Toyota RAV4: The Years to Steer Clear Of

by AutoExpert   |  21 December, 2023

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Thinking about a Toyota RAV4? It's like that reliable friend everyone loves – versatile, dependable, and won't break the bank. But hey, not all RAV4s are created equal. Some years are like that one season of your favorite show you pretend never happened. Let’s check out the RAV4 years that might be more headache than they're worth.

2001 to 2003: Transmission Troubles

The early 2000s RAV4s were cool but had a bit of a hiccup with their transmissions. The 2002 model, in particular, had a rough time, with jerky gear changes and engine control module (ECM) issues. Toyota did step up with an extended warranty, but let's face it, these cars have seen a lot of road. Plus, they're missing the modern tech that makes driving a breeze. Maybe give these a pass.

Toyota RAV4

2006 to 2008: The Oil Guzzlers

These years had the 2AZ-FE engine, notorious for chugging oil like it's going out of style. The issue is more about the engine design, so there's no quick fix – just constant oil top-ups. And the steering might give you some clunking sounds too, potentially costing a grand to fix. With high mileage and possible oil issues, you might want to skip these.

Toyota RAV4

2014: Fire Hazard Alert

The 2014 RAV4 was part of a massive recall due to a fire risk from the battery design. Add to that some interior quality issues and the potential for factory white paint to bubble and peel, and this year starts to look a bit iffy. It might not be the worst, but why take the chance?

Toyota RAV4

2019: The Problem Child

This one's a bit of a rebel. Despite being newer, the 2019 RAV4 had its fair share of recalls and issues, like fuel pump failures and jerky transmissions. Owners have reported leaks through the roof rack seals too. Toyota's been on top of fixes, but if you're aiming for a worry-free RAV4 experience, maybe let this one go.

Toyota RAV4

While the RAV4 is generally a rockstar, some years just don't hit the right notes. Go for the ones that'll keep your road trips fun and stress-free.

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