Author Topic: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?  (Read 2937 times)

popbottlepirate

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Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« on: November 22, 2016, 07:58:58 AM »
Sorry if this has been answered. But I couldn't get the search function working.

I'm looking at buying a used RAV4. It's a 2004 with 210,000km. for about $4,000CDN. It's currently being looked at by a mechanic and getting a safety and e-test done (Ontario requirement.) It will only really be driven around town by my wife and toddler. I know we could go for a cheaper car but she wanted something a bit taller. We currently drive a 2003 civic with 180,000km.

The only things I saw on it was the drivers mirror doesn't adjust. and there is some peeling paint on the roof.

The only potential issues that google turned up is the circuit board that controls the transmission can be faulty. But it looks like it's only about $400 to have the board repaired, so not a deal breaker. Also I think at this mileage it is probably a non-issue since it should have already broken long ago and been replaced.

Does anyone have any input? does it seem like a fair price? I was thinking to try and haggle down to about $3,500 but I suck at haggling. I'm too Canadian :P

daverobev

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2016, 08:34:53 AM »
http://www.vmrcanada.com/used-car/values/2004-Toyota-RAV4.html

http://www.carcomplaints.com/Toyota/RAV4/2004/ "Seal of Awesome"

Fix the paint, drive for another 100k km or more. Price seems fair.

Spork

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2016, 09:13:46 AM »
I can only give you my anecdotal evidence.  We have a 2010 Rav4 with zero issues. 

It will only really be driven around town by my wife and toddler.

My suggestion here is to not allow the toddler to drive it.

Koogie

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2016, 09:51:34 AM »
I have a 2012 Toyota Rav4 and I really like it.  Great car. It was one of  the last to come off the production line in Woodstock before they changed the design in 2013. 

It is great in the snow and sitting up higher is always an advantage, IMO.  Be aware the tires are expensive since I am looking at getting snow tires right now.

daverobev

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2016, 10:12:30 AM »
It is great in the snow and sitting up higher is always an advantage, IMO.

Disagree on that. Roll over risk is higher when you're, um, higher. A mid sized car is likely safer than an SUV. Goes against popular opinion, but the stats tell their own story (and that is from someone that just bought a minivan - I believe it is less intrinsically safe than a car).

popbottlepirate

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2016, 11:09:20 AM »
Thanks for the advice everyone. I've heard the rollover risk. I think it's somewhat diminished compared to the original RAV4s.

Having the car sit up high was the big selling point. My wife is super short so has always wanted to drive something taller.

I'm definitely planning to get snow tires. I bought them for our civic last year and paid around $800 with rims. so I'm braces to pay more for the RAV4. it has 16" tires.

Assuming the inspect goes right I'll pick it up.

Koogie

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2016, 11:17:16 AM »
It is great in the snow and sitting up higher is always an advantage, IMO.

Disagree on that. Roll over risk is higher when you're, um, higher. A mid sized car is likely safer than an SUV. Goes against popular opinion, but the stats tell their own story (and that is from someone that just bought a minivan - I believe it is less intrinsically safe than a car).

Rollover risk has nothing to do with height but with centre of gravity (COG) and that revolves around design.    The SUV rollover issues are mostly of the past.  Anyway, sitting up higher has more to do with having good sightlines and view over traffic and that contributes to safety as well.  Add in the good 4WD that the RAV4 has and it has been one of our better snow vehicles.

bacchi

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2016, 11:37:56 AM »
The only potential issues that google turned up is the circuit board that controls the transmission can be faulty. But it looks like it's only about $400 to have the board repaired, so not a deal breaker. Also I think at this mileage it is probably a non-issue since it should have already broken long ago and been replaced.

Right, this was an extended warranty item and should've been replaced.

There's also a problem with the O2 sensors, at least in the States. The computer is too sensitive, causing the sensors to signal a fault in the emissions (the cat, to be specific). There's a TSB about it. Again, the fix is a reprogram of the ECU.

Quote
SUBJECT REGARDING ENGINE CONTROL MODULE (ECM) CALIBRATION UPDATE - MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LIGHT ON WITH DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES P0420 OR P0430 AND ENHANCED ENGINE PERFORMANCE.

MandalayVA

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2016, 11:51:57 AM »
I have a 2008 RAV4 and love it.  Decent gas mileage, lots of storage space but not huge, comfortable drive, and completely reliable.  Buy with confidence!

ysette9

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2016, 12:00:04 PM »
I purchased a 2004 RAV4 when I did a 7-month TDY in Denver and didn't want to take my nice car to the salt and snow. Being a native Californian, I was also scared of driving in the snow and wanted something old and not sports car-y. I was pleased with the thing, though I got rid of it in the end because I just don't like being up that high. It did everything I needed it to though (drive well in the snow) and didn't have a single extra feature (manual door locks, windows, etc.) My husband now drives a 2005 RAV4 and he likes it. I still don't like being up that high and it is too big for me, but he enjoys it. This one is fancy with auto door locks, windows, and, and.... yep, that is it. :) As long as you get a pre-purchase check from a not-shady mechanic, I think you will be just fine.

daverobev

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2016, 12:23:44 PM »
It is great in the snow and sitting up higher is always an advantage, IMO.

Disagree on that. Roll over risk is higher when you're, um, higher. A mid sized car is likely safer than an SUV. Goes against popular opinion, but the stats tell their own story (and that is from someone that just bought a minivan - I believe it is less intrinsically safe than a car).

Rollover risk has nothing to do with height but with centre of gravity (COG) and that revolves around design.    The SUV rollover issues are mostly of the past.  Anyway, sitting up higher has more to do with having good sightlines and view over traffic and that contributes to safety as well.  Add in the good 4WD that the RAV4 has and it has been one of our better snow vehicles.

