The RAV4 is one of our highest-rated small SUVs. The flexible, well-laid-out interior includes a rear seat you can fold and remove in halves. The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine provides adequate performance but sounds a little loud at high revs. The engine and automatic transmission work well together, and the AWD system does its job efficiently and unobtrusively on slippery pavement and limited off-road situations.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Handling in snow."

JOHN R., IL (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"I like the handling of the vehicle. Compared with my previous Lexus, I feel I have better control."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Having problems fixing the engine hesitation."

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"OK acceleration and handling but so so road feel and tesponsiveness"

WILLIAM K., NJ (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"If this car were an automatic shift, I don't know if I would give it such a rating. I love the involvement of driving a manual shift. Fun. I'm thinking about a Subaru Forester with a manual shift for my next car.The new RAVs are too big now for my likes."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"I still get amased at the handling of my RAV4. I find myself turning around in some of the smallest places, with no trouble at all. I can maneuver between rows of cars that most of the other SUV's can't begin to get through. She responds to my every touch like she knows before I do what is next."

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Acceleration on the slow side . Handles well in dry or wet conditions but not good in snow and icy conditions. Good turning radius."

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Acceleration is and has always been a little sluggish. Only real complaint with the car."

Anonymous, MD (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"The car is up high so I have excellent view of the road. It accelerates well, has a good turning radius, has very responsive handling"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Torque steer upon acceleration, particularly bad if driving in inclement weather."

MICHAEL K., TX (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Acceleration up hills is truly awful. I dread higher speed highway driving if I know I will be traversing hilly areas and anyone else is on the road. I will be interfering with other vehicles' ability to maintain speed."

Elizabeth P., NY (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Very quick start and acceleration from standing position."

Jack P., TX (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Its response, the first time that I drove it, was a very pleasant surprise. It is fun to drive and I have no desire to replace it."

Alvin H., CA (2003 Toyota RAV4)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Terrible road noise - I know what the road condition is in not from the suspension, but from the level and amount of noise in the cabin."

MICHAEL K., TX (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Ride is a bit harsh due to short wheel base."

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Comfortable seats, good cooling and heating system. Ride is on the rough side and noisy."

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota RAV4)


EDMUND B., MA (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Climate control is great, but otherwise, this vehicle is noisy and rides like a truck. Seats are more comfortable than they were in my 1989 Corolla, but for a long trip (more than 4 or 5 hrs), they become rather uncomfortable."

D H., OH (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Replaced shocks, which failed just a couple weeks later (as predicted by the mechanic)."

JEREMY R., MA (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"I love my little Rav4. The seats are still comfortable after all these years, and the climate control/air conditioner still cools the extremely hot car down in a very short time. The noise is probably a little louder than I'd like but when I'm enjoying the smooth ride (which I probably take for granted) I haven't been noticing the little bit of difference in the noise."

Anonymous, FL (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Everything good except too noisy on highway driving."

JEAN R., FL (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Seats don't provide good lumbar support. Headrests are huge and lean too far forward. Just remembered- I drive without the rear headrests (when no backseat passengers) because without the headrests, I get amazing sight lines, with headrests, my vision is dangerously obstructed."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Toyota RAV4)


ROBERT S., OH (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Drivers seat extremely uncomfortable. Passengers front and rear seats somewhat uncomfortable. Ride noise is very annoying(loud), specifically in terms of wind noise (med./high speed) and road noise(highway and city roads)."

JONATHAN U., PA (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"noisy ride especially at hwy speed"

William K., NJ (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Seats do not have good padding or lumbar support, in fact I developed sciatica after a long car trip. Needed to purchase an expensive lumbar support in order to continue using the vehicle"

Elizabeth P., NY (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"I have some arthritis in joints and a bad back (scoliosis). Have found my RAV to be one of the most comfortable cars to ride in because of the height for entry and the fact the seats can be adjusted in multiple ways."

Linda R., NL (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Front seats are very comfortable. Rear seats are OK for a small car. It is definitely very reliable, low maintenance. Ride is a little bumpy but tolerable for an old car. Nice basic car. Nothing fancy."

Abraham C., NY (2003 Toyota RAV4)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Great vehicle. Very economical."

Anonymous, PA (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"The car has been extremely reliable and provides exactly what I need. I can pull a small trailer with it."

Anonymous, WI (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"The car is 13 years old, runs great now after I replaced the "black box", mileage is decent, overall it is why I bought it in the first place."

RONALD R., CA (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"I believe there have been very few repairs over the time (6 years) that I have owned it. The transmission failure ($4600) was reimbursed from Toyota."

Anonymous, IN (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"My 2003 RAV4 manual transmission base model 2WD car was purchased new for $16,000 in 4/2003. It's the most perfect vehicle I've owned (include 3 other new Toyotas. I've spent less than $700 in unscheduled maintenance in 13+ years! I carefully follow all the scheduled maintenance recommendations. I've only had to replace the front brake pads and the fuel sensor. I can't say enough good about this car! (I've had a Tercel, Corolla, 1993 Camry for 10 years, and the RAV4. Consumer Reports said"

LINDA P., MA (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Great performance and reliability for the price"

WILLIAM K., NJ (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"They are very reliable,thrifty,and fun to drive."

EDWAN C., BC (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Bought the vehicle new and it has been worth every penny that I paid for it."

Anonymous, TN (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"Nice basic car. Nothing fancy. Very reliable. Low maintenance."

Abraham C., NY (2003 Toyota RAV4)

"A great car - few issues and is exactly what I need."

Anonymous, WA (2003 Toyota RAV4)
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