diagnosed & replaced myself”

Gary B., MI (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“ECM needed to be replaced due to defective computer”

Anonymous, TX (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Transmission computer had to be replaced, although it had been recalled and fixed by dealer in 2009. Fortunately, the transmission wasn't damaged because I stopped driving it as soon as I noticed the rough shifting”

Anonymous, TN (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Slipping”

Anonymous, AZ (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 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

“When vehicle was purchased used from the dealer, the A/C was indicated as being OK, but I began having problems almost immediately after the purchase. The compressor will most likely need to be replaced”

Don M., WI (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Had to be replaced”

Anonymous, HI (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Compressor failed Spring 2014, replaced by dealer. New compressor failed March 2015, had to be replaced. Entire refrigerant system had to be checked for leaks and all leaks found and repaired. Cost over $2700”

Michael O., IL (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

“Radiator was leaking and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“When A/C compressor failed and was replaced last year dealer said hoses and refrigerant system were in good shape. When the replacement compressor failed this year, dealer said system was full of leaks and all would have to be traced down and repaire”

Michael O., IL (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“There appears to be a leak and there is no indication to where it is leaking from”

Anonymous, PA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 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

Calipers

“Normal wear for being near salt water”

Anonymous, NH (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“In cold weather, the brake pedal will not go down until it is pumped a few times and then the brakes work properly”

S T., SC (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Front rotors had already been turned once, several years ago, so they were replaced along with new front pads”

Forest M., BC (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced due to normal wear”

Forest M., BC (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The front disc brakes were replaced in mid 2016 and a noise developed and they had to be replaced again 8 months later”

Anonymous, PA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 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

“the headlights' exterior lens would continually fog. We tried various products, including Toyota's recommendation. Each product would work for a while, but would fog in two months' time. We finally bought new headlamps and replaced them”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“lights out”

Daniel B., VA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

“sensor”

Daniel B., VA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

“Wiper motor went out completely and, unfortunately, I was driving in a heavy rain storm”

James P., IL (2001 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

Engine computer

“I've had to replace 4 oxygen sensors since purchasing this car. Two in the last year. All DIY”

Anonymous, BC (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“ECM needed to be replaced. Engine still continues to have idle/surging issues”

Peter M., MA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“engine light has been on for years, doesn't seem to relate to any real problem”

Anonymous, FL (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

“The rubber seals on the oil pan and head gasket allowed oil to drip out”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

“catalytic converter failed, causing check engine light to come on, car could not pass emissions test. very costly to repair”

Anonymous, NV (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“After almost 300000 miles the engine warning light came on and indicated catalytic converter. turned off, it came on again and I had the converter replaced. running fine now”

A S., TN (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Muffler

“Exhaust pipe broke where it attaches to muffler”

Anonymous, IL (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 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

“Keyless entry system on the driver door has failed repeatedly. No one can seem to fix it”

Eric D., MA (2001 Toyota RAV4 L 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Sunroof

“the rubber trim around the sunroof keeps lifting up in the right-hand corner. If it rains when this happens, it leaks into the cabin. We keep stretching it back into place, but it lifts again. Fortunately for this particular problem, it hasn't rai”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“broken limiter for tailgate hinge”

Ernie N., CA (2001 Toyota RAV4 Unsure 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

Transfer case

“FLUID LEAK THRU DRIVESHAFT SEAL/BEARING”

Anonymous, TX (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
4WD/AWD components

“Transmission failure required complete rebuild, over $5000”

Paul S., CO (2001 Toyota RAV4 Base 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

“We had a new radiator installed to replace original radiator 6 months ago and the new radiator started leaking”

Anonymous, OR (2001 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

Head gasket

“Head gasket leaked, had to have it repaired. Expensive!”

Anonymous, MD (2001 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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