Being able to see over encourages driving too close to the vehicle in front. It's larger=better mentality.

Toronto-ish, well, if you're saying you have snow issues, I'd love to know what vehicles have had big problems. RWD I can see (drove a Crown Vic for a few years; certainly they are tricky, even with snow tires, and traction control). FWD? Meh. 4wd just adds cost all round. Driving up gravel, rarely ploughed roads, in a hilly area? Ok. Mostly driving in town or on highways? Anything is fine. Provided you drive sensibly. If you don't, it doesn't matter what you drive.

*Edit* I'm not trying to suggest, in any way, the OP's vehicle in question is a bad choice. I have no idea what their uses will be. "Buy the least vehicle you can" seems the most sensible advice, and for most people, an SUV is not that vehicle. They are taller, more expensive to maintain and drive, while not necessarily offering that much more usable space over a car. CRV vs Civic, Rav4 vs Corolla, and so on - if you can't fit in a Corolla, try a Matrix or Vibe; if you can't fit in those, then sure, a Camry or Rav4 or whatever. If you need good 4wd, Impreza would be the first suggestion.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2016, 12:43:11 PM by daverobev »

Koogie

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2016, 03:26:39 PM »

Being able to see over encourages driving too close to the vehicle in front. It's larger=better mentality.

Toronto-ish, well, if you're saying you have snow issues, I'd love to know what vehicles have had big problems. RWD I can see (drove a Crown Vic for a few years; certainly they are tricky, even with snow tires, and traction control). FWD? Meh. 4wd just adds cost all round. Driving up gravel, rarely ploughed roads, in a hilly area? Ok. Mostly driving in town or on highways? Anything is fine. Provided you drive sensibly. If you don't, it doesn't matter what you drive.

*Edit* I'm not trying to suggest, in any way, the OP's vehicle in question is a bad choice. I have no idea what their uses will be. "Buy the least vehicle you can" seems the most sensible advice, and for most people, an SUV is not that vehicle. They are taller, more expensive to maintain and drive, while not necessarily offering that much more usable space over a car. CRV vs Civic, Rav4 vs Corolla, and so on - if you can't fit in a Corolla, try a Matrix or Vibe; if you can't fit in those, then sure, a Camry or Rav4 or whatever. If you need good 4wd, Impreza would be the first suggestion.

Oh, I get it. You're an internet expert.

I capitulate.  Feel better ?

daverobev

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2016, 04:33:23 PM »

Being able to see over encourages driving too close to the vehicle in front. It's larger=better mentality.

Toronto-ish, well, if you're saying you have snow issues, I'd love to know what vehicles have had big problems. RWD I can see (drove a Crown Vic for a few years; certainly they are tricky, even with snow tires, and traction control). FWD? Meh. 4wd just adds cost all round. Driving up gravel, rarely ploughed roads, in a hilly area? Ok. Mostly driving in town or on highways? Anything is fine. Provided you drive sensibly. If you don't, it doesn't matter what you drive.

*Edit* I'm not trying to suggest, in any way, the OP's vehicle in question is a bad choice. I have no idea what their uses will be. "Buy the least vehicle you can" seems the most sensible advice, and for most people, an SUV is not that vehicle. They are taller, more expensive to maintain and drive, while not necessarily offering that much more usable space over a car. CRV vs Civic, Rav4 vs Corolla, and so on - if you can't fit in a Corolla, try a Matrix or Vibe; if you can't fit in those, then sure, a Camry or Rav4 or whatever. If you need good 4wd, Impreza would be the first suggestion.

Oh, I get it. You're an internet expert.

I capitulate.  Feel better ?

Not really. I'm just presenting the facts, as I understand them. I'm more than happy to change my opinion based on statistics or reasonably logical anecdotes. Just saying "higher up=better" is, from my experience, untrue.

If you need a truck, drive a truck. If you need an SUV, drive one. If you don't, buy something smaller. Very few people need 4wd. Some do, no doubt.

This site is, after all, about saving money. For most people, driving a larger vehicle does the opposite while gaining them little. I'm talking in generalisations

frugalsurfer

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2016, 05:27:06 PM »
Someone I know built a camper system/fold out platform that fits inside the back of the RAV4. Works really well as it allows them to sleep inside when out on camping or road trips, and keep equipment under the bed platform to access. The platform had attachable legs and also rests on the centre console. The front seats need to be tilted forwards if you're a taller sort.

Reynolds531

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2016, 08:51:04 PM »
I can only give you my anecdotal evidence.  We have a 2010 Rav4 with zero issues. 

It will only really be driven around town by my wife and toddler.

My suggestion here is to not allow the toddler to drive it.

Thank you for the diet coke all over my tablet. I second not letting him drive...or at least get gas money.

popbottlepirate

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Re: Used Rav4 is it a reliable pick?
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2016, 08:23:28 AM »
I appreciate all the advice here. It's great to be able to get feedback from people with similar mindsets. I spent a lot of time around spendy-pants people. so it's nice to know I'm not crazy for not financing a new car for 7 years.

I ended up buying the car. The safety and etest came back fine. just a couple small things. Headlights foggy and need to be buffed out, and small crack on windshield. I ended up getting it for $3500. So with the safety and etest that's like $3650. Thanks for the help!

and a special thank you to Spork! I'm not sure what I was thinking!

I can only give you my anecdotal evidence.  We have a 2010 Rav4 with zero issues. 

It will only really be driven around town by my wife and toddler.

My suggestion here is to not allow the toddler to drive it.