2002 RAV4 New Car Test Drive
Toyota's RAV4 is a sporty-looking small utility. It handles well and offers a decent amount of power. It's comfortable and convenient for running around town, it's easy to park, and it feels stable out on the open road.
Toyota completely redesigned and re-engineered its RAV4 a year ago. The all-new Toyota RAV4 is more refined than the previous-generation model and it's much better looking.
Two models are available: 2WD and 4WD. Key differences are found in the list of options.
All are four-doors. There is only one engine, which was new for 2001: an all-aluminum, 16-valve, dohc inline four-cylinder with variable valve timing, displacing 2.0 liters and producing 148 horsepower. Two transmissions are available, a five-speed manual and a four-speed electronically controlled automatic.
Prices sound low at first glance, starting at just $16,525 for a 2WD model with a five-speed manual. But they quickly escalate when adding options. The $26,565 sticker on our test model showed $590 for antilock brakes; $220 for a roof rack; $875 for alloy wheels with slightly wider tires; $220 for remote entry; $800 for leather; $390 for limited-slip differential (only available with 4WD); $200 for a rear spoiler; $815 for a power moonroof; $40 for daytime running lights; and a whopping $3,120 for a package including air conditioning, cruise control, CD sound system, tinted windows, fog lamps, and smoother body trim including a spare tire cover. Plus $480 delivery, processing and handling (a figure which climbs to $495 if you live in the Gulf States or Southeast).
Anti-lock brakes might be the best value in there. If you were trying to keep the price of your mini SUV mini, as one would think it should be, you might tell yourself you could do without most of the rest of those options. But you'd probably want air conditioning, which is a $985 stand-alone option, or comes with the Quick Order Package ($2,295) along with a CD audio system, cruise control, power windows, locks and mirrors and carpeted floor mats.